There’s nothing better than a professional pest control service that’s incredibly attentive, hardworking, and knowledgeable. One that’s almost like the Sherlock Holmes of the pest control world. There are many pesticides and processes to get rid of these pests. Even dogs are being brought into the picture.
There are several kinds of working dogs. There are herding dogs like Collies, service or therapy dogs like Labradors or Retrievers, detection dogs like Shepherds, search and rescue dogs like Beagles, and dog actors like Hachi the Shiba Inu from the movie Hachiko.
In the last decade, using bed bug detection dogs for inspection and detection has become an indispensable part of modern pest control, as they’re known to have greater efficiency and accuracy at finding bed bugs than human inspectors.
How accurate are bed bug detection dogs?
A study showed that the detection rate sits at a mere 44%. That’s pretty low. But that research was almost a decade ago.
It’s safe to assume that dogs in this career have improved their detecting skills by now. The success rate also depends on how well-trained the canines are.
These sniffing dogs and their trainers usually take on a rigorous six-to-eight-week training program and are certified by a third-party organization.
Benefits of using bed bug-sniffing dogs
Hiring bed bug detection dogs is often the best way to find infestations in their early stages because they have exceptional noses to find whatever the human eye would most likely miss. Besides their accuracy, there are many other benefits to using canines for dealing with bed bug infestations.
Dogs detect bed bug infestations earlier
Bed bugs are hard to spot in small numbers as they like to hide in tiny crevices only two millimeters wide. If bed bugs are being spotted, that’s when you know that the infestation has gone wrong and immediately requires an exterminator.
Specially-trained bed bug detection dogs can sniff out even a few bed bugs. By catching them early on, you’ll save thousands of dollars in treatment costs while avoiding the spread of these pests to your neighbors.
Dogs locate specific infestation areas
Exterminators won’t know where the bed bugs or their eggs would be, so the usual practice is to spray everything or risk missing a few that may return to re-infest your home. You can pinpoint the rooms or areas where bed bugs hide with bed bug-sniffing dogs.
Since the scope of the infestation has been narrowed down, exterminators would be able to come up with a more targeted, effective, and eco-friendly treatment plan.
Bed bug detection dogs provide immediate results
Bed bug monitor devices or traps are the usual alternative to canine sniffers. The most commonly used ones are bed bug interceptors, passive traps placed around your bed’s legs to catch any bugs that try to climb into the mattress. The pro of these traps is that they never give false positives. So, if it detects a bed bug, it’s a sure catch.
The downside is that catching a bed bug often takes 1-2 weeks. This is because bed bugs don’t come out and feed every night. Instead, they feed every 5-10 days.
On the other hand, canine bed bug inspections produce immediate results, letting you move to treatment immediately, if possible. Since a female bed bug can produce around 1-7 eggs per day, and each egg can hatch in just 6-10 days, every week of waiting can allow these bugs to reproduce continuously.
Dogs can detect viable eggs
Bed bug eggs are typically concealed in cracks, exhibiting a slightly higher tolerance to pesticides when compared to mature bed bugs. Bed bug detection dogs, certified for identifying both live bed bugs and viable eggs, can be employed to verify the success of a bed bug eradication service across all life stages.
It’s essential to ask first, however, if the dogs are trained to notice the difference between viable bed bug eggs, debris, and carcasses.
Dogs are fast and efficient
The biggest advantage K9 bed bug inspections can offer is speed. With an experienced sniffing dog, an entire apartment can be covered within just a few minutes and with great accuracy. Compare this to a visual inspection, which could take hours.
Bed bug detection dogs are non-intrusive
To locate these pests, bed bug-sniffing dogs rely on smell, not sight, so dismantling beds or tables is unnecessary. This saves time and labor but doesn’t sacrifice accuracy. This doesn’t mean prepping for the dog inspection is unnecessary.
At the very least, it’s advisable to clear away clutter and reposition furniture to provide dogs with additional room to sniff around. Any distracting smells like food, cigarettes, and other pet items should also be kept away from the area to be inspected.
It should be noted that bed bug detection dogs may not be the best choice in all situations. If the infestation has already reached a level so bad that the bed bugs can be seen with the naked eye, immediately hiring professional exterminators would be better.
Dogs are undeniably and aptly called “man’s best friend.”
As pets, they will protect, trust, and love you unconditionally.
As service dogs, they will do their best to help the military, make patients happy, guide the blind, and, in this case, bed bug detection dogs help keep your house pest-free.
A sniffing dog successfully detecting bed bugs on site would be satisfying. Hopefully, it’s not your house.
Luqman Butter has been a pest control technician for over 20 years. He is passionate about solving people’s pest and wildlife control problems through innovative, eco-friendly, and humane methods. He believes that pest control is a science and feels that his function in his community is vital since he helps people live in peace without causing unnecessary harm to animals.