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Will Bed Bugs Bite Dogs? - TermMax - Bed Bugs and Your Pets

There are many insects that can act as parasites on dogs and cats.  These bugs often use their hosts for a place to live, harborage or food.  They are seldom positive for your pets.  Fleas and ticks are a great example of insects that parasite off of your cats and dogs.  But what about bed bugs? Will bed bugs bite dogs or cats? Bed bugs can bite your pets and other animals, but they prefer humans.  When a bed bug is fully satiated, they will leave your pet alone.  

Bed bugs are human parasites and blood feeders. Their only food source is blood.  This being the case, they are almost always in close contact with humans.  This is why they are called bed bugs, because they have the best access to humans in their beds.  If bed bugs can’t find a human meal, they can settle for dogs, cats, rodents and other animals, but they prefer not to.  

HITCHING A RIDE

Bed bugs are very adept at getting around.  They do this by hitching a ride off of clothing, luggage, or any other fabric material that is being moved.  It is important to check hotels and motels, especially their beds, for bed bugs when traveling.  A quick check can save you a call to an Oklahoma pest control company later.  Also, second hand furniture can be infested with these bugs, so be careful when buying.  That great deal might not be as great as you think!

If these insects can hitch a ride off of our things, what about our pets?  While it is possible, it’s not very likely.  Insects such as fleas and ticks have legs that are specifically designed to grasp on to hair follicles in the fur.  Bed bugs are not so equipped.  It is more likely that bed bugs hitch a ride on animal bedding or clothing such as animal blankets, collars and leashes.  

PET PRECAUTIONS WHEN TREATING

So if you find yourself with a bed bug problem, and you are going to get your home treated by a Tulsa exterminator, what happens with your pets?  Firstly, as you are getting your home treated, there is a part that you will have to do as well.  Exterminators will treat large items in your home such as beds, mattresses and couches.  Your responsibility is to take care of the smaller things.  

Bed bugs are susceptible to high heat.  This means that anytime they get over 120 degrees Fahrenheit, they start to die off.  Your dryer on high heat will easily reach this temperature.  That means that anything in your home that can go through the wash, will need to each time your home is treated.  This includes clothing, bedding, stuffed animals and the like.  Pet bedding and any other fabric items that your dog uses will also need to be run through the wash.  

Lastly, when your Oklahoma exterminator sprays, he or she will be using very potent pesticides.  These pesticides are safe once they dry, but are a respiratory hazard until they do.  It is important that not only you and your family vacate your home during the treatments, but that your pets do as well.  

WHAT ABOUT BED BUG DOGS?

Bed bugs naturally emit an odor or alarm pheromone when disturbed.  This is why, in heavy infestations, you can actually smell them.  But in the beginning stages, the smell is usually too faint to detect by humans.  But what about dogs?  There are many pest control companies that incorporate bed bug dogs.  These dogs are trained to sniff out a bed bug issue in your home.  But are they accurate?

A study published by the National Library of Medicine shed some light on the subject.  They tested 11 professional detection teams for low level bed bug infestations.  They found that the average correct detection rate was 44%.  Worse yet, the false positive rate was on average 15%.  Because of these unflattering results, we here at TermMax Pest Control do not use bed bug dogs.  We feel that there are much more reliable ways of identifying bed bug infestations.  

CAN PETS CATCH DISEASES FROM BED BUGS?

When a bed bug bites, it removes blood from the host and injects some of its saliva into the host’s blood stream.  It does this to prevent the blood from clotting and as a local anesthetic to keep the host from realizing that he or she is being bitten.  One would imagine that this would make us and our pets susceptible to disease transmission.  But in the real world, it doesn’t work this way.  We have no instances in which a disease was transmitted to a human or animal from bed bugs.  

This being the case, there is still a small health risk.  Once a bed bug has bitten and gone, it often leaves an itchy welt.  This welt can be scratched to the point at which it opens and starts bleeding.  At this point, an open wound is susceptible to infection.   Even though we have flea collars and sprays, there are no prevention measures for bed bugs for your pets.

HOW TO GET RID OF BED BUGS

In the end, there are no short cuts for bed bug infestations.  Even though there are many different over the counter solutions and home remedies, I have never found one that worked.  The most difficult issue with bed bugs is the fact that they are so close to us.  Harsh chemicals that would easily kill bed bugs will often have an adverse effect on the people and pets who must sleep in the beds that have been treated.  

But there are solutions available.  Simply contact your Tulsa pest control company and they can give you a free estimate.  Here at TermMax Pest Control, we are very effective at removing bed bug infestations. Check out our reviews to see many of our happy customers.  Contact us today for all of your pest control needs.  We’re here to help!

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