Bed Bug Dogs: The Truth about Canine Inspection

Canine bed bug detection is a method that uses specially trained dogs to sniff out bed bugs in homes, hotels, and other buildings. The dogs are trained to detect the scent of bed bugs and alert their handlers by sitting or pawing at the area where the bugs are located.

This method is becoming increasingly popular because it is non-invasive, cost-effective, and highly accurate.

How Does Canine Bed Bug Detection Work?

Jola the bed bug sniffing dog.Canine bed bug detection works by utilizing dogs’ powerful sense of smell. Bed bugs emit a distinct odor that is detectable by dogs even when the infestation is still in its early stages.

The dogs are trained to detect this scent and indicate the location of the bed bugs to their handlers. The accuracy is so good that it can even detect bed bugs in areas difficult to reach or hidden from human sight.

Does Canine Scent Detection Work?

Yes, using a canine to sniff for and find bed bugs works great, but only under conditions such as those listed below:

  • The dog is trained by a reputable canine detection program for bed bugs only and not cross-trained to detect other insects (reduces false positives)
  • A trained handler with an accredited certification to work with and understand alerts from the dog.
  • Dog can accurately detect a single bed bug (used as a test of the canine’s sniffer).
  • Dog can detect live bed bug eggs (used as another sent test).

The handler will work to confirm the dog’s findings and point out the infestation.

A university study found that dogs who completed a “bedbug detection” training program had a 97% accuracy rate¹. Unfortunately, some inspection services use this statistic to promote their services despite not receiving this unique training. Make sure the canine used has been trained by a respectable detection program.

If the company is as good as they say, they shouldn’t have a problem providing you with a sealed pin-holed plastic vile containing a few live adult bed bugs that you can hide in a room for testing. They will explain that conducting the test near a vent or up high may prevent detection.

The Benefits of Canine Bed Bug Detection

Canine bed bug detection offers several benefits over traditional bed bug detection methods. A few advantages include:

  • Canine bed bug detection is highly accurate, with a success rate of up to 98%. In addition, the dogs are trained to detect even the slightest traces of bed bugs, making locating and eliminating them easier.
  • Canine bed bug detection is non-invasive, meaning it does not require any damage to your property. Unlike traditional detection methods, such as tearing furniture apart or cutting into walls, canine detection is gentle and non-destructive.
  • Canine bed bug detection is fast and efficient, allowing you to locate bed bugs quickly and start treatment immediately. These dogs can search an entire room in just a few minutes, making it possible to treat multiple rooms or whole buildings rapidly.
  • Canine bed bug detection is cost-effective, especially compared to traditional detection methods. It can save you money by reducing the damage caused by tearing apart furniture or walls and by eliminating bed bugs quickly, which can prevent the need for expensive treatments down the line.

Canine Bed Bug Detection: What to Expect

If you’re considering canine bed bug detection, here’s what you can expect:

  • Once you’ve decided to use canine bed bug detection, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with a professional bed bug detection company. They will coordinate with you to set up a time for the inspection.
  • Before the inspection, you will prepare your home by removing clutter, vacuuming floors, and washing bedding and linens; this will make it easier for the dogs to detect any bed bugs that may be present.
  • During the inspection, the trained dog and its handler will search your home for bed bugs. The dog will alert its handler by sitting or pawing at the location of the bed bugs. The handler will then confirm the bug found was indeed a bed bug.
  • A dog trained to sniff out bed bugs may cost you about $350 regardless of whether the dog detects an infestation or not.

Canine bed bug detection offers a fast, efficient, and cost-effective way to locate bed bugs in your home or business. By utilizing the powerful sense of smell that dogs possess, bed bug detection dogs can find bed bugs quickly and accurately, even in areas that are difficult to access.

¹ Richard Cooper, Changlu Wang, Narinderpal Singh, Accuracy of Trained Canines for Detecting Bed Bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 107, Issue 6, 1 December 2014, Pages 2171–2181,

When the dog locates a bed bug or infestation, you have two options; read how to get rid of bed bugs yourself or, hire a pest control company.

Yes, canine bed bug detection is safe for your pets. The dogs are trained to detect only the scent of bed bugs and will not harm your pets in any way.

The length of time for an inspection can vary depending on the size of the area being inspected. However, most inspections take less than an hour.

Yes, canine bed bug detection dogs can be used in apartments, hotels, and other types of buildings. They are particularly useful in large buildings where it may be difficult to locate bed bugs using traditional methods.

henever you suspect the presence of these blood suckers, schedule a canine bed bug detection inspection, it can help prevent the problem from worsening.