Bedbug Sniffing Dogs
If you want to freak us out, mention bedbugs. We had an unfortunate encounter in a Santa Cruz motel room, one belated Valentine’s Day weekend a couple of years ago, that has left us mentally scarred by the ordeal. Let’s just say that we woke up with two bugs feasting on our face and several more scurrying about the sheets at, oh… 3:30 a.m. Needless to say, we got out of Dodge, pronto.
So when we were watching “Dogs 101” on Animal Planet the other night, we were very interested to learn about beagles that are trained to sniff out bedbugs.
Turns out, beagles aren’t the only pooches with a keen nose for sniffing out bedbugs. And after reading some back posts on bedbugs that were written here on AT, we noted that a few of you AT readers have hired companies that use bed bug sniffing dogs to find them nasty lil’ buggers.
Bedbug detecting dogs are trained over several months by exposing them to different odors, one of which is the odor of the bugs. Trainers place dead (or sometimes live) bedbugs in containers and hide them in rooms, where the dogs seek them out. When they are able to target the containers, they are given a reward of praise and/or treats.
We love this idea because you can actually pinpoint the areas in a home where these tiny bloodsuckers are hiding, without having to spray dangerous chemicals throughout your whole apartment or house. We’ve heard that one company in the Bay Area, Pestec, uses a bedbug sniffing dog detective. Has anyone had an experience with this company or any other one that uses dogs for bedbug patrol? Let’s hear your story.
For those of you who are wondering, we were lucky not to have brought any bedbugs back with us to our home from our unfortunate, and very unromantic, trip to Santa Cruz. We shook out all of our clothes and luggage and immediately drove back to the Bay Area where we laundered our clothing in very hot water and crossed our fingers for a few weeks that we hadn’t towed a few of those famous hitchhiking critters with us. We were lucky!
If you’re not so lucky, you can find more info on bedbugs at bedbugger.com.
Image by: cursedthing