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Doubts Rise on Bedbug-Sniffing Dogs

It is more than obvious that we are facing the biggest bed bug epidemic that our generation has ever seen. It has affected households, movie theatres, retailers, schools and offices. If anyone has come out as more of a hero, it has been the bed bug sniffing dogs.

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Hotel Room

They are armed with the best tool out there, their noses. They are attentive, hard-working, and as through as they can be, or as they want to be. However dogs are temperamental animals, they can be moody, hungry and may sniff out the wrong things which may lead to a wrong assumption that there are bed bugs present.

Reports on bed bug infestation are on the rise which leads to a higher demand for bed bug sniffing dogs. Another complaint that has been on the rise are complaints from customers who say that the bed bug sniffing dogs are inaccurately detecting the presence of bedbugs. These bed bug sniffing dogs are priced at $11,000 and nevertheless dog trainers and sellers have beck orders until spring of 2011. There are fears that come up with these dogs only due to the fact that these bed bug sniffing dogs may harm their credibility and business.

There are a lot of pest control companies that are also frustrated with the dogs. They say that they follow these dogs around during the inspection and have come to realize that when these dogs detect the presence of bed bugs when they can’t find anything.



There was an incident in a building in New York City, where a dog detected the presence of bedbugs in a third of a 50 unit apartment building. However traces of bedbugs were found in only five units. One resident was being pressured by his board to get a $1500 treatment but he refused to get the treatment done since him nor his family had been bitten by bed bugs nor have they seen any traces of bed bugs.

Another victim on the Upper West Side said that her co-op board brought in a dog to inspect the premise for bed bugs and the dog detected that she had bed bugs in her apartment. She told them that neither she nor her husband had any bites. There was another inspector that was brought in and they didn’t detect any bed bugs at all. The sad part is that her condo spent thousands of dollars for units within to be treated, even those where bedbugs where not found.

Another customer paid $3,500 to exterminate her apartment after a bed bug sniffing dog detected the presence of bedbugs throughout their home in Brooklyn. They threw out close to 40 garbage bags full of clothes and baby toys that they thought to have been infested and their expensive Pottery Barn queen-size bed. But she continued to get bites, so she reached out to another exterminator who spent several hours carefully inspecting her bedroom, where she was getting bit. He found no traces of bedbugs.



She eventually figured out that it was rodent mites that she was getting bit by. The inspector said that the bedbug treatment that was don had probably killed some of the rodent mites, but failed to exterminate their breeding grounds that are located in the walls.

Experts on dogs say that there are many false positives that may result from lack of proper training of a dog or its owner. The dog may detect a different type of insect. The dog could simply be reacting to a cue from its handler, might be accidental, such as reaching for a treat to reward the dog, or, may be done on purpose..

Misleading alerts may also be made by the best trained dogs. The dogs might pick up on bedbug scents transmitted by clothes or wafting through ventilation from a neighboring apartment. Since the dogs cannot communicate verbally they cannot tell us the intensity of the infestation.

Hotel Room

Hotel Room

An apartment in New York City had bedbugs a year earlier; even though the bugs were exterminated, it is possible their scent remained and that’s why the dog detected presence of bed bugs and the exterminator didn’t find any.

If you ever have any bug related issues in New York City, feel free to call us either at Beyond Pest Control. Once again, and I can’t stress this enough we are on call twenty four hours a day seven days a week to kill those bugs, we aren’t kidding whether you call us at 9 am or midnight we will be available to take your call and either get rid of the bug infestation, or answer any questions you may have concerning the bug issue. I can honestly guarantee that there will be someone to answer that call. We make it our business to make you bug free!

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Our pest control specialists service all NYC boroughs, including Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island (both Nassau & Suffolk counties), Staten Island and even both Westchester & Rockland counties.