Why use dogs for finding bed bugs?
Bed bugs can appear anywhere, even if your home or work place is perfectly clean. They can are spread by different means like suitcase or by latching on your clothes. You may bring them to your place unknowingly. Bed bugs solely live on the blood of humans as their food. These bugs hide in gaps and holes in the mattress and furniture. However, K9s can efficiently detect bed bugs before the eradication process. In this article, we will discuss the use and benefits of K-9 bed bug detection services. Why use dogs for finding bed bugs?
Bed Bug Detection Dogs
A bed bug detection dog is everyone’s best friend when bed bugs have made your life difficult at work or home. These dogs are very helpful in fighting a battle against bed bugs. They have a surprisingly sharp sense of smell that makes them a bed bug-finding tool. These dogs are particularly trained to find the bed bugs with incredible precision. They can accurately spot the live bugs and eggs. They are trained to not alert for dead bed bugs. Moreover, they can also discriminate between the living bugs and the bugs’ fragments (peeled-off skins or feces). These dogs have an astounding level of accuracy that exceeds a human visual inspection.
Why do you need to carry out a bed bug inspection?
Bed bugs could be anywhere, at your workplace or in your home. These small pests hide in the depths of fabric, in the furniture gaps, between the grooves of your wallpaper, in light switches, in the electronic devices, and in cellphone jacks.
Even if you haven’t felt bed bugs, you still need to carry out a thorough examination of your place to confirm the absence of bugs and their eggs. The use of dogs for bed bug detection is a time-efficient and also more precise method than a human inspection. Bed bug are expert hiders and solely relying on the human eye is not recommended.
What breeds of dogs sniff out bugs and how are they selected?
Now that we’ve solved the question “why use dogs for finding bed bugs,” let’s find out how they are selected. K9 dogs are used for bed bug detection services. Commonly, the dogs used for bed bug sniffing are Beagles. Because their unique olfactory features help them to capably sniff out the bugs in the environment. Also, their physical characters like low-hanging ears trap the bug odor in the air. The nose of these dogs collectively uses around two hundred million smell receptors to distinguish smells. Other bug detection dogs are Belgian Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds. These bed bugs sniffing breeds have a strong sense of smell that not only locates bed bugs but also other unwanted insects and wildlife. Moreover, the beagles are mostly trained for accurate bed bug searches. At Heat Relief we uses beagles that are professional trained and certified to alert for live bed bugs.
How are these dogs selected?
Different training services raise these dogs and carry out training sessions with these dogs. It can take anywhere from 3-6 months with good training to have the dog ready for certification. Both the dog and the handler must be certified together. They train the above-mentioned breeds to detect the existence of bed bugs. The bed bug detection dog must have a good work ethic and an ability to sustain its focus while on the job. Pure breeds are selected because they are very active in detection and contain the most successful biological traits that enhance their bug-sniffing.
Training of and accreditation of K9 dogs for bed bug detection
The training of these dogs is initiated when they are 10 months- 2 years old. Generally the longer you wait to train, The harder it is to remove bad habits. After training the dogs and handlers have to go through an extensive certification process and tests. The requirement for the certification is between 900 to 1,000 hours of training. The training of the dogs is carried out in a realistic environment. Moreover, the bed bugs are exposed to the K9 dogs at different life stages to train them with changing odor of the bugs. It is a very important part of the training in which the dog learns how to discriminate between dead bugs and live bugs.
Certification of Trained dogs
After the completion of the training period, K-9s are issued with certificates upon testing. However, to become completely specialized, K-9s and their trainers both have to fulfill the accreditation requirements. If the K-9 is moved to a new supervisor, the authorization should be passed again because they both are now considered as a new team. A single dog or a single trainer cannot be accredited. Moreover, authorizations and certificates are applicable for the definite odor that is verified. Our beagles at Bed Bug Heat Relief are trained and certified to the highest standard by being with the W.D.D.0 (World Dog Detector Organization).
What are the benefits of K-9s for finding bed bugs?
The sharp sense of smell in the dogs makes them the most effective source of bed bug detection with a very high ratio of precision. K9 dogs can efficiently smell out bed bugs in the furniture gaps, behind the wall panels, and inside the mattress. Not only this, K-9 bed bug detectives easily search in nooks and corners that are not reachable by humans.
Bed bug detective dogs are considered the most accurate method and also, they are fast and time-efficient. Large apartments and workspaces can be covered in a matter of minutes. Hiring K-9 bed bug finding dogs are the best way to spot early infestations. Besides the accuracy and precision here we have mentioned some other benefits of K-9s.
Can detect an early infestation
Bugs usually conceal in tiny cracks that are less than two millimeters thick. Because of this, it becomes nearly impossible to find them. These bugs keep on increasing by laying eggs and hatching periodically after every 5-6 days. Once there are a lot of bed bugs, it becomes difficult to eliminate them.
That is why K-9s are used to avoid the infestation from reaching the population explosion stage. An appropriately trained K-9 dog can find the bugs even if they are in small numbers. This early detection saves elimination costs of thousands of dollars and also helps you avoid the spread of bed bugs in the entire house or office.
No displacement of furniture
The whole inspection process of bed bugs detection is based on the sense of smell of the dogs, there is no need to dislocate the beds and other furniture items. It saves your precious time and also minimizes labor without compromising on accuracy.
But for the inspection process, you need to clear the mess so that the dog and the handler have sufficient room to move around. Moreover, any disturbing odors, such as from cigarettes, food, or other pet items must be kept far from the area under examination.
Trace viable eggs of bed bugs
The eggs of these bugs are potentially viable and can spread the bugs in the entire neighborhood within a week. Even after the unprofessional detections and eradication sprays, only the adult bugs are exterminated. While the eggs are usually concealed in deeper cracks and are resistant to insecticide sprays. These eggs if left untouched hatch in 6-7 days and start the infestation again. In Toronto, authorized K-9 bed bug services are available that can detect both the bugs and the eggs. That is why the use of K-9 dogs guarantees a successful treatment of all life stages of bed bugs.
Efficient and time-saving
K9 dogs make the procedure time efficient which is one of the prime benefits of using these dogs. A trained bed bug searching dog with an experienced handler can inspect a home in 15-30 minutes. On the other hand, visual inspections take several hours and are not nearly as accurate. K-9s do the bug searching with way more precision.
This precision and accuracy are the most significant factors to notice when inspecting for bed bugs in a given space. The time-saving procedure appears attractive to many business owners who don’t want to have hours of breaks in their business dealings.
Frequent questions that appear on your mind
We have highlighted almost all the major and minor aspects of the bed bug inspection by using K-9 dogs. But still, some people have questions that should be answered to assure the effectiveness of the process. here we will answer some of the frequent questions that appear on your mind related to the use of K-9 dogs for the bed bug inspection services.
Question # 1: Are the K9 inspections cost-effective?
Many businesses and homeowners spend thousands of dollars on inspection and consider odor detection K9 dogs just another expense. But, the use of K9 dogs for finding bed bugs can potentially save an apartment or a business place from spending several thousand dollars on ineffective exterminations and treatments. It has been proven that the accuracy of the K9 teams is higher and faster than the conventional detection methods. K9 teams also detect low-level early infestations that save you from uncontrolled infestations later.
Question # 2: Do pets transmit or carry bed bugs?
Bed bugs may stay on your pets or even on you. But they do not remain on the pets for a long time. However, these pests feed on the blood of pets and humans. Moreover, they are more attracted towards the warmth and the area with more carbon dioxide. Bed bugs prefer human blood that is why they are inhabited in your furniture and mattresses. Highly skilled bugs control experts can also assist you in finding and eradication of bugs from your pets at home.
Question # 3 What is the accuracy of K9 inspection?
Accuracy is the most frequently asked question about K9 inspections. Here we will prove the accuracy w.r.t an experiment. Seven young K9 dogs were exposed to the odor of live bugs and their eggs for three months. After that, the researchers tested these K9 dogs for their capability to discriminate the scent of common household pests from bed bugs.
Results: more than 97 % of dogs successfully distinguished live bed bugs from household pests such as cockroaches. Moreover, these dogs had an accuracy rate of 95% for viable bug eggs, and only a 3% false-positive rate for bed bug debris.
Question # 4 How does a K-9 to find a bed bug?
K9 dogs are trained to find the bed bugs by their scent. Scent detection is more useful and effective than searching with sight. Bed bugs produce specific pheromones and K9 are dogs are trained to identify these unique pheromones. This method is also helpful for searching areas far from the human approach. As mentioned above, dogs are also able to distinguish between dead bugs, live bugs, and their eggs. But these inspections must be carried out with the specific certified handler.
Facts about K9s why use dogs for finding bed bugs?
According to the biological studies on the olfactory (sense of smell) power of dogs, the following capabilities have been observed.
1. Olfaction Sensitivity Experimented limits of olfactory (sense of smell) recognition and detection for a dog are nearly 500 parts per trillion. However, humans can detect between 100 to10,000 billion.
2. Discrimination of Odor
Dogs are truly virtuous at odor discrimination and can differentiate target odors from non-target odors even in higher concentrations.
3. Odor Memory
Trained dogs are very good at memorizing the target odor and they act alert to the target vapors.
4. Various Odor Differentiation
it has been observed that dogs can learn nine to ten odors and their discrimination.
For more information about our K-9 detection services visit https://bedbugheatrelief.ca/k9-bed-bug-inspection-detection/