Arthropod pests like fleas and ticks feed on the blood of humans and many other animals, including dogs and cats. Brown dog ticks dwell naturally in grassy areas, which is why they favor a habitat on residential lawns. When dogs move about on residential lawns, brown dog ticks often jump onto dogs from blades of grass, and as a result, brown dog ticks are often transported into homes. Brown dog ticks are also the only ticks that can establish indoor infestations, and grass-dwelling fleas often establish indoor infestations in the same way brown dog ticks do. Much like fleas and brown dog ticks, bed bugs are parasitic insects that infest homes. Bed bugs can enter homes by hitching rides on dogs or cats, but prefer to feed on people.
Ancient documents reveal that bed bugs have pestered mankind since the Roman era, but researchers claim that bed bugs have been feeding on human blood for as long as modern humans have existed. During prehistoric times, bed bugs inhabited caves solely to feed on the humans living within them. Over the course of homo sapien prehistory, bed bugs adapted to collecting blood meals solely from humans and bats, as bats also inhabited caves along with humans. Therefore, bed bugs do not favor dog and cat blood, but dog and cat blood is better than no blood meals at all, so if humans are absent from an infested home for a long period of time, bed bugs may settle on pets for their blood meals.
Bed bugs can pinpoint the location of human blood hosts from faraway distances by sensing the carbon dioxide exhaled by humans. In fact, if bed bugs are within a foot of a resting dog or cat, the pests will still gravitate toward humans for their blood meals, even when humans are located 50 to 75 feet away. So while living in a bed bug infested house is no doubt a miserable experience for the house’s human occupants, the dogs and cats present should be just fine as long as humans are around.
Have you ever had a pet/s that were attacked by bloodsucking insects or arachnids, like bed bugs mites or ticks?