Monthly Archives: December 2015

Canine Use for Pest Detection and Elimination

Canines are becoming widely used for pest detection and elimination, specifically for rats, mice and bed bugs.

Why canines?

Their keen sense of smell, over 10,000 times more sensitive than that of humans, makes them a useful tool for detecting rodents and bed bugs. To provide an example of their acute sense of smell: if a person walks into a bakery, he or she smells all of the wonderful different baked goods that have been made, whereas a dog can smell the type of flour that has been used as well as other specific ingredients. Their discerning nose is what makes them so good at sniffing out pests.

Canine Training

Working dogs are the best breeds for pest detection and elimination. The breeds of canines used for pest detection typically include Hounds and Beagles, Border Collies, Labrador Retrievers, Jack Russell Terriers and Aussies. However, not all dogs within these breeds are a good fit, just like there can be dogs in other breeds that are excellent for the job. It depends on the individual dog and their desire to “hunt.”

The dogs used are no different than dogs trained to sniff for drugs or cadavers. In the case of bed bugs, the dogs are trained with a careful process of learned behavior: eight-foot long wooden boards with capped PVC pipes are used with pieces of dog food on the end. The dogs are trained to smell the pipe and get to the food. They then learn a pattern. Live bed bugs are then added inside the pipe and the dogs are trained to smell live bed bugs. From there, the hunting habit is formed. The dog food is removed, and dogs are able to smell for the bed bugs.   From there, viles with bed bugs are hidden in other places, and when dogs smell it, we know they are trained.

In the case of a home or office with inhabitants that have allergies, dogs with short coats can be used. Also grooming is important—the dogs receive frequent baths as necessary.

Bed bugs:

It has been reported that canines have a 97{ad5e8aa3ff70a065ec921f73ddc1066dff67ecaeac85a84c725cb4d67ce49b4f} accuracy rate of detecting live bed bugs by scent compared to the 30{ad5e8aa3ff70a065ec921f73ddc1066dff67ecaeac85a84c725cb4d67ce49b4f} rate humans do by sight. Since bed bugs have five cycles in their lives, the easiest ones to see with the human eye are adults. Dogs are able to sniff them out at the various life cycle stages. Once detected, we then use our heat remediation or other elimination tools.


Dogs are useful for finding rats and they are also useful in eliminating them. The dogs can detect rat burrows, but also, kill a live rat quickly by snapping their neck. Mice aren’t as easily killed using dogs, but dogs are useful in finding mice burrows, which helps us then know where to treat for mice.

The use of canines is just one useful tool that we employ in our pest control services. To find out more information on how we can use canines to find rodents or bed bugs in your home or office, call us today at 800-457-3785.