Bed Bug Detection Dog Sniffing Bed


September 6, 2021

When it comes to bed bugs, many people assume (and hope) that the insects will never creep into their home or that infestations only occur in large, bustling cities. However, this is not true. Bed bugs are found in all 50 states, though reports are three times higher throughout urban areas than rural areas. Wherever bed bugs are found, taking care of them efficiently and effectively is crucial.

Reaching out to professional bed bug removal in Des Moines is easily the best and safest way to eliminate bed bugs on your property. Learn how we can help at Preferred Pest Control and read on for more about our dynamic bed bug detecting duo, Scout and Max!

Can a dog really detect bed bugs?

The answer is yes, quite well actually. Using dogs to detect the odor of bed bugs is the most effective way to find and remove these infesting insects. In fact, with a sense of smell 1,000 times greater than humans, our bed bug detection canines can sniff out the odor of bed bugs in your home or building with up to a 95% accuracy rate!

Des Moines Bed Bug Detection

At Preferred Pest Control, we utilize our trained dogs to detect the odor of bed bugs and efficiently treat and remove them from any property. Our leading canine bed bug detection dogs, Scout and Max, are diligently trained for two hours every week and are continually improving their detection skills. Scout, Max and their trainer are certified teams by the World Detector Dog Organization (WDDO), the same organization that approves scent detection dogs used by the police. To become certified, the dogs and their handler are given 20 minutes to search a building where they will go through various sized rooms and scenarios, and the dog will need to pinpoint and show (through pawing the floor or sitting down) where the bed bugs are. If they pass this portion, they become certified and are tested annually to maintain their certified status! We’re very confident in our team’s ability to detect the odor of bed bugs within your home or business. So, meet our Des Moines bed bug detection canines, Scout and Max!

beagle looking into camerablack lab sniffing for bed bugs

Scout and Max: Des Moines’ Favorite Bed Bug Detection Dogs

Scout is a vital member of Preferred Pest's Des Moines bed bug control team. He is a purebred beagle and is eager to keep bed bugs out of your home or business. As the oldest and more experienced canine, Scout sets the bar for the newest member of our bed bug detection team, Max. Though new to our team, Max, a labrador retriever, was quick to learn and has been happily contributing to Des Moines area calls. Both Scout and Max received their training from the leading experts at FSI K9 Academy, and our canine bed bug experts can sniff out the odor of any bed bugs you may have.

Checking for Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are difficult for most people to detect since they’re so small. This is why using dogs to detect bed bugs is so beneficial. Dogs are far more accurate because their sense of smell enables them to locate these hard-to-see pests. If you do come across potential bed bugs in your home or business, it’s important you’re able to identify them. Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color, flat, oval, and tend to be about 3/16 to ¼ of an inch long. They live up to ten months and can survive for long periods of time without feeding.

Where should I check for Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are typically found in cracks and crevices throughout homes. Their go-to hiding spots include mattress seams and sheets, furniture, beneath baseboards, electrical plates, picture frames, etc. These pests are also often found in hotels where they move from room to room and even into guests' luggage and personal belongings. 

beagle on leash

How do dogs check for bed bugs?

Our Des Moines bed bug detection dogs and a Preferred Pest technician go through many hours of training and mocked up scenarios before hitting the field. They quickly and effectively scan every room of a home or business. If an infestation is found, our dogs will alert our technician by sitting or pawing the floor.

Want to learn more about bed bugs? Check out our pest library!

Bed Bug Detection Dog Training Facts

  • The best dog breeds for bed bug detection are bloodhounds or beagles like Scout. Although other breeds can learn to detect bed bugs as well, like our newest member Max who is a labrador. Bloodhounds and beagles are ideal due to their ability to seek out prey since bed bugs require blood meals. In addition to their breed, dogs are also chosen based on their level of energy and drive to please their handlers.
  • Bed bug detection dogs are typically rescued from local shelters and then trained through various facilities across the U.S., such as the FSI K9 Academy where our certified dogs were trained.
  • The ideal age to start bed bug detection dog training is between eight to twelve months, but older dogs are capable of learning new tricks. Just ask Max, he started his training around 3-years old!.
  • It takes approximately 500-600 hours of training for the dogs to be eligible for certification.
  • Bed bug detection dog training begins with basic obedience and moves on from there once their handler has assessed their temperament and any other tendencies that would interfere with their bed bug detecting duties.
  • Many of the hours spent training are held in mock hotel rooms or staged locations where the bed bugs are placed in natural hiding places for the dogs to find. Preferred Pest performs these same tests with hidden bed bugs planted around our office (no need to worry, we keep them contained).
  • Throughout training one of the most important things for dogs to learn is the difference between dead and live insects. It is important to teach them these differences to ensure the dogs do not identify false positives, such as an old infestation that is no longer a threat.
  • When it comes to overall training, it's essential to teach the dogs search patterns to ensure they are properly inspecting a home or business. The goal is to develop these search patterns so that the dogs can detect odors in unusual locations, such as inside televisions and computers or within furniture. 

bed bug dog sniffing a bed

Leading Bed Bug Removal in Des Moines

At Preferred Pest, we understand how important proper bed bug detection, treatment and removal is. Through our cutting edge bed bug solutions, we will have these pests out in no time. Don't wait until it is too late and you have a large infestation on your hands. If you or your loved ones fear that you have bed bugs, contact a pest professional immediately. You can schedule an appointment with us online or call us at (515) 415-5550.