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The perks of having a bed bug dog

Bed bugs spread by hitching lifts on clothes, suitcases, handbags, shoes and so on. Recently I came home from a bed bug heat treatment, which had been a particularly heavy infestation, and took off my shoes at the bottom of our stairs and left them there.  My Wife, who is paranoid about me bringing bed bugs home, had given me one of ‘those’ looks and so I put them into a plastic bag until I had time to inspect them properly.

The next morning, I was taking Lola, our bed bug sniffer dog , out for a walk and she started acting very interested around the bag and then began ‘alerting’ next to it to indicate that she had detected bed bugs!  We immediately treated the area of the stairs, and I am pleased to say that 3 weeks on, we do not have bed bugs.

Having this happen with my own Bed Bug Dog re-affirmed the following:

  • The earlier you catch a bed bug infestation, the easier it will be to get rid of, with minimum disruption
  • Bed bugs can hitch on anything which can come into contact with them
  • Bed bugs will usually choose quiet undisturbed areas to live and so shoes would be an unlikely home, however, if you stand on eggs or in a heavily infested area the bed bugs will use you like a bus to get to their next destination!


Barking at the Bed Bugs!

Last night I went along to the BBC studios to talk on ‘Barking at the Moon’ with Jo Good and Anna Webb. This was my second time on the show, and last night we were talking about the role of Dogs at the Olympics.  Trust K9 has been busy making sure the Olympians, visitors and press will be arriving to bed bug free accommodation with our bed bug sniffer dogs.

You can listen to the show here (I am on 1.17) “Woof Woof”

Anna and Jo were very engaging and their enthusiasm and passion for dogs and their roles in society is admirable. I enjoyed speaking to the other guests whilst waiting to go on air and was very interested to speak with Victoria Davidson who has created a thermometer called animalarm which will send a text message when the temperature gets too much for your dog in the car. As dog handlers we have to travel with dogs a lot, and Victoria explained to me that many dogs suffer heat exhaustion not only when a car is stationary, but also on journeys.  This clever device will send a text to your phone if the temperature gets too high. All the statistics are on her site


Beware of Bed Bugs in Second Hand Furniture

We have had a spate of jobs recently where the cause of their bed bug infestation points to second hand furniture.

One of our customer’s was given a lovely old dressing table by a relative, but unfortunately for them, it turned out to have bed bugs and infested her house. We were able to get rid of the bed bugs for her, without needing to throw away the table, but the stress and money to treat the bed bugs can be costly.

Bed bugs have nothing to do with dirt, anyone can get them, the bed bugs or eggs just have to be carried into your house via someone or something. Picking up discarded beds or sofas from outside People’s houses is extremely high risk for bed bugs. Often the first reaction for people when they find out they have a bed bug problem is to throw furniture away!

In fact, we would recommend steering clear of any second hand beds full stop. A recent customer purchased one which seemed like a bargain at the time, but she ended up paying more than she expected. She bought a brand new bed, and tried in vain to get rid of the bed bugs herself, and in the end when she couldn’t eradicate them, she had to pay to get rid of the bed bugs professionally.

Today is such a throwaway society and so we do not want to discourage people from buying second hand furniture. Forewarned is forearmed, so be aware and follow these tips to stay bed bug free:

  • Avoid buying second-hand beds or headboards which are high risk items
  • Check any second hand items for the following, before you move it:
    • Adult bed bugs. These are visible to the eye, they are rust coloured and about the size of an apple pip. They can make themselves entirely flat so can hide in tiny cracks
    • Check for black dots like felt tip, which smudge when moistened
    • Eggs – these are tiny, but you can see them best on dark surface
  • If you are unsure then call a bed bug expert like Trust K9 for advice or a visual inspection
  • If you are buying a large quantity of second hand furniture then bed bug sniffer dogs can give you the all clear
  • Remember, you can’t tell if the seller has bed bugs just by looking at their house. Bed bugs are hitch-hikers, so just because someone’s house is clean and tidy, it doesn’t mean they don’t have bed bugs
  • And finally, if you are unlucky enough to get bed bugs, don’t treat it yourself! Unfortunately bed bugs are immune to much of the pesticides available to consumers. Call an expert.


Olympic Search for our Bed Bug Dogs

The Olympics are fast approaching and it seems that many of London’s responsible hotels and accommodation want to ensure their rooms are at their best and bed bug free for our athletes and overseas visitors.

The dog teams including Lola, Alfie and Vince having been averaging 300 rooms a day although the latest warm spell has meant that we have been working through the nights, as the humidity was a just bit too much for our bed bug sniffer dogs, when searching such a large amount of rooms.

Using bed bug dogs to sniff out bed bugs is the ideal way to search large areas. Trust K9’s dogs are trained to alert on live bed bugs and viable eggs and so can detect bed bugs even at the earliest stage of an infestation.

Check back for more Olympics posts soon!