I am nearing the end of my Bedbug Detective training here in sunny, and muggy, Florida at the renowned Florida K-9 Training Academy. As usual, I appreciate you, my loyal “dog-blog” fans, for tuning in to my weekly blog, “What’s Buggin’ You” for an updated report on what’s been happening here from week to week. It has been a tough journey but very rewarding. I have learned so much about bedbugs, their life cycle, their habits, and most importantly how to detect their presence in a residential dwelling, hotel, or anywhere the hungry little bloodsuckers may hide waiting for an opportunity for a human blood meal.
It will be my job, when I get back to Richmond and start back to work with my family business Loyal Termite and Pest Control, to go out on daily appointments with Daddy Nick, Mama Gena, or whomever may be my handler for that appointment, and be direct and very efficient and sniff out bedbugs in whatever stage of their life cycle they may be in. My job is to detect the problem, and then we at Loyal will treat it. The bottom line is to illuminate the misery a bedbug infestation can cause a family or a business owner.
I want to share with you some of the amazing facts I have learned about my and other detection dog’s ability to smell and how incredible our talents really are. When I came down here for Termite Detective School several years ago our trainers did not share many of these facts with us. Since bedbug detection is a bit more complicated than termite detection, I thought you would appreciate understanding why I am so proud to have the god given skills that are so valuable to our company and our customers.
- For dogs, a scent article is like a three-dimensional “odor image” – much more detailed than a photograph is for a person.
- Dogs can track a scent through snow, air, mud, water, and even ash.
- A properly trained and certified detection dog is recognized in court as a “scientific instrument”.
- Dogs are extremely good at discriminating a target vapor from non-target vapors that are also present, even at relatively high concentrations of non-target odors. (Read in prior blogs how the trainers tried to trick us)
- When being trained to detect a substance, dogs learn to alert to one or two of its most abundant vapor compounds. (Remember I said termite pheromones have a sweet like smell, where bedbugs have more of a musty smell)
- Dogs can easily learn as many as ten odor discriminations.
- Dogs will find bedbugs in areas that humans can not inspect.
- Dogs are 98.9% effective at finding all stages of bed bugs including eggs (size of a pinhead + eggs are 90% of an infestation). Humans frequently find adult stages and miss eggs. Note: Last week I found a single bedbug egg in a blind 4 room mock exercise (I was the only one in the class to find the egg) Hunter strikes again!!
- Dogs can detect bedbugs inside furniture/walls/objects; humans can not do this unless they have x-ray vision.
You can see now why I am so excited to get back to work. I really miss going out in the field with Daddy Nick and sniffing out termites. When I get back I’m going to be the only dual-threat (Termite and Bedbug) Detective in our Region. You know I am going to be walking around Richmond with my little chest poking out ready to take on all termites and now bedbugs that are Buggin’ our Loyal customers. What a proud little Hunter I am!!
I’ll be howling loud and clear; When it comes to termite and pest control, Hunter says, “If you got ’em, we’ll get ’em.!!”
I’ll be barking at you later; Ruff! Ruff!
Hunter’s Florida Training Academy Update – We Dogs Have an Amazingly Sensitive Sense of Smell in Virginia
Serving the Henrico and Richmond VA area since 1960