Rentokil Pest Control has launched its Bed Bug Dog Detect service. This is in response to a surge in bed bug inquiries that are up 65 percent since last year, per reporting done by the Crawley, United Kingdom-based pest management firm.
The Bed Bug Dog Detect service utilizes the senses of highly trained canine partners to provide effective monitoring to businesses with a potential bed bug infestation. Using a backpack vacuum, trained technicians collect an air sample from (for example) a hotel room. The sample is then sent to the dogs who are able to detect any bed bug activity in the room from the scent of the live bed bugs in the air sample alone. This ability to detect early bed bug activity helps ensure that a bed bug infestation can be tackled before it escalates. There are also minimal disruptions to the businesses being tested, as the technicians are not required to enter a room fully in order to collect a sample, and can do this from the door alone.
Like the dogs used by airport security, the police and military to sniff out drugs, money and explosives, bed bug detection dogs go through rigorous training, which involves being exposed to the scent of live bed bugs, which emit unique pheromones. Labrador retrievers, German shepherds, beagles and Belgian shepherds are the breeds often used as sniffer dogs. Their noses use approximately 200 million scent receptors to differentiate smells.
“These canine detectives are highly accurate at detecting bed bugs, and can do so in areas that might be challenging for humans to access or inspect thoroughly,” Paul Blackhurst, head of technical academy at Rentokil Pest Control, said in the news release. “They are particularly useful in large buildings and hotels where bed bug infestations can quickly spread if not detected early.”