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Bedbug-Detecting Dogs
Sniffing out the source leads to less pesticide use

Trained dogs detect land mines, drugs, explosives, missing persons, cancer, and just about anything else that they are physically capable of smelling. Julia Kamysz Lane recently blogged about how dogs can even sniff out peanuts and cash-carrying criminals. JoAnna Lou clued us in to their use in locating illegal DVDs. Now, add bedbugs to the list. There are dogs trained specifically to detect the scent of bedbugs.

The advantages of using dogs for this purpose are many. Dogs can find the bedbugs faster than people can. With proper training, they can distinguish between dead bedbugs, which may not require chemical treatment, and live bedbugs, which do. Dogs can pinpoint the source of the problem so that smaller areas require fumigation. For example, perhaps not all rooms in a hotel are infested, so dogs can make it cheaper to solve the problem, and result in fewer nasty chemicals being released into the environment.

This is another example of how dogs literally make our world a better place!

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Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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Submitted by Carolyn | June 25 2009 |

Seems that uses for the dog's nose are only limited by our ingenuity. It seems hard to believe the dog can distinguish between living and dead bedbugs...amazing! I often think it would be wonderful to somehow experience the information the dog gets from its nose. It's one of the reasons I enjoy walking with my dog ... to see where her nose will take her and imagine just what it is she is getting out of those long sniffs.

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