Whether you need to screen a single home or a high-rise office building for bedbugs, a trained dog can help. Bedbug-sniffing dogs provide detection services that alert property owners to the presence of the insidious blood-sucking insects. Here’s what you should know about canine bed bug detection.
Dogs Have Superior Sniffing Skills
Canines are endowed with outstanding senses of smell. It’s no wonder that they have nasal superpowers when dogs grow 220 million receptors devoted to detecting scents. Compared to humans — who have around 5 million scent receptors — dogs are the superior sniffers.
Healthy dogs have wet noses to help them locate and isolate scents. Smelly particles attach to a dog’s wet nose to keep scents front and center in the canine’s focus.
Expert dog trainers work for hours with bedbug-sniffing dogs until the animals learn to distinguish and seek out the smell of adult bedbugs and their eggs. After the dogs are fully trained, the canines sniff out bedbugs in homes, hotels, schools, and other buildings where bedbugs are believed to be present.
In the targeted structures, bedbug-sniffing dogs alert their handlers to the presence of bedbugs with their trained responses, which may include barking, pointing, or other behaviors. After receiving positive signals from the dogs that indicate the presence of living bedbugs, pest control companies perform follow-up inspections to confirm the canine findings of bedbug infestations.
Humans Have Trouble Spotting Early Infestations
Bedbugs are able to slide into spaces no larger than the width of a credit card, and they’ll move up to 20 feet from their hiding spots to feed. Bites from bedbugs look similar to bites from other insect pests. Until a bed bug infestation becomes serious, people are often oblivious to the insects’ presence in their working and living spaces.
Visual signs of bedbugs include the following:
- Red or rusty stains on sheets and mattress
- Tiny black spots on fabric
- Pale, diminutive eggs and tiny eggshells
- Light yellow shed skin pieces
- With most of us, unexplained insect bites
When you notice the above signs of bedbug activity inside your property, you have a large-scale bedbug problem. Wouldn’t it be great if you had known sooner that bedbugs were in your building? The nice thing about canine bedbug detectors is their ability to find bedbugs before the insects have a chance to completely invade homes and facilities.
Dogs are able to locate bedbugs in areas where people would not notice any signs of the insects. For this reason, canine bedbug sniffers spot infestations in the early stages of bedbug entry into buildings.
Cockroaches and Lady Beetles Leave Spots, Too
Canine bedbug detectors don’t look for visual signs of the bugs, but let their noses find bedbug infestations early for fast elimination of the pests. Humans are often fooled into believing they have a bedbug problem when they see signs of other insect pest infestations.
Cockroaches, lady beetles, box elder bugs, and other insects leave stains that are similar to those left by bedbugs. Insects that enter homes to escape winter will live in crevices just like bedbugs, so you may only notice the outward signs of insect activity.
Stains from fecal matter and other insect activity may be found:
- In and around electrical wall outlets
- Behind wallpaper and picture frames
- Around door trim and window frames
- On baseboards
- Under and in cracks of furniture
Small dark marks or reddish stains in the above locations may be signs of insects that are not bedbugs. You may not be able to tell the difference between the types of insect markings, but bedbug-sniffing dogs are able to distinguish infestations of bedbugs from infestations of cockroaches and other insects.
Canine Bedbug Sniffers Work Fast
If you manage a large facility including a hotel or medical complex, you need to schedule routine inspections of rooms for bedbug infestations. However, a complete inspection of a single hotel room can take an hour and a half to complete. Two trained workers will need to conduct the inspection.
A trained bedbug-sniffing dog can complete an inspection of the same room in a few minutes. You don’t need to close off rooms for long periods of time when you use canine search teams to find elusive bedbug hiding places.
NESDCA certified, bedbug-sniffing dogs can smell a single live egg, and they can detect a handful of the adult insects when a bedbug infestation is starting to take hold. However, trained bedbug-sniffing dogs, that are NESDCA certified, will not alert when they find only dead bedbugs. If you’ve recently had your property treated for bedbugs, the bedbug sniffing dogs will not alert on the deceased bedbug carcasses. They alert only on current live Bedbugs and viable Bedbug eggs.
To have your residence, hotel, or other business inspected by trained canine bedbug sniffers in Chicago, Illinois, contact A-Alert Exterminating Service Inc today. All of our bedbug-detecting dogs and dog handlers are highly trained and certified by the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association.