The keen canine sense of smell can detect a variety of substances, from mold to illegal drugs. Recently, bed bug exterminators have begun training man’s best friend to sniff out bed bugs in locations like hotels and residences too. Read on for more information about the value of dogs in detecting bed bugs in Bronx, NY, and what to expect from a visit by bed bug dogs.
Canine Senses vs Human Sight
Bed bugs move through five stages of development and, for most of that time, they are no larger than a sesame seed. Adult bed bugs are the size of a grain of rice and are almost translucent. In addition, these crafty pests are excellent at hiding and tend to come out at night, when you’re asleep. As a result, it is incredibly difficult for homeowners and exterminators to see bed bugs, especially if they’re hiding in small nooks and crannies within the home. Trained dogs, on the other hand, can sniff them out. Well-trained dogs can even distinguish between live bed bugs and the dead remnants of old infestations.
Specially Trained Dogs
Bed bug dogs are generally selected based on their breed and level of energy. The best candidates are highly energetic hunting breeds, such as beagles, because they have been bred for centuries to sniff out prey. Smaller dogs are also preferred because they are less intimidating to homeowners and can be held up by their handler to search ceiling fixtures and high shelves. These small dogs can crawl underneath beds and alert the exterminator to bed bugs within the box springs, without the exterminator having to remove the mattresses. Bed bug dogs can also detect bugs behind heavy appliances, without anyone having to move them. Their strong smelling sense is even able to detect bed bugs behind outlets and underneath carpets where humans wouldn’t be able to look. This simply reduces the time taken to inspect your home and improves the accuracy of the inspection.
What to Expect
A team of scent detectors is usually comprised of a dog and its handler, as well as a professional exterminator who visually verifies the dog’s alerts and provides advice for managing an infestation. The search typically begins at the front door and moves throughout the building until the dog picks up a scent. You may be asked to leave temporarily so that the dog can fully concentrate on the inspection. When the dog detects bed bugs, it is rewarded by its handler, and the professional exterminator moves in to confirm the presence of bed bugs. Should the dog detect bed bugs behind a wall, it is necessary for the exterminator to break through the plaster in order to confirm the alert. However, it is a small price to pay for putting a stop to an infestation.
A few requirements are expected from any homeowner utilizing a bed bug dog, including the temporary removal of any pets from the premises. They could stay in the bathroom while the bed bug dog inspects the rest of the home. Fans and air conditioners should be switched off at least an hour before the inspection, and all windows should be shut to concentrate the odors in the home. Televisions, radios, and other loud devices should also be muted during the inspection.