7 Tiny Black Bugs On Dogs (No, These Are NOT Fleas)

Do you know that it’s not just fleas that can infest dogs? 

Many other bugs can give your dog a lot of trouble. 

This guide will reveal seven tiny black bugs on dogs that are not fleas.

Not all these bugs are dangerous for your dogs. 

Some bugs accidentally get stuck on your dog’s fur and skin and do not cause any harm.

However, some little black bugs can inflict diseases, itching, hair loss, and many other health issues on your dog.

What are they?

Let’s find it out.

Revealed – 7 Tiny Black Bugs On Dogs That Are Not Fleas

  1. Ticks
  2. Moss mites
  3. Flea beetles
  4. Dog lice
  5. Tiny black ants
  6. Springtails
  7. Dog mites

Ticks, dog lice, and dog mites are parasitic bugs that infect your dog.

Their presence in your dog can cause serious health issues.

While the rest of the black bugs are accidental landers on your dog that pose no threat to you and to your dogs.

So, how your dog get these bugs? And how to protect your dogs from harmful parasites and bugs?

Keep reading.

Ticks – Parasitic Bugs On Dogs That Don’t Jump

Ticks - Tiny black bugs in dogs not fleas

When you try to remove fleas from your dog’s fur, you must have noticed that they jump. 

But ticks don’t. 

Both ticks and fleas feed on your dog’s blood. But ticks are more dangerous for your dogs than fleas. 

They transmit diseases like Lyme disease, rocky mountain fever, and the worst, Canine Anaplasmosis, also known as dog tick fever.

Symptoms of dog fever include lack of mobility in dogs because of stiff joints, fever, laziness, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. 

The dog ticks are flat like bed bugs, but their legs are visible. 

They’re oval-shaped, reddish-brown, and ticks don’t jump while you try to remove them. 

After feeding on your dog’s blood, the ticks become big. This state of tick is known as an engorged tick.

And that’s when they look blackish or greyish blue or olive. 

How Do Dogs Get Ticks And Fleas?

Ticks on dogs

Both ticks and fleas live in the tall grasses and dense vegetation growing near the damp places. 

They patiently wait for a mammal to pass through the dense vegetation so that they can latch onto them.

So, most of the time, your dogs and cats get fleas and ticks from the outdoors when they wander through dense vegetation.

Another way your furry friends get these parasites is from physical contact with other pets carrying these parasites. 

The fleas and ticks can quickly transfer from one infected dog to another.

If you notice that your dog is constantly itching and losing fur in certain parts of its body, take your dog to the vet asap.

We always recommend professional medical treatment for ticks and fleas infection in dogs and cats.

Moss Mites – The Tiny Black Bug On Your Dog That Looks Like Poppy Seeds

Tiny black bugs that look like poppy seeds - moss mites

Have you ever noticed shiny round bugs on your dogs’ fur?

If yes, then they’re moss mites.

Moss mites are harmless bugs that feed on fungi and organic matter outdoors. 

These mites are beneficial bugs that play an essential role in nature and your compost piles.

They break down the organic wastes and release the nutrients into the soil.

They’re present in places like compost piles, on soil beds underneath sheds, and specific plants.

Moss mites don’t bring any risk to your dogs and cats.

They don’t bite animals or humans, and they don’t spread any diseases either.

When your dog plays outdoors, especially in areas where there are moss mites, these bugs will get stuck on your dog’s fur.

On noticing closely, you’ll find that these bugs look like poppy seeds

It’s easy to remove them from your dog’s fur with the help of a pincher.

Unlike fleas, moss mites don’t jump, nor do they try to get away while you’re removing them. 

A quick brushing of your dog’s fur also removes the moss mites.

However, another set of mites can cause serious harm to your dog. 

You’ll find out about them in a minute. 

But before that, let’s find out about another harmless black bug that can sometimes land up on your dog’s fur.

It’s the flea beetles.

Flea Beetles – The Tiny Black Plant Bug On Your Dog’s Fur

Flea beetles - little black round bugs

Flea beetles are oblong-shaped plant bugs that infest vegetable gardens.

These are a severe threat to vegetable plants like broccoli, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, and cabbage. 

These tiny black bugs on veggie plants will chew random holes in the plant’s leaves that cause stilted growth and decay of plants.

But flea beetles are harmless to your dogs. They don’t bite animals and humans.

A few flea beetles can latch onto your dog’s fur if your dog has been in the vegetable-growing section of your yard. 

Flea beetles are active during the spring months and remain active till late fall. 

They hibernate in organic wastes like leaf litter and mulch beds.

They’ve got their name as flea beetles because their body shape is like fleas (but bigger than fleas), and they also jump like fleas.

Their ability to jump can also make flea beetles get inside your home through the open windows, especially when they’re in the plants near your home’s windows.

The good news is that they’re easy to remove from your dog’s fur.

Remove them with a comb or pincher, just like you’ll remove moss mites from your dog’s fur.

Dog Lice – The Tiny Black Specs Of Dirt On Dogs’ Skin

Dog Lice - Tiny Black Bugs On Dogs Not Fleas

Dog lice are a big problem in dogs with thick and dense fur. 

They go deep into the fur and latch themselves on the dogs’ skins to feed on their blood.

Dog lice can be hard to spot because they’re tiny. But they’re not microscopic.

So, you can see them with a naked eye. 

You’ll need to spread your dog’s fur quite a bit to see the lice latching onto your dog’s skin.

Dog lice look more like tiny black specs of dirt than bugs. They’ve got a clear lining on their body. It’s visible under a magnifying glass. 

Dog lice don’t jump or try to get away if you remove them with a pincher.

However, removing dog lice manually one by one is not the solution. 

If you’re noticing tiny black specs of dirt on your dog’s skin, it’ll be best to take your dog to a professional groomer to confirm if it has lice.

Bathing your dog with a pyrethrin-based shampoo every week and seeing a vet for lice treatment are suitable options.

Lice are harmful to pregnant dams and puppies because dog lice can cause anemia. 

Symptoms of dog lice in dogs include constant scratching, loss of hair, and irritating behavior.

Tiny Black Ants On Your Dog’s Fur

Let’s face it. Ants come out of nowhere in your yard and outdoors, especially during the spring months.

These ants will crawl on your dog’s fur if it has been sitting or playing on the soil with ants.

Thankfully, ants are not parasites on dogs and cats.

But ants can get stuck in the fur of your dogs. And to get out, these ants can bite.

If you live in states like Florida or Texas, where the fire ants are common in yards and gardens, you don’t want your dog to encounter these ants.

Your dog can step on the fire ants’ nests, which are in the form of mud mounds, which will make the fire ants aggressive.

And when fire ants are aggressive, they leave a nasty bite and sting on anyone nearby, including pets.

There are also little black ants in your yard. Ants in the yard build their nests in soil beds, grass lawns, yard debris, and mulch beds.

These tiny black ants can accidentally latch onto your dog’s fur if your dog has been in these areas. 

So, keeping your garden and yard ant-free eliminates the chances of ants on your dog. 

If you notice ants crawling on your dog’s fur, use a blower to remove the ants and bathe your dog with a standard shampoo for dogs.

Springtails – Occasional Tiny Black Jumping Bugs On Your Dog That Are Not Fleas

Springtails - Jumping black bug on dogs that are not fleas

Springtails are harmless tiny black jumping bugs that can land on your dog too.

These bugs are moisture bugs that are common in homes with swimming pools and ponds. 

Springtail bugs flock in damp places in your yard starting from the late spring. 

Springtails can enter your home too and hide in places where there’s a lot of water usage.

So, these tiny jumping bugs can sneak inside bathrooms through the windows during the summer months.

A few of them can accidentally jump on your dog when your dog plays in moist areas of the yard with springtails in that area.

Take a pincher and remove the springtails. That’s it. 

Springtails don’t bite humans and pets, and they don’t carry any diseases either.

Dog Mites – One Of Them Burrow Into Your Dog’s Skin

Dog mites

Dog mites are a set of parasites that live off your dog. 

Some dog mites pose health risks to your dog, as dog lice, fleas, and ticks do.

The most common species of dog mites that infest dogs are –

  1. Sarcoptes scabiei (burrowing mites)
  2. Demodex canis (Demodex mites)
  3. Cheyletiella yasguri (surface mites)
  4. Otodectes cynosis (ear mites)

The burrowing mites (Sarcoptes scabiei) are tiny black mites that burrow in dogs’ skin. These mites target the tender portion of the dog’s belly, which has lesser hair. 

Burrowing mites lay eggs inside the dogs’ skin. 

The entire lifecycle of the burrowing mites takes place inside the dog’s skin which can cause irritating skin issues for your dog.

Your dog will itch and scratch a lot when burrowing mites are on the dog’s skin. 

You can also notice tunnel-like burrows on your dog’s belly skin. Scabies mites dig these burrows to lay their eggs underneath the skin’s layer. 

The worst part?

You can also get scabies from your pets.

Demodex mites are tiny mites that infest the hair follicles of dogs. These mites are common in dogs, and they rarely show any symptoms in healthy dogs.

However, dogs with a weak immune system can show symptoms like intense itching, hair loss, dry skin, and patchy red areas on the skin. 

Demodex mites are also present in humans, especially in the elderly. 

Surface mites, also known as walking tiny white mites, are also harmless mites on dogs and cats.

They don’t cause any irritation or discomfort to dogs. They feed on the dead, dry skin flakes of their host. 

Surface mites’ effect on dogs is like dust mites’ effect on humans, except for the allergies that dust mites can cause to humans.

Ear mites are parasites on your dog’s face, neck, head, and ear. They feed on your dog’s blood by latching onto these areas.

Your dog will show symptoms of ear mites by abruptly shaking its head. Your dog will also rub its head on hard surfaces like the ground, tree trunks, and furniture.

The presence of ear mites in dogs can lead to loss of appetite in dogs, sudden weight loss, and anxiety. 

All these mites are microscopic bugs that bite humans and animals. And detecting them with a naked eye is quite hard. 

So, if your dog is showing symptoms like loss of appetite, hair loss, itching, and weight loss, it’s best to see a vet treat your dog.

But these mites aren’t typically black. Mites like Demodex mites and surface mites can be off-whitish. 

However, they needed a special mention because dog mites are a significant risk to your dog as other blood-sucking parasites.


Some tiny black bugs can pose a risk to your dog. And these tiny black bugs on dogs are not fleas.

  1. Ticks
  2. Moss mites
  3. Flea beetles
  4. Dog lice
  5. Tiny black ants
  6. Springtails
  7. Dog mites

Not all these tiny black bugs are harmful to your dogs. Ticks, dog lice, and dog mites are three bugs that are parasites on dogs. 

They can make your dog seriously ill.

Flea beetles, ants, and springtails are harmless to your dog. They accidentally land up on your dog while your dog is playing outdoors.

This guide also revealed the symptoms of dog parasites. It’s always best to see a vet and treat your dog if you notice these symptoms.

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