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*Official* bed bug k9 industry thread

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  1. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Feb 22 2010 21:11:01
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    This thread is for discussion of the bed bug k9 industry including various training approaches, trainers, certification, etc.

    It is not a thread for talking about specific bed bug k9 services.

    If you are a consumer, this is not the thread to ask for recommendations about bed bug k9s. Instead, start a new thread (tag it "bed bug k9s").

    This is a space for people to discuss the bed bug k9 industry. This is a topic which has consumed many other threads which started out on other topics, and I think it is important that a dedicated space be provided, so people can be sent here rather than diverting other discussions.

    Since this topic seems to bring up a lot of conflict on the forums, I hope this is a solution both for those who want to discuss the bed bug k9 industry and those who don't!

    If you are on another thread and want to engage in debates about trainers, methods, and certification for bed bug k9s, please move it here. (Bookmark this thread if you are in the industry.)

    Feel free to say, "let's go to the *Official* bed bug k9 industry thread!" before someone else does. That way, we can keep other threads on topic.

    Rules: please be civil to people you do not agree with, and respect their differing viewpoints. Your cooperation is much appreciated.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  2. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Feb 23 2010 9:11:38
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    Welcome to the K9 thread!

    (Read in a Rodney Dangerfield voice)

    I'm telling ya.... Its dog eat dog out there....

    I get no respect... No respect....

  3. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Feb 23 2010 11:38:55
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    Great idea for a thread.

    I am also linking below to the article we wrote to help people confirm both visual and K9 inspection for confirming signs of bed bug activity prior to treatment starting:

    http://www.bedbugbeware.com/confirmingBBsignsfinal.pdf

    Hopefully people will see the value in adopting this approach.

    Regards,

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about products.
  4. kypest

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Feb 24 2010 23:33:29
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    Glad to see this thread! I am the owner of Perfection K9 Services and Perfection Pest Control, serving the unfortunate people of Greater Cincinnati that are suffering with bed bugs. Beddy is our two year old Jack Russell/Minature Schnauzer bed bug detector. She was trained by Jim Rutherford at Action K9 Institute. She is handled by an excellent partner with ten years experience in pest control. We always provide sight verification on any alerts with repeat verifications if neccessary.
    Here is a story that was done on Fox news
    http://www.fox41.com/global/story.asp?s=12024988

    Our site
    http://www.perfectionk9services.com

    I welcome any and all input from the other experts on here. While I have thirty years of experience in the pest management industry, I have never worked with a K9 but have a good handler and a good mentor.

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Feb 25 2010 1:06:06
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    "We always provide sight verification on any alerts with repeat verifications if neccessary."

    That sounds good.

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Feb 25 2010 1:07:46
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    kypest,

    I deleted your duplicate post in the forums. Please do not cross-post to multiple threads and please also read the terms and conditions of site use. Thanks, and welcome!

  7. actionwdi

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Mar 16 2010 9:05:40
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    I have read the many post regarding bed bug k9's with mixed feelings. As a PCO, dog handler, and dog trainer I hate hearing the stories about false alerts from K9 teams as it tarnishes the entire k9 industry but quite honestly, I'm surprised there aren't more stories of bad results based on what I've seen.

    Earlier this month I was requested to speak at the Canadian Pest Management Association's meeting in Ottawa. While I was there I spoke with an exhibitor that was promoting her new K9 mold and bed bug inspectors. The problem was that the trainer trained the individual dogs to alert to both bed bugs and several different types of mold! When I asked her how she knew what the dog was alerting to she said they practise with the scent she wants the dogs to alert to on an inspection. So she basically believed the dog could turn off its ability to detect bed bugs or mold upon request. I felt sorry for her because she had spent a very large sum of money to a trainer that clearly doesn't have a clue and she was starting a business that , from the start, is bound to fail. She had ZERO back ground knowledge of bed bugs and her knowledge of dogs was based on her experience as a breeder and the 4 days of training with her trainer. A very sad situation.

    As for false alerts, most dogs are trained on training devises rather than real world situations. The handlers hide the samples and unknowingly lead the dog to alert to the samples. If the dog does this correctly 95 out of 100 times they brag about an accuracy rate of 95%. But have someone hide the vials and neither dog or handler knows where they are and the accuracy rate drops to (maybe) 75%.

    Although most companies don't have the resources for 2 canines, we do all of our inspections with 2 teams. This way we can compare results and recheck questionable alerts or lack of. Finally we do a visual inspection to verify but if we can't locate them the question is are our eyes at fault or the dog's nose? The point is, as mush as we'd all like to have a 100% correct inspection, I think it is impossible to gain this level. We even tested a $20,000 thermal imaging camera to locate bed bugs with our dogs but the bed bugs didn't generate enough heat for the camera to pick them up.

    I read somewhere on this forum that a blogger thought that bed bug dogs would run their course in 2 years. He may very well be right but I'm hoping that the Teams that are maintained properly and are truly educated in regards to bed bugs & pest control knowledge will seperate themselves from the others and set a standard for this industry. Bed Bug dogs are not the only answer but simply a tool. If you don't recharge your flashlite you get a weak beam of light which can cause you to miss important signs. The same is true with a bed bug dog team.

    I look forward to reading the post on this forum and thank the host for allowing me to post here.

  8. LVK9

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Mar 16 2010 11:11:56
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    actionwdi I think you zeroing in on one of the issues in the K-9 industry as it stands now.

    She had ZERO back ground knowledge of bed bugs

    I think that after a team completes an inspection and the customer thinks the "star of the show" was just the K-9 your team maybe lacking in some required skills and knowledge.

    I'm hoping that the Teams that are maintained properly and are truly educated in regards to bed bugs & pest control knowledge will seperate themselves from the others and set a standard for this industry.

    This is something that I think will happen. When to much emphasis is placed on the K-9's ability alone, in my opinion is a bad thing. It is bad for the K-9 industry if customers have the feeling after an inspection the only reason "the human" was part of the inspection was to hold the lead and write an invoice.

  9. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Mar 16 2010 17:28:16
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    I neglected to post a link to the new bed bug sniffing k9 FAQ for consumers, but welcome your comments and input on it either here or on the FAQ.

  10. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Apr 11 2010 8:49:27
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    BedBugDog™ is a trademark of Florida Canine Academy.

    A trademark is established through use of the mark in commerce.

    We trained our first BedBugDog™ in 2002 and have been selling bed bug detection dogs throughout the United States and Canada under the BedBugDog™ trademark since 2005.

  11. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Apr 25 2010 8:28:50
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  12. loubugs

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Apr 26 2010 15:42:33
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    Well, not in the bed bug sniffing K9 end per se, but I did want to second the thoughts that were noted above regarding handlers and trainers who don't know about the bugs at all. I work on bed bugs, identification and biology. Also some of the handlers have never worked with dogs before and have basically just learned about them very quickly: They still have a lot to learn and should make sure they do learn more before selling themselves. Some handlers definitely aren't ready for their detection jobs and still need more education on basic bed bug identification.
    Visual verification is extremely important, and even if bugs can't be found, the reference can be noted as a hit, just not visually verified. Results of examination of the home or adjoining apartments may make more sense when looking at the situation as a whole rather than just being able to see one apartment or one room.
    Some of the pictures I upload are images of extreme infestation and what most likely is being seen in general are much less infested homes, in fact, infested rooms may appear "uninfested" even after searching in response to a dog alert because the bed bug load is slight or in its early stages.
    If K9 bed bug inspections aren't performed in a professional manner everyone suffers.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  13. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Apr 26 2010 17:20:18
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    Lou and LVK9 are correct.

    The weak link is the skill and knowledge of the K9 handler.

    I am working on a program to develop better skills for inspectors including identification.

    There will be a comprehensive exam at the end of the course.

    Visual identification is an essential part of the inspection, but inaccessible areas like adjacent units can be a major obstacle for proper verification of the infestation..

  14. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Apr 28 2010 8:58:10
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  15. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jun 18 2010 14:22:56
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    I don't want to start a riot, and I do not have a dog in this race, but I have been wondering: is there a disadvantage to a bed bug k9 having long hair?

    I saw some footage recently of bed bug k9s with really long coats -- perfectly groomed but looking ready for a show.

    (I don't want to name them, because I don't want to bring negative attention to the firm without any cause).

    I just had to think how they might possibly pick up a bed bug more easily than a short-haired dog under certain circumstances.

    I know long-haired breeds can be awesome workers. I am just concerned. As I would be about a human going into an infested situation wearing fluffy fur that sticks out six inches in every direction.

    I know checking dogs for bugs is something any handler should be doing in between jobs, but there's no way that you can groom a dog like this after every unit you inspect in a hotel or apartment building, for example.

  16. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jun 19 2010 21:21:08
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    We have over 100 teams in the field, but we are not getting complaints from our handlers about bringing bugs home.

    I think behavior may be more critical than hair length... If the team is walking around the room at a steady clip... It is difficult for a cryptic pest to climb onto a moving K9, but if the K9 rests on the floor while the handler speaks with the occupant or performs another task... then we are looking at a different level of exposure.

    I have spoken with a number of researchers while trying to encourage someone to perform some repellency testing on the various products that are available for K9 flea and tick control to try to identify a product that would be useful for protecting a dog against picking up a hitchhiker. So far, I have not been able to identify a preferred product.

    I currently use Frontline and dog shampoo spiked with cedar oil to prevent any transfer of bugs.

  17. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Jun 20 2010 1:25:22
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    Thanks, Doug.

    The footage I saw was obviously a demo rather than a real search, but the dog spent time sitting on the floor as the handler talked to "client" and also was lying on the bed for minutes sniffing without really moving much.

  18. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jul 3 2010 13:39:09
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  19. Canuck

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 13:26:49
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    Hello DougSommersMS,

    Looking for an update on your post, 5 months back, "on a program to develop better skills for inspectors including identification". Were you thinking a program for Joe Q Public, independent K9 handlers or ...? Thanx for your time.

    Sheree Swindle / certified K9-assisted bed bug inspector
  20. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Oct 4 2010 18:09:30
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    Looking to have the site up around the first of the year.

    The educational section will be open to everyone

  21. Canuck

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Oct 4 2010 21:07:25
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    Thanks for the update - I am looking forward to the info.

  22. labugman

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Oct 7 2010 21:56:16
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    I can see how this dog sniffing deal is going to go. I have no doubt that a trained dog can accomplish the task, but how long before this becomes a consumer fraud?

  23. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Oct 9 2010 11:58:24
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    In some parts of the country... fraud has already become an issue.

    People are popping up without any formal training claiming that their dog can locate bed bugs with disastrous outcomes.

    I don't care who trained the dog... as long as they are able to "Show Us The Bed Bugs" in the identified locations.

    The website I am working on will only list K9 teams that perform a manual search in any alert locations in accordance with a simple verification protocol.

    The handlers will be required to pass a comprehensive knowledge and identification exam.

    Consumer satisfaction ratings will be posted as well.

    It is hard to legislate integrity.... I think that consumer satisfaction ratings will be the best guide

  24. thebedbugguy

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Oct 9 2010 13:59:47
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    I agree that visual verification is crucial. If the handler cannot produce Bedbugs or other evidence (cast skins and/or fecal matter) I consider that a false positive. I understand in some instances that the handler may not be able to "dig" through the furniture or whatever but in most cases he or she should visually produce evidence. The dog and handler are equally important components of the team and when one is bad the team is bad.

  25. Canuck

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Oct 9 2010 16:51:20
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    Doug, I like the 3-prong approach - search protocol, 'show me the bug' verification, and handler knowledge/identification exam. I had not considered the option of consumer satisfaction feedback. Like administration of this web-site, it would require some due dilligence to control spam and guard against (as much as possible) malicious/liable postings. Can't wait for the site info - but I guess I'll have too.

  26. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Oct 9 2010 16:52:40
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    The term false positive can be misleading... Unconfirmed, unproductive or unverified alert are more accurate terms.

    The K9 has alerted, but "no visual evidence was found" does not necessarily mean that a bed bug was not present, if there are inaccessible spaces or highly complex environments in the search area.

    In an uncontrolled environment... outside of the laboratory or a training room... we cannot know with certainty if an alert was false... All we know is that we were unable to confirm the alert with physical evidence.

    This is a major challenge for field research on K9 accuracy.

    If the K9 alerts to a location wit loose floor boards or furnishings that we do not have permission to open up... That alert would best be described as unconfirmed or unverified.

    When we do not have physical evidence to confirm an alert location... that does not necessarily mean that it was a false alert.

    The term false positive K9 alert is confusing for the general public... Unconfirmed K9 alert is a better term.

  27. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Oct 9 2010 17:03:20
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    Canuck

    Ensuring that the consumer feedback rating is credible is one of the biggest challenges.

    We are thinking about a ten star rating system based on feedback from consumers.

  28. Canuck

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Oct 9 2010 18:34:34
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    A 10-level range is good. I find a 3 or 5 level system very limiting, producing results that only highlight the very best/worst.

    Will the consumer pick the rating or are you designing a short questionnaire that automatically caculates the final rating? At what point do you collect the feedback - right after the k9 inspection, and prior to treatment, after the initial treatment, after 2/3 months, etc.? So many questions, and this is only one aspect you are addressing. I can see you have your work cut out for you.

  29. overload

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Dec 20 2010 23:50:57
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    What has the International/National Pest Control Ass have to do with K9's?

    Does the public even know there are many ORT /NORT ...look it up!

    K9 Odor test already available?

    How many scams before it pops?

    I see maybe two more years for K-9's with the latest news. One person wants to take over and make millions. But the cats out of the bag already.
    And the poor people that purchased these dogs, I feel sorry for them.

  30. HelpinDC

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 4 2011 12:55:00
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    Sorry if I am on the wrong thread (if I am, please just tell me where to move to)!
    Can bed bug sniffing dogs distinguish between dead and live bugs? We just had our apartment heat-treated yesterday and a dog is coming on Friday to determine whether or not we have successfully gotten rid of them. I'm worried, though, that the dog will sniff any dead bugs left from the treatment and signal that we still have bugs if we don't. Thanks!

  31. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 4 2011 12:59:32
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    Some can, some can't. You need to ask the firm you hired. You may also want to read our FAQ on canine scent detection before you hire one.

    If you want to discuss this further, please go to the main forums page (click Forums above) and then click "Add new" above the green box. This starts a new thread.

  32. HelpinDC

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    Tue Jan 4 2011 13:16:21
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    Thanks! It's not up to me, my landlord hired the company. Hopefully they hired one that has dogs who can distinguish. I will be sure to ask when they come on Friday.

  33. btaggart

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 4 2011 15:00:11
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    if you want you can name the company and maybe people on the forum will be able to give you some feedback

  34. Canuck

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    Fri Feb 18 2011 19:39:52
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    We are looking for a supplier for the screening over our plastic vial for bed bugs. Right now it is plankton screen, but we do not know the micron size. Any advice on suppliers and the micron size would be appreciated. FYI - we have the bugs for training maintenance of our bed bug dog. Thank you.

  35. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
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    Canuck - 5 hours ago  » 
    We are looking for a supplier for the screening over our plastic vial for bed bugs. Right now it is plankton screen, but we do not know the micron size. Any advice on suppliers and the micron size would be appreciated. FYI - we have the bugs for training maintenance of our bed bug dog. Thank you.

    Hi Canuck,

    You might also private message bed-bugscouk (David Cain), thebedbugresource (Sean Rollo), and loubugs (Lou Sorkin) who all keep colonies (as I recall) but may not be reading the k9 thread as avidly as some. They may have a suggestion.

  36. really

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    Sun Feb 27 2011 23:19:00
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    HelpinDC - 1 month ago  » 
    Sorry if I am on the wrong thread (if I am, please just tell me where to move to)!
    Can bed bug sniffing dogs distinguish between dead and live bugs? We just had our apartment heat-treated yesterday and a dog is coming on Friday to determine whether or not we have successfully gotten rid of them. I'm worried, though, that the dog will sniff any dead bugs left from the treatment and signal that we still have bugs if we don't. Thanks!

    I the dog and trainer are well trained they can, if not, they are in the wrong business.

  37. actionwdi

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    Mon Mar 14 2011 7:52:38
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    The NPMA started the CIDD (Canine Insect Detction Dogs) Comittee in 2009 to help PCO's and bed bug clients in the understanding and use of canines for bed bug detection. They have listed a set of minimum standards for use and certification. You can locate it on pestworld.org.

    A new non-profit association has been started as a 3rd party certification body called the IAOCPI (www.iaocpi.com). The problem as we see it, to have the trainer certify the dog / handler presents a conflict of interest. And to drive to Florida to certify with NESDCA is costly and time consuming. For these reasons many teams out there today are not certified by a 3rd party certifying body and won't be unless a fair, equitable, and impartial method of certifying is developed.

    The IAOCPI has come up with a method of certifying teams without the need for travel and large sums of cash in the form of dues, travel, and lost revenues.

    I am excited about the association but my reason for posting here is inform the readers of this forum that the IAOCPI exist and where to find more information about the association. For the record I am a trainer, handler, and a founding member of the IAOCPI.

  38. actionwdi

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Mar 14 2011 8:10:37
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    As I mentioned, the NPMA has a Bed Bugs best management practises. The link to view this is
    http://www.bedbugbmps.org/PDF/bed_bug_bmps_for_consumers_FINAL.pdf

  39. Somechic

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    I brought a sample of what I thought might be a bed bug into the Westchester County Home Show for identification I had read a blog that J.P. McHale Pest Management had someone there identifying bugs. The sample I had was to smashed and in pieces. But they offered their K9 team and said they also offered treatment options if I do have a problem. I haven't decided yet.

  40. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Mar 24 2011 0:28:44
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    Somechick,

    Before you hire a canine team, you may want to read this FAQ.

  41. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
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    Let me remind everyone of the first post above:

    This thread is for discussion of the bed bug k9 industry including various training approaches, trainers, certification, etc.


    It is not a thread for talking about specific bed bug k9 services.

    If you are a consumer, this is not the thread to ask for recommendations about bed bug k9s. Instead, start a new thread (tag it "bed bug k9s").

    This is a space for people to discuss the bed bug k9 industry. This is a topic which has consumed many other threads which started out on other topics, and I think it is important that a dedicated space be provided, so people can be sent here rather than diverting other discussions.

    Lately consumers have been asking for recommendations on this thread. If this happens again, please do not respond. Instead, remind them to start a new thread.

    Also, if you are in the k9 or PCO business, you need to disclose any connections you may have with a firm when you "recommend" them. If you can't, don't post recommendations. Thanks!

  42. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
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    bugwrecked asked for a recommendation and actionwdi offered one and, since it was clear bugwrecked had seen the response, these posts have been deleted as being off topic in this thread.

  43. actionwdi

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    Posted 6 years ago
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    For all of those that have canines or anyone thinking of getting one there is a Canine Conference scheduled for June 1-3 in Philidephia, PA put on by the National Pest Management Association. There is an impressive lin up of speakers covering topics regarding training, upkeep, liability and more. Go to the NPMA's website for more information regarding registration.

  44. KillerQueen

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Mar 31 2011 15:17:37
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    I'm going with my bullet proof vest on

  45. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 6 years ago
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    Maybe we could get NPMA to set up a full body scanner at the meeting entrance

  46. KillerQueen

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    Posted 6 years ago
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    Can't do it. The dog collars will slow down entry for everyone. I'm just gunna have to pack heavy myself.

  47. DougSummersMS

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    Mon Apr 4 2011 1:13:14
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    Sounds like it will be an interesting conference

  48. KillerQueen

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    Thu Apr 7 2011 8:43:02
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    I can sling Milano's like a boomerang!

  49. djames1921

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    Sat Apr 9 2011 9:05:16
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    Wish it was closer. I'd like to see the visual confirmation crowd pick a leader and insist on this practice by all k9 teams. Not that my name carries much weight, but I would be willing to sign a letter showing support for that being the standard. Doug, I know you are in favor of visual confirmation and train your teams that way, is this going to be a major topic at the convention?

  50. DougSummersMS

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    Sat Apr 9 2011 15:30:51
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    David,
    I expect that visual confirmation will be a major topic at the NPMA conference in Philadelphia.

    As you know, the NPMA recently published their Best Management Practices (BMP) document.

    The BMPs list visual confirmation as one option for verification.... Here are two of the sections that are relevant to the core issue of alert confirmation.

    9.3. The presence of bites or assurances by residents that bed bugs are present should be considered carefully.

    * 9.3.1. It is not possible to tell from an apparent bite if it was caused by a bed bug. Bite reactions vary, and bites from other insects may have similar appearance to those of bed bugs.
    * 9.3.2. Skin infections and conditions can also look like insect bites.
    * 9.3.3. Technicians must confirm that the pest is the bed bug, Cimex lectularius, and not any of the closely related bugs that infest bats and birds, which require different control tactics.

    Section 10.8 lists three options for confirmation of a K9 team alert

    10.8. Prior to making a treatment, the canine handler or a pest management professional should attempt to confirm the canine alert by:

    * 10.8.1. Visually inspecting the area to confirm the presence of an active infestation, or
    * 10.8.2. Utilizing a second canine team, or,
    * 10.8.3. In some situations, the client may elect to have the room(s) treated without secondary confirmation

    Click here for the full NPMA BMP text
    http://www.bedbugbmps.org/PDF/bed_bug_bmps_for_consumers_FINAL.pdf

    My question at the meeting will be...

    How can we satisfy the requirements listed in 9.3... To confirm that the pest is a bed bug and not a closely related pest, skin condition or other source... If the methodologies listed under 10.8.2 (2nd K9) or 10.8.3 (No visual ID) are utilized?

    Treating an occupied space on the basis of a K9 alert without any secondary confirmation is very problematic as well... A K9 alert is not the equivalent of a proper visual identification by a well trained PMP.

    Certification standards, testing procedures and which K9 organizations will be recognized by NPMA will be the other major issues.

    Here is the agenda for the conference
    https://www.npmapestworld.org/events/documents/caninebrochureFINAL.pdf

    I believe that we will hear the national experts like Dr. Larry Myers and Terry Fleck be highly supportive of visual confirmation as the appropriate standard for K9 detection.

  51. djames1921

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    Sun Apr 10 2011 10:47:44
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    Knew you would be on top of it, and like you I wish the npma best practices would have been more stringent on the necessity of visual confirmation. Good luck at the conference, is it just the time and effort of doing a visual confirmation that causes this to be such a problem for some dog handler's? Still curious as to why they don't want it as part of standard practices.

  52. DougSummersMS

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    David,

    I have spoken with some of the K9 companies that have a no visual inspection policy.

    The conversation is always the same...

    They say..."I don't have the time".. Or "I can't afford to spend that much time on a service call."

    My usual response is... " You can't afford to NOT perform the visual... The visual is a critical quality control procedure... How can you measure the accuracy rate of your K9 team, if you do not perform any visual inspection of the identified locations?"

  53. djames1921

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    Sun Apr 10 2011 19:40:13
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    I talk to people with bed bugs everyday from all over the country, whenever dogs come up my advice is to ask the company before hiring them if they confirm via visual inspection what the dogs find, if the company says they don't or won't, I tell the person to call another dog handler. I let them know that this is the industry standard agreed upon by the vast majority of bed bug researchers around the planet.

  54. FelixNewYorl

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    Mon Apr 18 2011 11:56:53
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    Has anyone given any thought to the conflict of interest that exists with NESDCA, the "official" certifying body, being so closely affiliated with a pest control company? It seems like a bad mix of interests with the VP of NESDCA owning one of the largest pest control businesses in the Mid-Atlantic. I'm curious for feedback and do not doubt the accuracy of certified teams (who I have worked closely with), but does that affect their credibility? Isn't the point of a test/certification to ensure there is no bias, and isn't the point of the dog inspection to validate the presence of bugs and not just trust the exterminator?

    Feedback certainly appreciated.

  55. Canuck

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    Mon Apr 18 2011 13:39:11
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    I would think the conflict only occurs if the person in question is on the certification board or a judge in the process, etc.; not that I am in favour of NESDCA nor against - there are other bodies out there tackling the issue.

    I too would like to see this handled efficiently and effectively and not negatively impact a worthwhile industry that is developing. By this I mean the 'scent detection' industry. Whether the target is cell phones, insects, drugs, explosives, cancer cells, e-coli, fruit (the list seems to grow every day) - the principles of training and maintenance appear to me to be the same. I don't see this same hassle over drug/bomb K9 teams. Nor do I see a problem with the training academy running certification exams. What is needed is, like accounting's GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles), generally accepted scent detection principles (GASDP). Hmmm, lousy acroynm, but you get the picture.

    Aside note - tacking K9s seem to me, to be a little different - so many more variables involved with a highly mobile target.

    And for the record - definitely in favour of visual confirmation; 'show me the bed bed bug'.

  56. djames1921

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    Mon Apr 18 2011 20:40:59
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    Kudos Canuck! Great to hear you are in the visual confirm crowd.

  57. Canuck

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    Tue Apr 19 2011 0:49:28
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    Thanks djames. I know I am in good company. Which reminded me I had better update my profile and get the other half of the business to join the bed bugger crowd. We sure wish we could go to the conference. Why the heck aren't they joining the modern age and have live feed? It could be almost as good as the playoffs.

  58. brooklyn_upallnight

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    Wed Apr 20 2011 18:31:10
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    Had my home inspected by a k-9 yesterday. In my opinion, k-9 inspection doesn't work. Why?

    1. K-9 detection is limited to adult bed bugs. The k-9 will not positively identify the scent of a bed bug unless it's an adult bed bug. The k-9 does not identify nymphs or bed bug eggs.

    2. The k-9 needs to be prompted. The k-9 needs to be prompted by the k-9 technician to smell a particular area. I was under the impression that the dog would roam a small area of the room and indicate if the bed bug scent is sourced in that area. It turns out that the k-9 inspector has to tap his fingers on the specific area that needs to be sniffed in order for the dog to start put its nose to it, directly.

    3. The k-9 can only detect within a 6 inch radius of its nose. If there are bed bugs 10 inches away from the area that the k-9 technician tapped his fingers, the dog won't be able to detect the scent of bed bugs. In other words, the dog's nose needs to be DIRECTLY ON a hidden ADULT BED BUG in order for the process to work.

    This process is complete rubbish.

    So, the k-9 technician hid a vile of the bed bugs. Then tapped other areas of the room for the dog to sniff. He eventually came around to tapped where the vile was hidden and it took for the dog to sniff the area 5 times in order to indicate that it smelled bed bugs by sitting down (the PCO informed me that the dog is trained to sit in front of the area harboring bed bugs). The dog was given some dog food as a reward. You see, the dog doesn't eat unless it detects the scent of bed bugs. This demonstration was meant to reassure me that the dog was able to detect bed bugs.

    What's funny is that about an hour after the k-9 tech removed the vile, the dog was let loose in my home as the technician and I were chatting. The dog roamed around and then went back to where the vile of bed bugs had been hidden and later removed, it sniffed the area a few times, sat down and then looked up at the k-9 technician expectantly.

    Are you thinking what I am thinking? The dog is hungry. The dog is clever. Now, why have we as humans resorted to relying on these adorable, clever dogs? Why are k-9 technicians able to get a license by taking a 40 hour course and buying a $3,000 dog?

    The k-9 technician is really a construction worker who only received his k-9 certification in November 2010 and doesn't have much experience with pest control. When he saw my packtite, he didn't even know what it was and had never heard of one. He also didn't know that bed bugs have 5 stages, and need to feed in order to molt from one stage to the next.

    This process and the technician is more than likely a scam.

  59. DougSummersMS

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    Thu Apr 21 2011 11:54:37
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    Brooklyn,

    The handler that made these claims is wrong on all points.

    1) A properly trained K9 can detect all life stages... eggs, nymphs and adult bed bugs... This is a well established fact.

    2) Many handlers direct the inspection with hand signals to ensure that all areas of interest are checked by the K9... The dog is quite capable of detecting bed bugs without prompting... It sounds like you were dealing with an inexperienced handler.

    3)The K9s nose does not need to be within six inches of an adult bed bug... Dogs can detect bed bugs at much greater distances... We routinely hide vials of bed bugs in locations that are 6 - 8 feet above the floor during training.

    The size and shape of the scent cone is variable and asymmetrical... The distance will depend on several factors such as air movement and level of infestation... I try to get my K9 within a couple feet of any area of interest during an inspection.

    The going rate for a properly trained K9 is closer to $10,000... If the dog in question cost 3K... You are likely dealing with someone that that was not trained by one of the established K9 providers.

    The key active ingredient for a K9 team is the skill of the handler... Not understanding the basic biology of bed bug development is unacceptable for a PMP that specializes in bed bug inspections.

    I'm sorry that you had a bad experience, but I have to take issue with the idea that K9 inspection is a scam.

    A properly handled K9 is an accurate tool... The problems you described are related to handling skill... not food reward... The critical issue is the relationship between the K9 and the handler.

  60. srrausch

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    Thu Apr 28 2011 8:59:35
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    I am interested in training a little rat terrier mix that I own to detect bed bugs. So far the only information I can find is about buying dogs that are already trained or the idea that it is best to buy a dog already trained. I have been training dogs in many disciplines for over 14 years and currently have two certified search and rescue bloodhounds. I am an Environmental Health professional and have extensive knowledge, training and experience about bed bugs and “human” bed bug searches and detection. The State of Kentucky does not have a single bed bug detection dog team and I would very much like to be the first. I am capable of training my dog myself; just need some advice on how to get started and where to get live bed bug scent for training purposes. Also some recommendations on good certification or evaluation programs would be helpful.

    Thank you

  61. Nobugsonme

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    Thu Apr 28 2011 15:20:37
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    Moved from another thread:

    DougSummersMS - 7 hours ago  » 
    GoofyK9
    I have never heard of that company... Check to see how many bed bug detection K9 teams they have in the field.
    There are a number of companies that are just starting to enter the field now.
    Are they qualified to train dogs for forensic applications like bomb or arson detection?
    Labs are great scent detection dogs... You are looking for a friendly dog with a strong hunting drive.

  62. Canuck

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    Sat Apr 30 2011 21:06:07
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    SRRausch - I have heard family pets do not - generally - cross over to working dogs too well. That being said I do know of 1 great working dog that started off as the family pet - and a cocker spaniel too boot. Very methodical, thorough little dog.

    I understand a trainer tests about 100 to 150 dogs before the right combination of drive, hunting instinct, and balanced disposition is discovered; and then some of those dogs wash out. Takes an incredible drive to stay the course; for the handler too.

    There are several training facilities that will take your dog and train it...works best if you live near-by so you can visit and work with the dog as well.

    As for reference materials - try looking for drug/bomb training references. Of course, you are going to have to maintain a colony of live bedbugs or keep replenishing your supply. You want to train only to live viable bed bugs and eggs. Also, are you going with a food or play reward system? And like your SAR K9s, daily maintenance training is a must.

    Like your SAR dogs, it is a lot of work and a big time committment.

  63. kjourdain

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    Thu Jun 9 2011 13:57:47
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    Brooklyn,

    The gentlemen that came over to your house for detection was obviously poorly trained. As DougSummersMS pointed at already, I can assure you that Bed Bugs K-9 can detect any kind of Bed Bugs, regardless in which stage they are in.

    I would like to go back to the food reward issue. The reason why the dog alerted where the vile was is because the scent was still strong. When a vile is placed, the scent will propagate throughout the area around it. Eventually, if the scent in the vile is strong enough and left long enough, the objects (couches, beds, picture frames...) will pick up that scent.

    That said, you were probably thinking: "why did the dog sit/paw (whatever the indication is) if there were no Bed Bugs, the vile is gone, this is a scam!". It isn't, the dog wanted more food and went back in seeking mode. The dog alerted where it was previously rewarded. The dog was not wrong, the odor was still strong enough that it recognized the smell. The dog would not have alerted if the odor was not there in the first place. In other words, if nobody had a vile at that location, then the dog would not have shown a signal of interest.

    In the K-9 world, we call that "residual odor", even if there are no apparent Bed Bugs, the smell is still there. Therefore, if the handler you met was experienced enough (or trained well), he would have known. Moreover, this is why a visual inspection is so crucial. Even if the dog alert, a visual inspection is absolutely necessary.

  64. BARBI

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    Thu Jun 9 2011 16:09:10
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    I FOUND ONE BED BUG THAT I TRIED TO CATCH AND DISSAPEARED AS SOON AS I THOUGHT I GRABBED IT WITH SOEM TOILET PAPER .. THIS HAPPENED TWO TIME IN A TWO DAY PERIOD !! ARE THEY SUPER FAST OR SOMETHING .. DO THEY JUMP I WANT TO KNOW SO I CAN GT IT OUT OF MY HOUSE ... I ONLY HAVE ONE IT SEEMS SO FAR. I AM FREAKING OUT!!! HELP!!

  65. Nobugsonme

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    Thu Jun 9 2011 16:38:49
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    BARBI - 27 minutes ago  » 
    I FOUND ONE BED BUG THAT I TRIED TO CATCH AND DISSAPEARED AS SOON AS I THOUGHT I GRABBED IT WITH SOEM TOILET PAPER .. THIS HAPPENED TWO TIME IN A TWO DAY PERIOD !! ARE THEY SUPER FAST OR SOMETHING .. DO THEY JUMP I WANT TO KNOW SO I CAN GT IT OUT OF MY HOUSE ... I ONLY HAVE ONE IT SEEMS SO FAR. I AM FREAKING OUT!!! HELP!!

    Barbi,

    It's best to start a new thread for each new topic.

    moved your post here. Everyone else, please go there to respond to Barbi.

  66. jeffklein

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    Sun Jun 12 2011 13:47:54
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    In regard to Joe Nicholas I met one of his trained handlers and canines at the CT NESDCA certification. The team was unbelievable. The canine works off lead, and is trained on play reward! He was the fastest certified team there. Since then I have personally met with Joe and even though I have two food reward canines from j&k I believe I will get a play reward. We also look for physical confirmation and we train with our dogs EVERY DAY day even when we work in the field. Our dogs are good and my handler and I are dedicated but there is still that background worry that the canine CAN hit cause its hungry. Also as we all know stress travels down the lead so a canine that can work off lead is probably good for those stressful days. Also for areas like movie theatres and we do a lot of camps I believe they will be a lot faster. I will probably end up with two canines from him and have one food and one play on each team. I saw him training in South Jersey and the lab was off the charts on searching-very active and intense. Joe Nicholas was the one that got the dogs in the NJ Corrections to find cell phones. How do you get a dog to find a device made out of metal and plastic in a prison environment? Great guy too. Very intense but he certainly knows how to train.

    Bed Bug and Thermal Remediation Specialist
    Please email me directly for support. Thank you.
  67. Nobugsonme

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    Tue Jun 14 2011 20:05:52
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    goofyk9,

    If you post in a LONG link to a youtube video (Share-->Options-->Long link), the video will display in the forums.

    Please stop linking to Joe's website. As you have posted the link at least two times previously above, I have deleted it in your most recent post. It's starting to look like you're promoting a business, even if you do not intend this.

  68. jeffklein

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    Wed Jun 15 2011 20:59:03
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    I am sure the seminar will be worth it. He gives out a lot of information on training that I have found helpful. It also depends on what camp you are from. Joe Nicholas likes play reward better than food reward so depending on how you run your dogs it may conflict with what you have been taught. I know he has helped several people that were having issues with their dogs with good results. All around nice guy and a dynamite trainer. I am sure we will be seeing a lot of his dogs in the field eventually.

  69. BedBugMutts

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    Thu Jun 16 2011 22:50:40
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    googyk9,

    jeffklein hit the nail on the head - it does depend what camp you are from. And what is right for one handler and for one dog may not work as well - or better - with another team. It is, imho, a science and an art. I also suspect master dog trainers are a lot more like cats then they care to admit - cause, sometimes, when they get together - the fur can fly.

    Kidding aside, we did 4 months of intensive research delving into likely breeds, dog training approaches and techniques, play vs food reward, telephone interviews, reference checks, etc. Then thought long and hard about the commitments required - finances, k9 insurance, liability insurance, time and energy for the daily k9 training, and such. In all we went with what, we figured, would work for us. It is a very personal - and expensive - choice. Trust your research and your instinct - then when work starts - trust your dog.

    My apologies for a tardy post to your original query - wanted to post last night but experienced some computer bugs.

    Ken

  70. jnickk-9@comcast.net

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    Sun Jun 19 2011 1:47:56
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    Hello my name is joseph nicholas my friends call me joenick I have spent most of my life training /working k-9s and im not good with this lab top so please bear with me. I would like to say a few thing first thank you to the people that wrote about me .I only want to help anyone that wants to learn we can all learn from each other and our k-9 partners. even if its what not to do,most of the time the dog teaches us the right way if we can read and understand what he trying to say.In the bedbug world most of the dog ive seen are ok its the dog handler that needs the help,and the tool[ k-9] that we now have in the bedbug world needs to be worked and trained to be the best. Dogs work for 3 reasons THEY want to/THEY have to/THEY get payed to I dont care if its food or toy the handler must learn whats good
    for his/her dog I wish we all could work together but as we all know that might never happen .I am posting my cell number 609 805-6476 if any dog handler or trainer wants to learn some great training tips or needs help then please give me a call we can help each other.The only thing i would like to see in this bedbug/dog world is the team of handler/dog working as a great team one bad team hurts us all the one problem that most bedbug handlers say they have is they get a dog and then when they need help its hard to find it.I will not speak bad of any dog trainer ill just let the dog they trained speak for them..As far as trainers who is great/who is not great I dont care .BUT if dog trainers are fighting over who is the best then the only people that lose are the dog handlers. in closing please note i am only offering help nothing negative [PS] remember this if your dog is not working the way it should be then is it fair to have people pay for that work note would you? AND if your child were lost in the woods would you want a dog with a cold looking for them ME EITHER . food for thought thank you joenick [ the way you act is the way your dog learns at each end of the lead]

  71. Dogscan

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    Fri Jun 24 2011 11:54:09
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    Hello everyone!

    I am currently starting a bed bug detection business using a dog, in Paris, France.
    I am stunned by some of the comments on the site. I am new to this business, and I have been taught:
    - work with your dog EVERY DAY
    - when the dog alerts ALWAYS make a visual verification.

    It seems that a lot of handlers do not respect these rules and maybe that is why k9 detection is not always as good as it should be?

    I am every day surprised by the efficiency of my dog. Of course, we have bad days and good days, but the bad days are always my fault... too tired or stressed, and my dog feels it and it influences our work.

    I think k9 detection is a job in itself, I am not sure you can do different jobs and different things, and stay good at this without giving it your 100%.

  72. ACESBB

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    Fri Jun 24 2011 12:59:49
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    Hi All,
    I am the Operations Manager for ACES Bed Bug K9. Joenick is our master trainer and has a love of the game. He has tried to share his great wealth of knowledge with many and ACES has asked that where possible we use his many years and depth of knowledge to assist the industry. To this end we have Joe doing a 2 day seminar in Newark, NJ where there will be some lecture and much hands on work. If you feel like we do that learning is a lifelong experience feel free to pm me or to go to our website and call or email to get registered. I can say we are quickly reaching capacity but there are some seats left. should anyone want to contact Joe feel free to call 1-866-385-7354.
    Geoffrey

  73. Nobugsonme

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    Fri Jun 24 2011 16:23:04
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    goofyk9 was portraying himself as customer thinking about buying an ACES dog trained by Joe Nicholas.

    All of goofyk9's posts above have now been deleted since it now appears he has a connection with ACESBB.

    The terms of service remind you to:

    Never talk about a company you own or work for (or have other relationships with) as if you are a customer... Disclose your relationship with companies you mention.

    I want to stress that I am always happy to hear of dog trainers talking about how to improve quality in this industry, as is the case above.

    I plead with everyone in the industry to let that quality also extend to the way you market your services and products.

  74. jnickk-9@comcast.net

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    Fri Jul 29 2011 19:33:50
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    Hello this is joenick ive worked with dogs for 28yrs my real name is joseph nicholas. I would like to start by saying at this time( i work for no one and i help anyone) The web host nobugsonme has given us in the k-9 field a way to help each other by way of this site but no one ever uses it.So i am going to start but first let me say i am not good with lap tops and i am a real trainer i just don't say that to loud cause i don't want to hurt any ones feeling. OK lets get started if we want to make this bed bug dog work better then first we must help our dog handlers and their k-9 partner work as a team.by doing this teaching them different ways to work the k-9 so they are a better team and show them tip and tricks to get the dog working better in the field.( exp).Today I worked a class on scent cones and ways scent moves in different places and how it moves i worked 5 bed bug dog and handlers each team was given a problem and had to work it out once they know what to look for and how to fix it they looked better then the first time and the dog worked better.In closing i want to say if you as a dog handler feel good when your working your dog then your dog most likely feels good But if you don't feel good about the search trust me your dog knows somethings wrong and your dead in the bed bug world.Please again let me thank the host of this site for letting trainers that want to help write on this web and remember training dogs can be done in many ways but the best way is the way you get the best from your dog.if anyone wants to reach out for me please feel free to call me my cell is 609 805-6476 and my home is 856 358-3081 and if you want or don't know me please just google my real name maybe it's time the dog dealers stopped pushing out dogs and started pushing out trained teams that do work not just play the part . Well time for me to go if anyone would like to talk please give me a call ( tip of the day) Love of the game if the dog loves it. the dog WANT TO PLAY IT The game. joenick

  75. Nobugsonme

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    Mon Aug 1 2011 1:23:54
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    Hi joe nick,

    Your posts violate the rules about promoting your business on the forums, as do those of ACESBB, and of goofyk9.

    Goofyk9's posts were deleted, and as I already noted, goofyk9 was apparently connected with ACES and pretending to be an interested customer, in blatant violation of our rules.

    It's okay to say "Hi folks, I'm a canine trainer with new ideas." It's okay to discuss your ideas about training k9s here. It's okay to talk about best practices for training k9s. In fact, I'd love to have you participate more in the discussions here. I think everyone would love to hear more about your methods and experiences.

    But if you are here to promote your paid services as a trainer or handler (or anything else), then you've gone over the line of what's allowed on the forums.

    Repeatedly talking about how your methods are different and encouraging people to email you and call you at various numbers to find out more is a form of advertising, and advertising is not allowed in forum threads. (You can take out paid ads in the appropriate locations here if you like. Contact me for information.)

    Please read the Terms and Conditions of Use and the special rules which apply to pros in the forums for more information.

    Thanks for understanding!

  76. jnickk-9@comcast.net

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    Nobugsonme Sir. If my post violated any rule on your forum im sorry that is not my intent. my intent was to let people know i work for no one and help anyone.At one time i worked with aces but i don,t anymore but it seems we keep getting placed together . Sir i don,t charge on your site the reason i give my phone number is because i can.t read and write very well on this lab top So people call and i help them for free I DON.T CHARGE for my help on your site. Also i don,t be live some of the dog sellers out their want the world to find out what their selling some of the people so all call are free and tip are free no charge on your site that my reason for my phone number on your site. Sir as far as advertising i don,t need to do that.I have plenty of people . Iv,e watched the k-9s teams in the bed bug world for over 3yrs and have seen some good dog trainers and some no so good dog trainers.And if your a good dog trainer/ you here of all the problems the handler are having A ND if you care you want to help . that,s what i tried to do help the dog handlers that wanted help

  77. jnickk-9@comcast.net

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    Sir see im not good on this so before you read this go back up one and read first to second this is the second thanks BY way of your forum. If you ask the twenty or so people who have called i never charged anyone and some have been to my training sites and trained for free. Sir please call me and speak to me then you will know me i can.t talk good on this and my daughter is tired of spelling for me .But one thing is for shore The only thing i don,t like in the bed bug world is the fake dog trainers in it that try and take advance of the people who spend a great deal of money for a dog and then go to a 2day 3day or 4day WONDER school to become a handler/and/certified. IN closing and for the record IF anyone needs help and wants it call and nobugsonme please call its all free PS if i said something that was miss read im sorry and in truly closing THIS forum was but up to help dogtrainers and handlers i would like to use it maybe its time the doghandlers got so great dog training from use all thankyou joenick LOVE OF THE GAME the K-9 GAME.

  78. Nobugsonme

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    jnickk-9@comcast.net - 36 minutes ago  » 
    Sir see im not good on this so before you read this go back up one and read first to second this is the second thanks BY way of your forum. If you ask the twenty or so people who have called i never charged anyone and some have been to my training sites and trained for free. Sir please call me and speak to me then you will know me i can.t talk good on this and my daughter is tired of spelling for me .But one thing is for shore The only thing i don,t like in the bed bug world is the fake dog trainers in it that try and take advance of the people who spend a great deal of money for a dog and then go to a 2day 3day or 4day WONDER school to become a handler/and/certified. IN closing and for the record IF anyone needs help and wants it call and nobugsonme please call its all free PS if i said something that was miss read im sorry and in truly closing THIS forum was but up to help dogtrainers and handlers i would like to use it maybe its time the doghandlers got so great dog training from use all thankyou joenick LOVE OF THE GAME the K-9 GAME.

    Hi Joe,

    Even if your services are free, you're still kind of turning this into an advertising thread, which isn't allowed.

    I understand you don't want to stick around the forums, because you don't like reading and writing online. That's fine.

    You've put your offer out there, and I wish you well. I have not deleted the posts which repeatedly invited people to call. However, I would ask that you please don't continue to post messages of this nature. Your invitation has been noted and do not need to be repeated over and over.

    This thread is for people who want to discuss bed bug k9s, methods, best practices, etc. and you are welcome to participate here in that discussion.

  79. jnickk-9@comcast.net

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    Hi nobugsonme Thank you for not deleting my post and yes i understand what you want in ref to post no problem with that. One thing it,s not that i don,t like reading/writing it,s i can,t read/write that well but thanks for letting me stay on your post. OK let talk about bedbug methods/practices . does any other trainer out their see the large amount of dog teams that need help and if you do, know why. I have spent quiet some time working on this answer . Let think about it 3 or 4 yrs ago when the bedbug news hit the world they said what do we do/what do we do then came the bedbug dog and the world said he was the hero the answer the greatest and than came the dog trainers many so called dog trainers and many new dog handler to train lots of money to be made.BUT then the world started to see a lot of bad bedbug dogs working in the field and started to dislike the dogs and handlers I don,t blame them In every business we the people are our own worst enemy. So now we need to help each other or all of us both good trainers/bad trainers will be put in the same boat that's. sinking. Here what we do every time you see a handler offer to help and if they ask help the only thing this does is help. the new handler if they have a problem the next time they might ask because you offered and if they don,t then you tried. Let not forget when we were new it takes time to bond/flow with your dog as a team.We must teach the new handlers this as they grow in this business and get other dogs they will become better dog handlers at least i hope so.Oh and lets not forget the dog trainers the great you know who you are the So called dog trainers you to know who you are Maybe the answer to my question is we see so many bad dog teams right now because they were taught that way by bad dog trainers .and because they were new and did not know the write way witch is why we need your help, good dog trainers . I,D like to close by asking a what do i do question as a good dog trainer. Last week a lawyer from another state contacted me and asked me to video a dog as i evaluated it the dog just came up here from his state and the dog will not work at all and pees all over every where. well let just say Ive trained dog for quiet some time and can,t understand how he got to be what they say he is .after 3days of trying what do i do .Or should i do whats right. well hope to here from you good trainers soon joenick food for thought.

  80. Nobugsonme

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    Hi Joe,

    One suggestion, instead of writing: if you want to, you can contribute here by speaking your ideas into a video, posting it on YouTube and posting the long YouTube link here. It will embed automatically.

  81. SPEIRK9

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    I have been an avid reader of this thread for the past year or so and just joined to add to the forum. I feel this is a great forum that gives a lot of good information to not only consumers, but to us in the industry too.

    I'd like to comment to the recent talks about Joe Nicholas. I had purschased my K9 detection dog about a year ago and spent over a week training with the dog. And have been training regularly with my dog on a weekly basis since bringing her home. But I went to Philly to the K9 bed bug detection conference (which was very informative by the way) to not only learn about the industry by all the great speakers but also to certify with the third-party certifying agencies that were there. I figured I knew my dog could find bed bugs and I knew how to handle the dog. Well I was wrong, I failed 2 out of the 3 agencies test and just passed the third. I was devastated! I thought to myself how could I provide a service to a customer if I couldn't be certified by an agency. After this disappointment, I was sitting in the last session of the conference and Joe Nicholas sat down next to me and asked where I was from. Which I replied central NJ and so we exchanged where were both exactly were from. And then he proceeded to ask me how my dog was. In which I replied, not very good. He inquired more and I told him what had happened, then offered to help me if I needed it.

    A few weeks had past and I had a test for a major pest control company here in NJ company coming up and I knew I was going to fail. So I decided to give Joe a call and see what he was about. Now a little about me before I go on. I have worked with dogs for about 8 years, specifically German Shepherd dogs (GSD), I have trained my dogs in basic obedience, and helped rescue GSDs, and started apprenticing in trainging dogs in basic obedience and dog behavior. So needless-to-say I have some experience with dogs and training.

    I drove an hour and a half to meet with Joe, not the easiest drive by any means! Take my dog out of the truck and then show Joe how the dog works. He was shocked at how she didn't work well. So we talked about how to fix the dog, went over a plan, and started talking techniques. We switched the dogs from food to toy reward and just in the first hour there was a difference in my dog. I trained with Joe for the next 6+ weeks. Again, an hour and a half each way to train with him, but he NEVER charged me a dime. NEVER asked for anything in return, other than helping him clean up the training facility that he uses. I figured I helped mess it up, that's the least I can do.

    I had rescheduled the test with the pest control company, now with a lot more confidence in my dog and my ability. So too make this long story short (sorry for that), we PASSED our test. And I have no one to thank but Joe.

    Host of the forum, I would like you to know I have no personal or business ties to Joe. He is a gentleman that offered help to me and I accepted. Any other person that I contacted about this wanted a minimum of $500 to help me. I can understand your reason for thinking Joe is trying to advertise, but he is just offereing a hand to anyone who needs is. Nothing more. Again sorry for the length of this post, just wanted to be thorough.

  82. Nobugsonme

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    SPEIRK9,

    I am so glad that you sought help from someone when you realized your dog was not up to scratch. Speaking as an outside observer on the consumer end of things, that kind of humility sometimes seems to be lacking in this industry. And I am glad Joe was able to help you.

    There is some irony in the fact that while emphasizing that Joe is not here to advertise (and yes, I get that), you added yet another testimony which to some degree performs the same function.

    Thanks for sharing your experience, though.

  83. DougSummersMS

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    Fri Aug 12 2011 10:43:12
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    SPIER K9
    I'm curious?

    Who provided the original training for you and your dog?

    Why didn't you seek support from the company that sold your bed bug detection K9 to you?

    How long did you work in the field with your dog before challenging the ORT evaluations in Philadelphia?

    Glad to hear that Joe was able to help.

  84. SPEIRK9

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    Doug,

    I don't want to name bash here, if you'd like to PM me I will tell you. I will tell you it was from the mid-west. The reason I had not contacted the original training facility was due to the health issues that I had received my dog with and had over $1000 in vet bills that they reluctantly paid. Then after consulting a trainer in my area for obedience, the dog showed signs of physical abuse. Without writing a long story (again), I was not happy with them and had no interest in dealing with them again.

    I had been working in the field on a limited basis for approximately 6 months prior to Philly. Fortunately for my clients I had gone to Bed Bug Bootcamp, given by BedBug Central, which if anyone is interested in learning about bed bugs and the treatment of them is a great investment to go to and I learned how to provide a detail visual inspection which I did along with the K9 inspection.

  85. DougSummersMS

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    Sat Aug 13 2011 3:32:13
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    Thanks,

    I'll send a PM.

  86. btaggart

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    Tue Aug 23 2011 11:34:41
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    To all scent detection K9 handlers and owners there will be a great hands on workshop that is open to ALL k9 handlers in Ocean City MD. I have attached the link that contains all the info. It will be a great experience for all to troubleshoot and improve the industry as a whole. Hope to see everyone there.

    http://www.k9pestdetectors.com/workshop

  87. ACESBB

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    Tue Oct 11 2011 13:00:50
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    I find it interesting that I have left 3 messages on the site about the handlers conference and called twice and do not get an answer to who the trainers for this event are.

  88. MsLadybug

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    I have seen/read a lot about NESDCA certified kennels and everything is focused around J&K in Florida. There is another certified kennel - Ironheart in Kansas. When I got my dog I was told NESDCA is a joke. I took it with a grain of salt though. I have also heard of a kennel selling dogs with no training, sending the dog to you and training you and the dog over the phone. WOW! Scary! I train with my Beagle twice a day and I would say spend the most you can afford because when you get out to a clients house you want to feel really confident in your dog. Your dog will sense the handler's confidence and that will improve performance. Of course you do visual inspections as well but finding the bugs can be a needle in a haystack (for instance a young bug that hasn't eaten is about the same shade as unstained wicker furniture) If you are considering buying a dog, in my experience the large dogs seem to have their noses in the air a lot and a lot of bending over and tapping where you want the nose to go can make for a sore back. I'll admit I might be prejudice because I have a mini-beagle...but I'm pretty sure she was born with her nose to the ground and that is her natural way of moving...following her nose.

  89. BedBugMutts

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    With NPMA's recent release of BMPs I notice Appendix A has two, what I believe, are changes:

    - from a max of 5 live bed bugs or viable eggs to a range of 5 to 20, and
    - the allowance of 1 false alert providing the alert is not for a distractor

    There is no reference to the square footage for the 4 exam rooms - or the degree of furnishings.

    I am glad to see the numbers change - simply because it was a pain to continually wrangle the contents of the vials to keep the numbers below 6. That said, with single bed bugs popping up in more distribution points (here the latest is libraries) I am glad I train with some vials with only 1 or 2 bed bugs.

    What are thoughts on specifying the vial diameter, as odour emitting from a 1/4 inch vial, 1/2 inch or 1 inch vial effects the set time - which is specified as a minimum of 30 minutes.

    Here' the link: NPMA BMP Appendix A is pages 17 - 19.

    Thoughts please?

  90. myth buster

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    I would like to see much stricter regulations on BB K9's, not less. Not so much for the dogs but, for the handelers. There should be better standards for them. We have a major problem in the city I live in. Some of the companies that use dogs are just too quick to pull the trigger for bed bug treatments. I get quite a few complaints from my customers about this. I've talked to all kinds of customers that have a place like their office or a school building inspected by a K9. They justwant an inspection because, someone has bed bugs at home or, for a varriety of other reasons but, not because they actually found any. Never the less, the dogs go through and sometimes they alert (Sometimes they alert all over the place as if it is totally infested). Then I get there and there is not one single piece of evidence that indicates they have bed bugs. I believe the dogs in my town are over worked. They run the things all day every day. I know this for a fact. I have been told first hand and, they guy was bragging because he thought this was a good thing.

    At least once a month I get a call from a customer that had a K9 inspection and the dog alerteded but, no physical signs of bed bugs can be found. I don't have a problem with false alerts. Even the best dog will get it wrong occationally. What I have a problem with is, the technicians are recomending treatment in far too many of these cases, rather than do further investigation. So, they give them an estimate and leave (if they didn't convince the customer to buy a treatment). In most cases the customers call around for estimates but, they don't expect to hear what I tell them. They don't expect to be told they may not need a treatment.

    In many of these cases we are not able to find any signs of bed bugs so, we put out monitors. We come back in a week and, still no bed bugs. If the customer has never found a bed bug we recommend they wait and have us back 2 weeks latter to re-inspect (and monitor again if needed). I like to put out Climb-Ups so the customer can check them until we come back. I will come back several times without charging them a dime if that is what it takes to prove they don't have bed bugs because, I feel sorry for some of them. Plus, I know that they will never call anyone but my company if they ever really do have a pest problem. The customers really like this, the other guys end up looking awful. I'm only saying this because, it is important that our industry, as a whole, is trusted. This kind of stuff makes us all look bad.

    After it's all said and done, we eventualy determine that they never had bed bugs at all. Either that or, they likely brought in a single bed bug that was not a full grown, mated, female that could lay eggs so, it just never turns into a problem that requires treatment (this would explain why the dogs alert). This happens all the time. We need to slow down and make sure they have bed bugs before we recommend treatment. One bed bug does not qualify them for treatment if they caught the bug and destroyed it. Whenever this happens, unless another bed bug is found, there is no need for anything beyond inspections and/or monitoring.

    Just an observation.

  91. BedBugMutts

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    Tue Feb 28 2012 11:06:58
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    There's No Way You're Gonna Get the Dog"

    I am speechless (says while shaking head in dismay).

  92. Nobugsonme

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    A number of posts were deleted from this thread today as spam advertisements.

    If you're selling a bed bug service or product, you need to read this thread.

  93. BedBugMutts

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    Mon Jul 16 2012 11:34:08
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    Attention K9 Handlers - looking for advice/feedback on bat bug care and feeding, and particularly testing of our bed bug dog with bat bugs. We want to test whether a K9 alerts on live bat bugs; whether her interest/response differs; ensure she does not alert on the dead, etc.

    We plan to test separately on live adults, nymphs and dead. Until we can grow our colony, we will not be able to document how long the dead have been dead. Eventually, we would also like to test the dead scent with different methods - natural death, heat, chemical, etc.

    I anticipate they will be hungry - the house has been vacant for sometime - and will feed them first. Second, once they have recovered we will confirm they are all bat bugs.

    Doug, I recall you mentioned a properly trained dog should alert - have you or do you know of any direct experience/testing in this area?

    Paul B - I am sure jealous of that stereo scope you mentioned in another thread.

    Are those portable microscopes worth the $? Would like magnification to distinguish a bat bug and would be nice to have on inspection calls so the client can look closely at our samples. Recommendations welcome.

    Other trainers/handlers, we welcome your advice.

    For the care/feeding, we will ensure the two colony's are stored apart and plan to feed them as we do our regular bed bugs. Hope they find us tasty.

    We have been very fortunate that someone whose home has a bat bug infestation has been collecting live specimens for us; we expect the parcel to arrive tomorrow. Playtime will start the end of the week.

    Ken Hando

  94. Nobugsonme

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    That's really cool, Ken. Good luck with your tests.

  95. DougSummersMS

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    Ken,
    We have handlers that have identified bat bugs after a K9 alert... A 10x loupe is sufficient for identification.

    I really like the USB port microscopes... the only downside is that you have carry your notebook system to use it.

    I think most K9s that are trained on bed bugs will alert to human fed bat bugs given the similar VOCs that are present... Maintaining a colony on human blood is very difficult... I have not been able to locate a professional source of bat bugs for training.

    I have experimented and found that my dog will alert on a hide of bat bugs, but there is no published research on this issue.

    We have also identified tropical bed bugs (c hemipterus) with dogs trained on cimex lectularius.

    Arson, drug and bomb K9 research has demonstrated that dogs can vary individually in which compounds are recognized to identify a given target.

    Dogs can successfully generalize between different strains of marijuana or mold species, for example... but Customs had to retrain their dogs when a new formulation of ecstasy appeared on the market a number of years ago.

  96. BedBugMutts

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    Fri Jul 20 2012 15:28:33
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    As expected several did not survive the ride with Canada Post: only one adult and one nymph that had never fed.

    The adult has taken two feedings over just three days. Wow.

    The instar has only nibbled as the body has developed some colour. Could be the distance from the screen to host is a bit too far due to the screw cap lid. If it doesn't feed today, we will separate the nymph into another container which places the screen flush with the host. Or, could be the nymph realizes my wife is not a bat (sorry couldn't resist) and the nymph is just not that driven by hunger yet. Or perhaps the young has gone a bit cannibalistic on the adult.

    Thanks to Doug pointing out there are two known types of bat bugs recorded in British Columbia:

    - C. latipennis - only recorded in British Columbia
    - C. pilosellus - recorded British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan (and western US)

    Our two are from the southern-central area of the province, in a major valley running North-South into the States; my $ is on C. pilosellus

    Their specific genealogy will have to wait as I want a breeding pair to build a colony - if possible.

    Haven't tested our dog, Loola Loo yet. She had a late job last night and is sleeping in.

    Interestingly, my wife has noticed her reaction to the bat bug's bite (assuming it is a bat bug) seems to be somewhat different. Not near as itchy, definitely a defined raised red swelling and lasting only a few days.

    Ken Hando

  97. BedBugMutts

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    Update: ran Loola through an odour recognition test - placed the vial (vial has a 300 micron screen with a 5/8 inch vial screw top lid) of the 1 adult and 1 instar in a plastic 2 quart tub. Each of the 12 tubs have plastic lids with half a dozen punched holes and are filled with distractions - dead bugs, chocolate, dog and cat kibble, lung treats, 1 empty, 1 with vials, lids and screening, 1 open bucket with tennis balls (a ball is her reward), etc.. Vial set was 2 minutes.

    Loola (off-leash) had no hestitation alerting on the vial. She owned it. Doug, you were right, odour seems to be same as C. Lectularius.

    Will do a regular blind hide this afternoon. Ken Hando

  98. BedBugMutts

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    Fri Jul 27 2012 21:08:29
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    Sorry for the delay; life got in the way this past week.

    Tested with a blind hide this afternoon with the 1 adult and 1st instar (which still has not feed). Set was 20 minutes and she sniffed it out within 3 minutes in 585 sq ft of moderate clutter (stacked boxes in half of the room). Hidden in box spring (she would not be able to see it).

    She definitely finds bat bugs without a hitch. Ken Hando.

  99. Nobugsonme

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    Nice, Ken. Will you be testing swallow bugs?

  100. BedBugMutts

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    Nobugs,
    Would love to test other Cimex, like the swallow bugs - just need the bugs.

    I am happy to report the adult bat bed bug that survived the trip has laid two eggs; still have not managed to get the 1st instar to feed though.

    Ken.


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