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Who let the dogs out ? Opinions please

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  1. JulieH

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Oct 21 2011 21:40:24
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    So I've decided to call in the dogs ! After taking apart both my room (2 1/2 hour inspection) and my daughters room (2 hours) and finding nothing, my daughter got another bite last night after 12 days with nothing (last time was 12 bites in one night, changed the sheets then nothing til last night).

    So I talked to a K9 detection company here. He does not do a visual inspection BUT he does run 3 different dogs through the house to confirm the first dogs findings. If all 3 "sit" in the same spot, then that confirms it. He also rewards after the session regardless of whether they found anything or not. He explained that this prevents the dogs from figuring out the whole "I sit, I get food" thing. I kinda thought it made sense in the same way a seeing eye dog does not get a cookie every time he does something, but after a job well done. This person owns and trains the dogs and was a presenter at a Montreal conference on bedbugs. He has been doing bedbug detection for 2 years and different dog-detection for 7 years (search and rescue, detection for fire accelerants) so he's not some salesman-turned-K9 detection unit overnight...

    What is your opinion on this type of K9 company ? He sounds different from what we hear on the forum, particularly in his rewards and number of dogs...

    Opinions ?

  2. KillerQueen

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Oct 21 2011 22:06:12
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    Any dog can follow a pocket of food and do the same thing when being pulled around on a leash. Get visual confirmation if 1 or 7 dogs alert. It's the same story, different pitch. If the dog "hits" find the evidence. If no evidence can be found monitor like a smart consumer. I've seen multiple dogs hit in the same areas and people do nothing because there is nothing. The dog is the tool to lead the inspector to a search area, nothing more.

  3. laststrawsue

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 22 2011 10:26:53
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    I worked for a dog trainer friend, and I'd say that sounds reasonable.
    But I agree with the other person - the dog should point out where to search, and then the person should search.

    Where did the dog indicate?

    I can't afford a dog sniffer (I don't even know that the service is available anywhere nearby) - and I can't find the harborages at all in my apt or any signs of the bugs in any of my stuff.

    That said, as a tenant, I can't go taking apart & removing the baseboard heater off the wall. But if I were in my own home, and a dog sniffed & indicated there were bed bugs in the baseboard heater - you better believe I'd have it dismantled to check.

  4. JulieH

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 22 2011 15:20:01
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    The appointment is set for Monday (in 2 days) so I'll let you know the outcome. If HE does not search, you better believe I will !!! I'm not treating the house based on a dog sitting down... but at least it might show me something I missed in my exhaustive search of the 2 bedrooms where bites are happening...

  5. MsLadybug

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 22 2011 17:25:58
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    Why would anyone not do a visual inspection? It kind of reminds me of paying a dollar for a lottery ticket and then not scratching it. I have a bug sniffing beagle and she just shows me where to look for the bugs, they are very hard, sometimes impossible to find but still make the effort. I dont really get the 3 dogs deal. To me it doesnt show faith in the dogs ability and or training.

  6. laststrawsue

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 23 2011 10:19:24
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    My guess about the 3 dogs... is that saying it's an extra precaution is just a cover for doing on-the-job training with newly trained dogs.
    In other words, the dog handler may worry it won't sound professional or appropriate that he's bringing his trained dog, and 2 new dogs in training, to your house, & using it as a testing ground to do on-the-job training with the newer dogs.

    If this was the case, and I was the consumer... I wouldn't have a problem with this, figuring hey, I'm getting 3 dogs for the price of one... and hey, his dogs are getting on-the-job training, that's great. Just like you know when my SO was in the hospital, his nurse was accompanied by a nurse-in-training... hey, the more people attending to him the better I say! And on-the-job training is certainly not a bad thing.

    But you know some people would get annoyed and think - hey, he should be paying me to train his dogs, or you know attitudes like that. Because it's a fairly new & unusual profession (unlike nurses in training on the job where you wouldn't demand to be paid for having a nurse in training assisting your nurse in the hospital).
    So that could be why a dog handler would not mention on the dog training of extra dogs at a customer's house. He'd use it as a selling point saying - you're getting extra control dogs to confirm.

    Anyway, that's my guess.

  7. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 24 2011 6:49:36
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    Hi,

    I have to say I am all about the visual confirmation in this regard. The EU code of best practice with regards the use of bedbug scent detection dogs also confers this.

    Dogs can be a great tool to pin point areas that need to be confirmed but the only confirmation which is acceptable is visual. In fact I will go as far as to say that 50 dogs could all be right or they could be wrong but confirming signs is just about as accurate as you can ever be.

    As KQ said its a tool, if used sensibly to narrow down a search field that's fine but all you are doing in saving the time of searching the whole room for signs.

    I am actually more supportive of using dogs in non domestic and non sleeping locations which does not have the same reliable patterns that you see with a classic sleeping location.

    A while ago our gracious host and I worked on some guidelines for dog services which can be seen here:

    http://www.bedbugbeware.com/k9scentdetection.html

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC 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 pro
  8. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 24 2011 9:02:26
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    I don't care how many dogs can identify a location... The K9 team should lead us to physical evidence... A visual search should be performed in identified areas for signs of live activity.

    There are multiple problems that can result from utilizing "a second dog" as the sole means of verifying the presence of live activity.

    If only one handler is involved... Handler bias is a major issue.

    Another issue is that dogs can follow the scent trail of the earlier teams and identify areas where the previous dogs stopped or were fed after an alert.

    David and KQ are right about the need for visual confirmation... A K9 team can never be less accurate than their ability to produce physical confirmation of their findings.

    We would expect the alert of an arson detection dog to leads us to physical evidence of an accelerant... or a S&R K9 to locate a missing victim... The principle is the same here.

    It is possible for a K9 to identify bed bugs that are hiding inside of inaccessible spaces.... but there really is no excuse for a professional bed bug inspector to fail to break out a flashlight and visually inspect an identified area along with nearby sentinel locations after observing a K9 alert.

  9. JulieH

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 24 2011 11:02:25
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    DougSummersMS - 1 hour ago  » 
    We would expect the alert of an arson detection dog to leads us to physical evidence of an accelerant... or a S&R K9 to locate a missing victim... The principle is the same here.

    You know, that's a good analogy ! This company also does drug detection for schools (locker search). Obviously, you wouldn't expel a kid from school JUST because a dog alerted in front of his locker. "Well Johnny, the dog said you had drugs in your locker so we're kicking you out of school and we've called the cops.". You need proof. And I shall definitely obtain said proof before I do anything - if he doesn't look, I will... Or I'll make him look with me !

  10. ConcernedHomeowner

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 24 2011 11:17:29
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    Hi. Does anyone know of a good canine inspection service in Pittsburgh, PA?

  11. OhNoes

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 24 2011 11:26:35
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    ConcernedHomeowner - 4 minutes ago  » 
    Hi. Does anyone know of a good canine inspection service in Pittsburgh, PA?

    Ahoy, Burgher!

    There are a number of them in the area.

    Witt Pest Control has a K9 ($350 for inspection), but, I assume will do visual since they are a treating company.

    Good Night Sleep Tight does not do a visual inspection post-alert.

    There is also a company in Monaca, PA but I don't know if they will travel to the city to do an inspection.. can't think of their name.

    I am also in PGH and have been fighting these pests for a few months.

    Feel free to PM me to discuss.

  12. JulieH

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 24 2011 19:17:33
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    Well, the inspection is done. He ran 3 dogs through the house and found nothing !! I was a basket case while he did his inspection, my hands were shaking and my heart was pounding. I calmed down slightly after the 2nd dog but no one even so much as hinted at finding anything.

    I am very happy that it is not bedbugs but I am back to square one with the "what's biting me?". I am much less stressed now about it because whatever it is, it's not bedbugs...

    We also did a test bite with an adult bedbug !! I bet not many people volunteer to get bitten but I did !! Apart from the pen circle on my arm, you would have no idea that I'd been bitten. I did feel it when it was happening - it was a little itchy and if I had felt that, I would have scratched. I watched the BB get fatter as it swelled with my blood so I am sure it fed. There were 2 in the jar and only one fed. The other wandered around clearly excited but never bit. I will keep you updated on how the bite develops, right now (1 hour) there is absolutely nothing. I hope I react BIG TIME !! Fingers crossed...


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