Post Falls Dog Trained To Scout Out Bed Bugs
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Cases of bed bugs in our region have pest control companies scratching their heads and going to the dogs for help. So far, infestations in the area are scattered but homeowners, motel and hotel owners aren't taking any chances. The size of an apple seed, the bugs are a nuisance and once they bite you, they can leave rashes or worse.
That's why a company based in Post Falls specially trained a beagle to track down bed bugs.
Greg Terry is the owner of Bed Bug Scouts, who guides Sammie, a 2-year-old Beagle that was trained at a canine academy in Florida. Sammie is the latest line of defense against the insects. On Wednesday KHQ tagged along to get a feel for just how she tracks down the bugs.
"Are you ready to work? Are you ready to work?" Terry coaxed to Sammie.
Sammie is cute, diligent and armed with highly sophisticated detection tools: her nose.
"Her nose is awesome," Terry said. "Her sensing is thousands of times better than humans."
Plus, Terry said, beagles are natural hunters. And according to her owner, Sammie's tracking accuracy can be up to 98 percent, a stat that outperforms humans by leaps and bounds.
On Wednesday, Sammie tracked steadily through a Coeur d'Alene's State Motel, on Sherman Avenue, with the help of her handler. "When I start a search, I start from left to right and I kind of guide the dog," Terry explained.
She sniffed over the entire perimeter of a room including the carpets, arm chairs, headboards, dressers and, of course, mattresses. That's what needed because as Terry explained, "bed bugs could be anywhere."
This day, Sammie didn't find any real bugs. The motel just called in the dog as a proactive measure since the beg bugs can be easily transferred to a room from one guest to a bed another guest might sleep on. So Terry pre-placed vials of the bugs as a check to make sure she was on her game. As it turns out, she was. A quick paw on the chair showed she'd found something: the vial.
"Good girl, good girl!" Terry said, rewarding her with a treat.
At the end of the day, Sammie scouted several rooms at the Coeur d'Alene motel and detected each pre-hidden vial.
"You are a good bug dog," Terry cooed.
So is her bark worse than her bite? No way. In fact, Sammie doesn't bark at all. But her bite? It's bad news for bed bugs.
Bed Bug Scouts: http://www.thebedbugscouts.com/our-services.html
KHQ Local News Reporter Chelsea Kopta contributed to this story
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