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Why use a bed bug dog?

At Trust K9 we are used to the look of surprise when we tell people what we do. “A dog that sniffs out bed bugs?” people say in disbelief.  Well yes indeed.

Dogs are used to detect all number of things because of their keen sense of smell. Dogs use scent more than their other senses to interpret the world. A dog’s nose has around 60 x more scent detecting cells than a human!

Dogs are used to detect scent in many fields including the Police, Coast Guards, Armed Forces and Custom Control. So then the next question we are asked is, why do people need a bed bug dog?

Early Infestations

Although bed bugs are visible to the naked eye you only really start to see physical signs of bed bugs once a bed bug infestation is 4-6 weeks old. Customers often come to us when they know they have stayed somewhere that they have since found out has bed bugs.

Recently we had a couple whose son had been travelling in Australia and had left his luggage in their house for a week whilst he sorted out a flat-share. He later told them he had been bitten repeatedly by bed bugs whilst travelling and so they naturally were worried he had bought them into their home. Happily, one of our bed bug dogs, Alfie, was able to give them the all clear!

Catching bed bugs early usually means that Trust K9 or other bed bug specialists will be able to get rid of them more quickly.

Large Areas

Anywhere with a large number of rooms to search will benefit from using a bed bug dog. Bed bug canines take just 2-3 minutes to search a room, meaning they can search hundreds of rooms a day in hotels, hostels and care homes etc.

We are seeing a shift in attitudes with Hotels using us to proactively monitor their rooms, so that if a problem is detected we can eliminate the bed bugs before they cause the guests too much grief!

Peace of Mind

If you have ever been unlucky enough to get bed bugs, you will understand how much they can get into your head, as well as your bed.

We often get call-outs to people who have had bed bugs previously and think they may have got them again. If you cannot find physical evidence it can be hard to determine if you actually have an infestation or whether you are being paranoid about either another biting insect or skin complaint.

A bed bug dog gives our customers peace of mind. Either to let them know they don’t have a bed bug infestation and can sleep easy, or if they do have one – we can get rid of them quickly.

Bed bug bites- what should I do?

Trust K9 know that bed bug bites can be itchy and painful. But firstly, how do you identify a bed bug bite and then, how can you relieve the symptoms?

“Does this look like a bed bug bite?” is one of the most common questions I get asked when I arrive on a job.  The truth is it is not always easy to tell from just looking at the bite marks. Some people can have an extreme reaction where the bite swells up almost immediately and the majority of people actually suffer no visible reaction at all.

The reason for this variance in reactions between person to person is down to the individual’s immune system as it is the body reacting to the anticoagulant and local anaesthetic that the bed bug injects as it bites.

Commonly, bed bugs will bite the extremities of the body, so face, hands, wrists, ankles are all common places.  Bed bugs also tend to leave 3 bites in a row or triangle – sometimes referred to as ‘breakfast lunch and dinner!’

A small minority of people may even experience allergic reactions. If you are concerned about any reactions you should speak to a medical professional.

Another thing that understandably worries people is the long term health risks of bed bug bites and the latest research shows that there is no evidence that bed bug bites spread any disease at all.

So how can I stop the itching?

Aside from the stress that a bed bug infestation can cause, the worst symptom is the itching and discomfort that the bites can cause. Fortunately there are some simple things you can do to ease the discomfort and reduce the appearance of bites:

  • Bio-oil or another moisturiser to repair skin and reduce scarring
  • Antihistamines to ease allergic reaction (tablets or creams)
  • Chamomile lotion can ease the itching when used topically

Always speak to your pharmacist or doctor before using any medication.

If you aren’t sure if you are being bitten by bed bugs, contact Trust K9 for free advice and remember our bed bug dogs will sniff out an infestation if you really aren’t sure if its bed bugs that won’t let you sleep tight!


Emergency Heat for Bed Bugs in Luggage

A couple recently contacted TrustK9 in somewhat of a panic. They were on holiday in Spain and the lady had received some bites which she had assumed to be mosquito bites. However, whilst researching on the internet how to reduce the itching, she came across bed bugs.  It didn’t take long for them to find evidence that their hotel room was infested with bed bugs.

Picking up bed bugs whilst staying away in hotels or at friends or relatives houses is one of the most common ways to get bed bugs. They simply crawl into your luggage and hitch-hike a lift back to your house.

Heat Treatment is a sure-fire way to kill bed bugs in houses and buildings, but luckily for this couple they realised that the bites were from bed bugs before they took their luggage back home.  This meant we were able to enclose their luggage in an container (exactly the same way we would heat up a house but on a smaller scale) and heat it up to kill any bed bugs or eggs, saving them stress and money.

Trust K9 can deal with all of your bed bug problems!


How our bed bug detection dogs can help you to sleep easy at night

The worst thing about bed bugs for many of our Trust K9 customers is the psychological affect that you are sharing your bed with unwelcome guests.

This can lead to sleepless nights as even the slightest movement on your skin can set your mind racing and there goes your restful night’s sleep. Just the thought of the bed bugs can makes you feel that there is something crawling on your skin (this happens to almost everyone and even talking about creepy crawlies can bring this on). However, in extreme cases this can lead to a condition called “delusional parasitosis”.

Sometimes these types of thoughts can lead people to believe they are still suffering from bed bug bites, long after the bed bugs have died.  You might start to convince yourself that you are seeing signs of bugs everywhere and in once case I heard of, a customer rubbed surgical spirits all over their skin to “kill” the bugs.  Putting any type of irritant directly on your skin is high unadvisable as this can cause severe dermatitis which is even more unpleasant than the original Bedbug bites.

This is where our specially trained Trust K9 bed bug sniffer dogs can come to the rescue!
Two recent cases give great examples of the calming effect that our team of super sniffer dogs can have; firstly a customer called us in to treat his house having had a bed bug problem for nearly a year having tried several other companies. Having carried out a visual search it was determined that a Trust K9 heat treatment was the most suitable course of action. A few weeks after the treatment he contacted us saying that he thought that he was seeing signs again, so back I went, this time with Alfie the super bed bug sniffing Spaniel and after a thorough search of his whole property Alfie drew a blank.

The relief on my customers face was a treat to behold and now over two months later he is still clear of bugs and he is sleeping easy, thanks to the confirmation of a successful treatment that only a dog can give.

My Second example is of a lady who after another sleep deprived night was starting to panic, she had been staying at her boyfriends and he had had a confirmed infestation (as it turns out we have since treated him). She was due to visit her parents in Norway and was therefore doubly paranoid about bringing them home to her shared flat in North London as well as taking them back to Norway (where a search there can cost over £2000). We gave her flat a good going over with the dogs and again we were happy to tell here her flat was clear of bed bugs and she was safe to enjoy her visit back home in Norway.

The reason we can give this kind of reassurance is the high standard our canine bed bug sniffer dogs are trained to, being able to alert on just one viable egg or bed bug. Trust K9’s bed bug dogs can differentiate between live and dead bed bugs meaning that after a treatment we can tell a customer with a great degree of accuracy if the treatment has been successful or not.

So how can our dogs help you sleep at night?… Easy! they can let you know you are sleeping alone, or not!

Till next time, Sleep tight.