A dog’s keen sense of smell makes it suited to sniff out bombs, detect drugs, recognize low blood sugar in diabetics, and even find bed bug infestations.
Dog’s have partnered up with police officers, military personnel, and bed bug services to make use of their incredible talents.
In the world of bed bug elimination, bed bug sniffing dogs are particularly useful.
How? Read below for everything you ever wanted to know about these unique canines.
1. Why Use Bed Bug Sniffing Dogs?
Bed bugs are very hard to detect for the average human. The tiny bugs are hard to find and even harder to distinguish from other similar-sized insects.
Instead of seeing the bugs themselves, you will often notice their tracks first. “Tracks” are thin red-brown lines or streaks that bed bugs leave behind when they bite. You will usually notice these on your bedsheets.
Oh yeah, you will also notice bites! But beyond those signs, home dwellers do not have the capabilities to confirm a bed bug infestation.
That’s why people rely on bed bug services and bed bug-sniffing dogs.
2. How Do Dogs Detect Bed Bugs?
Bed bug sniffing dog service relies on well-trained dogs. They are already gifted in noticing the scent, but they need to be trained to work alongside a pest expert to show where exactly the bugs are hiding. The dog’s scent detection is much better than a human’s, even for an expert in bed bugs.
When a dog detects a particular pheromone (scent) from bed bugs, they are trained to alert the handler by scratching at a surface or barking. Because bed bugs hide in box springs, inside cushions, and other tricky locations, the ability of the dog to show the location is paramount.
Dogs can detect bed bugs when they are alive or dead. They can also locate nests with eggs and even exoskeletons of bed bugs. Treatment options may be different depending on where in the life cycle the bugs are.
3. How Accurate Are Bed Bug Sniffing Dogs?
If you’re going to invest in a bed bug sniffing dog service, you want to be assured that they are going to produce accurate results.
There have been a number of studies to determine how accurate these pups are at their job. Generally speaking, they are pretty darn accurate. One study found a rate of 95% accuracy and another 83% accurate.
The difference in accuracy could be related to the training of the dog, the experience of the handler as well as certain environmental conditions that make it harder to accurately detect signs of bugs.
When companies use dogs to detect bugs they will also look for evidence to confirm. So, while there is a slim chance the dog alerts a false positive, the bed bug expert will usually be able to confirm the situation.
4. What Are the Best Bed Bug Sniffing Dog Breeds
If you’re wondering if your pet could be trained in the art of bed bug sniffing, there are certain breeds that are typically chosen for this type of work.
Dogs that are trained for hunting, like Beagles, Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds make good bed bug sniffers. They have an exceptional sense of smell and are generally obedient during training.
5. How Much Do Bed Bug Sniffing Dog Services Cost?
A pest service or custom bed bug service might have to pay $10,000 – $12,000 for a trained dog. However, it is actually a cost-saving measure for consumers.
If you suspect the presence of bed bugs and the dog confirms the location, you can focus the treatment services on those hot spots. The cost to eliminate pests in a finite space is less than trying to treat an entire home.
Furthermore, given the accuracy of the dogs, you can be assured that you are only treating when absolutely necessary.
6. How Long Does It Take a Dog to Detect Bugs?
Believe it or not, a dog can detect evidence of bed bugs faster than a human. As the dog walks through the house trying to find a scent, a human being can only inspect one small area at a time.
If you are unsure exactly how far the infestation has traveled in your home, a dog is the fastest way to figure it out. They will be able to alert you where the bed bugs are hiding, even if it is in multiple locations throughout the home.
7. What Happens If They Detect Bed Bugs?
If the dog picks up the scent of bed bugs, the handler or another qualified professional will usually come in to confirm the situation. Once they have determined the presence of bugs or eggs, they will create a treatment plan.
The dogs are not actually part of the removal of the bugs. Companies may use a powerful spray or a process called Thermal Remediation. During this process, Temp-Air heaters are used to eliminate bugs.
The heat will actually attract the bugs and then it will kill them. This method is safe, effective, and requires minimal preparation for the resident.
8. How Do I Locate a Bed Bug Sniffing Dog Service?
Not all pest control services use dogs to detect bed bugs. Companies that specialize in just bed bugs are more likely to use canine services to support detection.
When you contact a bed bug treatment service you can ask about whether or not they use dogs. The choice to use a dog depends on the environment and the reasons you suspect there are bugs.
Say Hello to Dogs, Goodbye to Bugs
Bed bug sniffing dogs are changing the game when it comes to the detection and elimination of bed bugs in your home. These furry friends may be adorable, but they are also accurate.
By locating the presence of bugs, treatment is more confined and effective. As a team, the dog and the professional bed bug expert will give you confidence that the problem is gone for good.
Need a bed bug inspection? Contact us today for a free quote.