Dogs may be man’s best friend, but they’re not nearly as accommodating to bed bugs. Canine patrols have become the latest field agents in the war against the recent spread of bed bug infestations in NYC and across the country.
A dog’s secret weapon
If you’ve ever noticed how quickly your pet reaches your side when you’re eating, you’re well aware of a dog’s finely tuned sense of smell. The average canine has 200 to 250 million scent receptors in its nose, which dwarfs the human total of 5 million. Even sensitive scientific equipment cannot duplicate the superior scenting ability of dogs.
The nose is quicker than the eye
Once a dog has been trained, it can enter a room and detect bed bug infestations within two to three minutes. Its nose provides a quicker indicator than the efforts of human technicians, who are restricted to visual evidence. A manual search of a home or building can take hours.
Early detection of bed bugs can keep a minor nuisance from becoming a major problem. Our technicians at Stern Environmental Group use state-of-the-art, eco-friendly methods to find and eliminate bed bugs in your NYC home or business. Visit our website to learn more about why we are the preferred solution for extermination and control of bed bugs and other nuisance insects and wildlife.
According to the New York Department of Housing and Historic Preservation, New York City has experienced close to an 800% increase in bed bug cases since 2008. Bed bugs are also a major problem in New Jersey and elsewhere.
So far this year New York City has received 13,153 violations. It’s been estimated that about 10% of the violations come from college dorms. Besides the irritating skin rashes produced by bed bug bites, people are also tossing out some of their favorite clothes and other possessions they suspect contain the odious bed bugs. One college student tossed out $800 dollars worth of clothing.
What can college officials and dorm residents do about bed bugs? Well, some colleges have been using the services of bed bug detection dogs. These knights in shining fur are far superior to humans when it comes to detecting bed bugs and their eggs. They can actually smell the difference between live bed bugs and dead bed bugs. You could gather together the brightest minds from MIT and they wouldn’t have a chance at competing with bed bug sniffing dogs.
Bed bug-sniffing dogs are the latest weapon in the bed bug-fighting arsenal. But how do you know whether “Killer” really knows his stuff? If you’re considering hiring a “bed bug dog,” exercise a little caution and common sense.
The average dog has 200 to 250 million scent receptors in its nose; a man has only 5 million. A dog’s nasal membranes cover about 7 square meters, compared to a human’s puny half meter. A dog’s scenting ability is so sensitive it can smell things that can’t be detected by the most sensitive scientific instruments. Its sensitivity to odors is 10 to 100 times greater than man’s, depending on the dog and its training.
And that’s the key. Any dog can be billed as a bed bug hunter and how would we nose-challenged humans know the difference? The National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association has begun certifying bed bug dogs. Before you hire, ask:
Is the dog certified?
Can it differentiate between living and dead bugs?
Can it sniff out eggs?
How are the dog’s findings validated?
Remember, finding bed bugs is just the first step. Exterminating them is what’s important.