Pepper, Our Bed Bug Dog
Man's Best Friend Holds Some Big Talents
By: Danielle Fornal, Safeway Pest Management
Canines, not only are the adorable and sweet, but they possess some traits that even us humans have a hard time competing with.
Now, I know we all have seen some impressive feats from the canine world. Dogs can rescue a human from peril, search for a lost person from dusk until dawn with just a simple sniff of a shirt; assist a police officer in his or her daily duties. Dogs even have the capability to hunt and find bombs and illegal drugs. But, even I was a little shocked when I first learned that a dog can sniff out Bed Bugs!
Some dogs, like hunting dogs, are especially talented in the area of “sniffing”, but any intelligent and work-driven dog can be trained to sniff out Bed Bugs.
Bed Bug dogs put in many, many hours of training to get certified through a certified trainer. Once they complete their training, they can enter a hotel room, apartment or home and find Bed Bugs sometimes within minutes if they are strongly present.
So how do scent detecting dogs do it? Well, dogs have loads more scent receptors than humans do. Have you ever seen a dog sticking its head out the window to sniff the air? The nostrils on a canine open and close to suction a higher volume of scent molecules to their odor receptors. The scent hits the dog’s odor receptors and then travels to a chamber, which is located on the roof of a dog’s mouth between the dog’s nose and brain. This is called the Jacobson’s organ and it sends the decoded Bed Bug scent to the dog’s brain.
Even with that knowledge, it is amazing to think that man’s best friend has the ability to sniff out a tiny insect and perhaps even a tinier egg from that insect within a large room. The canine world certainly owns many amazing talents.
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