Can Dogs Smell Bedbugs?

  • Is it possible for dogs to detect bed bugs?
    Yes, specially trained K-9 Bedbug Control dogs can…. they detect bedbugs quickly and with incredible precision! These little critters are notoriously difficult to see, especially newly hatched translucent nymphs that have not had their first blood meal. But there’s good news because dogs have such keen noses that they can detect even a single bed bug or bed bug egg!


In a 2011 industry publication, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), the largest trade association for pest management, stated that a team of bed bug detection dogs would be especially useful in cases where bed bugs were suspected, but no live bugs or viable eggs could be found visually. To ensure effective training, they further proposed that all teams, including canine handlers, be certified by the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association (NESDCA).

The dogs enjoy the training since finding bedbugs is as much fun to them as chasing a ball or playing tug-of-war.

When a dog successfully locates where bed bugs are hiding, they are rewarded with a treat as well as lots of praise and affection. They’ve also been taught to discern between dead bed bugs and old eggs from previous infestations, as well as living bugs and viable eggs that require treatment. It’s good to utilize at least two dogs to detect bed bugs to see if both canine noses produce the same results.

Bedbug Detection Dogs

Bed bug detection dogs are trained in part by smelling streetside discarded goods like old mattresses and furniture, according to one eco-friendly pest removal company in Montreal. However, the most disturbing part of this story is that they found bed bugs in three different locations within a one-block radius of their home!

The best part of using a team of dogs to find bed bugs is that you obtain near-perfect accuracy in detecting only the areas where they are hiding, allowing you to treat a smaller portion of your home. If you know where your belongings are, you may end up throwing out fewer of them! Remember, even a single grain-sized bed insect can be detected by a dog!

Health Risks of Being Bitten by a Bedbug

Bed bugs not only have a horrible “icky factor,” but they also pose a major health risk to you and your family. Because the skin is injured by the bed insect bite, secondary illnesses are very common. To make matters worse, some people are allergic to bed bug bites, and being bitten can affect their breathing, requiring immediate medical attention. Even for those who have a less severe reaction and just can’t stop scratching, this rips the skin open, causing that person to be more susceptible to infection.

It’s possible to get almost any form of skin, blood, or lymph node infection. Hepatitis B and MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staph Infection, also known as Medically Resistant Staph Infection) are two of the most serious infections. It’s also worth noting that the HIV virus has been shown to persist for at least eight days within a bed bug following a blood meal! For this reason, the CDC has not ruled out bed bugs as a key transmission of these dangerous diseases. Keep in mind that bed bug illnesses, both primary and secondary, affect infants, the elderly, and people with auto-immune diseases more seriously.

Sadly, those people who are hypersensitive to bed bug bites have gone into anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening event. Furthermore, being bitten by bed bugs can be so psychologically traumatic, leading to PTSD in some people, as well as insomnia and acute anxiety in others.

Training Your Dog to Detect Bedbugs May Be Beneficial

It might be worthwhile to have your pet specially trained to be a K-9 bedbug control dog, to detect bed bugs, if you frequently stay at hotels. It would be much easier to do so if you could find a local trainer to assist you. However, because this is a new field, don’t be shocked if you have problems locating one with this exact training expertise. Bed bugs can be ordered online with the aim of self-training a dog, but this is not for the faint of heart! In order to survive, bed bugs must be fed at least once a month, and the only thing they consume is blood! Some bed bug detecting dog trainers have resorted to having their bed bugs take blood from their own bodies!

Even if you bring a flashlight and a magnifying glass with you and properly inspect the hotel mattress, you won’t always be able to notice them! Furthermore, they are just as likely to be hiding behind the nailed-to-the-wall headboard as they are within the nightstand, behind the baseboards, on the carpet, or nestled in the photos on the wall. They could be hiding in the drawer or inside the plastic casing of the radio alarm clock that’s just a few feet away from where you’re sleeping. Bed bugs also like to hitchhike back home with you in your baggage, books, clothes, laptops, toys, and other vacation things!

So, if you train your dog(s) to detect bed bugs when traveling and record any positives on social media, you could start a trend that swiftly spreads! Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to make a decent side income or maybe start a new full-time business!

Good night, good night. Don’t let the bedbugs get the best of you!

In Closing

Although at The Bug’s End, we don’t have a team of bedbug detecting dogs, we do have human professional experts who have years of experience in detecting, and exterminating bedbugs from your home or property. So even if you suspect that you may have a bedbug infestation in the Longview, Texas area, it’s best to call us today for a free inspection. 

This is something you want to catch, and deal with quickly.

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