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When You Have a Bed Bug Inspection in NYC, How Do the Dogs Find Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs dogs have proven to detect bed bugs at a 96%-98% accuracy rate. What’s more, they can distinguish a live or valid egg from dead ones. As bed bug infestations have continued to be a big problem in NYC, a bed bug inspection that includes the use of highly trained bed bug dogs is a key way to detect whether you, too, have a problem so that you can take action right away. Worried you have bed bugs living with you? Here is how bed bug detection dogs will find out whether you have a problem or not.


Bed bug dogs and their handlers work as a team. As such, both must undergo extensive training and be able to work efficiently as a team. A bed bug dog should have 800 hours of training behind them before being placed in the field.


A bed bug dog uses their number one character trait—their sense of smell. A canine has roughly 300 million olfactory receptors in their nose. A human only has approximately 6 million. This comparison provides some insight into how powerful a canine’s sense of smell is. Because a canine has so many olfactory receptors, their brain must be able to keep up and analyze all of the smells. As such, the canines portion of brain that is devoted to processing all of the different smells is roughly 40 times larger than that of a humans. 

Related: How Our Exterminator Kills Bed Bugs in NYC

A canine’s nose also functions differently than ours. The dog’s nose is designed to optimize the intake of smells by separating the air breathed into chambers designed to breakdown the smells. Some canines can detect certain odors with incredible accuracy that is incomparable to humans’ spelling capabilities. 

The Process

A bed bug detection team will work together, moving through the property revealing areas of bed bug activity for adequate treatment. Since a bed bug dog’s accuracy rate is higher in its immediate surroundings, it is important to have a handler accompanies the dog to ensure the bed bug dog is picking up scents from the entire area. Additionally, it’s important to have a handler/canine team that are familiar with each other so the handler can pick up on the canine’s alert and also prevent the canine from becoming distracted. A handler should be able to adequately control, command, and work the bed bug dog. Most handler/canine teams move through the areas rather quickly, taking extra care to examine common infestation areas. A bed bug dog’s detection is so precise they can inspect an entire hotel room in a short amount of time. As part of an integrated management approach, the dogs are trained to inspect every single nook and cranny, inspect the property daily, and work side by side their certified handlers.

Related: How to Find the Best Bed Bug Exterminator in Bronx, NY

The Alert

Many bed bug inspection dogs are trained to alert the handler to the presence of bed bugs by pawing or pointing at the wall, floor, or item where a bed bug is hiding. This movement alerts the handlers that bed bugs are present, allowing them to properly document where the problem areas are and pinpoint where those bugs are hiding. While it’s unfortunate that this confirms a bed bug problem, the good news is that a solution can be put in motion as soon as possible.