Dogs are amazing animals with a wide range of skills. They can have the training to detect all kinds of things including drugs, bombs, and missing people. These creatures know whether certain foods are safe for them to eat. Counting how many stairs there are in your house is also in its memory. Perhaps, one of the most interesting and useful things dogs can do is detect bugs that may otherwise go unnoticed.
How Does a Dog Find Bed Bugs?
Dogs have a very keen sense of smell, as is the case with most dogs. This is what makes them useful in detecting bed bugs. These creatures can sniff out as small as a bug from an area where there are no visible signs of infestation. Imagine how important they are in finding larger bugs or bugs that are visible to the human eye.
Dogs can sniff out bugs in places where humans cannot, such as inside walls and mattresses. They can also smell bed bugs even when sheets or comforters cover them. These animals use their noses to find the bugs along seams in beds and couches, even in carpeting, which are difficult areas for people to check.
They sniff out bugs by taking samples of the air into their noses. Move around mattresses and other locations where bed bugs might hide. The dogs then take these samples back to trainers who analyze them with their own noses. This is to find out where the dogs detected bugs.
History of Using Dogs For Pest Control
Using dogs as pest control has been done for hundreds of years. One such dog was a famous Scottish Terrier with the name of Stickeen. It found and killed rats in Alaska during the 1800s.
Trainers who first taught them how to respond to the scent and odor of bug feces also use them to detect termites. They train the dogs to sit, lie down, bark, or scratch the ground. This occurs if they smell the bugs with their keen sense of smell.
Another duty of these animals is to find bed bugs in hotels and homes. These pests bite people in the mentioned places. By using dogs instead of humans for bug-sniffing, it is easier, faster, and more efficient.
What Breeds of Dogs Sniff Out Bed Bugs?
There are dogs of all breeds and sizes that can find these bugs. Some dogs used for this purpose include Dachshunds, Beagles, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and even small dogs such as a Miniature Pinscher.
The breeding of dogs for centuries includes hunting and killing the prey. But not all breeds have equal functions. Hunting breeds such as Blood Hounds are amazingly effective at finding your target. They have proper training from birth in these tasks. Other popular choices include Border Collies who excel at tracking skills. This is because of their ability to recall scent molecules across vast distances with accuracy.
Jack Russell Terriers make excellent ratters due to both its keen sense of smell and agile posture. Observe these when they are on a chase after pests like rodents. Sometimes, humans cannot sniff out bed bugs themselves. This is when dogs come in. They do this by sniffing out bugs from various locations. In hotels, dogs can check rooms for bed bugs after guests leave their rooms or before a new guest arrives.
Signs of a Dog Smelling Bugs
Dogs that find bugs receive proper training for it. They do this better than humans. They can detect bed bugs that humans cannot see or even feel in their absence.
There are dogs that can sniff out bugs by barking or scratching when they sense them. These animals can also sit, lie down, and give a specific signal. Observe these when they detect bugs from their hiding places. This is one of the most effective ways to find these pests in the home. Dogs act as early detectors for bed bugs before you even know they are in your home.
These creatures can sense when bugs are in areas where humans cannot. Examples are at the seams of mattresses and sofas. They do this by scratching or barking to let their owners know about finding an interesting discovery. Scratching the ground is a sign to show exactly where they detect bugs.
Science Behind Dogs Smelling Bugs
Many dogs are used to sniff out bugs because of their powerful sense of smell. The dogs have an even more developed part called the Jacobson’s organ. It allows them to detect bugs through their noses. This refers to a part of the dogs’ brain that they thought of only for assisting in smelling food or tracking prey by taking samples.
Experts describe this organ as sensitive and can detect bed bugs in all stages of their life cycle. It also smells the eggs before they hatch. The dogs cannot see these bugs because they are microscopic and has a size of a pinhead to that of an apple seed.
Dogs have 300 million olfactory glands while humans only have five million. This gives them a better nose than humans in many ways. They have a bigger nasal cavity which allows them to smell even the faintest scent. This sense is so sensitive that dogs can detect scents from a mile away.
Training Dogs to Smell Bugs
Dogs have had proper training since their birth in these tasks. Other popular choices include Border Collies who excel at tracking skills. It is their ability to recall scent molecules across vast distances with accuracy.
Some dogs are also known to sniff out drugs, bombs, and even cancer with their sensitive noses. Watch these in the dogs’ ability to track down a scent trail that humans cannot detect. They can sense when bed bugs are present in hidden places.
Can Pets Carry Bed Bugs?
It is possible for dogs to carry bed bugs even if they got them from sniffing out their presence. The pest will not bite the dog because of the thick fur. They are also carriers even when they do not show any signs of infestation.