A brief report from KOMO in Seattle on Thursday’s NPMA Bed Bug Symposium.
It was interesting that the reporter noted that attendees who run hotels and buildings do not want to be filmed. They feared people would think their buildings have bed bugs, and they’d lose customers.
Since bed bugs can infest any multi-unit building, or any hotel, I would personally prefer to rent an apartment from a property manager (or a hotel room from a hotel manager) who attended educational events such as this one, and learned how to prevent, detect, and get rid of bed bugs in their property. I am sure many would agree with me on this.
One concern I have based on the KOMO news video alone is the reporter’s claim that bed bug dog April “can come to your house and right away, let you know if you have a [bed bug] problem.”
Bed bug dogs can be a useful technology in the fight against bed bugs. But they are simply a tool: they alert to the presence of bed bugs; a diligent and careful search by the human handler is required to verify the presence of bed bugs.
Ideally, the bed bug dog’s alert is part of the process, not the entire procedure, but many dog handlers apparently don’t confirm the presence of bed bugs after an alert. I am not sure customers are generally knowledgeable about this — and news reports about the bed bug k9 industry are often misleading about how dog inspections should be carried out. In her discussion last night with David Letterman, Mary-Louise Parker also focused on the bed bug dog’s alert (“the dog sits!”) rather than the actual confirmation of the alert by a handler.
Perhaps Sean Rollo (of the Bed Bug Resource [website no longer active; link removed]) or others who attended the Seattle symposium will share some highlights or other comments?