Bed Bug Mutts, BC’s only independent canine-assisted bed bug detection service, is pleased to announce their bed bug dog, Loola Loo, and owner-operator, Ken Hando, is the first Canadian Bed Bug Scent Detection K-9 Team to achieve accredited status with all three of the top third-party certifying agencies in the canine scent detection industry.
No other Canadian team has been certified by all three agencies. Bed Bug Mutts has gone to this extraordinary measure to assure their clients that their bed bug detection team, day-in and day-out, is accurate and reliable to detect live bed bugs and viable eggs. These agencies are:
Formed in direct response to the NPMA’s (National Pest Management Association) recent publication of Best Management Practices for Bed Bugs; a comprehensive document that mandates objective, fair and credible Certification Standards for all Canine Scent Detection Teams.
The most common certification portrayed in the media; formed by Pest Control Professionals committed to providing an evaluation process to maintain the highest quality standards, improving the profile of their teams, and educating consumers on the benefits of appropriately training and contributing to entomology related research.
A not-for-profit organization established in 2005 by a group who depend on canine scent detection as part of their livelihood, e.g. police officers, fire fighters, public and private investigators, pest control professionals, mold inspectors, search and rescue personal and others; dedicated to improve the accuracy, dependability and performance of detector dog teams and to improve legal defensibility of detector dog teams’ performance through quality training, education and focused evaluation of detector dog teams and trainers to be the best in the industry.
The recommended standard in the canine scent detection industry - both for the dog handler and the dog – is to undergo third-party annual team testing by recognized industry agencies. The fact the testing is done by a ‘third-party’ ensures the impartiality of the examiners. The testing is based upon ‘real-life’ scenarios to verify the dog recognizes the target odour at various concentrations, e.g. from one to twenty live bed bugs. The testing also certifies the dog handler 'reads' his dog appropriately.
"It is all about the relationship between the dog and the handler, we are a team depending upon each other. She is a detection athlete - she even has her own treadmill to keep her in top physical shape."
They run daily scent detection exercises to maintain that peak performance level.
‘Show Me The Bed Bug’ Protocol
Once given the command to search for her target scent, Loola Loo is intent, leaving no pillow unturned; searching everywhere bed bugs may be hiding. A determined ‘sit’ indicates she had pinpointed the location of the highest concentration of the target scent. This is called an 'alert'. Ken then follows the ‘show me the bed bug’ protocol by visually searching for physical evidence of the bed bugs presence - fecal stains, cast skins, live bed bugs, nymphs or eggs. Once confirmed, and only then, Loola receives her reward - her ball. Her love of playing with her ball drives her voracious hunt for bed bugs.
Before Hiring A Bed Bug Dog...
Third-party accreditation provides the public with unbiased confirmation the team is capable of recognizing the target odour at various levels of concentration and the dog handler is adept at reading his dog, recognizing when she is ‘in the scent’. Once certification is achieved though, the team must ensure this performance level is maintained. It is a matter of daily maintenance training to uphold that same level of peak performance. Before hiring a bed bug dog:
- Check on their certification. Each of the agencies list accredited teams on their respective website.
- Ask the handler about their maintenance regime.
- For another viewpoint on bed bug dogs, read the bed bug dog FAQ “what you need to know’ on the Bedbugger website (see references below).
Once you know how you can be sure the bed bug scent detection team is accurate and reliable you are well on your way to resolving your bed bug issue. Call on Bed Bug Mutts – a team that has gone those extra steps for you.