Dogs and Bed Bugs: Using Certified Canines to Detect Infestation

When testing your home for a bed bug infestation, a high level of accuracy is vital. Dogs are perfect for targeting bed bugs, because dogs have higher accuracy than human pest control inspections.

Why Is This Important?

Bed bugs prefer to hide in structures like walls, cracks and crevices. Once these spots are full, they will make their way to your mattress and other personal belongings. If you don’t notice the bed bugs until they are in your bed, then they have had several weeks to grow in population and find structural places to hide. They will also attach to your clothes or luggage. When traveling, it is recommended that you throw your clothes in the washer as soon as you return home. The heat will kill the bed bugs that have attached to your clothes and will help prevent your home from being infected.

Hiring Dogs to Inspect for Bugs

Dogs that are used for bed bug detection go through a similar training process to that given to canines that are used for bomb detection, search, and rescue. The dogs are trained to find live bed bugs in your home. Check to see what certification the dog has before hiring for your home inspection. Some reputable third-party certifications for dogs and bed bugs are IBBMA, NESCDCA, and WDDO. You should also ask for the stats of the particular dog and its success rate. Bed bug canines are trained for a minimum of 16 hours each month to maintain high accuracy.

Why Not Use a DIY Treatment?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention warns people to not use pesticides to treat bed bugs. The products that are available on the market for bed bug infestations contain chemicals that are unlikely to reach all the bugs in the cracks and crevices of your home. Up to 95% of the bed bugs may also be resistant to these chemicals. Pesticides are harmful to humans. These products are cheaper than hiring a certified canine to inspect your home, but they are not a realistic alternative to ridding your home of a bed bug infestation.

Photo: Flickr

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