K9 Bed Bug Inspections

We get asked very often if we recommend K9 bed bug inspections. Quick answer is — it depends. Just like there are good/bad visual inspectors, there are good/bad K9 inspectors. The dogs defintiely are able to detect the odor of bed bugs. K9 inspection teams are more effective then visual inspection in settings such as large offices, school buildings, trains, and airplanes. The reason for this is because the K9 can cover a large amount of space in a small period of time. Understand that K9’s are not an ‘end all be all’. All K9 inspections should be followed up by a visual inspection.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you decide to use a K9 inspection team:
  1. Make sure the K9 is accredited by the NESDCA and has an up to date certificate.
  2. Ask the handler for certification as well. If the dog handler is not certified by the local pest control licensing agency, they should be. You want a licensed exterminator handling the dog, not a dog walker.
  3. Think of the K9 as a metal detector on the beach. If the metal detector beeps, the person will dig for the treasure. Usually they will either find something or not. If the dog “alerts” to a spot, make sure the handler inspects those spots. Bed bugs are not invisible. If the handler does not find anything where the K9 alerts, it could have been a false positive.
  4. Do not schedule a treatment unless you physically see bed bugs or bed bug evidence (fecal, cast skin, bugs).
  5. Try not to use a company that recommends treatments or performs treatments. Companies that perform K9 Inspections and also treat for bed bugs may have a conflict of interest. Try to use an inspection company that just performs inspections.
If your in the market for a bed bug inspection you can contact us for any advice or questions. We do not offer K9 inspections at this time because we feel as if visual inspections are the best way to find bed bugs in homes/apartments. A good seasoned professional would be able to find evidence of bed bugs within minutes in an apartment. Dogs are cute, but they cannot talk. So remember if the dog alerts to bed bugs, tell the handler show me the bug!

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