A Dog’s Nose Knows: Dogs that Search for Termites and Bed Bugs
Renae Hamrick, RVT
Sniff, sniff.... Sniff, sniff..... Fido is on a new trail. He can detect drugs and bombs, he can locate missing people and cadavers, and now Fido has a nose for bugs! Watch out termites and bed bugs, there is a talented detective after you!. Using only their noses, these talented, bug-sniffing dogs can locate pesky termites and bed bugs with speed and accuracy.
J and K Canine Academy (http://www.jkk9.com/termite.html) in High Springs, Florida is one of six facilities in the world working to train dogs in the detection of insects. They are recognized as the leaders in this field and the only scientifically proven termite detecting training facility. Owner, Pepe Peruyero, is a former police officer who worked with canine units. His experience in this field gave him the idea to start this business. With the help of the University of Florida's Department of Entomology, Peruyero has made his academy a huge success.
Both bed bugs and termites are tiny, pesky critters which can be tough to identify and eliminate. Termites can cause a lot of damage to one's home, and bed bugs are simply disgusting, as they live hidden in your home (often in your bed) and feed on your blood. Because these bugs are personal invaders, those concerned that they are victims of an infestation are eager for a quick, accurate diagnosis. For this reason, these bug-detecting dogs are invaluable.
These bug-sniffing dogs are often purchased by individuals looking to start a bug detections business. The dogs go for approximately $8,500, and the buyer must take a 5 day course on bug-detecting dog handling. J and K confirms that the handler and the dog are 100% accurate in bug inspections before the dog is released.
J and K's dogs are hired by concerned homeowners, colleges, hotels, camps, hospitals, apartment complexes, etc. The dogs' work can quickly alert the presence of bed bugs or termites so that treatment can be initiated as soon as possible, or a negative search can deliver peace of mind and eliminate the need for costly, chemical preventatives.
The dogs enter the search area, inspect the premises, and can alert to a bed bug find within two to three minutes. They can identify live bed bugs, dead bed bugs, eggs, and bed bug fecal matter! Their superb olfactory talents make them able to find even the smallest traces of this disgusting creepy crawlies.
When searching for termites, they go a step beyond your everyday human inspector. When an inspector finds no termite damage, a dog can deliver a second opinion and can alert a positive termite inspection by catching the scent of a live termite!
Why would someone choose to hire a dog vs. the traditional human inspector or exterminator? A dog can use his nose to provide a quicker, more-accurate inspection of even large areas, such as hotels. In these businesses, where cleanliness and hospitality are their livelihood, absolute accuracy in bug detection is crucial. And these dogs deliver.