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Does NexGard Kill Bed Bugs?

If bed bugs are biting your dog, you’ll do anything to give your furry friend some relief. 

So, you may wonder, will common flea and tick medicines, like NexGard, keep bed bugs off your pets? 

NexGard most likely will kill bed bugs, but it will not prevent bites. The active chemicals in NexGard only work after the insect bites the animal. However, NexGard can help cut down on the number of bed bugs in your home. 

How Does NexGard Kill Bed Bugs?

Close-up photo of a dead bed bug on a white surface.

NexGard works by releasing a chemical called Afoxolaner into your dog’s bloodstream, where it will stay for about a month. 

This chemical does nothing to dogs or other vertebrates, but it is deadly to insects because it overexcites their central nervous system, eventually leading to death. 

Remember, though, that since the insecticide is in your pet’s bloodstream, the bed bugs must bite your dog for the NexGard to start killing them. 

Should I Use NexGard to Kill Bed Bugs? 

Well, first off, you should understand that NexGard will not kill all the bed bugs in your home. 

It won’t take out an infestation because it will only kill the insects that bite your dog. 

And dogs aren’t a bed bug’s primary target. 

Instead, bed bugs overwhelmingly prefer people. 

However, if you have bed bugs, they are bound to start biting your dog, especially if your pet sleeps in the bed with you. 

Thus, using NexGard can help cut down on some of the bed bugs in your home. 

Can Other Flea and Tick Treatments Kill Bed Bugs?

Flea and tick treatments are being sold in a pet store.

Many other flea and tick treatments will kill bed bugs. 

Yet, if you want to use these products to kill bed bugs, you must choose ones that work for an extended period of time. 

Thus, flea shampoos, for example, will not kill bed bugs because they will only kill the insects that are on your dog when you administer the shampoo. 

And since bed bugs don’t live on dogs, there is no point in applying these shampoos to get rid of bed bugs. 

How Do I Keep Bed Bugs From Biting My Pets?

Unfortunately, there is no sure way to keep bed bugs from biting your pets. 

Yet, there are some methods you can try to help prevent bites. 

Don’t Allow Your Dog to Sleep in the Bed With You 

Many pet owners, and their pets, will be devastated by this option, but it is one of the best ways to keep bed bugs from biting your furry friends. 

As I said, bed bugs prefer people, which is why they like to live in mattresses. 

However, bed bugs are also opportunists and will feed on whatever warm-blooded creature they can find. 

So, if you have pets that sleep with you in your bed, they will be more susceptible to bed bug bites than animals that snooze elsewhere. 

Check Your Pet’s Bed for Bed Bugs 

Although bed bugs usually live on or around people’s beds, they do sometimes make a home in animal beds. 

Bed bugs enjoy hiding in warm and dark places, and a typical dog bed has a secluded crease inside it that is ideal for bed bugs. 

So, if you have bed bugs in your home, you will want to inspect your pet’s bed to ensure no insects are living there. 

And remember that bed bugs are tiny, especially their eggs. 

Thus, you should use a magnifying glass and flashlight when searching through your pet’s bed. 

Wash and Vacuum Anything Your Pet Sleeps On 

Again, bed bugs prefer people’s mattresses, but if they find out that a warm-blooded animal likes to sleep in a particular spot, they may migrate to that area. 

Thus, you should always clean and vacuum any bed, chair, blanket, or pillow that your pet frequents. 

To wash and dry fabrics for bed bugs, you should do so on your machine’s highest heat setting to ensure you kill any bed bugs that may be living there. 

To vacuum properly, you should use the suction attachment to ensure you get all the crevices in the bed, chair, or any other item you need to clean for bed bugs. 

How to Identify Bed Bug Bites on a Cat or Dog 

A woman is looking at the cat while holding it.

Well, first of all, bed bugs are most likely to bite your pets on areas of their body that have little to no hair because these spots make it easier for the bed bug to feed. 

So, you should examine your pet’s belly and legs, ideally by flipping them on their back if possible. 

Look for small, red bumps that are a bit darker at the center. 

Typically, these bumps will occur in a cluster or a straight line. 

If you find these kinds of lesions on your pet, bed bugs may be biting them. 

How Can Bed Bugs Harm My Pet?

The most common symptom of bed bug bites is itchiness. 

And usually, this itchiness will just annoy your pet and won’t develop into anything worse. 

However, constant scratching can lead to rashes and sores on your pet’s skin. 

If this happens, your pet could develop a skin infection. 

Your pet may also start exhibiting signs of stress because they are uncomfortable from the itching. 

Furthermore, in extreme cases, animals may develop anemia, which is a serious condition caused by a lack of red blood cells. 

How Do I Know if Bed Bugs Are Stressing Out My Pet?

A photo of a black and white dog.

Below are the most common signs of stress in dogs and cats. 

Signs of Stress in Dogs 

The most frequent indicators of stress in dogs are: 

  • Excessive panting or licking
  • Pacing 
  • Shaking
  • Whining
  • Shedding
  • Unexplained barking 
  • Drooling
  • Changes in appearance 

Signs of Stress in Cats 

Your cat may be stressed if they: 

  • Hide more than normal 
  • Suddenly dislike people 
  • Eat or drink less than usual 
  • Overeat 
  • Hiss or growl for little or no reason
  • Meow excessively 
  • Have diarrhea 
  • Sleep more than usual  


Overall, NexGard can kill bed bugs, and you should use it if bed bugs are biting your pets because insect bites can lead to stress and other ailments.