There is a group of working dogs known as detection dogs, and there are many specific types of detection specialties. With the frequency of travel within the United States and to foreign countries, there has been a noticeable increase in concerns over bed bugs. Along with this problem came the need to find ways of detecting bed bugs without the harmful use of widespread pesticides. Since detector dogs can pin-point scents it became increasingly popular to use dogs to detect not only live bed bugs but bed bugs in there developmental stages as well. This way any treatment of the problem could be narrowed to the exact area needing treatment rather than the widespread potentially harmful fumigation and pesticide.
There is no special breed for bed bug detection. The best criteria is a happy dog who loves to work and hunt. The training is extensive and today these dogs are certified and usually are in the range of 98 percent accurate. Since their sniffing abilities are so keen, they can find hidden infestations and save time and money when it comes to treatment. More and more extermination companies are using this reliable resource to rid their customer’s problems.
The training of these dogs usually involves hiding vials of bed bugs in various stages of development as well as their fecal matter, and having the dogs pick up the scents, alert their handlers and get rewarded. This is similar to how other types of detection dogs are trained. The dogs become very focused on “the hunt”.
There has been a growth of new business opportunities in this specialty industry and mostly in North America. The need for this service ranges from residences to large hotels, and is serviced by private dog sniffing companies to partnering with extermination companies. Either way the dog doesn’t care about that – only about when the dog can get to work!