Local Pest Control Company Using Unlikely Tool To Detect Bed Bugs

KBTX.com (College Station, TX)
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cities are crawling with these tiny insects.
Bed Bugs are becoming a more prevalent problem in the U.S. and here in the Bryan-College Station area.
One local exterminator is able to find the creepy crawlers faster than most.

This is Allie.
She's a white labrador, raised and trained in the Czech Republic.

Allie works with Jerry Swoboda, at Swoboda Pest Control in Bryan and there are only three dogs in Texas that can do what she does.

"What takes me 45 minutes to do, Allie does in three minutes," said Swoboda.

Allie detects bed bugs for a living.

Swoboda said, "She lives for that ball. She'll work like a dog for it too."

"I called him right then and said "help!" Please come and just, give me piece of mind," said Sara Duke, a Bryan-College Station resident.
She had the duo come to her home after being bitten 220 times while staying at an out-of-town hotel.

Duke added, "I mean, they were feeding on me, constantly, all night long."

Allie sniffs out pheromones given off by the bed bugs, and sits when she's found them.

"I was completely at peace that...you know, no, they had never been here," Duke said.

Swoboda said, "You can be in a five star hotel, a million dollar mansion, you can still have them. It does not matter how clean you are."

Bed bugs feed on blood and live on inanimate objects instead of their hosts.
The couch on the side of the road might look nice, but it's second-hand items like this where bed bugs like to hide. 
If you bring it home with you, the bed bugs might come too.

"We've gone from doing maybe, one or two a month, to two or three a week," Swoboda said.

Lately this canine's been sniffing out about five calls a week in the BCS area.

Allie's nose is so powerful, that sometimes she finds more than just bed bugs.

"She has found three bags of marijuana," laughed Swoboda.

Once you find the bed bugs, exterminators say they are easy to get rid of.
Not everyone reacts to being bitten...and some won't show any outward signs for several weeks.