ST. PETERS, Mo. – Who knows what evil lurks in the cracks and crevices of a home? The bed bug-sniffing beagles of Rottler Pest Solutions, that’s who!
“They are amazing at it,” says Jennifer White, dog handler for Rottler Pest Solutions. “So, they’ve obviously proven themselves with drugs and bombs. Same idea, just a different odor basically. So, they go out and work just like any other scent detection dog. They just find bedbugs instead.”
When it comes to a case of bedbugs believed to be in a home, Rottler Pest Solutions turns to a couple of tail wagging detectives – Clue and Hazel.
“The difference between a dog versus you or me inspecting,” says Tom Fitzgerald, bedbug manager for Rottler Pest Solutions. “It takes maybe 35 or 40 minutes to do the inspection causing you’re looking visually. You’re seeing what you see. With the dogs, they’re strictly going on the odor of a live bedbug or a bedbug egg.”
The olfactory abilities of this eight-legged duo make them a formidable pair when sniffing out pests.
Going to colleges, nursing homes, hotels, firehouses, and homes, with thousands of inspections a year across Southern Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas.
Barney and Fern were the first two bedbug sniffing dogs at Rottler about 10 years ago.
“People are coming back from vacation; kids are going off to school,” says White. “They can get exposed in dorms. You must realize after going on vacation, just because you stayed in an Airbnb or cabin or something, anywhere someone lodges you can have (bedbugs). So, RVs and rental RVs, people are still getting exposed and this is the time of year we’re getting more calls.”