How can a Dog be used to help Detect Bed Bugs in Atlanta, Georgia ?
|Ben the Bed Bug Dog Atlanta Georgia|
I have been using Specially Trained Dogs to find insects since 1984 I performed Termite Inspections in the Atlanta and surrounding Areas as well as doing Troubleshooting Inspections for the U.S. Defense Dept. And other Pest Control Companies throughout the United States. I worked for many years with “Timmy the Termite Dog” and many people to this day ask me about him. Its hard for people to understand the bond between a working dog and its partner. I worked with Timmy for over 12 years and we performed over 10,000 structural inspections and I am very proud to say with Zero claims. We offered a non-disclosure insured inspection which was very valuable to a purchaser of a property.
Below is a picture of us in a Church looking for Termites. He was such a Trooper !
|Timmy and I in 1985 inspecting a Church for Termites.|
|Puppy in Training for Bed Bugs !|
Ben was a natural. He has drive and loves to work. He was a bit unusual in that he enjoyed playing ball more than he liked food reinforcement. As time went on I entered a lot of the same techniques we used for termites. I had my Termite dogs trained to work in dark attics and flashlight training was critical in those areas. We occasionally find ourselves in areas where it is dark and I use my flashlight to help guide the dog. It also makes him feel more comfortable knowing that I am focused on him. I have watched some other bed bug dogs work and I noticed all of them work right next to their handler onleash at all times. I also noticed they rarely talked to their dogs.I also noticed a lot of problems with their inspections in a lot of cases. Foraging for Food is an absolute NO NO with me. Not only is it a distraction we must be able to overcome it can also be very hazardous and unhealthy for my partner. It is my job to protect him from such dangers. By Training him to never pick up food he eventually gives up on that possibility. Don’t worry he is given a high protein diet and plenty of fresh clean water.
|Ben checking a summer camp cabin for Bed Bugs !|
He is trained to work on and off leash. I train my dogs and use my voice as an invisible leash. I can stop them on a dime. I am constantly giving them positive voice inflex which keeps their drive up. When I send him into a tight area which is uncomfortable and he inspects it throroughly I immediately praise him. He didn’t find any bugs but he did what I needed him to and made the team better. Dogs have a quick response time in which to praise or correct problems. They have no idea what you are talking about 5 minutes later. I take advantage of situations I come across. Even if there is not a problem on some high bunk beds I might take that opportunity to use that to build his confidence.
When I had my Termite Dogs we had our Own Certification Process because there really were not any other companies that had Termite Detection Dogs. We had people that traveled to the Handlers site for at least 2 days every Quarter (90 days) for Quality Control. They would go out on actual inspections. do some training exercises which would expose any lack of work habits on the handlers part. Would work on constant improvement and the handlers would get much better as time went on. The Biggest Problem I see iwth Bed Bug Dogs is there is not really an acceptable program for Quality Control.
There are companies that will sell a dog and do very little handler training. I did this for so many years and saw so many handlers that I just know without constant help and advice many handlers will not be successful and thus will be a big problem out in the field. I hear these handlers boast “I am Certified”
I say “So What”. Their idea of certification is to go back to the guy that sold them the dog and do a few exercises and write a check. With that being said since I did Quarterly Certifications which were much more stringent than the current plans I just perform my own testing just like I always have. We use the Dogs to help us find Bed Bugs. If we get an alert to an area I do not recommend treatment at that point. We look for evidence and most of the time the dog puts us right on it. Occasionally we can not find any visual evidence. This is when I am uncomfortable. I tell the customer we can continue to monitor and see what happens. I really do not like it when people treat for Bed Bugs just based on a Dog alert with no other evidence. I want the Dogs to continue to be a great tool for us to use. I can see how someone with the wrong motives could really cause a negative effect. We never want to perform a Bed Bug Treatment unless there is a Bed Bug Issue there. I have seen this happen where it was misdiagnosed and that is a big problem. I have seen multiple jobs sold for Bed Bugs when it was Carpet Beetles.
Just make sure you are dealing with a knowledgeable and reputable operator. We are a Family Owned and Operated Company. At this time we have 5 Clark’s working in our company so I am not kidding about Family Owned and Operated.
Any Questions Call me at 678-873-5785 or visit our website at Bed Bugs Atlanta