You already have to worry about fleas, ticks and mosquitoes bugging your dog, but now it looks like there’s a new insect threat. Recently veterinarians have had dog owners bringing their pooches in with a strange condition. A horrific photo on Facebook showed the problem – multicolored Asian lady beetles stuck to the roof of a dog’s mouth.
How in the world does this painful condition happen, and why are Asian lady beetles crawling in dogs’ mouths? Keep reading to find out more.
How Asian Lady Beetles Are Attacking Dogs
Asian lady beetles don’t generally attack humans and animals, but they can bite hard enough to break the skin. The bites can be rather painful and cause discomfort in the short-term, although it isn’t poisonous.
So why do Asian lady beetles end up latched onto the roof of a dog’s mouth? Most likely the bug accidentally crawled in looking for moisture, or your dog got curious and decided to see what the insect tasted like. Regardless of how they get there, as many as 40 Asian lady beetles have been known to crowd into a dog’s mouth and get embedded in the mucosa of the hard palate. Their presence creates a beetle induced chemical burn that’s very uncomfortable for the animal.
Be on the lookout for symptoms of an Asian lady beetle attack:
- Foaming at the mouth
- Lack of appetite and refusing eating
- Ulcers on the tongue
If your dog is acting differently or hesitant to let you touch its mouth that’s another indicator Asian lady beetles could be causing a problem.
The good news is Asian lady beetles can be removed from your dog’s mouth without visiting the vet. It may be a bit stomach turning, but you can easily remove the insects with your finger, a spoon or a tongue depressor.
What Are Asian Lady Beetles?
Multicolored Asian lady beetles, also known as harlequin or Japanese lady beetles, are very similar to common ladybugs. You can tell them apart from other ladybugs because they have a black “M” marking on their head. Most of the time they have spots, but spotless Asian lady beetles have been found.
Asian lady beetles are generally beneficial bugs that help control the destructive aphid population, but right now there’s an over abundance. They’re most prominent in areas that are wooded and around gardens where aphids are more likely to hang out.
In addition to bugging dogs, Asian lady beetles can also be pests for homeowners because they’ll cluster on the side of houses in huge groups. If they get the chance, they’ll find a way inside and overwinter in the attic or wall cavities. Once the weather warms up in spring you’ll have an infestation on your hands, and they can also remain active in warm homes throughout the winter.
In Austin local pest control experts at Bug Master note they’ve seen an uptick in Asian lady beetles. Here at Bed and Biscuit we go to great lengths to make sure our grounds are free of insects that can do our doggy clients harm. If you’ve found Asian lady beetles in your yard it may be time to have your neighborhood pest control company do an inspection before you dog finds them first.