Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Victoria’s Secret have all had a bad case of the bed bugs here in NYC, but Bergdorf Goodman refuses to let their store be infested. Instead, the luxury department store has hired a brigade of beagles, specifically trained to root out the ubiquitous pests, to patrol the men’s and women’s stores. The pups will be in rotation on a regular basis, though what they do when they find said invertebrates is still unclear.
What the bed bug sniffing canines should do when they alert to bed bugs is hold tight while their handlers visually confirm the dog’s alert by searching in the area for bed bugs.
We don’t know which firm Bergdorf hired. Although some do, many bed bug k9 handlers do not visually confirm dog alerts. They simply take the dog’s word for it.
And while canine scent detection can be effective, it’s important that the dogs’ alerts are verified. As entomologist Dr. Michael Potter famously said, “Show me the bugs!”
I applaud Bergdorfs for being proactive about bed bugs. If you’re thinking of hiring a bed bug canine scent detection team to inspect your home (or signing on for routine detection service like Bergdorf Goodman is), make sure your dog handler intends to visually verify all alerts.
(More in our FAQ on hiring a bed bug dog team.)