Bed Bug Dogs
Dogs have widely been used for their keen sense of smell to detect a variety of substances from drugs to mold. Specific species of canines can contain over three hundred million receptors in their noses compared to about thirty million for humans. This helps them to track scents through rain, mud, and snow while distinguishing between the slightest of differences.
Recently, several facilities have been training dogs to sniff out live bed bugs in residential communities, hotel rooms, and other types of buildings. This has become a highly lucrative business for pest exterminators and dog trainers alike due to the rising incidents serious infestations.
Using Specially Trained Dogs
While some individuals in the pest control industry are skeptical about the use of dogs for detection, these specially trained canines are boast a 97% accurate in finding live infestations. This is compared to only the 30% accuracy of humans with visual detection.
These bloodsucking insects go through five stages of development, and in most of these phases, they are no larger than the size of a sesame seed. The eggs and nymphs are off-white to yellowish, which makes them hard to see on light colored bed sheets and carpets. The adults are no longer than a quarter of an inch and are excellent at hiding.
All of these aspects camouflage the insect from being detected visually, which is why more companies are relying on the keen sense of smell that dogs possess to find these blood-sucking creatures.
Rising Demand for Canine Services
While it can take hours for a human to search through an entire room, tearing apart furniture and ripping out floor boards to visually locate these offending bugs, dogs can smell the presence of live infestations in a given area within minutes. The industry of detection has experienced a recent expansion within the last decade, which is largely due to the increase in reported infestations. Between 2000 and 2005, the number of reported incidents has increased exponentially.
This number continues to rise in heavily populated cities, such as New York City, due to the insect’s developed resistances to certain pesticides.
After World War II, they were mostly eradicated by use of the now-banned pesticide, DDT. With the increased global traffic, they are making their comeback, costing residents thousands of dollars in fumigations and other pest control methods.
Residents and lodging businesses can try to limit these problems through the use of fully trained and certified dogs for expedited discovery.
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