Q. How long does an inspection take?
A. Depends upon the situation, and the quality of prep. We can be a couple of minutes per bedroom for a general screening or we can take a bit longer in a post treatment situation.
Q. Can the dogs smell a single bug or eggs?
A. Yes. I have seen this happen many times. But it can be much more difficult. Location of the bug and recent movement are a couple of the more important variables to successful detection.
Q. Do the bugs travel on you or the dog between units?
A. Theoretically Possible, but not very likely at all. Bedbugs are not interested in a host in motion. They turn into little water balloons after feeding and are very fragile. Also, their flat shape makes getting a meal through the hair of a dog much more difficult, so they are not attracted to them.
Q. What is it about the bugs that the dogs smell? Blood? Feces?
A. Bugs communicate chemically, with pheromones. It’s these “trails” the dogs pick up and follow back to harborage. It’s very likely that there is a combination of odors that the dogs attach a chemical signature to and we train this to be their play time.
Q. Why can’t we be in the unit with you and the dog?
A. We can’t force you to leave your unit, but we highly recommend you do. Your presence can interfere with the vital communication between dog and handler. We are happy to put on a demonstration at any time, but let us do our job for YOU! Remember…we go into unit after unit, all day long and keeping the dog’s attention can be exceedingly challenging.
Q. Why is my bed/unit disturbed?
A. A good handler trusts their dog, but double checks results. Often this means examining the mattress or bedding and requires us to pull sheets. A solid professional provides visual inspection as well.
Q. Why do we have to prepare our unit; won’t the dog find them anyway?
A. Possibly, but we don’t want our dogs walking over people’s belongings. Food and other human distractions dramatically affect the quality of inspections we can give, because we have to regain the dogs focus. Can be pretty difficult to a dog working all day with fried chicken in the garbage or on the coffee table.
Q. Why do we have to move our bed?
A. Easy one. Access. Not everyone wants a dog on their bed, so we need to be able to go around it if possible. There are all kinds of unseen variables in detection work, and by removing as many as possible and allowing access we increase our success dramatically.
Q. Do dogs alert to dead bugs?
A. Not after a couple of days…if you remove them from the environment they were in. However, this is rarely accomplished in the field. Dogs don’t find the bugs per say instead they find the odor that bugs create when they are alive, and different materials hold onto odor for different lengths of time. I use ‘your house smells like you whether your home or not’ to a dog to relate this principle.
Q. Why do you wait 30 days to do a follow up inspection?
A. After a bed bugs death, their odor can linger up to 30 days. It really depends on the material that was inhabited by bed bugs.