Wavy.com reported on February 4, 2013 that two schools in Portsmouth, Virginia were treated for bed bugs. Reports are that a student at the I.C. Norcom High School, complaining of itching, was found to have a bed bug on his/her person. School officials also confirmed that a similar incident also occurred at the Lakeview Elementary School the day prior.
Parents were then notified that both schools were treated for bed bugs over the weekend as a precautionary measure but no actual bed bugs were found creeping around the school. In addition, the school district immediately treated the three school buses that the affected students traveled upon and announced plans to treat the remaining 139 buses in the fleet over the following week.
Each of these steps that were taken appears to follow the typical protocol that many school districts are following throughout the United States when bed bugs are found in a school.
Fast forward 10 days…
Perhaps bed bugs might just be lurking in the I.C. Norcom High School after all. Wavy.com reported on February 14, 2013 that students report seeing boxes labeled “Bed bug kit” in their classrooms and teachers suited up in protective suits after two more students were found to have bed bugs on their person. No students were given protective gear to wear, but they were given plastic bags in which they were told to carry around all of their belongings in throughout the school day to avoid picking up or transmitting potential bed bugs. Reports are that the school was not treated for bed bugs this time as a precautionary measure because no bed bugs were found upon inspection over the weekend. It’s not surprising to learn that the students are a bit freaked out by the teachers wearing protective bed bug suits and the bed bug situation within their school.
There’s no word if a bed bug sniffing dog was used for either inspection by the pest management company that was hired by the school district. Bed bugs are tiny, elusive, and experts at hiding in any type of location. A high school is a large territory to cover with many hiding places. A good bed bug sniffing dog would be able to root the bloodsuckers out in no time at all.
I have been lucky enough to stay in many high priced hotels in my lifetime. The knowledge about the resurgence of bed bugs has likely afforded me from taking the bloodsuckers home with me over the years. Two years ago while staying in a pricey hotel in Philadelphia I performed my typical hotel room inspection for bed bugs. The room was spectacular and cleaned to perfection. No signs of bed bugs. As is always my routine when looking for bed bugs, I work from the walls, searching every nook and cranny to the bed (my last stop).
As I peeled back the beautiful Egyptian cotton bedding, at the foot of the bed, there was a strange gathering of unidentifiable material. It looked oddly like someone had eaten a pile of chocolate chip cookies, not like typical bed bug fecal matter. As I collected the material with my tweezers and ran the tweezers along the stitching of the mattress, I was surprised to dislodge five live bed bugs of various sizes. Needless to say, I gathered my bugs and fecal matter and headed off for a conversation with the hotel manager.
Despite me just leaving the room, and even with the live bed bugs in hand, the manager insisted that they call a bed bug sniffing dog in to confirm the whereabouts of the infestation. The dog and handler would not arrive until the following day, which gave the existing bed bugs time to move on to another room due to the delay in treatment of the pests. Incidentally, the bed bug sniffing dog did indeed confirm the exact location of the bed bugs in the bed once he arrived.
Please check back on Friday for the conclusion.
They don’t fly, and they can’t leap over a building in a single bound. They don’t have x-ray vision, nor do they super human strength. They don’t travel at superhuman speed, but they do have a superhuman sense of smell! Bed bug sniffing dogs are going wild this summertime season helping NYC and NJ pest control professionals find bed bugs in hotels, motels, colleges, and businesses. Locating the bed bugs before renters, patrons, or students discover the pests is always a top priority for these furry superheroes.
Bed bug sniffing dogs are superhuman when it comes to sniffing out bed bug infestations. They can detect the smallest infestation of live or dead bed bugs. They are also able to detect bed bug fecal matter and shed skins. According to an article in the August 2012 OrlandoMagazine.com publication, recent testing was done on the accuracy of bed bug sniffing dogs at the University of Florida. Bed bug sniffing dogs had a 98% accuracy rate at finding their targets.
According to nbc4i.com on August 3, 2012, Dominican University in Ohio is relying on the nose of a 2 year old beagle. Ranger’s job is to find any bed bug infestations that exist within the campus prior to the arrival of any students. The school is hoping to avoid having students bitten by bed bugs like they were last year when school first began. It should be noted that it would be a good idea to have Ranger sniffing out each of the incoming student’s luggage pieces as you never know who may be harboring bed bugs in their own belongings. It takes only one pregnant bed bug to eventually infest an entire dorm, classroom, cafeteria, lounge, laboratory, etc.
Dogs are known as “man’s best friend” for many reasons. Besides providing protection and companionship, canines of all varieties have been helpful to humans in their hunt for food sources for thousands of years.
Modern day working dogs aid law enforcement as they hunt for fugitives, drugs, guns, and bombs. They have also been trained to find mold, termites, and cancer in humans. Recognizing the benefits of using a nose that is far more sensitive than a mere human nose, in recent years canines have been tasked with learning how to root out bed bugs as well. Their incredible sense of smell allows the extensively trained dog to find live or dead bed bugs and bed bug eggs in all types of environments.
A dog’s olfactory ability far exceeds that of a human. Canines have over 300,000 million scent receptors, whereas humans have approximately 5 million. Where humans smell nothing, a dogs intense sense of smell is forty times greater than a human. Depending on the breed, it is estimated that a canine can identify smells that are 1,000 to 10,000 better than humans.
Bed bug sniffing dogs have been used with success in homes, businesses, hospitals, apartments, and most recently many were used to find the massive amount of bed bugs that had infested many college dorms at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Stop by our website to learn more about our bed bug sniffing dog service as well as our other bed bug services that are available. We offer a variety of services and products to help combat your bed bug infestation quickly and accurately.
Continuing from Wednesday…
If bed bugs are found, treatment must be completed to the unit and all of the surrounding units as well. PHAs may offer special services to tenants such as inspecting furniture, non-chemical treatment of furniture prior to moving into a unit, the use of bed bug detection devices or mattress encasements, but tenants are not required to use the services. All special services must be incurred at the expense of the PHA.
Public Housing Agencies cannot deny residency to tenants who have had previous bed bug experiences. Preferential treatment may not be provided to tenants based upon their response to the question regarding exposure to bed bugs. Any person who lives in a HUD owned Public Housing Unit cannot be charged for bed bug eradication services. All costs for bed bug eradication must be covered by the PHA.
Recognizing that tenants have some responsibility in controlling bed bugs, tenants must also take an active role in avoiding and eliminating the pests.
In the regulation, “tenants are strongly encouraged to immediately report the suspicion of possible bed bugs in a housing unit or other areas of the property.” This should be a REQUIREMENT, not an encouragement! Bed bugs spread very quickly. It is imperative that pest control professionals be called at the first sign of a bed bug infestation.
Tenants will not be reimbursed for bed bug infested items so it is important for them to cooperate and aid in the eradication process. When bed bugs are concerned, tenants, PHAs and pest control professionals must all work together for full eradication.
Public Housing Agencies and Pest Control Professionals are encouraged to keep abreast of the new HUD guidelines by reading Notice: PIH-2012-17 provided by HUD.