Man’s best friend, the dog, is almost universally beloved. It’s no wonder that TikTok, Facebook, and almost every other social media outlet is filled with photos and videos of our furry friends- they’re downright adorable, and a lot of the time, they’re very smart too! Dogs do a lot for their human friends, too. They can be trained to be service dogs to help the disabled, they can be emotional support animals for those with mental illnesses, there seems to be no limit to what dogs can do. The list grows bigger when you add dogs’ latest venture to it- did you know that they can be trained to sniff out bed bugs?
It’s well-known that dogs have an excellent sense of smell. In fact, dogs’ sense of smell is approximately 45 times better than humans! Their great noses mean that they can detect bed bugs using their keen sense of smell. Bed bug sniffing dogs are great at detecting exactly where bed bugs are, instead of just the general area. They’re trained to sniff out and alert to bugs in small, tight, or well-hidden spots as well, so they can sometimes detect bed bugs better than humans can. Dogs’ noses work differently than ours, meaning that they can detect odors that are completely undetectable to human beings.
How Are They Trained?
Bed bug sniffing dogs go through quite a bit of training to receive their certification. Depending on the organization training the dogs, they may go through as many as 1,000 hours of rigorous training! Bed bugs emit specific pheromones that dogs can be taught to recognize. Their training involves teaching them the scent of bed bugs, then hiding the bed bugs among other substances and teaching them to sniff out that specific scent- similar to how drug-sniffing dogs are trained.
What Breeds Can Be Bed Bug Detection Dogs?
All dogs have a stronger sense of smell than humans do, but some breeds have better senses of smell than others. Beagles are commonly trained to be bed bug detection dogs. Not only is their sense of smell excellent, but their ears are also thought to help them trap smells in the air near their nose, increasing their accuracy. Beagles aren’t the only breed that’s especially talented at bed bug detection, Retrievers and Shepherds are frequently trained as bed bug-sniffing dogs as well.
How Accurate Are Bed Bug Detection Dogs?
When tested by researchers at the University of Florida, bed bug detection dogs have been found to be up to 97% accurate in detecting bed bugs! Unfortunately, in naturally infested apartments, as opposed to situations where the bed bugs were placed by researchers, the dogs’ accuracy tended to be lower. However, their senses of smell are still far stronger than humans’, so they’re likely to be better at detecting the bugs either way.
Are Bed Bug Detection Dogs Used In the Removal Process?
Since bed bug detection dogs are so good at sniffing out the pests, you might wonder if they’re also involved in the removal process. The short answer is that no, they’re not. The dogs’ job is to alert their human handlers (usually pest control experts) to the precise locations of the bed bugs. Their job is detection, not removal- that’s up to the humans! We need to know exactly where to focus when treating a home for bed bugs, and dogs can pinpoint that better than we can. Bed bug detection dogs are still working their way into the pest control world- they’ve only been trained since approximately 2011, so the science is still fairly new. However, research indicates a strong future for our canine friends in the bed bug detection industry.
Worried About Bed Bugs in Your Home?
COVID-19 has changed the way we live our lives recently, and it’s all happened fast. We want you to take comfort in the knowledge that Bed Bug Barbeque is still here for you and your family. If you think you have bed bugs or are interested in a home heat sanitation treatment, contact Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC in Lakewood, Ohio! We use heat treatment to eradicate bed bugs and we offer entire home sanitation heat treatments. This safe, effective treatment is completed in less than 12 hours, and Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC offers a 60-day warranty for you to verify for yourself that your bed bugs are fully eradicated. Though we are currently closed in compliance with Ohio’s Stay at Home Order, you can still contact Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC today for a FREE quote at (216) 221-1227 or through our website, and check out our other bed bug informational resources on identification, prevention, and eradication.