Bed bugs are becoming more and more common in the Bay Area. As infestations continue to rise, we find ourselves getting more questions about these irritating pests. Today, we're going to tackle the question of whether or not bed bugs are dangerous for dogs and cats. Here's what every Bay Area pet owner needs to know.

homeowner checking for bed bugs
bed bugs on a box spring

Bed Bugs Don't Prefer Animals

The primary bed bug species we have in the Bay Area is the same species that plagues home and business owners throughout the country. They are known scientifically as Cimex lectularius. These insects have been living almost exclusively with humans since the dawn of time and they have a preference for human blood. Does this mean they won't bite your pets? Not exactly.

A Few Facts About Bed Bugs And Pets

  • Bed bugs are drawn to all mammals because they're attracted to carbon dioxide emissions and body heat. This can lure them to your dog or cat.

  • While considered parasites, they don't live on their hosts the way fleas and ticks do. They live in cracks, crevices, and in dark voids near their hosts. They can do this with cats and dogs, so keep in mind that bed bugs might be near the spots where your pet sleeps.

  • Bed bugs are not designed to move through fur or hair. When bed bugs bite dogs or cats, they will typically bite where there isn't any fur or hair, such as on the belly of your dog, or in the ears of your dog or cat.

  • Bed bugs need about ten minutes to feed. They aren't particularly fond of dogs and cats because they get scratched or chewed off before they can complete their feeding.

Bed Bug Diseases In Dogs And Cats

When a flea or tick bites your pet, there is a concern for sickness. Is this the case with bed bugs? We're happy to say that, as of this writing, there is no indication that bed bugs transmit disease to dogs or cats. They're also a low threat to pets in terms of causing bite wounds or presenting a risk of anemia due to the fact that bed bugs don't tend to bite them. This is good news for your pets, but not so good news for you. Bed bugs are likely to focus on you, your spouse, and your kids. So, even if you have pets, the humans in your home will get the vast majority of the bites.

Bed Bugs' Disease Transmission In Humans

There are recent studies that reveal the potential for bed bug-to-human disease transmission but there are currently no reported cases. Therefore, the risk of disease transmission is extremely low.

Fleas Or Bed Bugs

When you find bites on your pet, you may wonder if you're dealing with fleas or bed bugs. If this is the case, there are a few ways to solve the mystery.

  • You can check your pet for flea dirt or adult fleas. Use a flea comb to part the hair or fur and examine your pet closely. Flea dirt looks like black specks and adult fleas are dark-colored insects that disappear into hair or fur when you find them.

  • If you find bites on hairy or furry areas of your pet, these are likely to be flea bites.

  • If you find bites on exposed skin, look to see if the bites are in a line or slight zig-zag pattern. Bed bugs feed more than once. If given the opportunity by your pet, a bed bug will feed three times.

  • Flea bites are associated with hair and fur loss, skin irritation, and other allergy symptoms.

  • Bed bug bites are associated with a rash. This rash can encompass all the bites on your pet. Flea bites will have redness around each wound.

What To Do About Bed Bugs Biting Your Pets

There aren't really any products that keep bed bugs off your pet, but you could buy an essential oil such as lavender or peppermint and mix one with water to create a topical spray. This could deter bed bugs from having any contact with your pets. But, as we've already discussed, bed bugs are likely to be focused on the humans in your home.

Bay Area Bed Bugs

The solution for bed bugs in the Bay Area is to contact Bay Pest. Our service team can perform a detailed inspection and offer treatment options. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to exterminate. If this were not true, these insects would be extinct. No one in the history of the world has ever enjoyed having these blood-eating pests in their home—at least, not that we can imagine. Get relief from Bay Area bed bugs. Drop us a line and request service today. 


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