Man’s best friend now being used to sniff out bedbugs

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(KPLR) - They feed on our blood, cause itchy red bites and they`re resistant to pesticides; they`re becoming a serious problem for homeowners and businesses in the United States.  I`m talking about bed bugs; that`s why inspector Cody, a trained rat-terrier mix is the perfect answer to bed bug control.

His trainer, Sonny Wardlow, says Cody was trained just like a police canine, except he targets bed bugs instead of drugs or bombs.

Cody is one of 4 dogs that Sonny adopted to be part of a 9-dog bed bug sniffing team forMicah Services in Orlando, Florida.  I was recently in Florida on a story and Cody showed up at my hotel room door bright and early, ready to sniff out any trouble.

Wardlow says, "We work about 25-30 rooms a day with each dog."

It takes humans 20 minutes to an hour per room.   By using dogs, beds don`t have to be torn apart searching for signs of insects.  Dogs are trained to `target` an odor and because they have 20 to 40 times the number of nasal receptor cells than we do.  They can detect the tiniest levels of odors even a few parts per billion.  And, they find live bed bugs with over 90 percent accuracy.

The bugs can be found anywhere, but are usually where people sleep.   According to the Missouri Health Department there`s no evidence they spread disease but their bites cause red, itchy bumps that are very irritating.  They suggest if you think you have bed bugs, to call in the professionals.

Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions

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