Our Rentokil North American headquarters was visited recently by our five, four-legged bed bug detection colleagues. They were the coolest kids in school (the office) that day. It dawned on me that the five bed bug experts being showered with affection as they patrolled the hallways were not just adorable, but also really good at their job, otherwise they wouldn’t have made it to the big league. Bed bugs have made a tremendous come back in recent yearsand having options for both detection and treatment are critical components for the success of any bed bug service.
Since I had never seen bed bug detection K-9’s working, when the opportunity arose to photograph the K-9 bed bug detection team in action, I jumped at it. It was quite an experience. If you’ve never watched working dogs in action, be warned, it may cause you to wonder what your pooch might be capable of… if they weren’t at home napping. Some of the dogs were seemingly structured in their search pattern and worked the room in a clockwise or counter-clockwise fashion, while others seemed to sniff randomly in every direction, all at once, with a frenetic pace. It was really cool to watch! Each dog found the “hides” which were safely planted in two of four rooms within seconds of entering each room.
This skill is not one our colleagues Jackson – a Jack Russell Terrier, Kirby – a Beagle/Jack Russell mix, Annabelle – a Pug mix, Sir Eddy – a Blue Heeler Hound mix, and Suzie – a Beagle and Dachsund mix, were born with. They had to get special training and certification from the NESDCA, the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association. The tests for certification are designed to determine the proficiency of the entomology scent detection work dog team. Each of the tests is a pass/fail evaluation.
To become certified by the NESDCA, every scent dog must meet detailed and rigorous requirements that include; alerting at the source, a 20-minute time limit to pass through four rooms differentiating between passive and aggressive scents, while only being allowed one negative (false-positive) response.
All in all it was an informative and valuable experience learning about one of the bed bug detection methods Rentokil offers. Whether you choose Entotherm – Rentokil’s heat treatment solution, conventional treatment methods, or elect to use a K-9 bed bug detection team, once you see the Rentokil scent detection team in action, you can rest assured knowing that peace of mind arrived, at least this time, courtesy of the nose.