Below is a story about a woman who hired pest control companies like Terminix, Orkin and others to help her find bed bugs and in the end, it was the bed bug sniffing dog that solved the problem!
It’s a must read for those that think they have bed bugs but are told by exterminators they don’t! Thank you Mimi for sharing your story:
My nightmare started exactly 2 weeks ago today. That is when I caught my first bed bug on my body around 2 am. I feel “lucky” that I caught the little *#%@ because I had suspected there may have been an issue a couple of weeks prior but could not find any of the evidence in my room or on/around my bed, sheets, box springs, night stands, curtains, picture over my bed, light sockets, etc.
Late November I had to go to Cincinnati for business and about 2 weeks later I received my first “spider” bite. It was the worst bite I have ever experienced! Red, extremely itchy, and swollen. About a week later, low and behold, I got another spider bite. a few days later 3 in a row on my elbow. I even went to my doctor because my boyfriend said it looked like MRSA. After the Dr swabbed the infected area, I told him I thought it could be bed bugs. He said Mimi, you do not have bed bugs.
Well, a week later is when I caught the thing red handed biting me in the middle of the night. That night it woke me up because my neck was itching so badly. I got up to see what was wrong with my neck when I spotted her on my white t-shirt. I freaked when I caught it because blood squished out of it’s body! That’s when I knew what the hell I had. I put her in a plastic container and looked up images on the internet.
Terminix Bed Bug Extermination Fees
The next day I had Terminix come out to inspect my home. After inspection he said he could not find evidence of bed bugs. I then showed him my container and he said “Yep, that’s a bed bug alright!” Even though he could not find evidence until I handed it to him on a silver platter, he said well, you definitely have bed bug eggs and I can treat your house for $1,150. I also had to sign a 1 year contract to have my house sprayed for the following 12 months in addition to the $1150.
Orkin Extermination Fees
I next called Orkin. That guy said if the Terminix guy identified the bed bug in my container, then he would be happy to treat my home for $1,000. This is sight unseen as he wouldn’t even come to my home since I told him another company had come out.
OPC Pest Control
I next called OPC because they treat using thermal radiation (Heating the house). I did not let him know about having a competitor check my home 2 days prior.
This guy did a very thorough inspection and also could not find evidence until I showed him my “trophy” in the plastic container.
Bed Bug Sniffing Dogs – Worked!
So next I called this guy in northern Ky who has dogs that smell live bed bugs and their eggs. His dogs identified only 1 bag that contained my down comforter (I madly cleaned, vacuumed and bagged everything the day I found the bed bug).
I also threw out my comforter that the dogs identified, bagged the rest of the bedding, encased bed, box spring, and pillow sprayed Rest Easy, and put glue traps around the legs of my bed.
15 Bites = 6 Bed Bugs
Broke down my whole bed and vacuumed every crack and crevice of my furniture and light socket. I have been vigilant in my search for bed bugs, exoskeletons, larvae, and eggs but still cannot find anything except for that one bed bug I caught. I know that there must have been more than that one as I had 15 bites on my neck 2 weeks ago.
The dog guy said there were probably about 6 bugs that night on my neck to cause that many bites. The guy with the dogs said the one I caught was a female so I am waiting to see what happens in the nest 2 weeks.
It’s been 2 weeks today since my last bite but I still wake every night with nightmares of bed bugs crawling on my neck. I wake myself up scratching my neck but, thank god no bites….yet! I am going crazy
I think I have caught this early and if I have total faith in the dogs, only my comforter was compromised but time will tell!
Wish me luck and I wish all of you luck as well as this is the most emotionally devastating experience I have gone through to date.
I am “ate up” with this bed bug thing and can’t sleep even though I have been bite free for 14 days now. This is a crazy, all consuming event in my life right now, as you all know!
A bit about the Bed Bug Sniffing Dog
The dog service was $360. For me it was worth it as I feel his dogs are well trained and were invaluable in helping to find their location in my house! I am keeping my fingers crossed as it’s been 3 weeks since I realized I had bed bugs and no bites!
He had two dogs. The first dog he called “the sweeper”. She is a black lab and she indicated the plastic garbage bag I had put my comforter in the night I found a bed bug. (He had opened all the black plastic garbage bags that I stuffed all bedding into so the dogs could get a whiff of them).
The second dog, a terrier, was brought in after the first dog and he said was his pin point dog also only indicated on the same bag. Both dogs went through the whole house (3 levels) and all closets, dresser drawers, and my car.
He lives 1 1/2 hours away from me so my charge was reflected in my bill. He had been a pest control specialist in the Cincinnati area before he got into training these dogs and he is very knowledgeable about bed bugs as he has had a lot of experience in the Cincinnati area.
I was a little skeptical at first but he told me there is no guarantee but, he has a lot of confidence in his dogs. As of now, I do as well!
Dogs Detect an Insects Pheromone
Another story for those unsure about hiring a dog to investigate sniff out the bed bugs. According to the article ‘Dog trained to sniff out bedbugs’ by Eric Robinette from the Middletown Journal (Middletown, Ohio) Belinda Hurley, a Franklin Municipal Court’s probation officer, had Bella the Labrador retriever trained to detect bedbugs, find the little pests in her own home. Gary Broberg, a dog trainer, is Bella’s owner and says that the insects give off a pheromone that Bella can smell. So just like a dog can be trained to detect drugs they can be trained to detect bedbugs.
So how much does hiring a dog to determine if you have a bedbug problem cost? In Bella’s case it runs anywhere from $250 to $800, depending on the size of the building. Is it worth spending the extra cash to hire a dog? According to Broberg Bella can offer assurance that insecticides can’t. A direct quote from Broberg from the article says: ‘…they could be hiding in cracks and crevices, but a dog will let you know if they’re there or not.’
Hurley defiantly was looking for that extra assurance, as she found Bella through law enforcement connections. Despite already having pest control in her home, Hurley wanted Bella to double check the situation and expressed her faith in canines. For some people paying the extra cash for a canine to detect bedbugs is well worth the price. It just may allow them to sleep better at night knowing that they are 100% bedbug free. After all say the pest control missed some of those bugs, say about 40 of them, just give it a mere six months and you’ll have over 5,905 of the little unwanted guests!
Discussions about Dogs that Sniff out Bed Bugs
we just moved in to this new home…and recently we’ve been waking up with fresh bites on our legs…not to long ago i woke up with about 9 bites on both my legs..they itch sooo much..I hate bedbugs sooo much, they bring so much trouble to our home…we are forced to by awful smelling chemicals in order to eliminate them but we cant seem to get rid of those awful things..please HELP US!!!!
it seems to me the dog is a waste of money . I remember the day the man knock on my apt door wanting to let the dog sniff for bugs when I had samples I was able to show him . I notice that by the time you realize you have bed bugs the infestation has been going on for quite awhile.
we got a dog in to sniff out the bed bugs. It was bang on and after having a pest control company tread our house I am considering getting the dog in again just to see if everything is gone…
My heart goes out to everyone who is suffering. I just recently accepted a position as a dog handler. The dog is a bed bug detection canine. I have been in the position for about the last 3 weeks, since September 16, 2010. I have learned a lot and am anxious to learn more. My company is dedicated to becoming part of the solution to the growing bed bug epidemic in the greater Seattle area.
I do know that Diatomaceous Earth will not work for a serious infestation of bed bugs. If you have seen more than a couple of live bed bugs, then I would consider that a serious infestation. Bed bugs love to hide in cracks and crevices in the mattress, headboard, baseboards and behind electrical outlets. If you are noticing bugs… there are definitely more hiding.
Heat treatment works but is very expensive. A company will come to your home and with hoses and propane or electricity will heat your apartment to above 120 degrees. 115 degrees is lethal to BB. The process takes around six hours or so for any apartment or small house.
Good luck to everyone.
Bed Bugs are making a major resurgence in the United States. Bed bugs not only hide in beds, but can make their way behind walls, under carpet, and inside of TV’s, phones and computers. Our certified bed bug dogs have the ability to find bed bugs and their eggs in very hard to see places. Research has shown that these highly trained dogs have 98% accuracy in their detection of bed bugs in all their stages of growth.
Stop the spread of infestation with early detection. Our dogs will show exactly where the problems exist so that rooms can be isolated and treated. Regular checks with our dogs will help hotels, apartments and commercial buildings keep these pests at bay. Even the individual homeowner may want confirmation of a bed bug problem, before thousands are spent on extermination. We are not associated with exterminators, therefore eliminating any conflict of interest.
During our bed bug inspections, we transmit immediate, real-time data providing the exact location of any “finds” to the facility. At the end of our inspection, we provide a certificate stating that the property has been screened for bed bugs by a certified bed bug dog.
We are a family owned business detectdog. com and each handler has been certified in bed bug detection, and each dog carries a bed bug detection certificate.
Picking the right dog is crucial. There are hundreds of companies out on the market today advertising they have certified bed bug dogs, but certified through whom? Most training facilities create their own certifications for the dogs, meaning every dog that is trained gets certified.
Do your research first. NESDCA is a third party bed bug detection certification organization that certifies the best of the best in k9 scent detection. Quite frankly, if you are not getting a NESDCA dog, then you just simply are not getting the best, and in the matter of bed bugs, you want the best.
ALSO, When companies advertise their dogs are 98% accurate you need to understand that those test were done by the University of Florida’s Entomology department. The same department whom helped create NESDCA. That being said, its NESDCA dogs that are proven 98% accurate, not the wanna be’s. To see a list of NESDCA dogs nation wide go and google NESDCA’S website and search for active teams in your area. If someone claims to be NESDCA certified and they are not on the list, that person is try to pull a fast one on you.
Good luck and best wishes.
The Team at K9 P.I. (Bed bug scent detection)
What a great business idea K9 P.I., one could create a certification company that puts bed bug sniffing dogs through multiple tests with actual bed bugs placed inside plastic containers with multiple holes. These bed bug containers would be placed in various spots thought the test center to measure the dogs ability to sniff out bed bugs. Tests could be designed to progress from easy to difficult with stronger ‘distracting’ scents at the difficult end.
These tests could be brought to the dog if necessary. A website created for national certification with the names and information of the dogs that were certified, and the trainer responsible for each dog. A yearly re-certification could be required and any hotel could verify the claims of each dog.
Heck, you could even create a packet to send to the hotel containing the escape proof bed bug and container so the hotel could test the bed bug sniffing dogs themselves.
The possibilities are endless for this business and the start up fees almost nothing! This would be perfect for a dog lover like myself!
Not a bad idea Clarice. It just so happens that CIDD is now working with the NPMA. To create a new certification. A national certification. Rumor has it that it will be modeled after NESDCA’s certification program.
Bad idea about giving hotels vials of bed bugs for if not in the proper hands it could end up bad for both the person sending the bugs and the person receiving the bugs.
But yes, it is definitely agreed upon that yearly re-certification is a must.
With the steady rise of bed bug infestations and a continued need for bed bug detection I’m all for a the best possible certification for companies like mine. Essentially it will weed out the duds in the industry.
If you are serious about starting something like this I may be able to push you in the right direction. You can find my contact info on our website at thek9pi. com
About 2 1/2- weeks ago I noticed my wrist itched at work. upon inspection, the bites looked and felt just like mosquito bites. When I got home later I inspected my body and counted 2 bites on my right finger (about 1/2 ” apart), 2 or 3 bites on my right wrist, and one bite on my left thigh (just above the knee).
Bug Bites on Jenny 3 of 3Bug Bites on Jenny 2 of 3Bug Bites on Jenny 1 of 3
I’ve gotta say they really itched like crazy. I did all I could to not tear my skin off from the itching that the bites caused. I thought I was having some sort of an allergic reaction to dust because I had recently had my master bathroom redone in my bedroom and had just moved back in my house after staying at my boyfriends during construction. I should back track and state that I did not realize these were insect bites for a few days. I thought I had rashes caused by an irritant- such as dust. It was only after a couple of days of scratching that I could see more clearly that these areas looked just like mosquito bites.
Living in New England I naturally became suspect of any kind of insect during our freezing winters and began to try to figure out what had got me. My first suspicion was a large house plant I had outside my bedroom door. Every once in a while I had the tendency to over water it- and thought it might of been a good breeding ground for some sort of insect to thrive, so I quickly threw it away. Just to be on the safe side, the next morning I had an exterminator come and do an inspection of my home to make sure i was safe and pest free.
The exterminator who came to do the inspection told me that my bites looked a lot like classic bed bug bites and explained that he needed to do a thorough inspection of my house … especially of the bedrooms. He turned my house upside down looking for bed bugs. After a long search he said that he felt very certain that I did not have bed bugs and went on and on about all the telltale signs of bed bugs and how nothing in my home shows evidence of any (except for my bites!).
Anyways after a week or so of bite free, restful sleeps in my bed, I woke up last tuesday morning with 8 or 9 bites on my left wrist and arm! I was/am upset, disgusted, frustrated and in pain. I envy those who are not allergic to these awful bites. Consider yourselves lucky.The following morning I called my dermatologist and he saw me that afternoon. I suppose I wanted to see him because I felt desperate to hear that it wasn’t bed bug bites. I was actually hoping he was going to tell me it was eczema. My dermatologist said that he was 95% certain that I had bed bug bites and 100%certain that they are insect bites either way. At this point I am really starting to lose my mind. Not only have I spent $40 on a dr visit copay, but $185 on pest inspection and nothing has changed: (
The funny (not really) part about this buggy saga is that just when you think you have been pushed to the brink of insanity—you get pushed even further.
Now I have spent nearly 200 dollars, lost a lot of sleep, and look like I have some sort of a skin condition you could catch. not a pretty picture.I spent nearly all of wednesday night becoming a web MD/expert on and about bed bugs .After doing all my online research while I was paralyzed by fear of falling asleep- I decided the smartest thing I could do is to hire special dogs to come and sniff the exact location bed bugs!
Okay, so I hired this company with hounds that only can identify the scent of bed bug. Scam? who knows? I certainly didn’t care because I was/ am so desperate to get these things out of my house! So here is what happened. Yesterday the man with the dog came over to my home. The dog goes up to the beds in my house and apparently really reacts to something on both the bed in my master bedroom and the bed in my guest-room. You can’t imagine how excited I am that I am THIS close to hard evidence of real, live, disgusting, blood sucking bed bugs! I am this close to a solution!
Okay, the bed bug dog guy, dog, and I go back to the bedrooms to hone in on the exact spots the dog reacted to. This way I can find out where I need to treat the infestation. The doggy is good and shows me the spot again. I look at the box spring and then at the guy and dog and say “Uh, okay- umm can we see them… or like one” ? the guy tries to find one for me but goes on to say “how hard it is to find these little suckers” and “gosh they are just so sneaky”. Ughhh. My hope of the beginning of the end of bed bugs has quickly been deflated.. All I can think to my self is what an crazy, gullible idiot I have turned into in a mere 2 weeks. I will not even say how much money I spent on this. It is shameful…
Believe it or not that was my day yesterday. C’mon people- HELP ME!
Bed Bug Girl::
Did the owner of the bed bug sniffing dog just leave it at that? If the dog jumped on a spot but you couldn’t see the bugs, perhaps they are in the mattress itself? Shirley left a comment on the bed bug treatment section that she had a similar problem and used 20 Mule Team (Borax) on the mattress to get rid of them. You’ll also see that J. Hensler used some eco spray from save-a-lot on his couches and the bed bugs dropped out of the furniture dead on the spot.
I’m the owner of K9 P.I., a Bed Bug dog scent detection company that detects the odor or LIVE bed bugs and viable eggs with the use of dogs.
The team here at BadBedBugs contacted me to see if I could shed light on this matter for you.
I first want to start off by saying that using dogs to detect bed bugs is certainly not a scam. In fact, scientific studies have been done on the dogs to prove the accuracy of their findings. Now here is where that last sentence gets tricky. Yes, the University of Florida has done extensive studies in regards to the use of dogs and posted that their findings were that dogs were averaging 98% accuracy. But what you need to understand is that the University used dogs that were trained at J&K Canine Academy only. And because the University released their report without discussing who’s dogs they used, now everyone with a bed bug dog now thinks they have the right to say that their dog is 98% accurate, when in fact, that statement is completely inaccurate.
There is a third party national Certification company called NESDCA that certifies Bed Bug Dogs. First thing you should do is go to their website and see if the dog that you used is listed as an active team. If its not, I would then question the dogs ability to detect the odor of live bed bugs and viable eggs. If you need any assistance with this you can google my website and my contact info is right there. Feel free to give me a call. And let me just add that the NPMA just released that their new rule regarding the use of dogs will now need to meet the standards that NESDCA currently implements. All dogs now need to be single scent dogs and should be certified via a third party and not an in-house certification program. So again, if you or anyone out there needs help finding the best dogs in the business feel free to contact me. We can help.
Now onto the situation at hand….
I don’t know what the company that you used rules and regulations are but I will say this. When we do an inspection we rely 100% on the accuracy of the dog. Because if our handlers start second guessing our dogs, then that defeats the purpose completely. And so that you know, the extensive study that the University did stated that humans were only as high as 30% accurate in finding bed bugs. Which is the other reason we don’t search for them after the dog alerts.
Now, it is true, bed bugs can be illusive. Specially if they are nymphs (babies). In some cases they can actually hide within the fabric of your bed making them almost impossible to find. Also keep in mind that they could be elsewhere in your living space. Nightstand, couch, chairs, carpet, clock radios, etc etc. And for that reason alone, this is why using a dog like the ones we use, are a perfect fit for your situation. Secondly, if you were able to just see them on your bed, then you wouldn’t need a dog to begin with.
I recently had a customer go through the exact same thing as you. She had 4 pest management companies come in and none of them found a single bug. She then called us in and we had two alerts on each side of her mattress. I wrote in my report that the dog alerted to both sides of the bed and was also trying to crawl under the mattress. So I suggested that if her pest control company wanted to find them then I suggest looking on the mattress and look under the bed. Customer called me back 2 days later crying saying that the pest control company did not find anything at all. Her husband was calling it a scam as well. I asked if the pest control company completely searched the bed and box springs. She said yes. I asked how and she told me they had flash lights out looking all around the bed. When I asked if they took the fabric off the bottom of the box spring she replied NO. I suggested to look there, as I stated before the dog was trying to crawl under the bed. She called me back 30 minutes later again in tears apologizing to me stating that she found the evidence she was looking for. At last, they identified bed bugs.
I truly hoped this helped in some form and as I stated before, If you need help, we are phone call away.
My name is Puja Seth and I am working on a documentary for animal planet on Bed Bugs. I came across your article. I would love to talk to you and see if you would want to share your story with us.
Please call me at your earliest convenience at 9173442872, 5168858773
100 Avenue Of Americas
New York, NY
I have been getting bites for about 1 month that resemble mosquito bites. We stayed in a hotel 2 weeks before the first bites appeared. We had our pest control company come to inspect with a dog and he alerted to 3 beds in our home. Cost of dog=483.00 dollars. they suggested a treatment plan that would cost over 4500.o0 to eradicate the bugs with no guarantee and no recheck for bugs when they were done. I had another company come in with their dog 5 days later for another 500.00 dollars and their dog did not alert at all. We checked our cat and she had fleas.
We had our home and cat treated (home twice) and now I am getting bites again. I am really frustrated because we have no more fleas and no tangible signs of bed bugs (no blood smears, smells, bugs themselves) and I am still getting bites. I do not get bit everyday, more like every 5-7 days. please let me know what else this could be. I cannot afford this. So far with all of the spraying for fleas, bed bug inspections and washing of everything, throwing stuff out and removal of all carpeting, I am out more than $2,000.00 HELP. I just want to know definitivly if I have them so I can treat them accordingly.
There is a problem when you have people training and handling dogs that have no experience or idea on how to maintain a teams proficiency and accuracy. Myself and my partner have a a combined 40 yrs experience in the US Air Force training and handling patrol are and drug and explosive detection dogs We are considering training and handling a couple of bed bug dogs using the same standards the the US Military uses and maintaining a dog at a desired proficiency level.
My question is how do I obtain bed bugs?
Well i have been married for a month an half now. me an my husband moved to an apt a month ago. when we came to see the apt for the first time i notice a mattress in the dinning room that had stains all over it. i really didn’t do anything or said anything when we moved in the same mattress was outside so i went to go check it out an it was FULL of bedbugs but the were all dried an looked dead.
So i told my husband an we put bombs in the apt before we move in. its been a month now like i said an i found a bedbug in the restroom. i had never had those bugs in my home an all my furniture is new. i have looked everywhere an there’s nothing. Should i tell the landlord about the problem? because I’m going crazy i cant even sleep I’m always looking for them i spend all my days looking info about them i even dream about them what should i do!
Would a bed bug sniffing dog help me find the infestations or should I wait?
I have a bed bug problem and my landlord does not want to have the rest of the building inspected. He sprayed in my bedroom which just spread them out to the rest of the apartment. I had a bed bug specialist come take a look (Salvant Environmental Services in Baton Rouge, LA). These guys seemed legit as they use dogs to detect which can smell even just 1 bed bug.
Anyway, since my landlord won’t take this seriously, I’m going to get the heck out while I can. The plan is to rent a trailer, load all my stuff in it and then give it a heat treatment for 4 hours. The company has assured me this will kill all the bugs. Has anyone had any type of experience that would make me doubt this statement? I need to be absolutely certain I am not taking these critters with me!
We have no idea where we could have gotten bed bugs from. I am besides myself. I have only found one every six weeks or so and then found two this past week but can’t find their hiding place. We have no signs of spots or shells of morphed bed bugs.
Could it be they are hiding in the walls? This started in March, but obviously had been going on longer since the bugs were fourth stage at least that i saw and about 2 1/2 mm in size. Could a pet, like a dog, have brought them inside, but we DON’T live in the City, just in a regular suburban location. I covered the mattresses and used duct tape on the doorway, but no one is sleeping in the room for the past week. We have not had any bites. How long do the baby bugs live without eating?
After going back and forth of yes we do, no we dont….we do! It is gross and I’m sick of them! Can they stick/live on 1 mattress in the house? I have noticed them only on my mattress and not anywhere else in the bedroom. I have found a skeleton/shedding and only 1 baby bug on the couch. Can they hitch a ride with the dog? We vacuumed the whole room, sprayed with your DIY water/alcohol/dish soap, dusted and now are waiting. I may have used a bit more than dusting the room but I only want them all to dry up and die!!