NYC PCOs and K9s(7 posts)
On the board of a medium size cooperative apartment building in NYC. We have visually confirmed infestations in 2 apartments, a complaint from another w/o visual confirmation despite intensive search by the owner, and we suspect 4th unit has a problem though they have not told us yet.
Because we are facing the need to inspect so many units (up, down, sideways and katy-corner from every affected apartment), we have come to the conclusion that a dog team would be useful.
We are looking at two firms in NYC -- Pest Away and Standard. Both refer to 3rd parties for K9 to avoid a financial incentive for false alerts.
We need a company that works with whole buildings. We will demand full cooperation from all residents and are prepared to threaten dire consequences to anyone who doesn't! We understand that we have to diagnose and treat the building as a whole.
You may already know this, but the following is the most important piece of information I can think of in terms of choosing a dog/handler team that often gets overlooked in discussions.
The most important quality in a dog/handler team (and I'm not in NYC, so I cannot speak to NYC specific firms) is that any alert by the dog be confirmed by the handler with visual inspection.
Dog/handler teams can be useful in a situation like the one you describe--you have a lot of places to inspect. Since human inspections are so time intensive, using a dog/handler team to narrow down which places to search can be invaluable. However, no dog is 100% accurate, and particularly where liability may be an issue (as I assume it would be with a condo board if the board is mandating treatment), you definitely want a good team that will follow a dog's alert with a thorough visual inspection so that you get the most accurate sense of which units need treatment.
Apologies if that's already on the list of criteria you've screened for, but in case it isn't, it's the single most important thing I would look for in a K9 team.
Thanks so much for your reply. Yes, I know that one must insist on visual confirmation, and have already ruled out a company that told me that this was not necessary. Since we have decided to use dogs, I have been reading up, but if you can point me to a concise list of questions to ask before hiring a dog team, I would greatly appreciate it. What else should I ask about, in addition to visual confirmation?
In case you have not seen the FAQ on dogs: Bed Bug Sniffing dogs what you need to know
Did the PC companies tell you who the dog team(s) will be? Will it happen to be the same team used by both companies? I'm guessing that they are different teams.
Thanks for your interest, Lou. I hadn't gotten as far as finding out the names of the teams, but I would guess these two PCO companies refer to different dog companies.
I know I don't want the owner of the dog team to be the owner of the pest control company, and want to avoid any situation where there could be kickbacks from referrals to dogs that give lots of false (or, I guess I should say, unverifiable) alerts.
At the same time, I don't want the burden of having three completely separate companies working for me, all with their individual approach, time frame, etc. So, I am hoping to choose one PCO that can help me coordinate all three needs: k9, chemical, and thermal.
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