Why we don’t use dogs to detect bed bugs.
At Bed Bugs Limited we are committed to providing the highest possible levels of customer service and providing the best possible levels of service.We are sometimes asked if we use dogs to detect bed bugs.We answer is that we used to.
In 2008 we trained the first team of bed bug scent detection dogs in Europe.Running independent to our main services we outsourced the development to a K9 specialist who we funded to develop the system.While we achieved amazing results in commercial settings we never saw the benefits in a domestic setting and ultimately our human teams were faster and equally accurate.We ceased the service by 2010 and while we have worked with some amazing teams in the US we no longer do so in the UK.
Main reasons we dont use dogs to detect bed bugs
Understanding scent and how it moves through a room is hard enough to do when all the rooms are the same but to throw into the mix the smells and differences of peoples homes and nothing is really that standard.There are a lot of distracters and while a human can learn to take those into account its not possible to account for such things with dogs.
Even when a dog does alert to bed bugs the find MUST be confirmed by the handler or someone experienced at confirming bed bugs, this common sense rule is supported by academics, consumer advocates and appears as best practice for K9 use on our public information portal and yet this is often not adhered to my dog handlers.
There is conflicting research that indicates the efficiency of scent detection and while some teams can be accurate the generally claimed 98% accuracy has been long since debunked.Again this simple serves to reinforce the need to visually confirm any and all alerts.
We do advocate the use of trained dogs in non domestic settings such as screening a hotel prior to proactive system installation, public spaces or locations where human searching would not be feasible.We would recommend selecting teams that comply with the Bed Bug Foundation code of best practice.
In domestic settings our QC program of Passive+ Monitoring all cases ensures that even in the rare possibility of a missed bed bug we catch such false negatives by virtue of the way that we work.
We have also found that because of the way that bed bugs are introduced to commercial settings the frequency of inspections means that 12 – 52 annual visits would be required to offer the same level of assurance as we can for a much lower cost..Our patented technology and methods approach is also not subject to a bad day or fatigue and can be easily conducted as an in-house scheduled activity with full audit-able compliance.
To discuss your scheduled bed bug detection needs please contact us.