Can Bed Bugs Be Transferred From Dogs?

by | Jun 11, 2023 | 0 comments

The bond between humans and their furry friends is unbreakable. Dogs are not just pets; they are family. They bring joy, companionship, and an endless supply of love. However, they can also unintentionally bring along some less-than-welcome guests, such as bed bugs. The question that often arises is, can dogs carry bed bugs from one house to another?

In this article, we will delve into the world of bed bugs, their relationship with dogs, and how they can potentially hitch a ride from one location to another. We will also provide some practical tips on how to prevent these pesky critters from turning your home into their next breeding ground.

The Unseen Hitchhikers

Bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers. They are experts at finding new homes and spreading from one place to another. While they prefer human hosts, they are not above catching a ride on your beloved pet.

According to our research on how long does it take a bed bug to mature, these pests can grow from eggs to adults in just five weeks. This rapid life cycle, combined with their ability to hide in the smallest of spaces, makes them a formidable foe.

“Bed bugs are not specific to humans, but they are adapted to parasitizing us. They will feed on pets if people are not available.” – American Veterinary Medical Association

Can Dogs Carry Bed Bugs?

Yes, dogs can carry bed bugs. However, it’s important to note that bed bugs do not live on hosts like fleas or ticks. Instead, they are short riders. After feeding, they prefer to retreat to nearby hiding spots. These can include your dog’s bed, crate, or even toys.

Our page on bed bugs on cats provides a detailed look at how bed bugs interact with pets. While it focuses on cats, much of the information is applicable to dogs as well.

Did you know?

Bed bugs can be found in various colors, including reddish-brown, brown, and translucent white (nymphs).

In the case of dogs, their thick fur provides an excellent hiding place for bed bugs during transit. Once the dog enters a new environment, the bugs can quickly disembark and find new hiding places. This is how dogs can inadvertently transport bed bugs from one house to another.

Preventing Bed Bug Infestations

Prevention is always better than cure. Regularly inspecting your dog’s bedding and favorite resting spots is a good start. Our guide on how to find bed bugs during the day offers some helpful tips on what to look for.

Another preventive measure is to limit your dog’s exposure to infested areas. If you know a friend or family member is dealing with a bed bug infestation, it might be best to postpone your visit. If you’re wondering what to do if my friend has bed bugs and sat in my car, we have a guide for that too.

Remember, bed bugs are excellent at hiding and can be found in unlikely places. They can live in wood floors and even electronics. They can also climb walls and survive in an empty house for months.

The Role of Heat in Bed Bug Extermination

One effective method of dealing with bed bugs is heat treatment. Bed bugs, at all life cycle stages, are susceptible to temperatures above 120°F. Our comprehensive guide on heat treatment provides a detailed look at how this method works and how it can be used to eliminate bed bugs from your home, and by extension, your pets.

Did you know?

Bed bugs are capable of surviving in the absence of a host for up to a year or longer.

Interestingly, common household items like blow dryers can also be used in the fight against bed bugs. While not as effective as professional heat treatments, they can provide temporary relief. Learn more about this in our article on whether a blow dryer can kill bed bugs.

Bed Bugs and Your Belongings


Bed bugs are not just limited to your home and pets. They can also infest your belongings. If you’re moving, you’ll want to ensure you’re not taking these pests with you. Our guide on how to move without taking bed bugs with you offers practical advice on this matter.

Furniture is another common hiding spot for bed bugs. If you’re considering throwing away your couch due to an infestation, check out our article on should I throw away my couch if it has bed bugs before making any decisions.

“Bed bugs can hide in almost any crack or crevice, making it hard to find them or eliminate them from your belongings.” – Houston Bed Bug Exterminator

Bed Bugs in the Wild


While bed bugs are typically associated with human environments, they can also be found in the great outdoors. If you’re a camping enthusiast, you might be interested in our article on bed bugs from camping. This guide provides useful information on how to protect yourself and your pets from bed bugs while enjoying nature.

Bed Bugs and Other Pests


Bed bugs are not the only pests you need to worry about. Other pests, like mice and rats, can also bring bed bugs into your home. Our article on do mice and rats bring in bed bugs explores this topic in detail.

On the other hand, some pests can be beneficial in the fight against bed bugs. For instance, did you know that crickets eat bed bugs? While you wouldn’t want to rely on crickets as your primary form of pest control, it’s an interesting fact to note.

In Conclusion

While dogs can carry bed bugs from one house to another, you can take steps to prevent this from happening. Regular inspections, heat treatments, and being mindful of your dog’s interactions with infested environments can go a long way in keeping your home bed bug-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can bed bugs be transferred from dogs?

Bed bugs are primarily hitchhikers and can be transferred from one location to another, including on dogs. While bed bugs prefer human hosts, they can infest pet bedding, furniture, and other areas where pets rest.

Does sleeping with a dog bring bed bugs?

Sleeping with a dog does not directly bring bed bugs. Bed bugs are attracted to warmth, carbon dioxide, and body odors, primarily from human hosts. However, if your dog has been exposed to bed bugs in another location, they can inadvertently carry them into your sleeping area.

How can you tell if your dog has bed bugs?

Signs that your dog may have bed bugs include excessive scratching, red welts or bites on their skin, hair loss, and visible signs of bed bug activity in their bedding or resting areas. Consult a veterinarian if you suspect your dog may have bed bugs.

How do I keep bed bugs off my dog?

To help prevent bed bugs from infesting your dog, regularly inspect their bedding and resting areas for signs of bed bugs. Wash their bedding in hot water and dry it on high heat. If you suspect bed bugs, consult a professional pest control service for proper treatment.

What instantly kills bed bugs?

There are several methods to instantly kill bed bugs, including heat treatments, steamers, and insecticides specifically formulated for bed bug control. It is important to follow proper instructions and safety precautions when using any bed bug treatment method.

Do bed bugs stay on clothes?

Bed bugs can crawl onto clothes and fabrics, but they prefer to hide in cracks and crevices near their hosts. While they may hitch a ride on clothes, they are more likely to infest furniture, mattresses, and other areas in close proximity to sleeping or resting areas.

How do I get rid of bed bugs permanently?

Getting rid of bed bugs permanently requires a comprehensive approach. It involves thorough cleaning, washing bedding in hot water, vacuuming, sealing cracks and crevices, and applying appropriate insecticides. Professional pest control services may be necessary for severe infestations.

What kind of dogs sniff bed bugs?

Specially trained dogs, known as bed bug detection dogs or canine scent detection dogs, are trained to sniff out and locate bed bug infestations. They have a highly developed sense of smell and can detect the presence of bed bugs with great accuracy.

Can Dogs Attract Bed Bugs?

Dogs themselves do not attract bed bugs. Bed bugs are attracted to warmth, carbon dioxide, and certain scents emitted by their human hosts. However, if a dog has been exposed to bed bugs in another location, they can inadvertently bring them into your home.

Can Bed Bugs Bite Dogs?

Bed bugs primarily feed on human blood, but in the absence of a human host, they may bite other warm-blooded animals, including dogs. However, dogs are not their preferred hosts, and infestations on dogs are relatively rare compared to humans.

Can Bed Bugs Live in Dog Beds?

Bed bugs can infest dog beds if they are introduced into the bedding or resting area. While they do not specifically target dog beds, they can hide in any fabric or crevice where they have easy access to potential hosts.

Can Bed Bugs Live in Dog Hair?

Bed bugs do not typically live in dog hair. They prefer to hide in cracks, crevices, and fabric where they have easy access to their human hosts. However, they can crawl through hair or fur to reach exposed skin for feeding.

Can Dogs Catch Bed Bugs from Another Dog?

Bed bugs are not known to spread directly from one animal to another. They primarily rely on human hosts for blood meals. However, if a dog shares bedding or resting areas with an infested dog, there is a possibility of transferring bed bugs between them.

Duane Cepeda is a highly skilled and experienced bed bug exterminator with a passion for creating pest-free living spaces. With a keen eye for detail and a thorough understanding of bed bug behavior, Duane is dedicated to providing effective and tailored solutions to help clients rid their homes of these persistent pests. Trusted by many, Duane Cepeda is committed to delivering top-notch pest control services that ensure peace of mind and a good night’s sleep for his customers.


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