Apartment Therapy on bed bugs, bed bug sniffing dogs

by nobugsonme on November 6, 2008

in bed bug detection, bed bug dogs, bed bug treatment, bed bugs, bed bugs in hotels, california, san francisco

Apartment Therapy/San Francisco has a new post mentioning AT blogger Sarahh’s encounter with Mr. Cimex Lectularius in a Santa Cruz motel (yikes!) and alerting readers to the existence of bed bug sniffing dogs.

For those of you who are wondering, we were lucky not to have brought any bedbugs back with us to our home from our unfortunate, and very unromantic, trip to Santa Cruz. We shook out all of our clothes and luggage and immediately drove back to the Bay Area where we laundered our clothing in very hot water and crossed our fingers for a few weeks that we hadn’t towed a few of those famous hitchhiking critters with us. We were lucky!

Lucky, indeed!

Sarahh also asks readers for input, if they’ve used bed bug k9s:

We love this [bed bug sniffing dog] idea because you can actually pinpoint the areas in a home where these tiny bloodsuckers are hiding, without having to spray dangerous chemicals throughout your whole apartment or house. We’ve heard that one company in the Bay Area, Pestec, uses a bedbug sniffing dog detective. Has anyone had an experience with this company or any other one that uses dogs for bedbug patrol? Let’s hear your story.

Luis Agurto (president of Pestec) and his beagle Lady Bug were featured in this San Francisco Gate article from April 2007 (one of my favorite articles, but I am biased for obvious reasons!)

Although ideally, bed bug dogs can detect locations of bed bug harborages, I would not say that their use necessarily obviates the need to spray pesticides throughout the home. First, bed bug dogs are not 100% effective. They may not find all harborages. Second, residual pesticides and dusts require bed bugs to make contact with them before they will be killed. Having the stuff in places bed bugs are moving around makes killing them more likely.

Still, bed bug sniffing k9s can be a valuable asset, especially in cases where bed bugs may have been recently introduced, such as immediately following a hotel visit involving bed bug bites, or (as poor Sarahh experienced) face-to-face bed bug encounters (yes, plural). Ugh.

Apartmenttherapy.com has not covered bed bugs in any way, shape or form (that we can see) since July of 2007, when they posted part 7 of Amanda’s bed bug saga.

We love Apartment Therapy and we hope that, despite the ick factor, they will cover bed bug issues a bit more often. Because nothing messes up your cool design scheme or puts the damper on your recent nifty flea market find than an apartment full of full, green garbage bags, bursting with all your clothes, or the lingering smell of pesticides.

Thanks also to Sarahh for pointing AT readers our way!


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