With the mounting incidence of bed bugs in homes, apartments and businesses, discovering them early removes the possibility of “infestations” from building. All public or high traffic businesses and multi-unit dwellings need to be doing regular inspections for bed bugs and here’s why:
LIKE TRYING TO FIND A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK
I’m sure at one time or another in your life you’ve heard the expression, “Like trying to find a needle in a haystack”, and that is exactly what it’s like trying to find a single bed bug introduction, small amounts or bed bugs eggs in any environment. The bed bug is like the needle and the environment is like the haystack.
That is why there are so many more infestations popping up all over. People may suspect a problem but can’t find evidence of such. It is then that they play the wait and see game and before long, a bed bug infestation has built and they are taking bed bugs with them to work and school or anywhere they go.
INSPECTING FOR BED BUGS
The truth is, no matter how hard we try as humans, our visual inspections pales in comparison to the remarkable scenting ability of a detection dog.
In early stages of bed bugs, or when they’re are first introduced, the size and reclusive nature of the bed bug places them in inaccessible areas where unless we had x-ray vision we just could not detect where they are hiding. In addition, human inspections require extensive knowledge of the bug, the use of a magnifying glass and a bright light to see in dark crevices, while tearing apart and disassembling furniture. This process is extremely time consuming in such that a person can expect a professional to be in their homes for well over an hour or more. Even after a careful examination, they still may not have found the area where they are hiding.
To give you an example, pretend you’re asked to hide a straight pin somewhere in your living room and ask a friend to find it. You could have pulled a cushion from your couch and penetrated it deep along a seam in the corner or behind the cardboard of a wall hanging or painting. Alternatively, maybe you slipped it through a crack behind the baseboard and it fell through. Finding it would literally take hours and in most cases, they would never find it!
Now, if they told you it was somewhere in the vicinity of the chair in the right-hand corner of the room, you could focus your efforts in a few square feet vs. inspecting the whole room and all its contents and it would cut your inspection time down. Again, just because you know the area doesn’t mean that you will find it if it is hidden behind that baseboard.
HUMAN INSPECTION vs. DETECTION DOG COSTS
Knowing that inspecting for bed bugs takes a tremendous amount of time to do it right, the cost for doing a proper inspection could range anywhere from one hundred dollars on up. A human inspector with around 35% accuracy couldn’t possible do a comprehensive inspection in fifteen to thirty minutes and can miss hide harborages easily leaving you with bed bugs unnoticed. On the other hand, although it may cost you a bit more, but detection dogs can sweep the same areas in a fraction of the time it takes a professional, have a much higher accuracy rate of 85-95% and show you exactly where the bugs are hiding for a much easier and efficient treatment.
Spending a little more money upfront will save you from expensive treatments later should they go unnoticed and build up to infestation levels!
HOW DETECTION DOGS DO IT
Luckily, bed bugs put off a scent, which these dogs are trained to detect. They pick up the scent cone and when they smell where bed bug’s hidden harborages are, they signal an alert of their find to the handler. This is especially valuable in early stages when treating for bed bugs stops infestations from building.
TREATMENT FOR BED BUGS
Because every insect has a different nature and tolerance to what we use to eliminate them, they require different treatment elimination processes. You need to find and verify the insect in question in order to know which treatment to use. (Treatment used for cockroaches doesn’t work for mosquitoes and so on)
Unlike many other insects, there is no preventative insect spray for bed bugs. Although the use of CimeXa in wall voids, electrical outlets and cracks and crevices has shown to be affective in stopping them from getting to far should they cross those barriers.
VERIFYING DETECTION DOG ALERTS
Before the application of any professional treatment, the industry requires verification of the insect at question. Once the dog alerts on a particular area, it is up to the handler to do a comprehensive inspection to expose evidence of the alert.
If they are not able to visually verify the dogs alert, it doesn’t mean the dog was wrong or that it was a false alert, it means that there may not be enough bed bugs to find visual evidence or that they are well hidden behind baseboards, in wall void or in places where they can’t see into or behind. This doesn’t mean they are not there. During this time, they will suggest monitoring for activity and reschedule an inspection at a later date.
On or off the job, these dogs are continually trained by their handlers using live bed bug specimens to keep them keen on the scent of live bed bugs or viable eggs.
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR WHEN CHOOSING A TEAM
In every industry, there are do-gooder’s and those who take advantage of others. Watch out for those who say they can sweep 70 to 100 rooms with one dog in a single day. Detection dogs require breaks for resting their nose, potty breaks and a snooze.
PEACE OF MIND
The most rewarding part of regular inspections is the peace of mind it gives you. Whether in your own home, business or multi-unit properties, regular bed bug detection dog inspections can help keep from infestations from ever happening!
Reach out to the IBBRA for a reputable detection dog team in your area. www.ibbra.org