bed bug canines(49 posts)
I'm a canine handler ( sar) and have been hearing about bed bug detection dogs and am interested in learning more about the dogs? How they are trained ect. I don't want to get into dog training discussion on here but does anyone know where I could find out more about these dogs?
Look up J&K Canine Academy and NESDCA. That's a good way to start. Dogs for bb detection are the way to go. I am working with an exterminator who has one and I am very happy with that.
Hi BBE, It's great to hear of your progress! I understand you hired Advanced K-9 Detectives, but I was under the impression they don't do extermination... What PCO are you using, and do they use chemicals? (I also thought you couldn't use a K-9 soon after chem application... are they using steam?) Can you please describe their protocols? Thanks...
At first I had a visit with Advanced K-9 (Vincent and his dog Taz), who do not exterminate, and then I hired Freedom Pest Control (Cesar and his dog Tre). To my knowledge Cesar of Freedom Pest Control is the only exterminator in NYC that has a NESDCA certified dog. He is absolutely the best exterminator I have dealt with and I had 3 companies come in before him. Mine is a long story and I partly posted it already. So Taz and Tre did not come up with the same findings and the visits were very different. Taz alerted 4 spots in my apartment. Vincent came by himself and ran the dog quickly, for max 20-30 minutes. My apt is about 600 sq feet. Cesar came in a few days after Vincent. I thought he would just confirm Taz's findings and we would get started with the extermination. Instead, things went differently and he came 3 times - and I should add, at the charge of 1 - to make sure we got things right. He spent hours in my apartment. I am not kidding. He came in with someone who filmed the whole thing and before starting he spent a lot of time setting things up, hiding sealed vials with the bugs to prove that the dog works, then removing them and running the dog again. The first time he came with 3 vials. The last with just 1. Vincent did not have any vial with the bugs. Before running the dog, Cesar took him for a walk so the dog would come in relaxed and focused. He did this every time he was running the dog again in the apt. I stayed in a corner, not paying attention to them as otherwise the dog gets distracted. He showed me the film at the end and I could see the clear alerts of the dog to the spots where the vials where hidden. So after 3 visits, the big news: I don't have bed bugs!!! I still have skin problems and had a biopsy on Saturday to verify if it's insect bite or not. If you're interested in contacting Cesar, his phone number is 646-748-5501. This guy is a gem, incredibly detailed, knowledgeable and with a big heart! After the biopsy results, if it's insect bite, Cesar said he will talk to a friend of his who has a PhD in entomology. He will help me get to the bottom of this and get rid of whatever I have in my apt that is biting me.
i would be interested in hearing more about how they are trained as well. years ago when obedience training my boxer i was considering agility classes. i never would have guessed then that at some point in the future i would be reading about dogs trained to detect bbs. but then again, i had no idea what a bb was.
i wonder if there are any bb dog trainers on this site who could fill us in on how they are trained?
and while we're on the topic, does anyone have any experience with the bb dog kody, in toronto? i'm considering giving them a call. i really need to put this whole thing to rest, and finally have some peace of mind...
Perhaps Cesar can help you find a person in Toronto. And he can put you in touch with the person who trained his dog and many others, Pepe of the J&K Canine Academy. Good luck!
Hey BBenigma. Congrats on not having bed bugs! I used Cesar back in Dec and also got the all clear. I haven't used him for extermination but he does seem to be very knowledgeable and is personally involved on every job. AAA Pest Control does work in NYC and has a NEDSCA K9 now as well. That K9 I used for my mother's and grandmothers house. Price was more, but also very good dog. I plan on using both companies (depending on availability) on my home and my mother's condo quarterly to ensure we stay bed bug free.
Wow, enigma! No bedbugs. Hooray! that's terrific news.
Hope the issue with your skin gets diagnosed quickly.
That's great news!What a relief,I'm sure.That company sounds good,finally! I hope you get to the bottom of your problem,keep us posted.Really curious as to what it is? allergy or other biting mite or something,let us know.
Congrats BBE! Just curious about your skin problems. Are your marks very different from when you had a confirmed case of BBs? I'm hearing from a lot of people who continue to have reactions long after their bugs are gone. I would be so relieved if this were the case with me (although about two months ago, I did have a K-9 confirm that the beasts were still with me).
needtosleep, could this be a case where there were never bedbugs in bedbugenigma's apartment to begin with? The case might've never been confirmed with a bedbug sighting.
I'm wondering if the first dog that came in signaled false positives. I don't want to put enigma in a position where she has to call out a company for a mistake when it's not certain. I'm assuming that not much time passed between the two canine company visits and that there was no intervening treatment. So any presumed bedbugs wouldn't magically disappear during that time.
I believe Enigma's first K9 was with Advanced K9. I have never used that company yet, but have spoken with Carl on more than one occasion. He seems knowledgeable and genuine. I do know that Radar is NEDSCA certified but I cannot speak of his other k9's. When I spoke with Carl he did state on how impressed he was with the training that's involved with their program. So much that he has more canines on order.
I'm not trying to push any company vs another, but due to using quite a few k9's during my infestation I found that the one's that the handler and K9 are certified from NEDSCA seem to be the best and most accurate..in my experience on my home, mother's home and grandmother's home anyway. I had a K9 that wasn't certified back in the summer (after 4 treatments) and it showed "hot spots" all over my house. Besides causing needless panic and worry, it showed me at least where the bugs "were" at some point.
Regarding Persona's post, I think there's some confusion over whether you actually had Cesar treat your place or if he just came three times with the dog to confirm their presence...
If I am ever in the position to purchase another property (apartment or house) I will definitely make a bedbug K9 part of my pre-inspection before going to closing. I think bedbug dogs are going to be a goldmine. Also, if I owned a big very high-end hotel or hotel chain, I think i would buy a bedbug dog and have a handler on permanent staff and have the dog sniff every room upon every checkout! (and of course pass the cost of this on to the guests by raising the room rates. . . )
I was going to hire Advanced K-9 but then after reading enigmas post, I became very interested in the other company, Freedom Pest control.
How do I know who to hire? In my case, I did confirm that I had bed bugs back in July, and I am still battling with them. I have had 7 treatments so far and want to bring in a dog to confirm whether they are still in my home.
Any suggestions on which company I should go with? thank you everyone!
I hired Advanced K-9 a couple of months ago and am going to hire Cesar. Let's keep in touch, and I'll update my experiences here. I, too, have been battling the vampires since July. I think the main difference here is that Cesar is a PCO and will treat if he finds anything. He's all about steam treatments (minimal chemicals). Also, he's one of the most knowledgeable PCO's I've spoken to.
Hi all, so the three visits by Cesar were all just inspections with the dog. It's a long story why these were necessary but they were. I got my biopsy result and unfortunately it's "BUG BITE" so now I am back to the beginning. What the hell is biting me?? Cesar is going to help me set up some traps and do some experiments on my skin with bb biting me to see if I get the same reaction. The dermatologist ran out scabies and mites. She said I don't have the symptoms of scabies and mites make many bites in one area (is that true all the times??). I don't have pets in my house so it can't be fleas..
I wonder if maybe we missed a bb or two who were hiding deep into something, maybe deep into my floors or inside my wall.. I am so exhausted with this problem.. I spent already way too much money with all these visits, treatments, etc. since I've experienced bites at the beginning of October. By the way my bites are very different from the common bites. This mystery is really nerve-racking. And I have a two-week trip to Italy coming up that I can't miss. Probably there is not enough time to understand what insect is biting me and then certainly no time to prepare and treat. I need to review the FAQ and forum messages for a list of all the possible insects. If anyone has the reference handy it will be much welcomed.
I do not know about mite bite patterns. You might ask Lou Sorkin or David Cain (who runs bed-bugs.co.uk and has worked on some mite cases.
Thank you, Nobugsonme. I will pm David. But how do I get in touch with Lou? He is also on the forum? Thank you.
I've got Ceaser and his bb dog coming out to my place now...he seemed very patient and knowledgeable.
I'm praying to every power that is or was that the dog finds nothing.
Even if he does find bedbugs,at least we will get an idea of where to treat
For the first time in over 3 months ,I've got a little hope shining through!!!
Great to hear! Good Luck! Tell Cesar that Paula said hello.
Also question Ceasar about if the are up high,in a smoke detector or another possible harborage ,would the dog still be able to smell them?I think that if there's no air movement in the room,it might be hard.Just guessing,but it's worth asking about.
After I posted my positive messages about Cesar, he must have gotten too busy. He had always been very reliable until a few days ago. He said he was going to call me to set up an appointment to be at my place on Friday or Saturday but he hasn't called. I called him and he would say, let me call you back in 10 minutes. But then nothing. Still waiting for a call back. I am not happy with this.
To answer your question, Bugbasher, bugs and eggs can indeed be hidden where the dog can't detect them. Air currents are an issue of course. Yet, dogs can be of great help in detecting low-level infestations.
I think you're right about his being busy !!! It's now almost 5 and he's still not here.
He did call to asay he's stuck in traffic,but he was supposed to be here between 1 and 3 pm.
I got the kids out of the house which wasn't easy ,& am still waiting and nervous !
He finally called! My message did generate too many calls and too many people asking too many questions.. I should not have posted my message as my experience was too problematic and with too many details that I cannot possibly tell without spending hours writing.
Scarred, a piece of advice for you: be as invisible as you can so that the dog does not get distracted. Cesar should be on his way. You'll see, he is a great guy. I was really having a nervous breakdown before.. I've never felt so vulnerable.. Good luck Scarred, let us know how it goes.
Thanks so much for recomending hCeaser !
He just went to get his dog & I am very impressed with him so far !
I'll let you know how it turns out
Ceaser just left after spending 3 hours here.And he went above & beyond .he really cares about what he's doing.What a gem ,indeed !!!
I can't say enough good things about him & his dog Tre
He was thorough ,professional,informed ,kind,and everything you'd want in a pco.
I would absolutely reccomend him !
And Tre was a friendly and adorable dog as well as very good at his task.
I got to play with him a little after he was done sniffing for the bbs !
The good news is that the dog found NO BUGS anywhere !!!!!!
Maybe now my family can start slowly re-claiming our lives
I am SO happy for you!!!!!!
We're lucky to have found Cesar He has such a good heart
Just make sure you do not get anything out of those plastic bags before a year and a half has passed, unless you can use the appropriate heat treatment for what's inside.
Enjoy your bug-free life!!!!!
So, now it's bedbugsenigma and Scarredforlife that's in the clear! CONGRATULATIONS!!! I too had Cesar as well as SPKHandler in my home. We have been bug free for a while now as far as I know. We're in a single family home, my mother in a condo unit. She is in the clear as well from AAA Pest Controls NESDCA K9. I plan to have quarterly K9 visits for my home as well as my mothers condo from here on out. This gives us great peace of mind to be able to live comfortably in our homes and visit. The added feature is that if the unfortunate event happens that we do get re-infested we will undoubtedly catch the infestation at a much earlier rate. I agree that Cesar is quite genuine in his work and have touched base with him a few times since our inspection. If anything, this definitely shows what the bites and delayed bite reactions do to us and having a K9 come in after an infestation allows the sufferer some peace and closure in order to move on from the "bed bugged state of mind"
Congratulations to you both!
Paula, actually we may only share our happiness for Scarredforlife.. Cesar is coming again tomorrow as the biopsy result is "bug bite" so there is still something actively biting me. We think that maybe we missed a bug or two hidden deep in one of the million cracks in my hardwood floors or maybe I have a mite problem. In any case, let's cheer at Scarredforlife's success!
Thanks so much for your good wishes !!!
Although we found no bugs,I'm still so traumatized that I'll probably never be comfortable declaring victory.
But I can sit on my couch now and be almost peaceful
I do believe that my building is infested due to neighbors leaving bugged furniture in the basement ,which still hasn't been taken out after 2 months.
I've written all kinds of letters & emails about it to local & city government & nobody did any more than send me the board of Health's pamphlet !!!
So I'm going to caulk the rest of my baseboards after putting a good dusting of DE in the spaces & do routine inspections ,just in case !
I wish my LL would hire Ceaser and Tre .
Hiring a dog is definitely the way to go in my opinion ,and they should be legally required for pco's to use when treating/searching for bedbugs !
And pco's in this city should use Ceaser's example of professionalism as something to aspire to.Having the little demon bugs is awful enough.
We all should be treated with the respect and genuine concern that he showed me.
BBE..I know that Ceaser will do all he can to help you,you're in good hands
I truly wish you best of luck with your ongoing search for the demons !
If I remember correctly, you're still getting "bites"? I'm very interested in the idea that some people continue to get what they think are bites months after their bugs are gone. I know your child has been bite-free for some time. Great news.
I'm very happy that you got the all-clear from Cesar. He's bringing Tre to my apartment this week--and yes, when I spoke to him a couple of days ago, he said the bed bug situation is out of control lately. Sounds like a busy man.
BBE, Scarred, and Paula,
Forgot to ask: Is there anything I should prepare before Cesar comes? Should I strip the bed? Move any of my hundreds of plastic bags? How long does he spend in your place?
I have recessed lighting and a sprinkler system in my apartment, so I'm worried that even if I get the all-clear, there might still be some bugs high up. Cesar noticed a transom window in my bedroom that's close to the ceiling, and he said the dog wouldn't be able to sniff them if they were up there.
Hi Needtosleep. THe dogs nose detection is like a cone. This is what I would do. Do not strip the bed or do any laundry or any cleaning. A few reasons for this. First, it will disturb any stray bugs if you have any. Second, the dogs nose is very sensitive to smells and any cleaners, detergents, air fresheners will make it harder for the dog to detect what it's looking for.
I would turn off the heat, not smoke, no cleaning, make sure all windows are shut as not to cause a draft, no cooking for about 1-2 hrs before he gets there. I would however vacuum any DE on the floor for this will affect the dogs nose.
As for the bags and such...I would call Cesar and ask him if it would help to try and lay them in a line in the middle of the floor for the dog to sniff out. (could be a stray bug in a bag)
Whether you gat an "all clear" or if the dog confirms something I would be sure to caulk everything possible on walls, windows etc.. to prevent bugs entering from another unit in the future if you are in an apartment. Caulk that window you mention. Chances are if you still have an infestation, it's probably low. In low infestations the bugs like to be close to the food source (you) Remember, they are lazy by nature. They tend to spread out as the population gets larger.
Call Cesar and ask any additional questions that you have. He knows the K9 best.
Yes..I'm having some weird skin reactions.They could be hives,as I've gotten them to getting them when I'm really upset,which has been very often since the whole bedbug thing sarted.
I also have super sensitive skin ,so much so that most hyoerallergenic things can bother me.With all the chemicals that were put down in the boys room,it's possible that I could be reacting to that too.
I do know that Bedlam being sprayed anywhere near me makes my skin burn.
These mystery bites and skin reactions are fascinating to me too .
Good luck with Ceaser & Tre.He's wonderful & you're in good hands
Let us know how it turns out ,please !
I don't know if this has already been asked, but does anyone have a recommendation for bedbug dogs in the greater nyc area (like 40 minutes away from the city)? Also, how much does it typically cost to have a bedbug dog inspection. I have a single family house, 2 floors plus attic and basement. I am really interested in this, it sounds like a godsend!
Hi Anna, dog inspections aren't cheap but they're the way to go. I had my small 600sqf apartment checked for $250 so I guess it would be more for you. Cesar is the best and I would ask him first. Good luck!
Anna, what ever k9 you choose for an inspection I feel one that is NESDCA certified is best. There a few companies in our area now that do it. Cesar, yes I feel is very good an true to his work. If you go on the NEDSCA website there is a list of k9 handlers there and will show you who is in our area as well.
Hail Cesar! He and Tre spent two hours at my place today and we got the all-clear! I'm still freaked out that the dog could have missed something, but they were thorough. Next step is a dermatologist, but Cesar said if I'm still showing reactions and am convinced it's a bug bite, to call him. It's been two months since Jada from Advanced K-9 alerted in my apartment, so either I got a false positive from them, or the last two treatments finally worked. (I've noticed that some of the dogs from Advanced K-9 are certified, but Jada isn't.)
I was impressed by how much time he spent clearing paths in different parts of the apartment; he even showed me videos and pictures of previous jobs to illustrate what to look for when inspecting. He breeds his own bed bugs, by the way, and knows Lou Sorkin.
All in all, I regret that I didn't know about him back in August, when the battle began. If anyone out there is in a similar situation (no confirmed bugs, but still having skin reactions), PM me. We can compare notes. Good luck to you all.
Great news that nothing was detected..not so great news you are reacting to something, but seems as if bb aren't it! That must feel like an absolute load off your shoulders! Wish I could afford a k9 to come into our apt, but hey eventually we will figure out if they are really gone or not anyway lol. I am just rejoicing for you right now...let us know what the dermotologist has to say! Good luck!
needtosleep, that's awesome, best wishes...
I've been reading these messages with fascination. It's great to hear that these dogs and their handlers can really do this kind of thing. I'm not in the NYC area, I'm in the Raleigh, NC area. Does anybody know how I could go about finding any K9's in this area? I will google, and I have the NESDCA website too, but wondered if anyone in my area has had success (or not) using the dogs? I had an exterminator come and though he looked closely, he didn't see any sign of infestation, so all I have is bites. And another member pointed out that without phsycial evidence -- a bug -- it's illegal to treat for bedbugs in North Carolina. So a dog might be a good way to go, other than waiting until an infestation gets bad enough to see bugs more easily.
I'm happy for everyone who has been cleared of the bedbug fright.
Spooked, I PM'd you some info on how to use the NESDCA site.
Just wanted to weight in on the Cesar experience here. I had him come by my house yesterday and he was by far the most knowledgeable and helpful person I've spoken to so far. I've been calling people and phone interviewing PCOs like crazy and he's the only one I've talked to that did not say something that I KNEW was false. He supports a colony to train Tre with, so he has the sort of hands-on experience for which there is no substitute. He stayed in my house checking things out for 3+ hours. He hid bugs in different places in different types of containers and the dog alerted to each one.
But besides the knowledge gap between him and other PCOs, he has an honesty that is rare in this industry. Another universal trait that I've see from PCOs is that everyone is 100% confident that they can get rid of your problem. Cesar doesn't BS you about the chances though. He makes it clear that it's possible for his dog to miss something although it's very rare.
He likes to have his sessions with Tre recorded so that he can show people that it really does work. At one point he realized that the camera had been in still photo mode and that he didn't have video of the dog alerting on the test vial in one of the rooms. We went back to the room and he ran Tre through again. Of course since he'd already alerted to it, Tre remembered where the vial was and went straight to it. Any other person would have used that piece of film as evidence of how good the dog was, after all he went straight for the vial! Cesar however, made a point of turning to the camera and saying "We've actually already been through here once so he knew where they were this time". That's what I mean when I say that he's an honest person.
He's also constantly working to improve Tre's repertoire of detection techniques. It really is a lifestyle for him and he is truly out to help people. I'm a very skeptical person and this experience has only made me moreso, but Cesar passed all of my tests and beyond.
I'm sorry to gush, but it really has been a very long struggle to find anyone that knows what they're talking about in this area and I hope that other people find this thread and hire him before their problem gets so bad that they worry about sitting on park benches and going to movie theaters.
Last Meal. Yes I agree that Cesar is very true to his work. He cannot treat where I am yet because I'm in Jersey but he's allowed to inspect with the K9. I had him here back in Dec and that was the step I needed for closure on our ordeal. I still touch base with him from time to time and he is always informative, professional and personal.
LastMeal - I soooo know how you feel!! The canine handler we used (in Montreal) so far has known the most knowledgeable (and kind) out of all the professionals I've dealt with during this ongoing saga (this would include 3 PCOs I've used, plus 6 more that I interviewed) The level of knowledge out there among "professionals" in my city is truly sad!!
My canine handler sounds less experienced than Cesar - at the very end he recommended I open all the windows and try to freeze out the apartment (I know that will NOT work). But everything else was pretty much right on with my own research. Too bad he couldn't recommend a good PCO to me. I'm about ready to tear my hair out. (And yes, in our case, the dog alerted to BBs.)
NeedToSleep - Congrats on your news!
Since I last posted, I have had a K9 handler come in -- I live in the Raleigh area. Thanks to this website and everybody who posts such good information on it, I was able to find the handler and have him bring his two dogs the next day (last Saturday). He planted a vial of bedbugs for our benefit, to show us that the dogs actually DO smell the bugs) then brought the first dog in, and the dog found it. Then he went over the entire house with this dog, who stopped at three places: a corner of one of the suitcases (currently in our upstairs hall) that we brought back from the restort in Park City, Utah, and two places on our mattress -- both on my side (I'm the one with the bites, or at least I'm the most reactive to the bites). Then he brought in a second dog, just to be absolutely sure about the findings. This dog stopped at exactly the same three places. We were both sad and relieved. We had had another PCO come in and look very vedry carefully at our bedroom, but he couldn't find a thing. These dogs found three sites as soon as they came into the areas with the bedbugs. So in my opinion, the dogs are definitely the way to go. Of course, we have been through sheer hell since the dogs found the bugs -- but you all know what's involved. The work has been tremendous, and we are just exhausted. We had our first treatment on Thursday, and in two weeks, our PCO will bring the dogs through for a run, and we shall see. I'm not expecting that we'll be done with the bugs after just one treatment -- seems too optimistic. And we have a "small" infestation! But we still had to bag and clear out a lot of stuff in our house -- because the PCO feels that the only way to be sure of a successful treatment is to act as if you have a larger infestation. He knows a LOT about bedbugs, and I thought he was the most knowledgeable person I had spoken with. I am currenty sleeping downstairs, but my husband has consented to be "bait" since he doesn't seem to react the same way I do. I have to say, though, that even if we are successfull in ridding ourselves of these horrible bugs, (and we have to be successful!), I don't know how I'm going to ever really relax in our bed again. People who I've told about our experience are really stunned to learn how difficult it is to get rid of bedbugs. I wish I didn't know what I do about them, but we have been unfortunate enough to bring them into our house, and we'll never be quite the same again!
Main point, though, is that I really think the dogs are the best way to determine if you do or don't have bedbugs.
what is the cost of a dog visit?
Depending on handler, travel time and size of the house...usually ranges between $250 to $450.
Don't base on price of dog, base on quality of K9, certification and training. PM me if you have questions. I've dealt with a few.
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