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K9 says no infestation, but an hour later I find a single live bug - what to do?

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  1. katiekat

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jul 23 2012 14:27:54
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    A week after finding three live adult bed bugs on my couch and suffering a few bites, I just had a K9 inspection team out today. I had been literally tearing my apartment apart trying to find out where these things had come from, but had found absolutely zero evidence of any infestation - no fecal stains, no cast skins, no eggs, nothing but the three I caught.

    The inspector verified that what I caught was bed bugs, but the dog found nothing. The inspector was pretty confident that I had no bugs based on the dog's behavior. He asked if I fold laundry on my couch, and I said that I did, and he said that some bugs probably got on my laundry from using the shared laundry facilities here (at least one of my neighbors is infested), but that it seemed like I had caught them and everything was fine.

    However, the dog hasn't been gone for more than an hour and I just spotted a live bed bug on one of the couch cushions. So now I'm left with a lot of questions. I went with what I thought was a reputable company, but did I get screwed? Is it possible that there really is just this one (or a couple) last stragglers hanging around, and that's not enough for a dog to catch? It is really feasible that so many (at least 4) bugs could have gotten on my laundry, hopped on the couch, and stayed there for 2 weeks (that's when I last did laundry)? Should I be worried that I might actually have an infestation after all and the dog didn't catch it?

    I'm planning on moving out of this apartment and having my moving truck Vikaned anyway, but I'd kind of like to know what I'm really dealing with and if I just got screwed out of a few hundred bucks with this K9 inspection.

  2. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jul 23 2012 14:36:54
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    This may be just a thought, but can you post a pic and send an IM to Loubugs or another entomologist. Picture should be front and back. Specialists like Lou can sometimes tell how long it's been since it's fed, what stage, etc. The fact they are crawling around in broad daylight is odd, but it does happen.

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  3. katiekat

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jul 23 2012 14:53:15
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    Yeah, I've found it very odd that I keep finding these guys during the day. The first one I found was around 9:30 at night, but the other three, including this one, were all during daylight hours, including at times I wasn't even sitting on the couch - like I walked by and was looking and noticed they were there. I've also ripped open the bottom of the couch and there is no sign of any infestation, as I've said.

    I'll also IM Lou, but here are the pics front and back. These are pics of the original three, but the latest one looks the same. He's still alive in his own baggie and won't sit still to pose for a pic.

    photo-6
    photo-5

  4. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jul 23 2012 15:03:30
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    Speak with the K9 company and let them know... Hopefully they will do the right thing.

    Vikane gas will kill any bugs that try to move with you. but you should take appropriate precautions for now until your possessions have been successfully treated.

  5. katiekat

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jul 23 2012 15:10:10
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    Thanks Doug. I called the company and am waiting to hear back. I'll post back to the forum once I know!

    As far as precautions, I have been a sort of OCD/paranoid person, but with the first sighting, I have taken it to an entirely new level. I'm taking what precautions I can while I'm still in this apartment and now I know all the things to do to prevent reinfestation when I get my Vikaned stuff into a new place!

  6. katiekat

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jul 25 2012 22:37:36
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    Spoke with the company and they agreed to give me a refund of the $300 I paid for the dog to come out. Of course this leaves me feeling just as unsure as before. I honestly have no idea if I really have a problem here, but with all the anxiety this is causing me, I feel like I'll never be comfortable until I get all my stuff Vikaned.

  7. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 26 2012 8:00:24
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    Dear katie,

    Hmmm; one wonders how a refund helps you?

    Remember, you hired these bed bug professionals to provide you with a professional service.

    Perhaps it would be better if they provided a refund and conducted a re-inspection.

    Let's think of this in other terms as follows:

    > You have a flat tire and bring your car to the tire store.
    > They charge you $300 to fix your flat and you go on your merry way.
    > 24 hours later the tire is losing air and becoming flat so you bring your car back.
    > Upon your return, the guy says "Yes, you're tire is still leaking and flat, here's your $300 back sorry we couldn't help you."

    Essentially, this is where you're at right now according to the information provided.

    Of course you are now free to retain another K9 inspection provider should you choose to do so however, what if you made certain decisions and took certain actions based upon reliance on the initial inspection?

    I'm sorry you're going through this but if you go with another inspection service, perhaps choose a company that is willing to conduct both K9 and human inspections.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

  8. Koebner

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 26 2012 8:03:51
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    Speaking as a consumer, any company that doesn't provide both dog & human inspection is basically just sending you a nice dog for a visit.

  9. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 26 2012 8:08:11
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    I suppose that depends on your definition of "nice". pb

  10. Koebner

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 26 2012 8:16:31
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    I'm British - all dogs are nice 'til proven otherwise.

  11. loubugs

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 26 2012 8:21:33
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    The dog should have alerted to the bug that was in your home. It was on a couch cushion and that area had been inspected. The K9 team hasn't trained well to have missed that.

    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.
  12. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 26 2012 8:22:19
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    I think Paul's example of the car tire is excellent. Although I would want my money back and go else where vs. risk a flat tire, and just figure I'd post a review somewhere. I wouldn't trust them to do it again. It's funny..if it's the place I'd been going for several years and I trusted them: I would chalk it up to a bad day and be glad it wasn't a mom with three kids in the car.

    From what I understand, posting reviews is kind of like listing on the bedbugregistry. You may not want to do it until you are sure you don't need the landlord as a reference, another dog (since if word got out that you write bad reviews...people may be shy about working with you), etc.

    I like dogs. A lot. Not $250.00 worth, but...

  13. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 26 2012 9:06:15
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    I just had another thought, but you would have to have the patience of a saint. They can come back and inspect for free and use it as training for the dog and trainer. Something went wrong.

    Part of the problem is that it seems like we need an apprenticeship with someone like Bello, KQ, or Cain before sending technicians out in the world..so they see all sorts of things. But, the problem is growing too fast. How do we solve this issue? It seems like it's the same for dogs and trainers.

    David James one time spoke about having packtites in heavily infested homes before the release to make sure it was killing the BBs (they would find the dead ones in items placed in the packtite: shoes, sweaters, etc) but ...at first..they learned about where the cool spots were from where they found live bugs. They thought they had a product that worked, but it needed a LOT of testing. So, how do we solve this for technicians and dogs? Certification? I'm geniunely interested in thoughts..not trying to complain too much.

  14. katiekat

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 26 2012 9:07:57
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    Yes, I agree with the flat tire analogy as well, but like theyareoutthere says, I would go elsewhere the second time. I'm not going to bother with writing bad reviews, and that's also why I haven't posted the name of the company here, but I just don't feel confident working with them again. As I told the manager who I spoke with, I hired the team to either tell me I had a problem and let me know what in my home was infested, or put my mind at ease by reassuring me I don't have a problem. This team did neither. I know the dogs aren't perfect, but I would at least think a well-trained dog should be able to spot something that I, an untrained professional, can see with my naked eye.

    Either way, the whole thing is going into Vikane now, so I guess it doesn't really matter!

  15. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 26 2012 10:21:18
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    Sounds like a plan! Good luck. Someone else here recently moved with Vikane and seemed to appreciate it.

  16. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 27 2012 10:15:57
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    Dear katie,

    Where are you located? Perhaps we know a reputable company you can call.

    pb

  17. katiekat

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 27 2012 20:19:02
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    I'm in the LA area. I am set to go with Isotech, which I've seen people on the board have used for commodity fumigation. If anyone has any thoughts on them (good or bad), I would greatly appreciate you letting me know either here or privately.

    Thank you!

  18. katiekat

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Jul 29 2012 15:06:55
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    Well, a week out from the inspection, I just found a first instar nymph crawling on my arm while I sat on the sofa. Ugh. So my suspicion is the dog missed more than just the one adult...there must have been some eggs there, and who knows what else.

  19. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Jul 29 2012 15:10:36
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    I'm so sorry. Those are really, really tiny, right? You might want to save it for ID by Isotech or Loubugs. I would notify the K9 place...just so they know that dogs needs more training...

    Wow, it is lucky you have good eyes...not that you have bedbugs...but I would be feeling great after a dog cleared the place and not looking closely.

  20. BB_Slayer

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Jul 29 2012 15:15:01
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    My guess is that there are a bunch living in the wood parts of the couch.

  21. katiekat

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Jul 29 2012 19:09:53
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    I don't know how, but I actually felt it crawling on my arm...it was so tiny and red, and I wouldn't have even known it was a BB except I'd seen Lou's pic and it looked just like this:
    Bed bug first instar on finger.

    I should've saved it, but smushed it in panic. After I found it, I found the two bites where it had just fed. At this point I do agree that the couch is infested, even though I've really, really looked - maybe they're in some internal part I can't get to. I want this couch out of the apartment, but I'm a 5'2" single girl in a second floor unit, so I guess I'm stuck with it until the movers come on Thursday. I wish I could just catch the whole thing on fire or something.

  22. DQ Pest Control

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Sep 29 2012 19:58:51
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    Katie:
    I am surprised by the actions of that bed bug detection dog handler. If I did a canine bed bug inspection of your place and the dog didn't alert, but there were in fact bed bugs present, I would be very concerned and wouldn't be so quick to throw in the towel. These bed bug dog handlers are supposed to give their bed bug detection dogs ongoing training. That is, just because a dog attended a canine detection academy, doesn't make it a great bed bug detection dog. If the bed bug dog doesn't receive ongoing training in a controlled environment, then the dog may not alert when it is supposed to, or falsely alert. The bed bug dog handler should have someone hide bed bugs in a home that is bed bug free. Of course the bed bugs that are being hidden are contained in vials, so they won't contaminate the home. The handler and the dog then search the residence and the dog is only rewarded when the canine finds one of the hidden vials containing bed bugs. This should be done regularly as ongoing training for the bed bug detection dog. It is possible that the bed bug dog handler that came to your place doesn't do this and that may be why his bedbug dog didn't alert to the presence of bed bugs.


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