Ohio Bed Bug Extermination & Detection Service

Canine Bed Bug Detection vs Human Bed Bug Inspection

The facebook page for Sleep Tight Bed Bug Control recently received a comment from a happy customer about their surprise that K-9 bed bug inspection is a real thing. Apparently, when they first heard of it they initially believed that K-9 bed bug detection was just a joke or a gimmick. They stated that when they experienced an issue with bed bugs, they were surprised to learn that Canine bed bug inspection was a real thing, and that in fact it really worked, and worked very well for them. This got me thinking about the perception of canine bed bug detection and the importance it has had on the bed bug extermination industry.

As the use of K-9 bed bug inspections has grown, many people didn’t realize that canine bed bug detection is a real thing. We often had questions like: Can dogs really find bed bugs in my home? Will Heat really kill bed bugs in my home? Is K-9 bed bug inspection a real thing?

Canine Bed Bug Detection Facts

The fact is that properly trained bed bug detection dogs can locate bed bugs in a home or business much faster and with far greater accuracy than a human. In fact, a well trained K-9 bed bug inspection team is about 95% accurate, while a human visual inspection has an accuracy rate of about 35%.

Based on this, I thought I would share a recent experience while exterminating bed bugs, which really shows how well bed bug heat treatment and K-9 bed bug inspections work together in the eradication and extermination of bed bugs.

K-9 Bed Bug Detection by Zeb!

K-9 Bed Bug Detection team bed bug dog Zeb locates bed bugs in a mattress

STBBC performed a heat treatment for a luxury cabin rental company in Southeast Ohio. We treated the cabin for four hours utilizing bed bug heat treatment. The next day after everything cooled off, we brought in the canine Scent detection dog (zeb) and he alerted on one side of bed. We couldn’t believe that there was still the possibility of a bed bug surviving the bed bug heat treatment, which we closely monitor to ensure that all areas achieve the appropriate temperatures for the necessary amount of time. Due to the nature of the business we were treating, we even focused extra attention to the bed with with the high temperature fans.

bed bug heat treatment remote monitoring
While a home or business is being heat treated for bed bugs, we use a wireless monitoring system to ensure that all areas achieve temperatures to kill bed bugs and bed bug eggs for the appropriate amount of time. This same system allows us to prevent areas from overheating, which can cause damage to the home or household items.

Since our K-9 bed bug inspector Zeb alerted, we decided to remove the mattress encasements on the mattress and box springs. (Usually we don’t have to do this). To my amazement the mattress had 2 encasements on it. This double layer of protection designed to double up on the protection provided to the mattress from bed bugs, also provided some shelter to bed bug eggs from the heat treatment. We removed all encasements and retreated the bedroom (at no additional charge to the property owner, since our bed bug extermination service is guaranteed to work).

The next day we brought in zeb for another K-9 bed bug inspection and the entire cabin was now bed bug free.

The importance of K-9 Bed Bug Inspection

Another bed bug extermination company that doesn’t utilize K-9 bed bug inspection to verify their work would have left and considered the job complete as all of the bed bugs were effectively exterminated. Since it was only bed bug eggs that survived the initial heat treatment, it could have been up to 6-10 days before they hatched. Then since they were locked inside the bed bug encasements, it is difficult to say how long it would have been before the bed bugs would have made their presence known.

This goes to show the importance of utilizing a bed bug extermination service that verifies their work using a K-9 bed bug inspection, as without the bed bug dog alerting these live bed bug eggs would have certainly gone undetected.   

Lesson Learned in Bed Bug Extermination

While our bed bug heat treatment process is closely monitored and highly effective, there is the rare occasion that some variable will impact the bed bug extermination. In this case, the encasements being doubled up would not let the heat penetrate the mattress, sheltering the bed bug eggs from the bed bug heat treatment. Note: these bed bug encasements would have provided even greater protection to the bed bug eggs from any type of chemical bed bug extermination agents, than they did the heat treatment.

Gaining Experience in Bed Bug Extermination

While we are a highly experienced bed bug extermination service, there is always room to learn and grow. Based on this case study, now all bed bug encasements will be removed and hung up during bed bug heat treatments.

Thanks to Zeb our bed bug scent detection dog we were able to find and kill all bugs and eggs. The end result is that the combination of the heat treatment and canine inspection has provided for another very satisfied bed bug extermination client in Southeast Ohio.



Goldman, M (2014, March 25). [Bed Bug Supplement] K-9 Bed Bug Inspection vs. Human Inspection: Setting the Record Straight. Retrieved from: https://www.pctonline.com/article/pct0314-k9-bed-bug-inspection/

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