Can bed bug dogs spread bed bugs?(6 posts)
My 2 young daughters have been getting bitten off and on at night for the past 3 weeks. I immediately suspected bed bugs (the first night, they were in a straight line up my daughter's arm), but my doctor doesn't agree. Just today I noticed small red blood spots on their sheets, but a thorough review of their mattresses doesn't show anything else.
I've been in touch with a couple of companies that use dogs to locate infestations. My concern is that neither of these companies does anything to treat the dogs after they make a hit. Should I be worried that the dogs will bring bed bugs into my home?
I've googled this topic and came across just a couple of sites that discuss treating the dogs with pyrethrin and then washing/blow-drying them. None of the local companies do that. I see the topic of dogs come up on this site a lot. Does anyone have any experience with this concern?
Bed bugs do not live on their hosts. Unlike fleas, bed bugs don't move onto you, your children, or bed bug dogs. It is of course statistically possible that a dog could pick up a stray bug, but it's highly unlikely. Bed bugs don't tend to go after moving targets. The reason they're so hard to detect is that they're good at hiding. And think about it from a bed bug's perspective. You have two food options.
One is a stationary large warm body giving off CO2 in the wee hours of the morning when you can sneak out of your hiding place and get food easily.
The other is a wiggling, less than ideal smelling thing that barks and runs around in the light of day with big clumping humans trailing along behind.
Which of those would you choose to go after?
Good PCOs with a responsible code of ethics? If they went into a residence with a really significant infestation (which would be unlikely to need a bed bug detection dog because the infestation would be easy to find in the first place) would double check the dog to make sure there weren't any hitch hikers, but again, that's not the case in most infestations that would require a bed bug detection dog.
If I were you the thing I'd be most worried about would be finding a good dog/handler team in your area. You want a well trained team who will follow any "hit" by the dog up with visual inspection for confirmation from the handler. That's much more important to success.
I have another question along this same line. I have a dog, and while I understand buggyinsocial's reasoning behind the unlikelyhood of a dog bringing in bedbugs, do bedbugs bite the dog? Presumably, all our dogs sleep with us (not in the bed, but the same room). Do the BB avoid them or do they bite them too? what does the spot flea treament (Frontline) do to help?
All the evidence that we have--anecdotal experiences as well as science--tells us that bed bugs prefer to feed on humans rather than other mammals.
Does that mean that bed bugs will never feed on domestic pets like cats, dogs, ferrets, etc.? No. But it does mean that if the bugs have access to humans, they'll almost always feed on humans before they feed on pets.
Anti-flea and tick meds like Frontline or Advantage do not have any effect on bed bugs that we know about. Remember, when it comes to fighting bed bugs, bed bugs do not live on their hosts the way that fleas and ticks do. Bug repellants that work on things like mosquitos have no effect on bed bugs.
Pets can complicate treatment slightly. Isolating the bed is harder with dogs and cats jumping on and off. Relying on isolating the bed to deprive bed bugs of food if the bugs can still reach pets isn't esp. effective. And cats' claws, in particular, can puncture encasements. If your cats or dogs or rabbits like to eat plastic bags, they can unisolate clothes that have been treated.
However, if you've hired a PCO to do a comprehensive treatment, you shouldn't need to worry about Frontline or Advantage for fleas/ticks/ear mites/etc. because the PCO's treatment should be taking care of the bugs.
Thanks for the detailed explanation!
We sent our dog away for the treatment that happened yesterday, and he'll be back this week. And when we sleep at night, the dog sleeps in his (moulded plastic) crate on the floor and doesn't jump up and down.
I'm new to the forum and new to bedbugs - TOH brought them back from one of his many business trips. UGH! Couldn't he have just gotten me a tee shirt?
We have cats and they've been awfully itchy lately - I didn't put two and two together until I woke up covered in bites. Fantastic, she wrote with heavy sarcasm...
Somebody said (loosely paraphrased) something to the effect of bedbugs preferring humans. I'm not so sure about that - cats tend to nap for hours on end in the same spot, day or night. That sounds like it might be awfully tempting to a bedbug, especially when the cats sleep in the bed with us - and one of the areas I was repeatedly bitten was an area where Marco was curled up next to me.
I figured Revolution couldn't hurt. It kills a variety of parasites - parasite bites pet, parasite gets a lovely dose of poison, parasite drops dead. Works for me!
I put Revolution on 4 of our 9 indoor cats (I have to dash to the vet tomorrow for another supply, but want to make sure my clothing is 'clear' so I don't accidentally share the love, so to speak) - the 4 most likely to sleep closest to us.
This morning, I woke up with no new bites. (Of course, I stripped the bedding, washed it, cleaned like crazy and dusted diatomaceous earth into any crack and crevice I saw, so that might also have a bit to do with it!)
My feeling about Revolution - it can't hurt. A sleeping dog or cat is an easy meal - just as easy a meal as any of us. I'm hoping it proves to be an effective tool in our arsenal - so far, I'm happy with the results.
Revolution is given transdermally (base of neck) once a month and dosed by the weight of the pet.
And I did want to point out that while bedbugs don't routinely infest a host, they can hitch rides on pets - especially pets with long, coarse or curly fur - we saw one that had gotten stuck on our Louis and were able to kill it. At the time, we didn't know what it was. TOH thought it was a flea, but fleas are hard to crush - we were able to crush it quite easily. (Well, I suppose that's one way to be rid of the hideous things!)
As I said, I've no proof Revolution works (yet) but it seems as good a place as any to start.
Happy hunting, all : )
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