Man's Best Friend has Become a Bed Bug's Worst Enemy
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Since the pesky little critters known as bedbugs are infesting
homes, offices, and hotels from New York to California, detection
has become more and more difficult. However, there are alternative
solutions to bedbug detection, including using man's best
Anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of bedbugs
understands the stress associated with waking up with mysterious
bites. One type of detection technique that more and more pest
control professionals are offering is scent detection by canines.
Relying on a canine's expert sense of smell has proven to be the
most expedient and accurate way of pinpointing where bedbugs are
"There is no questioning a dog's capability to smell and detect
odors that are very minimal. A dog possesses 250 million scent
receptors compared to a human, who has only 5 million. A
properly-trained dog and handler has proved to be well over 90
percent proficient," says Matt Skogen, leading scent detection
expert at IronHeart High Performance Working Dogs.
Let's take a look at the bedbug detection process. If you think you
have bedbugs, the first step is to contact a pest control
professional. It is vital for pest control professionals to know
the type of insect they are treating before they outline a course
of action. Once it is determined you have bedbugs, consider asking
your pest control professional about using a bedbug canine to be
sure all bedbug infestations in your home or office are properly
Then follow these tips for a successful bedbug canine
1. Make sure you have not used any over-the-counter pesticides in
your home prior to the inspection.
2. Try not to cook for up to two hours prior to the canine
3. If possible, make arrangements for any pets you have to be out
of your home while a canine is doing its job.
3. Pick up any pet food or toys so that the canine can focus on his
or her work.
4. Leave your sheets, pillows, and blankets on your bed. There is
no need to clean prior to an inspection.
5. Be aware that a well-trained canine inspection is accurate up to
95 percent of the time, and ask if the company supplies a
6. All canine inspections should include a technician inspection as
The two most common types of canines used in bedbug detection are
beagles and Jack Russell terriers. When compared to a human's sense
of smell, there is no comparison.
"Technology has a long way to go before there is anything as
accurate as a dog's nose. Experts have tried handheld electronic
devices that have proven to be completely useless. A dog has the
benefit of portability and migrating to the source of an odor,
where a handheld device does not," says Skogen.
Once your home is cleared by a bedbug canine inspector, invest in
an over-the-counter bedbug spray to minimize your risk of an
infestation. I recommend Pronto Plus, a bedbug spray that
effectively kills bedbugs and their eggs on contact. This spray can
be used in your automobile, office, or home. Remember to always
follow the instructions on the label.
While bedbugs seem to be here for the foreseeable future, rest
assured that man's best friend is here to help! And as always,
remember the key to staying bedbug free is to stay educated.