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Can a canine confuse carpet beetle for bed bug?

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  1. BuggedMother

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat Sep 8 2018 14:20:28
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    Because we have been spending time in a home that had bedbugs (only upstairs in one bedroom where we never visit) we hired a dog and handler team to come in to check out our own house. The dog sat twice, in 2 of 4 bedrooms. There was no visual inspection to confirm in one room, and nothing sighted in the room where he looked. He insisted false positive not likely. Said probably a minor case that we were catching early.

    Later that day we had the two rooms treated. Found old casings in one - only on dust ruffle and in clothing stored under bed (including an old skirt that had been eaten away). Nothing in the other. Had all 4 BRs treated to be on the safe side. Later the next day we found dead bugs and one live between the pillow top and mattress in one of the non-dog-detected rooms. After careful inspection with great magnifying glass and source of light, the bugs we found were clearly carpet beetles and not bedbugs. Further inspection in the 2 dog-detected rooms found casings that look much more like carpet beetles than bed bugs.

    Is it possible the canine detected carpet beetles all along?

  2. loubugs

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat Sep 8 2018 16:47:16
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    BuggedMother - 2 hours ago  » 
    Because we have been spending time in a home that had bedbugs (only upstairs in one bedroom where we never visit) we hired a dog and handler team to come in to check out our own house. The dog sat twice, in 2 of 4 bedrooms. There was no visual inspection to confirm in one room, and nothing sighted in the room where he looked. He insisted false positive not likely. Said probably a minor case that we were catching early.
    Later that day we had the two rooms treated. Found old casings in one - only on dust ruffle and in clothing stored under bed (including an old skirt that had been eaten away). Nothing in the other. Had all 4 BRs treated to be on the safe side. Later the next day we found dead bugs and one live between the pillow top and mattress in one of the non-dog-detected rooms. After careful inspection with great magnifying glass and source of light, the bugs we found were clearly carpet beetles and not bedbugs. Further inspection in the 2 dog-detected rooms found casings that look much more like carpet beetles than bed bugs.
    Is it possible the canine detected carpet beetles all along?

    Were any shed skins (exuviae) of bed bugs ever found? There were no bodies of bed bugs ever found? Old casings were carpet beetle larvae exuviae?

    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.
  3. BuggedMother

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat Sep 8 2018 21:11:03
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    We thought all of the casings were bedbugs, but then stumbled on the images of carpet beetles which look much closer to what we had. Unfortunately we sent the casings in a baggie with the exterminator, and cleaned away the others. I have been trying to find out if he did a DNA test on them.

  4. BuggedMother

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat Sep 8 2018 21:13:16
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    So my question remains - has anyone heard of a dog mistaking carpet beetles for bed bugs?

  5. BuggedMother

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat Sep 8 2018 21:15:15
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    But to answer your question - no, we have never found a body -dead or alive - of any bed bug. The only thing that makes us think we could have them is that the dog sat near beds in two rooms.

  6. loubugs

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat Sep 8 2018 21:30:00
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    BuggedMother - 18 minutes ago  » 
    We thought all of the casings were bedbugs, but then stumbled on the images of carpet beetles which look much closer to what we had. Unfortunately we sent the casings in a baggie with the exterminator, and cleaned away the others. I have been trying to find out if he did a DNA test on them.

    No, there's no DNA test that would be done. It would just be looking at them or use of magnification.

  7. BuggedMother

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat Sep 8 2018 21:33:40
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    But to answer your question - no, we have never found a body -dead or alive - of any bed bug. The only thing that makes us think we could have them is that the dog sat near beds in two rooms.

  8. BuggedMother

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat Sep 8 2018 21:38:26
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    About the DNA point - he used a vacuum with a special filter and was planning to send the contents of that filter to a lab to have it confirmed as bedbugs. But then we decided to treat because there were so many castings (and for that reason he may have skipped the lab test). We never imagined the castings could be something else (and seems he didn't either).

    I think he said he was going to have an entemologist look at the castings - but we have been studying on line images for both BBs and carpet beetles and are now in doubt there ever were BBs. No bites, no blood, no feces, no live or even dead bugs to check.

  9. loubugs

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat Sep 8 2018 21:39:45
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    BuggedMother - 4 minutes ago  » 
    But to answer your question - no, we have never found a body -dead or alive - of any bed bug. The only thing that makes us think we could have them is that the dog sat near beds in two rooms.

    Could be bad training on the part of the canine handler.
    https://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/exterminator-dogs-perfect-sniffing-bedbugs/story?id=23638950

  10. BuggedMother

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat Sep 8 2018 22:28:43
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    That’s what we are concluding. But meanwhile we did an expensive treatment.
    Thanks for the link.

  11. loubugs

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sun Sep 9 2018 9:37:45
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    BuggedMother - 11 hours ago  » 
    That’s what we are concluding. But meanwhile we did an expensive treatment.
    Thanks for the link.

    Treated suggested by the company because bed bugs (their shed skins) were found? Now those shed skins aren't even from bed bugs? Link was when I and another entomologist worked with the news program. Actually, a false positive was highly likely. See the video and that the handlers basically didn't realize they had been rewarding the dogs to alert to furniture. Where are you located? You can PM me info if you like if you don't want to post in this forum.

  12. BuggedMother

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Sep 11 2018 4:30:30
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    I PM’d you. Still waiting for DNA confirmation.
    Is DNA testing routinely done?

  13. loubugs

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Sep 11 2018 5:34:33
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    Received. DNA testing not normally done at all. It will pick up on bed bug DNA. Doesn't prove live bed bugs even if positive.

  14. BigDummy

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Sep 12 2018 7:40:49
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    Dogs can give false positives, that's why it is so important that the handler inspect the alerted areas.


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