Bed bug detection in the Okanagan is going to the dogs
We all know dogs have good noses. They can track people – sniff out drugs – even smell cancer .
But a little jack russell terrier named Frankie is trained to smell something else altogether – bed bugs.
“How does he do it? He picks up on the pheromones,” his handler Heidi Wilson explained.
Frankie, or Frank the Tank as he’s been labeled, works for Orkin – a pest control company. He and his handler are often called in when people suspect they have a bed bug problem.
“In light infestations the dog is critical because they can sense things that we can’t pick up on with the human eye,” Matthew Wright with Orkin Canada said.
Frankie lives in the Lower Mainland, but increasingly he’s being brought to the Okanagan to sniff out the night-time blood suckers.
“From ten years ago until now we’re really starting to see an increase in population,” Wright said.
Wright says bugs don’t just reside in hotels. They’re showing up in apartments and condos, in single family homes, hospitals, offices and even libraries.
Wilson says there is a social stigma attached to having a bed bug infestation, but there shouldn’t be. She says bed bugs are not attracted to places that are unclean – they’re simply attracted to human blood.
“It doesn’t matter. They just want a warm body to feed on.”
With the number of infestations on the rise in the Okanagan, Orkin is working on getting a full time dog for Kelowna sometime next year.
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