We have noticed an increasing number of people reaching out and asking about how they could possibly have dried tapeworm segments in their bed recently so we have decided to publish this article going over the more common questions that we see asked.
Our goal is to try and help as many of our readers as possible who noticed dried tapeworm segments in their bed as well as help to put your mind at ease.
In most cases, the people reaching out instantly presume that they much have tapeworm but the majority of the time, the dried tapeworm segments are due to your dog, cat or other pet getting on your bed.
This then usually leads people to worry about catching the tapeworm from either their pet or the dried tapeworm segments that have been left in their bed but the chances of this actually happening are minimal.
We will be going into more detail on this as well as the various other questions related to having tapeworm segments in your bed that we see people asking time and time again in the article below.
We have added our table of contents to our article below so you can quickly click and of the specific sections that you want to be taken to as well allowing you to save time rather than having to scroll the whole article.
I Have Dried Tapeworm Segments In My Bed!
If you have a pet in your home such as a dog or cat then there is a very high chance that the dried tapeworm segments in your bed is actually due to your pet.
There is a small number of cases where the dried tapeworm segments may be come you but it is considerably more common that this will actually be due to your pet.
It tends to be more common for any dried tapeworm segments in your bed to have been left there by a dog than other pets so if you do have a pet dog in your home then getting a Tapeworm Dewormer as soon as possible should be a priority.
This will help to rid your dog of the tapeworm as fast as possible and prevent any additional segments from being left in your bed.
If you don’t have a pet in your home then you should seek professional advice from your doctor to be given a prescription medication to help get rid of any possible tapeworm in you.
Although tapeworm infections in humans are very rare in the west, that can occur with most showing no signs of symptoms but thankfully, they are very easy to treat.
Can I Get Tapeworms From My Dog Sleeping In My Bed?
You can technically get tapeworms from your dog sleeping in your bed but the chances are so small that it is usually not worth even considering.
For a human to catch tapeworms due to their dog sleeping in their bed, they would have to directly swallow a dipylidium caninum or an infected flea.
In addition to swallowing a dipylidium caninum or an infected flea, there is an even smaller chance that you are able to get a tapeworm infection from your dog by swallowing a tapeworm segment.
For this to work, the tapeworm segment has to be fresh and contain eggs but once the segment has dried out, the eggs on it usually die so the chance of you being able to catch it if you somehow swallow it drop off drastically.
The proglottids (segments of the tapeworm) tend to dry up in as little as an hour in beds due to the higher temperature causing them to dry quicker than the otherwise would.
This works in your favour as it reduces the chance of the proglottids being able to infect you with tapeworm but if you do have multiple pets in your home, they may eat the tapeworm segments from each other and pass the parasites around.
Can Tapeworm Segments Infect Humans?
Tapeworm segments (proglottids) can infect humans with tapeworm but it is extremely rare and you will usually have to swallow a tapeworm segment within an hour or two if it being excreted from the host to actually infected.
Once the tapeworm segment dries, the chances of you actually being infected drops off drastically with the chances of infection being so small its not even worth trying to calculate them.
As you can imagine, it is very rare that an adult human will consume a tapeworm segment but a young child may do so thinking that the segment is candy.
If you do noticed tapeworm segments in your bed or around your home and do have young children then you should also have them checked over by your doctor to see if they could possibly be infected.
If you have a pet cat who often hunts wild prey when out of the house then there is a high chance that your cat can end up infected with tapeworm every two to three money meaning that you will need to keep a feline tapeworm dewormer on hand and treat your pet cat with it every few months.
Although tapeworm are common in dogs, they are much less common than in cats with dogs often never getting tapeworm again after being treat for an initial infection.
Are Dried Tapeworm Segments Harmful To Humans?
Dried tapeworm segments tend not to be harmful to humans as once the tapeworm segment has dried out, it is not able to support the eggs on the segment any longer and the eggs will also die.
That said, there is a small chance that even a dried tapeworm segment can have live eggs on it and if you inject it you may end up infected with a tapeworm.
If you touch a tapeworm segment to remove it from your bed or other location in your home then there is a chance that any eggs on the segment can stick to your hands.
If you don’t correctly wash your hands then there is a chance you may accidentally consume the tapeworm eggs leading to an infection.
Trying to scoop any tapeworm segments that you find in your home up on some old paper and then throwing the paper and the tapeworm segments away is often the best way to minimise risk to you.
Although not related to the actual segments of a tapeworm, fleas on a pet that is infected with tapeworm can transfer it to other pets and humans in the household so using a high-quality flea treatment on your pet is highly recommended too.
Are Dried Tapeworm Segments Dead?
Although dried tapeworm segments are dead, they can have tapeworm eggs on them meaning that they can still pose a threat to other potential hosts for infection.
This is why you should try to avoid direct contact with any tapeworm segments when removing them from your home if possible to prevent the eggs getting on your skin.
Although some tapeworm segments can appear to move, this is usually due to them drying out and the segment changing shape as the water evaporates from it rather than it being alive still.
Some people can mistake a small tapeworm or the segment of the tapeworm that contains the head as a single segment and these parts of the tapeworm will often still be alive.
The smaller the tapeworm, the easier it is to mistake it for a segment too and this can also be a common problem.
For example, say you are used to seeing dried tapeworm segments from a large tapeworm in your pet dog and then you start to see smaller tapeworm around your home.
Some people can easily mistake these smaller tapeworms for segments of a larger tapeworm so you have to keep this in mind too.
Can Tapeworms Live On Bedding?
There are different types of tapeworm with some of them being able to live on bedding or in your carpets for weeks at a time.
If they have access to moisture then the tapeworm can potentially live in your bedding or carpet for months unless you take action to remove it.
Scientists have observed tapeworms living outside of a host for a maximum of a year if conditions are perfect for them but in a dry area such as your bedding, all types of tapeworm will usually die within days or weeks.
This is why it is important to correctly clean your bed and bedding if you realize that your pet cat or dog has had a tapeworm infection and your pet has been sleeping on your bed.
Smaller tapeworm can be a nightmare to see, especially if your bedding is white as they blend in surprisingly well and the tapeworm will try to anchor in place just waiting for a host to come along.
As humans often toss and turn while sleeping, the chances of a tapeworm in your bedding being able to increase you is surprisingly high.
That brings our article going over what you should do if you find dried tapeworm segments in your bed to a close. We know that people really don’t like talking about tapeworm but if you do notice tapeworm segments in your bed then action should be taken as quickly as possible. Clean your bedding no matter what, get a deworming and flea treatment product for your pet, and then seek advice from a doctor for all people in the home as they may be infected with tapeworm too.