NorCal Dog's Nose Knows Bed Bugs

Beagle trained to sniff out bed bugs

By Jessica Greene
|  Wednesday, Oct 6, 2010  |  Updated 11:05 AM PDT
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Bedbugs Targeted in Richmond Apartment Building

Greg Hayter

Dog experts say the beagle's sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than a human's.

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They've been known to sniff out contraband, missing people, even diseases and now, a dog in Stockton is putting it's keen sense of smell detecting bed bugs.

Sierra might just be the hardest working member of the Delk Pest Control company. If not the hardest, she's certainly the most accurate. Sierra's a beagle trained to sniff out tiny, disgusting little bed bugs and their eggs.

Our friends at KCRA tell us that with Sierra on the job, the company can inspect a room and detect the creepy critters in about five to 10 minutes. Without Sierra, it would take them about 30-40 minutes. Company sales manager Brad Delk trained Sierra to sniff out the critters and alert him by scratching when she finds them.

After Sierra finds the dreaded creepy crawlies, Delk uses special equipment to heat up the affected area to 120 degrees, killing the bugs and eggs, then brings his four-legged co-worker back to re-inspect.

Sierra has been on the job at Delk's Pest Control for just over a month and so far, has multiplied business so much, they had to set up a special branch just to handle the calls.

Sierra is one of only about 10 bed bug-sniffing dogs across the state, according to the Pest Control Operators of California.

Now, if they could only get her to answer those phones.

Photo from Greg Hayter's Flicker photostream.
 

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