Bed Bug Sniffing Dogs
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to and works at using its senses (almost always the sense of smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, or blood. Hunting dogs that search for game and search dogs that search for missing humans are generally not considered detection dogs. There is some overlap, as in the case of human remains detection dogs (sometimes called cadaver dogs), trained to detect human remains. They are also used for drug raids to find where the drugs are. A dog’s “odor image” is significantly more complex than a human’s perception of photographs. For example, from a single drop of urine one canine can identify another K-9’s sex, diet, health and even determine whether this dog is dominant or submissive! Dog’s can easily distinguish between ten different odor types. They have been employed successfully to detect mold, termites, drugs and arson components. Use of Bed Bug detecting canines has been acknowledged in the court system as an effective tool. Bed Bug dogs are accurate over 90% of the time and identify Bed Bug harborage in walls, under floors and other inaccessible areas. Humans are traditionally limited to visual inspections rearing accurate results 30% of the time. Humans can take up to 20 minutes per room performing visual examinations! Not good. Bedbugs are elusive and usually nocturnal, which can make them hard to spot. Bedbugs often lodge unnoticed in dark crevices, and eggs can be nestled in fabric seams. Aside from bite symptoms, signs include fecal spots, blood smears on sheets, and moults. Attractant devices for detection use heat and/or carbon dioxide. Bed bug detection dogs are trained to pinpoint infestations, with an accuracy of 97.5%, and often in minutes where a pest control practitioner might need an hour. In the United States, about 100 dogs are used to find bedbugs as of mid-2009. Tracker has completed more than 1000 hours of training, demonstrating his accuracy in detecting bed bugs. Tracker and all of our dog handlers are certified for bed bug detection by leading experts in the training of not just bed bug-sniffing, but mold-, bomb- and drug-sniffing dogs as well. Tracker is a powerful new weapon against the elusive bed bug and can inspect and detect these insects in homes and commercial buildings with an accuracy that human inspectors cannot match. Bed bug detection dogs are specially trained by handlers to identify the scent of bed bugs. With the increased focus on green pest management and integrated pest management, bed bug detection dogs are gaining popularity in North America. Dogs are a safer alternative to pesticide use as a management strategy. If operators can find out exactly where bed bugs are located, they can minimize the area that needs to be sprayed. Dogs smell in parts per trillion, something a human cannot do, and detect bed bugs through all life cycle phases from eggs to nymphs to adults. Bed bug detection dogs are a viable and scientifically-proven alternative to traditional methods of pest detection. A 2008 report by the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology endorsed bed bug detection dogs by stating that the “reliability of the dogs has been impressive provided they are properly trained. Bed bug detection is complicated by the fact that the insects can hide almost anywhere. Bed bug detection dogs solve this problem because they are small and agile, finding bugs in places humans cannot such as wall voids, crevices and furniture gaps. With the increase in global travel and shared living accommodations, bed bugs have become more prevalent.