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Can Bed Bugs Live on Your Pets?

bed bugs and pets

Bed bugs are making a resurgence in American homes and apartments. They grow quickly in numbers, hide in your home extremely well, and can cause health problems for you, your kids, and your pets. They can be expensive to eradicate if not noticed early.

So, Can Bed Bugs Live on Your Pets?

Although bed bugs prefer to feed on a human host, they will bite animals that live in your home. They will live on the blood of your animal, or whichever host they find, but will not make a home on your animal.

Bed bugs do not live on their host, but live in the environment near a host. They come out at night to feed, hide in the daytime, and are able to live on a single bite for weeks at a time.

Bed bugs are excellent, uninvited hitchhikers. Although they do not make a home on your pet like fleas, ticks, lice, and mites (it can be easy to mistake bed bug bites for these other critters), they will bite them in order to survive. And it is possible for them to arrive in your home via your pet’s fur or clothing.

So, if you have bed bugs, your pets might be affected. You need to know how to notice when bed bugs move in and how to make them move out!

Checking for Bed Bugs

Again, bed bugs do not live on your pet. Therefore, checking for bed bugs is different than checking for fleas, ticks, lice, and mites. You are not looking for the bed bugs themselves. You are looking for the clues they leave behind.

Bed bugs bite a host in order to take their blood. This bite will often result in a small red welt and will itch. The bite can easily be mistaken for a flea or mosquito bites.

The first clue that your pet may be getting bit by bed bugs is itching. Since bed bugs prefer a human host, if you notice your dog itching more than normal, check yourself as well for the small red marks. Next, you want to check you and your pet’s beds for small, round, black spots. These spots are fecal marks left by bed bugs and are a reliable indicator of bed bugs.

Eradicating Bed Bugs

  • Call a professional. Bed bugs are great at hiding and even better at reproducing. A professional will be able to effectively locate bugs and offer the best solution.
  • Chemical solutions. Your local exterminator will either recommend a pesticide limited to the affected area or a complete fumigation.

Preventing Bed Bugs

  • Keep it clean. Bed bugs need places to hide, so try to keep your home free of unnecessary clutter.
  • Laundry it hot. Bed bugs prefer to hitch rides on clothing and other cloth material. To kill bed bugs before they move into your home, launder your pet’s bedding and clothing at the hottest temperature setting possible.
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