The field of canine scent detection for bed bugs has changed considerably since this post was written in 2007. Consumers considering hiring bed bug sniffing dogs should read our FAQ on canine scent detection which is much more recent than the discussion below.
This article by Leslie Earnest in the LA Times business section yesterday appears to be a companion to the bed bug article referred to in my last post.
It describes how the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association in North Carolina has begun certifying bed bug dogs that can detect live bed bugs or viable eggs. This is important, since dogs that can do this can detect when infestations are gone. Bed bug dogs who just sniff out bed bugs may be detecting remains of dead bugs of an eliminated infestation.
For now, if you hire a bed bug dog, be sure and talk with the technician about what the dog can do–does it detect live and dead bugs? Or does it differentiate? What about eggs?
This article focuses on Mike Masterson, owner of Isotech Pest Management in Pomona, California. His two bed bug dogs, Matt and Matti, work as a pair; if one detects bed bugs, the second comes in to validate that.