For centuries dogs have been used in many professions for their extraordinary sniffing abilities.  From drug detection, to search and rescue, and even bed bug detection, dogs are used throughout the world to help their human companions in their line of work.  Recently dogs have been undergoing specialized training to sniff out bed bugs in people’s home and business.  Intelligent exterminators are increasingly offering detection dog services to ensure that a room, home, or place of business is bed bug free


How Strong is the “Super Smell”?

It is a well-known fact that dogs have much stronger smelling abilities than humans, but how strong is it?  Scientist say that dogs have approximately 220 million smell-sensitive cells and can smell odors nearly 100 million times better than humans can. [1] Also scientists know that over 40% of a dogs brain is dedicated to their sense of smell.  That’s actually 40 times more brain power than humans dedicate to the same sense.  [1]


The Training and Selection Process

IMG_4437-300x265Selection of the dog is without a doubt the most important step in training a detection animal. For example, the training program at AZEX Pest Solutions has a vigorous selection process which includes extensive testing to insure the dog has the natural ability, drive and soundness necessary to have a long productive career in bed bug detection. AZEX may test 100 dogs only to find 1 or 2 suitable for training. The dogs are tested for natural ball or toy drive, natural hunt drive, environmental soundness and physical soundness. It is important to find the right dog for the job with the correct temperament and natural talent to avoid trying to mask or cover temperament flaws that will ultimately reappear when working in the field. Labrador Retrievers, Labrador Retriever mix breeds, Plott Hounds, Beagles and German Short Hair breeds are some of the more popular choices among trainers. [2]




How Accurate Are Well Trained Detection Dogs?

K-9 GraphThe K-9’s and the handlers are put through a rigorous training program before being approved for commercial use.  Detection dogs are training to search, find, and alert the handler of any bed bug activity in a room.  With the proper handing a bed bug detection dog can search 100-200 hotel rooms in 1 day with a staggering 95% accuracy.  That’s over 60% more accurate than humans alone.  Bed bug detection dogs can also make quick work of searching a home or business.


Advantages of K-9 Detection

  1. Their accuracy and speed make detection dogs hard to beat in the field. Dogs can even smell through furniture and walls to find the evasive insects in their tiny hiding places. [3]
  2. Dogs can detect all stages of the bed bug life cycle, even the smallest microscopic eggs can be detected by a dog, a feat that is very challenging for human bed bug inspectors.
  3. Certified detection dogs are recognized in a court of law as a scientific instrument. Having a K-9 inspection greatly improves your appearance and reputation in any lawsuit. [3]
  4. Peace of mind. Knowing that the bed bug problem is completely eradicated is a huge relief for people that have struggled with bed bug infestations.  Having the approval of a specially trained animal can relieve a lot of stress and anxiety in bed bug victims.
  5. Reduce the cost of bed bug eradication by early detection. The quicker you alert the professionals of a bed bug problem, the easier and faster they can eradicate it.  By being proactive you can save a lot of time and money later on, especially if you are a business owner or property manager. [3]


In conclusion detection dogs are an important part of a proactive routine to eliminate and keep bed bugs out of your home or business.  With the right training and handling a dog can be extremely effective and accurate to an extermination service.  For more information about bed bug detection dogs, contact AZEX Pest Solutions at 877-445-2847.  If you think you may have bed bugs in your home or business please do not hesitate, call AZEX today and ask about K-9 detection.  You can also find more information on the AZEX Pest Website or at  AZEX also has fully trained and certified dogs ready for qualified trainers.  If you want to add K-9 detection to your extermination business, contact Sonny at (877) 445-BUGS EXT 5 or visit for more info.