Can Pets Have Bed Bugs?
Do you think your home or pet has bed bugs? Here are some easy ways to find out!
Bed bugs were a rare occurrence after WWII and were largely confined to dingy motels and low-income, cluttered and dirty homes. The pests are far more common since the 90’s and are notoriously difficult to eradicate successfully. These pests can infest virtually any place including 5 star hotels, airlines, public libraries, and unfortunately, even the most pristine and well kept home.
Homeowners with bed bugs wonder about their pets and whether bed bugs affect them. The critters prefer human hosts and may ignore pets if there is a steady supply of blood meal from human hosts. It is not clear why bed bugs prefer humans although some people speculate that animal fur makes it inconvenient for the bed bugs to get a meal.
Bed bugs will occasionally feed on pets. Unlike fleas and ticks, bed bugs do not live on the animal host. The bed bugs will eventually leave the pet unless stuck in the fur. They will however come back every time they need a blood meal.
Signs of Bed Bugs on Pets
Bed bugs on pets can be hard to detect on pets and the symptoms difficult to tell apart from fleas or ticks. Common sings of bed bugs on pets include;
- Pink or red welts coupled with intense itching and acute skin irritation. Confirm that this isn’t from fleas or ticks or regular shedding.
- Anxiety and irritability
- Blisters, hives, rashes and patchy hair loss
- Signs of bed bugs around where pet sleep including exoskeleton and fecal stains (rust colored, brown or red)
Unless you have other reasons to believe that you have bed bugs in your house, the most likely culprit given these symptoms is fleas and ticks. Whatever the case, bathe your dog or cat immediately after spending a night in a boarding facility or other dog care center.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs on Pets
Bed bugs do not live on their host so getting them off your pets shouldn’t be too difficult.
Start by taking the pet outside using the most direct route to avoid spreading bed bugs to the rest of the house. Groom your pet thoroughly using a flea comb to remove the bugs. Trim long hair to confirm that no bed bugs or other pests are hiding there.
Bathe your pet thoroughly, preferably outside. Use shampoo specifically designed to exterminate bed bug eggs and bed bugs. Flea or tick shampoo or products may not work for bed bugs.
Pick up all of your pets belongings including blankets and bedding in a garbage bag and seal tightly until ready to wash. Pour the contents into the washing machine with the mouth of the bag halfway inside the washer. Wash at the highest heat setting allowable for the fabric and repeat with the dryer.
Finally, vacuum the pet’s living area thoroughly to collect bed bug eggs and possibly live bugs.
Hire the Exterminators to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs on pets in Toronto are only one sign of a much larger problem. These critters hide deep inside crevices and cracks which make exterminating them difficult for professionals and impossible with DIY.
It is well documented that bed bugs are immune to most pesticides made for commercial use. Some of these pesticides may be harmful to pets especially birds and reptiles. Do not use pesticides inside a home with pets.
Finally DIY extermination only irritates the bed bugs and causes them to hide even further in gaps and crevices. They also disperse thus making the problem worse.
Hire a professional bed bug exterminator Toronto to get rid of bed bugs permanently. Make sure that the services include a warranty to ensure that the extermination is carried out to its conclusion.