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Bed Bug Beagles

Bed Bug Beagles

Bed Bug Beagles

Have you heard about Bed Bug Beagles? It is actually quite amazing and a testimony to the breed’s amazing abilities!

Let’s first have a brief overview of exactly what a bed bug is, because many people do not completely understand, since there is a lot of false information out there and lots of myths that simply are not true.

Many people think that one must have a dirty house in order to have bed bugs in it…This is not true. The most glorious mansion in Beverly Hills can be infested! Therefore, no one should be embarrassed about this issue…
The important element is to get them out of your home and for good! And this is where the Bed Bug Beagles come in.

So, as we said, they are indeed tiny insects and their main source of food is blood. (think “mosquitoes”. When they have infested a home, it is the blood of the people living there that they feed off of. 

Unlike bees, wasps and hornets that one is clearly aware of, in many cases, a person will not notice these bugs…they will only notice that they are waking up with small red marks on them, which can be extremely itchy. They may find that they toss and turn while trying to sleep and spend half the night scratching.

The insects are very tiny, however if a person looks carefully they can be seen. Adults will be about ¼ long…The babies are hard to notice, since they will be only about the size of a tiny poppy seed. When they have a lot of blood in them, they will swell up.
close up of bed bug
By Doc. RNDr. Josef Reischig, CSc. (Author's archive) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
They like to hide in warm, soft places that are close to their food source (humans), so they usually end up making nests on, under or around beds (hence the name). Sometimes, they can also be found in curtains, inside sofas, etc. And this is where the Bed Bug Beagles come in: ALL must be found and destroyed or they will come back with vengeance to feast!

Not long ago, this was not heard of very much. Recently, there is almost an epidemic of bed bugs…Researchers say that infestations are increasing at an alarming rate. Just in NYC, reportings have jumped more than 30% in the last year. They can be found at hotels, stores, dorm rooms, cruise ships and more.
How Beg Bug Beagles Work

When a dwelling has been identified as having this type of infestation, it is crucially important that all nests be found. For example, if a person were to throw out their bed and get a new one this would not solve the problem…There may be a nest in the curtains or inside chairs in another room. These little creatures would just find their way to the bed again, as it holds their food source. Think about it, humans staying relatively still for 7-8 hours…its perfect for these pests!
Now, when a human performs an inspection to find the nests they are between 30 and 40% successful. However, when the Beagle dog is used to find them, they have a substantially better success rate of over 90%! And this is why Bed Bug Beagles are so vital to helping with this problem!

They have been used by New York City retailer Bergdorf Goodman to check out his department stores…Victoria’s Secret and the even famous Abercrombie & Fitch have used Beagles as well! Even Hollister has hired Bed Bug Beagles to make sure that they did not have any issues. The Beagles can find them no matter where they hide…little tiny spaces in floor cracks and other areas that humans just cannot see nor detect.

There are now many companies that own Beagles just for the purpose of hunting down the bed bugs. 
Bed bug Beagle dogs
A group of Bed Bug Beagles, preparing to go to work. By MarceloGallo (Own work) {CC BY-SA 3.0} via Wikimedia Commons
For example, a company named Isotech which is based in California has 3 Beagles that work to hunt down the bugs and eggs.

How do the Beagles do it?

Beagles have the natural hunting instinct. Just like Shepherds who are trained to detect chemicals, a Beagle is often enthusiastic to be trained to hunt down bugs…It allows them to use their hunting instincts…When a Beagle is hunting down “prey”, while they are on the prowl and when they finally chase and catch, they are very happy dogs! 

In most cases, training for this starts at the age of 1 year. 
Any dogs that work in this way need to be certified to do so by the NESDCA (The National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association), which will oversee how the dogs are trained and how they work to make sure that it is ethical and that a dog does not become overworked. One must remember that allowing a Beagle to sniff out prey plays to the breed’s deep instincts and allows a dog to do what nature is “telling” him to… Most simply love doing this!
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