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Comprehensive Pest Control, Customized to Each Industry Segment

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Canine Bed Bug Detection

Bed-Bug Canine Detection

Assured Environments’ canine teams include a certified handler and specially trained dog. Assured’s teams have worked together for years and most of the dogs live with their handlers, ensuring a special bond and chemistry between the two that helps operations run smoothly.

Why Use Canines for Bed Bug Detection

A trained pest control professional can only detect what he sees. If there’s bed bug activity behind walls, baseboards, under carpets, inside furniture or closets, the room would have to be stripped down and baseboards would be have to be pulled away from the walls, which is very time consuming and not practical. Due to a dog’s keen sense of smell, Assured Environments canines can detect bed bugs behind walls and in furnishings without any preparation, thus making the inspection more thorough and much more accurate. This precise detection means that if there is bed bug activity our canines will signal the handler!

In the case of hotels and motels, proprietors can take a proactive approach by going the extra mile when it comes to bed bug management by having reoccurring canine inspections which demonstrate a proactive approach to provide an alert free environment.

Why Use Canines for Bed Bug Detection

The canine is 97% proficient in detecting bed bugs, according to the University of Florida Studies. A technician would take hours with a flashlight trying to find an egg, nymph, bed bugs, etc. This high efficiency and dependability relies upon daily training for each canine.

k9 inspections

Certification and Training

  • All of Assured Environments’ canine teams, undergo yearly certification procedures following the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) guidelines.

  • All of Assured Environments canine handlers are trained in bed bug biology, behavior, inspection methods and identification and receive routine training procedures by law enforcement agents certified in dog training ensuring the bond between the handler and dog remains strong.

  • Each team has weekly training sessions that are documented and kept in the Assured headquarters.

Meet Our Bed Bug Detection canine team &  Handlers

Assured Environments’ canine teams include a certified handler and specially trained dog. Assured’s teams have worked together for years and all of the dogs live with their handlers, ensuring a special bond and chemistry between the two that helps operations run smoothly.

Susan Lavoie & Boomer

Susan has worked as a K9 handler at Assured Environments since 2009. Susan started her career in dogs when she became a professional dog trainer in 1981. She has taught obedience, tracking, agility, therapy dogs, assistance dogs for the handicapped as well as scent detection, specifically bed bug detection, search and rescue dogs and cadaver dogs. Susan handles and trains "Boomer", a 6 year old Beagle since 2011.

bed bug dog handler

Bill Quinn & Mandy

Bill has been working with Mandy since joining the canine team in 2009. Mandy is a 6 year old Beagle Bassett hound mix who loves bones, balls, squirrels, and her boyfriend, K9 Ronan. Bill and Mandy train two days a week with testing every other day, and she is also taken home after the work day is completed and treated as a family member. Bill has been training dogs since age 9 and working with them in a professional capacity since 16 years old. He brings his experience as a managing vet tech, certified wildlife rehabilitator, dog trainer and kennel master to his work at Assured.

bed bug team bill and mandy
 

Dave Machette & Bugsy

Dave Machette joined Assured in 2010 and has been working with Bugsy, a 6 year old Beagle for 4 years. Dave has over 30 years working in dog training, including his experience working in the Essex County Sheriff’s office and as a certified Police K-9 trainer. Dave has trained hundreds of experts over the span of his career in the fields of Narcotics Detection, Explosive Detection, Search & Rescue, Building Search, Cadaver, Human Tracking/Bloodhounds and Arson Detection. Dave joined Assured Environments in 2012 and has worked with Bugsy since then. He also brings his experience as a trainer to Assured where he has helped implement the Bed Bug K-9 Handlers Training Lesson Plan and training sessions. Bugsy is taken home after the work day is completed and treated as a family member.

bed bug team dave and bugsy

Robert Langendoen & Sasha

Bob has 35 years experience working as a K-9 handler and has been working with Sasha, 3 year old Labrador Retriever at Assured since 2013. Bob is a Master Trainer primarily involved in Dog Training, K9 Search and Rescue / Recovery and Scent Detection. He has trained K9’s and K9 Handlers to Certification Level, testified in court as an expert witness, is a writer and has been a speaker at National Conferences. e is featured in numerous books about Dog Training, German Shepherds as well as Search and Rescue. Recently he has been a host on Fox News with Geraldo Rivera, Animal Planet with Gloria Stillwell and interviewed with Candice Delonge a former FBI Profiler on her radio program Crime Time. For the last five years he has hosted K9 Training events attended by K9 Handlers from around the US and Canada. Sasha is taken home after work day is completed and treated as a family member.

bed bug team robert and sasha

Joseph F. Clark, Jr., Dawn & Maya

Joe’s experience with dog training began as a teenager when his love for dogs encouraged him to take an obedience training course. He later worked as a kennel assistant and later as a dog trainer. Joseph worked for over 25 years in the North Caldwell Police Department Joseph and retired from the profession after ten years a Chief of Police. After his retirement Joe knew he wanted to continue working with the pets he loved and in 2010 founded an obedience training and scent recognition company. He joined the Assured team in 2012 and has formed a strong bond with his canine buddies, Dawn a Labrador Retriever m and Maya, a German Shepherd who Joe has known since she was four weeks old. Both Maya & Dawn are taken home with Joe after the work day is completed and treated as a family member.

bed bug team joe and maya

K-9 FAQ

Why use a bed bug dog for bed bug inspections?

A trained pest management professional can only detect what he sees. If there’s bed bug activity behind walls, baseboards, under carpets, inside furniture or closets, the room would have to be stripped down and baseboards would be have to be pulled away from the walls, which is very time consuming and not practical. Due to a dog’s keen sense of smell, Assured Environments canines can detect bed bugs behind walls and in furnishings without any preparation, thus making the inspection more thorough and much more accurate. This precise detection means that if there is bed bug activity our canines will signal the handler!

In the case of hotels and motels, proprietors can take a proactive approach by going the extra mile when it comes to bed bug management by having reoccurring canine inspections which demonstrate a proactive approach to provide an alert free environment.

How do canines’ bed bug detection skills compare with other methods?

Sensitivity: Documented limits of olfactory detection for a dog range from tens of parts per billion, to 500 parts per trillion. Humans are only capable of detecting certain substances in dilutions of less than one part in several billion parts of air.

Discrimination: Dogs are extremely good at discriminating a target vapor from non-target vapors that are also present, even at relatively high concentrations of non-target odors.

Odor Signature: When being trained to detect a substance, dogs learn to detect to one or two of its most abundant compounds.

Multiple Odor Discriminations: Dogs can easily learn as many as ten odor discriminations.

Dogs are Honest: Dogs are trained to work for food and love... and NOT for profits.

Surrounding Environment: Dogs can track a scent through snow, air, mud, water, and even ash.

Odor Image: For dogs, a scent is like a three-dimensional “odor image” – and much more detailed than a photograph is for a human.

Tracking: Dogs follow a biochemical trail of skin cells, sweat, odor molecules, and gasses.

How often do canines detect a false scent?

Generally, if the canine is tired, over worked or if the canine is not being properly trained, there is a chance he might detect a false scent. We take many preventative measures to make sure this doesn’t happen.

For example, we train and test the canines on live bed bugs only and use detractors of other bugs to make sure they are not detecting to any other bug/insects to minimize the chance of detecting a false scent.

I’ve seen bed bugs in my home/building; do I still need a canine inspection?

Yes, all areas of the apartment/home/building should be inspected to possibly minimize the necessary treatment and save money in the long run.

How do I get ready for a canine inspection?

If you are in a Residential space, here is what you need to do to prepare for your canine inspection:

  1. No other pets can be present.

  2. All pet toys, food and bed must be put away before our arrival.

  3. All food debris should be swept up.

  4. Home should not have been treated with any pesticides whether by a professional or over the counter in the past 30 days. This includes any of the following: Lemon Pledge, scented candles, incense, bleaches, freshly painted walls or floors with polyurethane. There can also be no construction within the home.

If you are in a Commercial building, here is what you need to do to prepare for your canine inspection:

  1. All ventilation must be off.

  2. No vacuuming should be performed on the day of service.

  3. The floor must be vacant before inspection.

How does a bed bug dog inspection work?

“The K9 conducts an olfactory inspection of the all areas that need to be inspected. Upon detecting the odor of bed bugs, the K9 gives a passive indication by sitting and pointing at the area in which the bed bug odor was detected.”

- Dave Machette (K9 handler of Bugsy)

“If a customer shows us an area where a bed bug was found, we would begin away from there, as not to walk the dog into the odor right away. In a room, we work clockwise. The Perimeter is done first. Then we go over to a table and zig-zag the dog under the chairs so they can get trapped odors under the table. An inspection with a dog is allowing the dog to walk in all areas, closets where coats or office supplies are kept. You will see without any odor a dog will walk freely almost looking bored or tired. Then when the dog comes into the odor of a live bug or egg you will see the walking begin to slow down and the dogs head pick up. It is then you watch the dog and let them walk to the strongest area of the odor, where they will sit and you ask them to "show me" at which time my dogs will touch the object with their paw or the beagles will touch it with their nose. The canine will lock up until the handler acknowledges the find. Signaling to the handler this is the stronger area of the odor. Praise is given with a treat and we move on.”

- Joseph F. Clark, Jr. (K9 Handler of Maya)

What if your dog’s alert to bed bugs but there is no physical evidence?

Our policy is if a K-9 detects the scent of a bed bug and no one in the home or apartment is complaining of bites, we would recommend a visual inspection and monitoring service and we would not to perform treatment.

How long after a bed bug treatment can a dog come to re-inspect?

In commercial settings, a dog can re-inspect after 30 days.

For residential buildings a dog can come back after 45 days.

Are your dogs certified?

Each K-9 Team is tested and certified by two Police Master Trainers in Scent Detection. We certify our canines following the NPMA Guidelines. The canines also train on a daily basis.

Does a bed bug dog alert to other insects?

No, we train and test the canines on live bed bugs only. We use detractors of other bugs to make sure they are not detecting to any other bug or insects.