Why Bed Bug Dogs Are Better Than Humans

Bed bugs are back! Thought to be almost eradicated decades ago, bed bug infestations are on the rise. This means the stress of dealing with infestations is also on the rise.

Bed bugs hide in all sorts of nooks, crannies, and hard to see places. There are also several other types of insects that look similar to bed bugs (carpet beetles, book lice, and bat bugs to name a few). If you think you have bed bugs, you want to be 100% sure before you spend money on treatment.

Bed bug detection dogs are the most effective and efficient way to confirm bed bugs:

Bed Bug Detection Dog Human
  • Uses olfaction (scent) to detect bed bugs and their eggs, even those hidden in furniture
  • 97% success rate identifying the presence of bed bugs and their location
  • Takes 2-3 minutes to inspect a room, no need to disassemble furniture
  • Uses vision to detect bed bugs & their presence, can’t see bed bugs hidden in furniture
  • Lower success rate identifying hard to find bed bugs
  • Takes 2-3 hours to inspect a home or business, furniture may need to be disassembled

A study conducted by the University of Florida on using dogs to detect the presence of bed bugs found that well-trained detection dogs were able to tell the difference between bed bugs and other similar insects 100% of the time.  Because bed bug detection dogs are trained to find bed bugs by smell, you will not get a false positive.

The study also found that the detection dogs had 0 false positives (indicating the presence of bed bugs when there wasn’t any). A bed bug detection dog is the only method of bed bug inspection that can give you close to 100% accuracy in detecting bed bugs.

Bed bug dogs are great for follow-up inspections if you have treated for bed bugs. Because bed bugs are resilient and can go months without feeding, it can be hard to know if you have successfully eradicated the infestation. A follow-up inspection using a bed bug detection dog can help determine the success of your treatment.

If you suspect you may have bed bugs and need peace of mind, a bed bug inspection with a detection dog can help. Pest Management, Inc.’s bed bug detection dog Bernie has over 1,000 hours of bed bug detection training and experience. Our K-9 units, their effectiveness, and our arsenal of treatment options were featured on National Geographic.

To learn more about detection dogs and bed bug treatment options, check out our video library. Our state of the art thermal heat remediation is the most effective treatment to kill the bugs and any eggs, so you know they’ll be gone for good.

To find out how our K-9 units can give you peace of mind and help you rest easier, contact us today.

Bed Bugs Gone – Guaranteed

It is never convenient to have bed bugs and treatment options can become expensive quickly. Pest Management’s Bed Bug Protection Policy offers an affordable, 4-pronged system to combat current bed bug issues and to prevent future bed bug issues. Our monthly fee prevents you from having additional and unexpected out of pocket expenses should a bed bug infestation occur. At the same time, it gives you piece of mind that the bed bugs will be handled in a prompt, thorough, and professional manner.

All plans utilize Pest Management’s prevention, surveillance and control methodology and include the following:

k9_img1Thorough Inspections with our K-9 Detection Team

Backed by multiple research studies, K-9 detection dogs are one of the best tools in the industry for bedbug detection and management. They are trained to detect bed bugs in all stages- from eggs to adults.

Our K-9 Detection Dogs are able are able to

  • Inspect areas that humans can’t
  • Perform inspections up to 80% faster
  • Have a 98% detection success rate

This is why our K-9 Detection Team is used for both routine, preventative inspections and complaints or concerns.

inspectWe Respond Right Away

We know that the moment you sight a bed bug, or think that you may have bed bugs is the moment that you want them gone. This is why we pride ourselves on our quick response and turn around to calls concerning bed bugs or bed bug sightings.

Bed bugs can spread quickly. Our quick response is designed for your piece of mind and to help to minimize and prevent the further spread of the bed bug infestation.

thermal_heat1The Right Treatment Plan for the Job

Bed bugs can be controlled with a variety of treatment options ranging from chemical spot treatments to heat treatments. We will work with you to develop and quickly implement the treatment plan that is best for you.

staff_trainingWe Will Train Your Staff for Prevention

Bi-annually, one of our highly trained technicians will consult and train your staff members on best practices for prevention, detection, and containment of bed bugs.

policy-calloutBenefits of our Bed Bug Protection Policy

Our Bed Bug Protection Policy serves as an insurance policy against bed bugs that gives you professional bed bug pest management support and peace of mind at an affordable, fixed cost.

Our policy is ideal for commercial buildings, apartment communities, hotels, hospitals, and even single family homes for those who travel frequently and are at a higher risk of contracting bed begs.

To learn more, contact us to speak to a member of our trained pest control team.

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Bed Bug Detection Dogs

Why are dogs used for bed bug detection?

Bed bugs emit a unique scent that no other insect does.  Because dogs have a sense of smell that is 40 times better than a human’s they can detect odors that we can’t.  Small bed bugs are the size of a sesame seed and a full grown bug is the length of a grain of rice. This makes detecting them with the human eye very difficult especially if they’re hiding inside mattresses, along baseboards or in the folds of a couch.

How do bed bug detecting dogs work?

Using their keen sense of smell bed bug detection dogs enter an area where bed bugs are suspected. They sniff along crevices, around and in furniture and in any other area bed bugs are known to hide or lay eggs.

When they detect the odor indicating a bed bug is present they notify their handler with an alert. Typically this means sitting down, looking at the handler and then pointing with their nose to the area they have detected. They continue this notification for every area they find the correct scent.

How does a dog become a working bed bug detector dog?

Bed bug detection dogs are highly trained service dogs. They are selected to enter training with a school such as the Florida Canine Academy. The school carefully choose dogs with the appropriate temperament, drive and energy for the job.

Typical training for a dog to be certified in bed bug detection is between 600 and 800 hours.  To maintain their efficacy, working bed bug detection dogs require continual training and testing in controlled environments to ensure they continue to be effective in sniffing out bed bugs.

Along with training for the dog, bed bug detection dog handlers should also undergo extensive training. The dog and handler work as a team and must have good rapport and communication for the best results.

Why are bed bug dogs the best choice for treating bed bugs?

As the bed bug problem continues to grow in Texas, so does their resistance to traditional pest control methods.  They are very resistant to chemical treatments and can continue to grow and thrive even after a home, apartment, hotel or business has received a bed bug treatment.  Frequently this means that the homeowner believes their problem has been cured when bed bugs actually still remain.

If signs of bed bugs exist in one area of a home it’s likely that they’ve already spread but haven’t yet made their presence known. The human eye can search for signs like spots on mattresses, itchy bites and actually seeing the live bugs but it’s not uncommon for bugs to survive in other areas without leaving signs.

Are bed bug dogs accurate?

Bed bug detection dogs can locate both live bugs and their eggs with 97% accuracy. This means that they will detect the presence of bed bugs in areas beyond where they have been spotted or where there’s indication of a bed bug infestation. With this knowledge, pest control companies that specialize in bed bug treatment can successfully target every area with a problem, often long before the human eye can detect the severity of the infestation.

Bed Bug Sniffing Dogs, Man’s Best Friend In Fight Against Bed Bugs

There is no way around it, our four legged canine buddies are indeed our best friends, and they are proving this fact once again.  Bed bugs are becoming an increasingly huge problem for people everywhere and bed bug sniffing dogs are coming to the rescue.  Travelers are picking them up both overseas and in hotels around the world.  While this problem was mostly a thing of the past in the United States, unfortunately, it is now making an unpleasant comeback.

Issues Surrounding Pesticides

Treating bed bugs can be tricky, and often people are pushed towards pesticide based solutions.  However, many experts feel this course of action isn’t ideal, as pesticides don’t necessarily “cure” the problem.  That’s right, you can use pesticides for bed bugs and they can still come back!

According to Penn State University experts, pesticide use should only be seen as one step in part of a much larger, holistic approach.  It should be noted that bed bugs have continued to evolve and adapt over the decades.  They are now thumbing their collective tiny noses at our pesticide based response to their quest for a good meal.  Bed bugs have established a resistance to DDT and other chemicals making treatment tricky.

How Can Dogs Help?

Cleaning and vacuuming does help fight bedbugs.  But oftentimes what is really needed is a top-notch way of “sniffing out” whether or not a home or facility, such as a school or hotel, still has bed bugs.  Luckily bed bug dogs, with their superior sense of smell, have come to the rescue!

Why are bed bug sniffing dogs are such superstars at finding bed bugs?  Not surprisingly, evolution plays a role.  According to Bedbugs.org, dogs have hundreds of millions of receptors in their noses.  Humans have only have a fraction of that number.  The success rate of dogs that have been trained to sniff out bed bugs is nothing short of a staggering 97%.  In contrast, a visual inspection by humans may find about a third of infestations.  Nose down, dogs win this competition, and that is why bed bug sniffing dogs are in high demand.  Demand is growing nationwide.

The Need for Bed Bug Sniffing Dogs Grows

Bed bug sniffing dogs go through tests and a certification process.  There’s a lot of pressure to become a bed bug dog!  The best dogs can tell within minutes just how bad the problem is and where the legions of unwanted guests may be hiding.

One fact is certain: the need for bed bug sniffing canine specialist will grow.  This is even more startling when we examine the fact that according to experts, bed bugs in the developed world were all but a thing of the past by the early 1940s.  Resistance to past methods of pest control and the fact that bed bugs easily travel in people’s luggage means that they are making an unwelcome comeback.  Their populations continue to grow, along with the need for bed bug sniffing dogs.

As of roughly 2009, there were about 100 canine bed bug specialists in the United States. But their consistent success means that their expertise will continue to remain highly sought after.

There are other detection methods that are being explored, such as the use of high speed gas chromatography.  But for now, it looks like bug spotting dogs are likely to remain your best option for detecting bed bugs.

Bed Bug Dogs: Hunting Them Down

Bed bugs are one of the most common and destructive pests around. Parasitic insects, they live off the blood of unsuspecting hosts, thriving in locations where humans frequent such as hotels, hospitals and apartment complexes. Once an infestation starts, it spreads rapidly, thus rapid bed bug detection and treatment are essential to containing further spread of the bed bug. Dogs that have been specially trained to sniff out bed bugs and their eggs can be used to locate an infestation early on.

What is a bed bug?

Contrary to what their name implies, bed bugs can be found in all areas of an inhabited area’s structure, from the furniture and carpet to inside the walls and of course, in the inhabitant’s bed.  As they are tiny, about the width of a credit card, they can squeeze into small cracks in the walls and between boards in the floor or walls. A nocturnal parasite, they are primarily active at night, making it extremely easy for them to feed on their victims, usually humans and other warm-blooded animals, as they sleep. Victims sometimes wake up with small, itchy bites on the skin as evidence of the pesky bed bugs’ work.

How do bed bug infestations occur?

Bed bugs spread via traveling human carriers, clothing, furniture and luggage. Since they are so small, they can travel virtually anywhere. As they are so small and hard to see, and because they are so elusive, they are often not detected by the naked eye. Additionally, not all humans react to their bites, so the host may not realize they’re being fed from. The longer a bed bug problem goes untreated, the more bed bugs lay eggs that develop into even more adults. Often, by the time the problem is detected, the infestation has grown enough to over-run an entire dwelling with bed bugs.

How do you know if you have a bed bug problem?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, one of the earliest signs of a bed bug infestation is the presence of small brown spots on an infested person’s bed sheets, left by bed bug excrement as well as crushed bed bugs between the host and their pillow, sheets or mattress. Blood spots from the host left on the sheets or pillows from the bed bugs’ feeding are also a sign of infestation. Finally, small white eggs left by the bed bugs about 1 millimeter wide may also be spotted .

Identifying infestations with bed bug dogs

Preventing an infestation before it becomes too overwhelming is necessary through early bed bug detection. Dogs and handlers who are specially trained to search potentially infested areas are commonly employed to determine the location of the suspected bed bugs. Bed bug dogs can search an entire hotel room in just two minutes! Once an infestation has been confirmed through a search by bed bug dogs, the EPA recommends cleaning infested clothes, bedding and furniture with non-chemical cleaners.