Another day, another dollar, another mistake! Don’t be next!(15 posts)
As each week passes I get called in time and time again to inspect after K9 “alerts” inside a residence.
Monday I met with a lady who had a bunch of treatments dating back to OCT. 2008. Would you believe there was not a single trace of evidence to be found? Nothing anywhere!! No cast skins, not one body dead or alive, nothing even close that resembled fecal. I even had my blood test kit with me in the hopes my suspicions were wrong and that maybe just maybe, I could find something to test if I didn’t in fact find some hard evidence.
I opened the encasements that were ripped anyway because of a careless PCO from a company that does nothing to protect the encasement from the sharp metal edges of the bed frame. This is the big business type the NY Times suggests you should use. It is also one of the big companies that get featured in the articles the Times and others write about. The ones that insist the K9 is much more accurate then the human eye. I guess my eyes are like something out of this world.
This was stop number two… Yep... the first job was another false positive as well. These folks didn’t start treatment but rather took my advice and went for another inspection by me. The occupants of the residence didn’t have bites themselves, but a girlfriend who didn’t live there, thought she may have gotten bites while staying there and wanted to make sure they were not infested as well.
I’m doing her treatment because she has hard evidence in her place. She will be done with this nightmare very soon and the boyfriend can rest easy knowing he’s not out a bunch of money for nothing.
The hardest part was convincing the husband that he never had bed bugs! Can you blame him after God only knows how much money he spent?
I closed the week with yet another false positive by a K9 today.
So please take caution with who you use and be sure you have evidence before you turn your world upside down and shell out a lot of money for nothing.
And another one today kids! One more time for the false positive!!!!!!!!
I think if nobugs does not mind ... I may hit this thread each time I do an inspection behind a false positive.
K9 alerts need to be confirmed to be valid ....
The K9 is a great tool, but proper inspection & quality control protocols must be followed to produce reliable results... Any proper bed bug inspection is ultimately a visual inspection for physical evidence .... The K9 defines the search area, but a proper manual inspection of any identified areas must be performed to ensure the validity of any alerts.
I really wish that people would specify which teams are failing to follow proper quality control procedures... We have a number of diligent handlers that do a great job for the consumer that are being unfairly tainted by the anonymous negative reviews ...
Nameless narratives just serve to promote more confusion among consumers ... There are a couple of companies that are responsible for majority of these problem inspections
Doug...... These false positives are from just about every company I can think of... Both independent and pest control owned. 4 false positives this week from 3 companies.
Why don’t you tell the people of NY who your top 3 picks would be?
I’m not here to trash anyone and I don’t think it’s in my best interest to do so.
But the “good handlers” you have mentioned in the past... fail miserably when I go searching.
I think the fact is these dogs decline 60% in less than a month because a few hrs of training is not cutting it for the handler. That and the fact the only time this dog eats for the rest of its life is when it alerts to bugs.
This field should have been a more specialized trade... but instead you can trip over a bed bug k9 on most streets in the city because there are just way too many of them. Anyone out of work can invest in a dog and be in business. Business is business, but I feel sorry for those who get the business. The k9 sales are over the top and its going to be very hard for those who are good to even try and be reputable in the years to come.
I even had one pest control company owner tell me the dog was a big mistake for his business. Nothing but trouble.
And trust me this is not to put the spot light on myself and look to do more inspections. I don’t even want to do inspections. I can’t trust a k9 inspection without evidence and most in the field tell you the dog smells what we can't see … it’s really becoming a classic rip off. I’ll bet it’s done in 2 years.
One way to tell for sure is do nothing and its free, Sooner or later you will know for sure , See this is sure fire way of not getting ripped off, Do a inspection once a day for months
Quality assurance is a difficult issue ... The company I work for is not a franchise... This fact greatly limits our ability to mandate aggressive quality control in the field.
I am interested in forming an organization that will provide an endorsement to teams that meet high levels of performance, but I am looking for a model that will provide ongoing quality assurance.
I am considering a hybrid of "Angie's List" with a rigorous board certification exam administered through a Chamber of Commerce style trade organization to identify K9 teams that the consumer can trust to follow an appropriate standard of care.
I want to utilize direct customer satisfaction ratings, but I need to identify a system that can't be spoofed by malicious competitors.
I am interested in any ideas that consumers or professionals may be willing to share on the ideal features of a quality assurance organization for K9 teams... Feel free to send a PM, if you want my contact info for a private dialogue
I am thinking about a bundle of services that go far beyond a simple annual certification test and referral list.
Doug .. all sounds like a lot .. just a bit late in the fact that these K9's are already out there.
No mention of the company you work for controlling the number of dogs you put into an area.
I'm guessing the market is a nice source of revenue for the academy. Prior to bed bugs, what markets did you guys sell k9's to? You can honestly tell me that you don't feel the New York market has become flooded because of the push for sales by the company you work for?
Bombs, Arson, Termites, Mold & Endangered Species
Our sales are market driven.... We are the largest provider of scent detection K9s for the pest control industry.... We do not sell franchises .... We do not assign territories....
My employer is a strong believer in a free market philosophy .... The K9 teams that we train are independent businesses...
New York is a unique market .... A number of the early adopters of this technology are located in the Northeast
Based on KQ's findings part of the "tests" would be the handlers ability to find and ID BBs.
My opinion of how a K9 team should operate is the handler examine the property for hazards to the dog and signs of infestation.
If infestation signs are noted, as minimally invasive as possible, capture evidence and make arrangements for the client to get a PCO and come back to do a sweep with the PCO at the ready to attack the hot spots right away.
If no overt signs are found do a sweep and tear alert locations apart to confirm findings.
An K9 alert should never be considered proof, ever.
I can see how bed bug dogs can be fallible, but aren't humans also fallible? So a dog gives a false positive, then an experienced and careful PCO examines the same area. S/he finds no evidence of bed bugs. Well, the dog can be wrong, but can't even the most experienced PCO possibly be wrong?
I happen to agree with KQ, that dogs are prob. over hyped. Maybe even, dogs don't work. My question is how can you absolutely prove a negative - the absence of bed bugs?
Unfortunately there are no absolutes with regards to bed bug detection. The dogs are tools just as the mechanical and passive monitors. but there are never any guarantees or absolutes.
The dogs are advertised - and some have been tested - at 96% or higher accuracy in bedbug and egg detection but KillerQueen's point is that those numbers may not apply to the general population of bedbug detection teams and can vary depending on the effectiveness of the handler
no magic silver bullet yet.....
I recently completed a consultation for a building which may or may not have bbs based on different K9 reports. It is not so straight forward as they also have a significant American roach issue in sealed rooms and the dogs may have been thrown off by the intense aggregate pheromone, maybe not. Any way in my specs for future inspections by a third dog team,
I include verification by obtaining an actual sample from one of the two bed bug compromised apartments.
Question: I just got the contract for my Vikane treatment, and they only guarantee the warranty if the new apartment is certified by a bed bug dog before I move in. After reading this thread, how do I find a reliable dog in NYC, and how much does this cost? I'm already into the thousands of dollars dealing with this issue.
This thread is not to say you can't get a good K9 inspection. I'm just stating that you need to do your research and look for what I think should be an independent inspection from a qualified handler.
I'm not sold on other pest control companies doing all that is needed to keep these dogs where they need to be with regard to accuracy. I have heard of guys doing sales one month, then the next month, they are handling the dogs. I have a problem with any handler that tells me they don't have to look for evidence because the dog smells what we can't see or find as humans. I also have a problem with people (not the people but the company) that does months of treatments .. and wind up never having bed bugs. Then brag about success.. but that’s another story .. if I ever decide I want to rip into the competition that has been trash talking about me. I'll save my ammo if I need it.
Use the hot topic links and read some reviews. It's very easy to get a false positive. The false negative is not as common.
Maybe the answer is to have people measure and record the accuracy of the inspections in a more open way.
As far as I see it there are a limited number of outcomes from an inspection:
- Positive by dog and confirmed visually by handler, PCO or occupant at time or later
- Positive by dog and not confirmed by either handler, PCO or occupant at time or later
- Negative by dog and confirmed visually by handler, PCO or occupant at time or later
- Negative by dog and not confirmed visually by handler, PCO or occupant at time or later
This would allow an accurate record and analysis of the performance and could easily by administered with a simple universal reporting system and quoted as a set of four percentages.
I am a big fan of voluntary codes of practices for industries in this way as long as they are clear, fair and applicable to all parties.
Food for the old grey matter though.
Bed Bugs Limited
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