By Shayna Taylor, as sourced from www.bedbugs.org/dogs

As incidents of bed bug infestations have risen over the past decade, the training and usage of dogs to detect them has also increased.  These blood sucking insects are extremely difficult to see, and often are a very light color and no larger than a sesame seed at most stages of development. Hence, a non-visually focused detection method such as dogs is a good idea. Click below to read points taken from an article describing the process of choosing, training, and certifying bed bug detection dogs.

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By M. Pfiester, PG Koehler, and RM Pereira- Department of Entomology, University of Florida, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

University of Florida researchers did a study on the ability of trained canines to detect live bed bugs and their eggs. Dogs were able to reliably detect the presence of bed bugs vs. other insects with a positive accuracy rate of 97.5% and no false positives. The dogs also were able to reliably distinguish between live bed bugs and eggs, and dead bed bugs, feces, and cast skins with a 95% positive indication rate and only a 3% false positive rate. This study strongly supports the use of trained canines like ours in the use of live bed bug and viable bed bug egg detection.

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The phrase... "Information is Power" could not be more true today than ever...would you agree? It certainly was true yesterday as I received two phone calls between 4pm - 6pm, both requesting our canine bed bug inspections at Class A commercial offices in the Chicagoland area (one in Chicago & one in the Chicago suburbs), Both property managers had received complaints of bed bugs found or suspected in a tenant's space. Fortunately, we were able to react swiftly for one of the properties and complete their bed bug inspection within the next 24 hours, while the other was not so lucky.

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As National Emergency Preparedness Month comes to a close this Friday, I can’t help but wonder how many emergency plans were reviewed, updated, and implemented this September by property managers, and their tenants. Like many of you, I have recently received email newsletters from real estate management associations promoting building safety plans, human health and safety plans, and even power outage plans.

Unfortunately, our company experienced our own emergency only a few weeks ago at our headquarters in Chicago Ridge, IL when lighting struck the area. This lightning strike caused costly damage and downtime for our servers, phone systems, and internet infrastructure, in addition to more than 24-hours of power loss to our facility. This event proved to be challenging for our team, which also exposed some issues that we were not immediately prepared for. However, through this experience we have created a more comprehensive power outage plan to handle similar situations in the future. Lightning will strike again, the power will go out, and we will have to implement our plan.

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Bed Bug Newest Summer Travel Companion
 
American summers: beaches, sun, and now bed bugs.
 
According to the National Pest Management Association's 2015 Bugs Without Borders 66% of pest control professional reported that bed bugs are worse in the summer compared to other seasons.   And whether you manage hotels, multi-family, commercial offices or other types of property, your building will most likely come into contact with this pest.
 
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I recently had lunch with an experienced property manager of a class A-commercial office building located in the Chicago suburbs. I was looking forward to catching up with my client on the usual items including, family, work, upcoming vacations, etc. However, within minutes of meeting at the restaurant I realized this would be a much different meeting. One of my additional goals for this particular meeting was to discuss a proactive bed bug inspection program for this manager's office building. Unfortunately, we were already too late for a proactive approach as my client informed me..."Andy, our building has bed bugs!"

There are very few words in the pest control world that receive a reaction like the two words, "Bed" and "Bug". Yet, when these two words are spoken together, most property managers I meet with joke that they are already starting to itch as we continue to discuss this ever-growing pest. Nevertheless, this uncomfortable response pales in comparison to the common reactions of their tenants, customers and even asset managers.

The next 72 hours following my client lunch included my providing a proposal for an emergency bed bug inspection using four trained canine teams, reviewing and approving contracts and COI's, gathering the necessary floor plans, and scheduling a Saturday morning inspection with the property manager and two building engineers that will be paid overtime. But, according to our client, that was the easy part! In addition to the routine executing of contracts and planning for service operations, the property manager explained that they basically played the role of a psychiatrist to countless tenants over the next three days. The rumor mill was in full swing as the word spread of bed bugs in the building and some tenants were even using the word "infestation", which in this case was not true. This was the first time in the 20+ years of property management that this manager had ever experienced anything like the situation at hand. By Saturday afternoon, this manager was waving her white flag.

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By Carla Wagner –Biologist –CDIS, Canine Inspection and Detection Services – Canine Detection & Inspection Services

One would think that the potential for bed bugs in office buildings would be extremely low, given the lack of, well, beds. Unfortunately, that’s not what pest professionals in the field are encountering.

In fact, a 2011 survey from the National Pest Management Association noted that the “most striking result in this year’s survey is the spread of bed bugs from housing to less ‘conventional’ settings” and that the percentage of respondents reporting bed bug encounters in commercial office buildings increased from 17 percent to 38 percent in one year alone. Another alarming fact is that residential and commercial pest-control service provider Orkin ranked Chicago number one in the U.S. for bed bug service requests in 2012.

The combination of these two statistics alone demonstrates the need for CRE professionals to be more aware of the potential threat of bed bugs in the workplace.

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The ever growing resume of man’s best friend

By Carla Wagner –Biologist –CDIS, Canine Inspection and Detection Services – Canine Detection & Inspection Services

Business travelers beware: in the past few years there has been an explosion in the bed bug population, and you don’t have to travel overseas for these pesky pin sized bugs to hitch a ride back to your own home. An increase in non-stop international travel, along with the ban of DDT, and the lack of safe chemicals available for use in sleeping areas, these insects have been becoming more prevalent throughout the US in recent years.

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