Bed bugs are not an issue any homeowner or renter wants to deal with. They are a scary thought and a problem that is not easy to get rid of. An interesting thing about bed bugs is that they can be found nearly everywhere. They can be picked up in a high end hotel, an apartment building in a bustling city, or a condominium rental on the beach and when they are brought back – they make themselves at home in your house or apartment. Many times it is difficult to pinpoint the problem to a specific room or item in the home, especially with multiple bedrooms and many blankets and other items bed bugs love are spread throughout the home.
This is where man’s best friend can come in and save the day. In the last ten years, using canines to assist with bed bug infestations has become much more prevalent. Since bed bugs go through many stages of development and throughout most of the phases they are smaller than a sesame seed – the human detection process can often be long and unsuccessful. Even as full grown adults, bed bugs are about a quarter of an inch thick and are excellent at hiding, so many times it is more efficient to get assistance from our four legged friends to inspect a home for a bed bug problem. A dog who is trained to find live bed bugs can sniff out the location of the issue in just minutes.
So how do they train these dogs to be so effective? It starts with the breed of dog chosen, which is usually a Bloodhound or Beagle but can also include Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers and Labs. These dogs have been bred for many centuries to seek out prey and they have a natural tendency to want to please their handlers. These two factors make them excellent dogs to train for bed bug inspection. The training process includes setting up different canisters, some containing treats and other scents recognized by the dog, and some containing live bed bug scents. The dog must then indicate which canister holds the live bed bugs and if they are successful they are rewarded. After many training sessions, testing, and certification – these dogs are ready for action!
These dogs have a unique ability, and one that comes in handy for a homeowner with a bed bug problem. They are said to locate bed bugs with a 96% accuracy rate, so if you think you may have a problem reach out to Noosa to see if a canine inspection can help to solve your pest control problem!