Bed bug-hunting dog more accurate than humans

Doug and Decoy, the bed bug-sniffing dog for Pest Solutions 365Pest Solutions 365 has a special weapon in its battle against bed bugs. This weapon is black and has a wet nose that’s also highly trained to sniff out bed bugs in the darkest of places. And it’s the only weapon of its kind in the Omaha metropolitan area.

Meet Decoy, a 3-year-old Black laborador, and his partner, Doug Gorham, bed bug specialist at Pest Solutions 365.

Eradicating bed bugs is much easier if an infestation is caught in its early stages. An inspection by a dog is much more accurate than a human-only inspection.

“A trained pest control operator is 30 to 40 percent accurate in doing a visual inspection to catch bed bugs,” Gorham says. “A dog is 95 percent accurate, and much faster. I can look for three hours at a site and not find anything. Decoy can search that same site and find an infestation in five minutes.”

Doug recommends that anyone moving into an existing home or apartment have a canine bed bug inspection.

Both Doug and Decoy completed a higher level of detection training in August 2013 at one of two facilities certified by the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association (NESDCA). NESDCA was formed by pest control professionals to ensure the highest standards of entomology scent detection canines are upheld.

Doug and Decoy have taken training classes through ACES Bed Bug Dogs in Canton, GA. They also went through certification training for Presto-X prior to joining the PS365 team. They have been working together for more than a year and according to an industry training expert, the team is one of the best that he has certified.

A real-life example of this is that Doug was unable to visually detect bed bugs in two homes of children who recently returned from a children’s camp. Decoy, however, found them inside mattresses in minutes.

Decoy is specially trained to detect live bed bugs and live eggs. Dead bugs and eggs may still be onsite after a treatment and some dogs may indicate a false positive in that situation.

Because Decoy is a working animal, he and Doug train together every day. “He’s like a service animal,” Doug explains. “He’s not a pet. He doesn’t lay on the couch and watch TV with me.”

Doug was a maintenance director at an apartment complex that had a bed bug infestation, and he brought in a dog to determine just how extensive the problem was, he said. After seeing the results, he decided to combine his property management skills with his love of animals, and his new business was born.

While marketing his service in the Omaha area, Doug met Tom Sutko, owner of Pest Solutions 365. Tom asked Doug and Decoy to join his team and they formed a partnership.

Decoy nose his job: Hunting bed bugs

Decoy, our bed bug-hunting dog, was recently featured in Strictly Business Magazine.

Decoy nose his business: hunting bedbugs