A Midwinter Nightmare: Ladybugs in Dogs’ Mouths
Almost all dog parents remember it vividly: it was 2018 when a viral photo of a Kansas dog took the internet by storm. The painfully disturbing picture showed the infestation of ladybugs in a dog’s mouth.
No dog lover could have imagined the discomfort and pain the Kansas dog went through when hundreds of Asian lady beetles nested on the roof of the dog’s mouth. And it was then that a sort of ‘red alert’ was issued for pet parents to keep an eye on bugs.
Ladybugs in a Dog’s Mouth: What’s the Reason?
As shocking as it is, ladybugs in a dog’s mouth is not an unbelievable phenomenon. Also, these incidents are more common during ‘the holiday season.’ In the winter, as the temperature drops, humidity starts diminishing. These seemingly harmless ladybugs need a warm place to rest, and they usually choose a dog’s mouth to find warmth and comfort.
Ladybugs don’t necessarily look for a canine’s mouth to spend the winter. They will, however, find a way to people’s houses through little cracks in the walls, doors, windows, etc. Dog parents often check the outdoors – the patio and the lawn – when looking for signs of ladybugs.
Some of the places that may turn out to be hotspots for ladybugs are sunny areas inside the house and cracks in the attic, doors, or walls. If you have a furry friend at home and you’re worried about spotting ladybugs in a dog’s mouth, you should routinely check for cracks and window damages in your house. Filling up the cracks and fixing window and door screens are great ways to prevent these red bugs from invading your house.
Ladybugs are also averse to lavender. Planting a lavender plant is a good safety measure to keep your pet safe.
Are Ladybugs Poisonous?
Medical experts firmly believe that these small critters are not poisonous. However, dogs who bit and swallowed these bugs did report some discomfort. Ladybugs have a strong defense mechanism. Whenever they are attacked, they secrete a fluid-like substance that potentially causes some damage to the attacker. In dogs, such damage causes symptoms similar to a chemical burn. Many dogs are brought to veterinary clinics with complaints about some damage to the gastrointestinal tract.
Symptoms to Look For if There Are Ladybugs in a Dog’s Mouth
Outdoor dogs do have the habit of chewing on insects and bugs. This curiosity about exploring things does put them in a lot of discomfort health-wise. If there are ladybugs in a dog’s mouth, there is a possibility that your dog has already swallowed a couple of these clingy bugs. Dogs may also get infected by the fluid the ladybugs secreted. These injuries heal on their own. However, in some cases, they can get infected. In that case, a vet’s visit is mandatory.
Such canines may show the following symptoms:
Some dogs will also be unable to poop as ladybug shells are hard to digest, making it difficult for the canine to poop. Pet parents must check the litter trays to gauge the ‘pooping period’ of the dogs. If there are some irregularities, they should visit the vet immediately.
How to Remove Ladybugs from a Dog’s Mouth
The first thing: don’t panic. It is stressful to find a bunch of insects inside your dog’s mouth, but it is a manageable situation. If your dog is not a fussy creature, you can remove the ladybugs on your own. Grab a set of tweezers and a pair of gloves and get started. However, since the bugs are quite small and you have to be careful, it is best to take your pet to the vet.
The vet may give sedatives to the dog to make the ladybug removal procedure easier for the canine.
How to Keep Ladybugs Away from Your House
During the winter, ladybugs will not shy away from being unannounced guests at your home. There are a few steps that you can take to avoid the infestation:
- Use a powerful insecticide outside the home to keep them away from your safe place.
- Buy popular light traps and install them in various places across your home. These devices attract ladybugs and then trap and kill them. These easy-to-use units can be emptied every day.
- Diatomaceous earth is an organic pesticide that you can safely use around your house to keep the bugs out of your humble abode.
Keeping the Dog’s Mouth Ladybug-freeThe sight of a pet in distress is an awful thing on earth. Dog parents need to be on their toes and constantly check for signs of ladybugs infestation indoors to keep the dog(s) safe. They should also routinely check the mouths of the dogs who love to have a stroll outdoors. In the case of ladybugs in a dog’s mouth or any accidental chewing on the beetle, rush straight to the vet clinic.