EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Action Pest Control recently hired two canines to assist its team in the fight against bed bugs. Indy and Izzy, both fox red retrievers, are trained to detect bed bugs in residential and commercial settings.
“Just in the same way dogs are used to detect drugs, bombs, cadavers, missing persons and more, Indy and Izzy are trained and certified in bed bug detection,” said Kevin C. Pass, entomologist and president of Action Pest Control. “Our dogs can locate bed bugs and their eggs with near 100 percent accuracy.”
When it comes to finding bed bugs, dogs rely heavily on olfaction, their sense of smell, rather than vision. With 44 times more olfactory receptors than humans, dogs have a clear advantage over visual inspections alone. “You and I may smell beef stew cooking, but dogs can smell the individual ingredients: the beef, broth, potatoes, and even the spices,” said Kirk Hayden, chief handler for Action. “The same rings true in the world of bed bugs. Our dogs can detect live bed bugs, their eggs, and the scent they leave behind.”
Bed bugs are notorious hiders and have been found in homes, hotel rooms, healthcare facilities, college dormitories, movie theaters, retail stores and elsewhere. “You can imagine how time consuming this can be for one or two individuals to locate bed bugs and their eggs, so it made sense for us to add the canine unit,” said Pass. “With Indy’s help, we can locate infestations before they get out of hand, saving both time and money.”