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.