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Why Bed Bug Dog Inspections Are Necessary

bed bug dogIf you’re worried that you have bed bugs in your home, you can look for them yourself. But this method is unsuccessful more often than not. Even pest-control professionals have trouble spotting bed bugs, which instinctively hide in places where human eyes can’t pry.

Dogs don’t need to see bed bugs. With their sensitive canine noses—which detect odors in parts per trillion—they quickly smell the nasty critters. That’s why bed bug experts use dogs specially trained to show them where the bed bugs are hiding. According to research by the University of Florida, bed bug dog inspections find infestations almost 100 percent of the time.

Reducing Pesticide Use 

It’s not just that dogs can confirm an infestation; it’s that they can pinpoint it. This allows bed bug removal specialists to target their treatment, minimizing the area that needs to be sprayed. With a bed bug dog, you don’t have to blast your entire residence with pesticide.

Getting the Eggs Too

Dogs can smell bed bugs of all life stages. This is important because different treatments are used for eggs than for already-hatched bed bugs. Without a bed bug dog inspection, there’s a risk that undiscovered eggs will hatch after the treatment.

Doing What Comes Naturally

If you’ve ever seen a dog following a smell (e.g., food), you know they aren’t easily deterred by obstacles and are intently focused on their goal.  And their relatively small size allows them to follow the scent into places humans couldn’t even go, such as wall gaps or small spaces between furniture. This agility is particularly important in detecting the notoriously elusive bed bug.

bed bug nest

Bed Bug Nest In New York City Apartment

What to expect from a bed bug dog inspection:

The idea of parasites in your home is enough to make a person squirm. Now just imagine that they’re waiting in the shadows for you to fall asleep. Once you do, it’s feeding time. They engorge themselves on your blood and you wake with redness and itching where the bed bug made a meal out of you.

This is why an inspection is so important. Before you start spraying pesticides or burning your clothes like a crazy person, you must first figure out where the bed bugs are hiding. A less traditional method that is quickly gaining in popularity is to have a bed bug dog inspection.

A dog’s nose knows…

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, far better than any human. This is why they’re used by law enforcement to sniff out drugs, bombs, and other dangerous materials. And now they’re being trained to help homeowners protect their homes in a much different way … in the form of bed bug detection.

Their accuracy in detecting bed bugs is much higher than a person’s. Some studies show that a canine’s accuracy in detection is nearly four or five times higher than your average joe. That’s because we feeble humans don’t have a great sense of smell when compared to dogs, so we must rely on sight. Unfortunately, since bed bugs hide in every crack and crevice they can find, we will only be able to find a fraction of them.

bed bug dog sniffing for bed bugs

The Bed Bug Inspectors’ Bed Bug Dog

The inspection begins…

So what happens during a bed bug dog inspection? It’s quite simple actually. Any type of dog can be trained to sniff out bed bugs, but most likely, something like a Labrador retriever or beagle will be brought in. This dog will have gone through extensive training and testing to ensure that its bed bug detection skills are topnotch.

As soon as the dog is inside your house, it will immediately get to work.

A pest control professional will lead the dog around your home. The bed bug dog inspection will be conducted in every room. No stone will be left unturned. Closets will be checked, furniture will be inspected, and even clothes will be sniffed out.

If the dog detects any bed bugs in a certain location, he or she will let the professional know. That person will make a note of it so that when removal of the bed bugs is set to begin, every infested location will be cleared.

Choosing The Right Bed Bug Dog NYC Company

When choosing a bed bug dog inspection company it is important to choose the best company to get the job done correctly.

The New York City area has more than 20 bed bug dog inspection companies and thousands of licensed pest control professionals. The common secret is that not all of the companies have equal quality and are well trained in managing bed bugs.

There are a few notable groups that give certifications to bed bug dog inspection companies in NYC and across the country.  The following organizations are recognized by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA):

  •  Integrated Bed Bug Management Association (IBBMA)
  •  National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association (NESDCA)
  • World Detector Dog Organization (WDDO)

If you’re in the New York City area, you should limit your choices to a bed bug dog inspection company that is certified by one of these organizations. This would mean that the handler and the dog have passed a regulatory exam that meets the standards of the NPMA.

bed bug in carpet

Bed Bug In Carpet

The next thing you should look for is independence. I started The Bed Bug Inspectors in 2009 and it was the first independent bed bugs dog inspection company in NYC.

The vision was to be able to give our clients an unbiased, no-conflict of interest opinion. There are a lot of great companies that have dogs and offer pest control services. But like any industry, there are also quite a few companies with a bad reputation.

Questions for Your NYC Bed Bug Dog Inspection Company

When selecting a bed bug dog inspection company, do your research and get answers to a specific list of questions before making a hiring decision. This will help ensure the highest level of service.

Tips To Pick Bed Bug Dog Inspection Company

In addition to seeking referrals or advice from others who have used a bed bug dog inspection company, ask each firm under consideration to answer a few specific questions before you sign on the dotted line to help you narrow, and ultimately make, your selection:

    1. Do you solely offer inspections specifically or do you offer pest control services as well? The bed bug dog inspection provider should only offer inspection services and be independent of any company that offers pest removal or control services. Otherwise, a conflict of interest may result in unnecessary pest control recommendations.  If pest control is advised, the inspection company should be able to make independent recommendations in this regard.
    2. Will the price vary based on circumstance or do you simply charge a flat fee for inspection services? While special or unusual circumstances may require individualized pricing, flat fees are also commonplace and can be quoted in advance. This allows you to ascertain the actual charge for budgeting – and also comparison shop – before making the hiring decision.
    3. What memberships do you have with national, state, and/or local professional associations? Membership in these associations requires specific ethical business practices and management processes, which provides a higher probability that you’ll be working with a quality company.
  1. Are your dog teams NESDCA certified? NESDCA is a certifying organization assuring the highest quality standards of Scent Detection Canines.
  2. Will you provide a written inspection report? This type of service offering suggests that the bed bug inspection company is confident enough to put its findings in writing and is willing to go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction.

Learn More about bed bug dogs



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