Bed Bug Canines

Bed bug canines have been used with great success all around the world. Specific breeds of canines contain over 220 million receptors in their noses, which helps them track scents through many different situations while distinguishing between slight differences. 

Why Use A Bed Bug Dog?

Using canines to perform a search for bed bugs is efficient when several areas or rooms require inspection because it is less time consuming than humans searching. Using their incredible sense of smell, canines are able to detect and find live bed bugs within minutes of searching.

What Do I Need to Do Before the Bed Bug Dog Arrives?
For the safety of our canines and a successful treatment, please follow this preparation checklist.

Proactive sweeps
We use our bed bug canines in high traffic areas (i.e. dorms, apartments, lobbies, healthcare facilities) to find bed bugs before they turn into a big problem. By contracting to have a bed bug canine come in at regular intervals, bed bug problems are caught before they are able to take hold and spread into a full-blown infestation.

We also use our canine teams in post treatment situations to confirm that all life stages of bed bugs have been eliminated.

Meet the team!

Batzner’s first bed bug canine joined the family in 2010. Now, we have four scent detection canines working with handlers on staff. Each canine and handler pair spend all their time together, even sharing a home! As a team, the dogs and handlers are certified annually by the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association (NESDCA). NESDCA is a certifying organization founded by pest control owners and operators that assures the quality standards of Scent Detection Canines and serves as an information resource center for the consumer and pest control industry.

Simon Bed Bug Canine
  • Simon Bed Bug Canine
  • Lucy Bed Bug Canine
  • Roxy Bed Bug Canine
  • Benji Bed Bug Canine

Simon

Age: 6 years
Breed: Purebred Tri-color Beagle
Years of bed bug experience: 3+ years
Specialties: Scent location for the presence of live bedbugs.
Favorite activities outside of work: Getting his belly rubbed, walking/sniffing outside along with short sprints!

Lucy

Age: 5 years
Breed: Beagle/Blue Tick hound mix
Years of bed bug experience: 4+ years
Specialties: Her specialty is her endurance and the ability to sniff out bed bugs, even if they are on the ceiling.
Favorite activities outside of work: When she’s not working or sleeping, her favorite thing to do is tracking a deer or rabbit.  She will explore the woods for hours when she is on a scent.

Roxy

Age: 3 years
Breed: Beagle mix
Years of bed bug experience: 1+ years
Specialties: Scent location for the presence of live bedbugs.
Favorite activities outside of work: Roxy loves going for walks and snuggling up on the couch after work.

Benji

Age: 2 years
Breed: Beagle
Years of bed bug experience: Graduated training and joined the team in February 2017
Specialties: Scent location for the presence of live bedbugs.
Favorite activities outside of work: At the end of a long day, there’s nothing he loves more than to relax with a bone.

More about the Dogs

Who are these Dogs & How are they Selected?

There are several training facilities, mostly located in Florida, which raise and train dogs to detect the presence of bed bugs. Dogs rescued from local shelters are mainly used and are chosen based on their breed and level of energy. The most successful dogs are highly energetic and contain biological traits that improve their sense of smell. In addition, the dog must have a solid work ethic and the ability to maintain focus while on the job. 

Training the Canine

Usually canines start training between eight and twelve months old, but depending on the age when they are rescued, it can vary. To be eligible for certification, the dog must complete between 800 and 1,000 hours of training. Training takes place in specialized facilities that provide realistic situations and natural hiding places bed bugs. The dog will be exposed to the bugs in their different life stages in order to learn the varying scents of each stage. It is important for the dogs to be able to distinguish between live bugs and dead cells because a false positive could lead to unnecessary treatments and expenses. A canine should not identify past infestations that are no longer a threat. The handlers go through just as much training as the dogs. Both must be a good match for each other in order to pass the certification test.

Scent Detection Certification

Once the training hours are completed, the dogs must be certified by NESDCA. In order to become fully certified, canines and their handlers must pass the certification requirement together.  If the canine is ever transferred to a new handler, the certification must be passed again as a new team. A single dog cannot be legally certified without a handler, and vice versa.

The Testing Process

Accredited judges from NESDCA will evaluate the canine and handler through a number of tests. The canine is evaluated on detecting the presence of bed bugs and his or her ability to discriminate between scents. The dog passes the test by making a motion toward the source of the scent, such as pawing or pointing with its nose. The handler is evaluated on their ability to control, command, and work with the dog. Certifications are valid for a full year for the specific scent that was tested.

Are Canine Services Cost-Effective?

Since many residents and business owners spend thousands of dollars on infestation removal, there are concerns that the use of scent detection dogs is just another added expense. In fact, the use of dogs can save an individual or company several thousands of dollars on unnecessarily treating rooms that are not infested. There have been several cases where a resident was convinced there were bugs, but the detection found no traces of live infestations.

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