Or: How I met April, the Sniffer Dog
My husband and I had a wonderful time in Miami. We visited relatives and stayed at a luxurious B’n’B that didn’t want for anything. We couldn’t have been happier. That is until two or three days after we came back to New York and started itching like crazy. Big red welts. And that meant a visit to Urgent Care.
The nurse practitioner was lovely. “See those bites in threes, triangles or a string of, uhhhum, pearls? We call that ‘breakfast, lunch and dinner and you brought bedbugs home from your time in Miami Beach.”
And that’s how I quickly became an expert on Sniffer Dogs. I learned they go to school for 6 months and their handlers for a month. To achieve WDDO certification (World Detector Dog Organization) a canine/handler team must pass a double blind scent
detection examination in their field and must stay current with regular training.Curiously, April was selected from a high-kill shelter in the South because of her excellent sc
ent detection ability and she learned rapidly for her certification before she was purchased by the exterminator whom I called.
Within two hours April and her handler, Caroline, were at my home. But first, my own dog was removed by request.
Caroline spent an hour or more looking for those damn little brown bugs shining her mag light under the mattress, under pillows, into the lining of our suitcases. She found nothing. Humans are about 20% accurate.
In came April the Sniffer Dog. Dogs are over 90% accurate.
Caroline gently led her to our mattress, our suitcase but she was having none of it. April went over to the couch in the living room and did a sit so hard I thought her butt would go through the floor. Damn! That’s where we put our suitcases to fill and to empty them. The suitcases checked out sniff-nose clean but the damn little Miami Beach bugs had jumped to the couch and were watching TV with us while enjoying a New York snack, us.
As Carolyn helped me strip the couch cushions so she could put them and the rest of the parts of the couch through an environmentally safe heat treatment to kill the little buggers she enlightened me that bedbugs can infest 5-star or flea bag hotels. So if you return from travels and see bug bites in patterns of three, call an exterminator with a certified sniffer dog. An early case like mine would have never been caught by a human but it was a slam-dunk for a sensitive nose like April’s.
Getting rid of the little critters was easy and environmentally save. Heat, UV and heavy plastic mattress covers was all it took.
Yes, I share this nasty experience with you, gentle reader, because I've learned that no matter where you travel, from 1-star to 5-stars, bedbugs can come home with you.
Fortunately, we have our friend April and her fellow pups who can find those nasty bug before they become serious, if you call April or one of her fellow pups before they become serious.
So a word to the wise, if you itch after a trip, any trip, and especially if you have welts in groups of three, call in a bedbug dog. They are easy and they know what they are doing.
And another word to the wise, if you need help with your pup with a walk during the day, reach out to us. We are easy and we know what we are doing.