Dogs help detect bedbugs

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Using canines is a unique way to combat bedbugs in Indianapolis, which is sixth in the country for the most treatments of bed bugs. That’s an increase from 2015 when Indianapolis was listed at 12th. 

Chad Bailey started K9 Detection Services nine years ago after he spent years as a K-9 sergeant with the Newburgh Police Department in southern Indiana. Bailey says most people think bedbugs come from a dirty environment, but in reality, he says humans bring them into the atmosphere. 

“They’re very hard to find which makes them hard to kill,” he said. 

The tiny bugs are not just found in residential homes but mostly public places like hospitals, nursing homes and churches. 

Bailey says canines are so accurate in finding the bugs that it only takes them a matter of seconds once they walk into a room to sniff them out.

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But they have to practice. This forces Bailey to place the tiny bugs in sealed containers around the house. 

“The weird thing is how you keep them alive,” he said. “We let them feed on us. You turn the vial upside down and let them feed.” 

“A lot of people wonder why you would use a dog instead of a pest control company,” he said. “The University of Florida did a study on it and they put trained pest control personnel up against trained canines and the human beings were 30 percent accurate and the canine’s were 98 percent accurate in detecting bed bugs. So they were three times better.” 

Business partner James Smith says a pest control company can find bedbugs but specialized dogs can find them hidden in walls, baseboards and the window trim. He says 50 percent of the time after a pest control treatment, bedbugs are found again. 

“It’s actually gotten to be such a bad epidemic that they are anywhere that you may be sitting in a lobby, like the movie theater that’s been closed down recently because of the epidemic and the infestations,” he said.

The company advises corporate offices and public places like the courthouse to get checked monthly or quarterly. It’s common these places will shut down if infected.