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Can Dog Beds Get Bed Bugs? (Explained & Solved)

Bed bugs are tiny insects that hide themselves during the day. At night they crawl out to feed on human blood. It is less likely for bed bugs to bite on your pet dog. However, they love hiding in dog beds and, if hungry, bite your pet as well.

Can dog beds get bed bugs?

Yes, dog beds can certainly get bed bugs. Bed bugs are masters when it comes to sneaking into small spaces and hiding. They can hide in any furniture, including your dog’s bed. Although bed bugs don’t live on a pet’s furry bodies, your dog can certainly carry bed bugs to their bed.

Bed bugs do look like cockroaches but are usually smaller in size. While you can see bigger ones with naked eyes, the smaller ones are also visible.

As the name suggests, these bugs hide in and around any bed. Whether it is your master bed, your living room couch, or your dog’s resting bed, bed bugs sneak into any little crevice or spot they find.

Certainly, you don’t want yourself or your dog to get bitten by one. These tiny insects can cause itchy skin, redness, and swelling in your dog’s skin.

How do you detect a bed bug infestation in a dog bed?

Bed bug infestation can be difficult to identify. There are a few good indications that you tell you that your dog’s bed has been infested with bed bugs. Look for the following signs to be sure:

Your dog is itchy and scratching itself more often

In that case, you might have to check on your pet. If bed bugs bite on your dog, you might notice small red bumps on your dog’s belly. They may also appear on the dog’s arms and feet.

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Bed bug bites look quite similar to other rashes

So how do you tell a bed bug bite from a mosquito or insect bite? If bugs are hiding in your dog’s bed and feeding on your pet, you might see a line or clump of red raised bumps, most likely on your pet’s belly. 

Dark brown or black spots

This is a more accurate and distinctive way to detect an infestation of bed bugs. When you check the dog bed, look for marks or strains that are black or brown colored.

If you find such spots on or near the dog bed, use a wet cloth to wipe them. On wiping, if the marks get smeared, you most possibly have bed bugs hiding in that area.

These are waste excretion from the bed bugs and indicate that bed bugs have been making a home in the corners of your pets’ bed.

Reddish-brown or dried blood spots

If you find stains on your dog’s bed that look like dried blood, bed bugs are likely secluded somewhere in the small spaces.

Like dried blood, the color of these spots will be reddish-brown and sometimes rusty brow. This happens if the dog smears a live bed bug while moving.

You have itchy skin or red clustered bumps

Bed bugs will mostly bite and feed on humans, even if a dog is nearby. So, it could be a possibility that bed bugs are just taking refuge in the dog’s bed.

If your dog is perfectly fine, with no scratching or red bumps, there might still be a chance that your dog’s bed has already been infested by bugs. 

If you notice the same signs on your body, it is best to check on your dog’s bed for infestation. 

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Shredded skin or eggshell deposits

Bed bugs often shed skin when they grow and lay eggs on the area they infest. These can be visible to the human eye.

Nymphs or shredded skin from bed bugs are easier to identify. These nymphs are light yellow. 

Another easy way is to look for eggs or even shells of eggs. Although they are as tiny as 1 millimeter in size, you would know that bed bugs in hiding have laid eggs or hatched. Eggs or the shells would be subtle white.

Detecting from visual features of a bug

If you have a good sight, we suggest you scan through the dog bed and try to find brownish, mostly flat-bodied oval insects that are no more than 5 millimeters in size. 

However, Baby ones will be much smaller and harder to see even if you have good eye power.  If they feed on blood, they become more reddish and fuller.

Additionally, few people have mistaken their pads for wings. So, it could be of use if you know that bed bugs have dual antennas but no wings. These six-legged tiny insects cannot fly.

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The damp, strange smell from the pet or dog bed

Bed bugs give off a musty smell. The smell is not too distinctive, but you may notice a moldy odor. 

This smell is known as alarm pheromones. Some people describe the smell as the one they get near corridors. If the infestation is too much, the smell can get distinctively unpleasant. 

Call an exterminator

If you doubt that there are bed bugs in the dog bed but cannot be sure, it’s best to call on the expert to be sure.

How to keep bed bugs off my dog’s bed?

If you have detected these pesky bugs on your dog’s bed, you might want to cater to it immediately. Bed bugs multiply very fast, and before you know it, thousands of bed bugs may be lurking in the dog bed.

To keep bed bugs off your dog’s bed, you could try the following methods:

Wash the bed with hot water

Wash the bedding by hand or by washing machine. You must use hot water for washing the dog bed. The high temperature from the hot water will help to remove all bed beetles.

Read more, Does Washing Dog Beds Get Rid Of Fleas? (Explained & Solved)

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Use dryer or vacuum bedding

Hot air from the dryer can also clean bed bugs and eggs. Keep the dryer on for at least 30 minutes.

Read more, Can Dog Beds Go in the Dryer

Vacuum the dog bed and all the area around it

This way, you can keep a regular cleaning routine.

Clean dog bed regularly

Thoroughly clean the dog bed every week. Especially if you and your dog have returned from an outing trip. You can use dusting brushes and scrubs.

Keep dog bed clutter-free

While you clean the dog bed regularly, it is equally important that the dog bed has free space. Bed bugs hide within clutters. Remove additional items and free up space around the dog bed.

Get a new dog bed

If the infestation is too much, and you think cleaning or washing is not enough, it’s best to throw away the old dog bed and get a new one.

How do you get rid of bed bugs from dog beds without harming pets?

The bed bugs in and around your bed can be removed using bed bug sprays. However, these pesticides are considered harmful to your dog. In such a situation, the following may work fine to get rid of bed bugs without harming pets.

  • Use diatomaceous earth as a spray or powered. This is organic and does not harm pets at all.
  • Streaming, washing, and vacuuming the dog bed and the area around it.
  • De-clutter the dog bed and keep more free space.
  • Use natural oils to keep away bed bugs. Oils like tree tea or neem oil can do wonders.
  • Wipe the area around the house with alcohol.

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How to prevent bed bugs from coming back in your dog’s bed?

While you can get rid of bed bugs, it’s always a possibility that these pesky bugs will come back. Here’s how you that prevent that from happening:

  • Clean and vacuum your entire house systematically. Vacuum the corners and cracks around the dog bed.
  • Check for bed bugs in your own bed corners and crevices. Usually, bed bugs can go from one spot of the house to another.
  • Wash the dog bed regularly with hot water. Change the bedding every once in a while.
  • When you and your dog return from a trip, wash all clothing with hot water. Keep any luggage or item from the trip away from the dog bed.

Do bed bugs harm dogs?

Dog are not bed bugs’ favorite prey to feed on. Bed bugs mostly feed on humans. However, a dog can carry bed bugs within its furry body.

Dog beds are a great hiding spot for bed bugs. Thus dogs, including other animals, are prone to bites from bed bugs. Which in turn could result in itchy and red spots on the dog.

Bed bugs are troublesome little insects that hide about anywhere. They can also seclude themselves inside your dog’s bed. And sometimes, they bite the pet to cause itching and irritation.

Regardless, you can detect these bugs and get rid of them without harming your pets. It’s most helpful to keep an eye out for these bed bugs in your dog’s bed!

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