Dog trained to sniff out bed bugs

News 12 at 11 / Monday, July 28, 2014

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW) -- She's a little furrier, has a couple more legs, and has a much better nose than her co-workers.

Rosa the Beagle is the newest employee at Armor Pest Control in North Augusta. She has a serious snout, and she's using it to keep you safe.

"We have bought a Beagle that is a bed bug detecting dog," Armor Pest Control Vice President Todd Walker said.

Led by a series of five commands, Rosa follows her nose to the prize, which for her is a hidden case of bed bugs and then a well-deserved treat.

"Go find your bees" is the command to get her sniffing.

Even though she's the rookie hire, she has the expert nose. Rosa can detect even one bed bug or one viable egg in a room.

"A human will be roughly 60 percent accurate. The dog's probably at 99 or 98 percent accurate," he said.

Rosa is 100 percent ready to please. That's certainly how Walker feels since cases that used to take hours are now solved in a couple of minutes.

"Average person inspecting a room would probably take three hours to do a bedroom, but a dog can take the bedroom in roughly three minutes," he said.

As bed bug cases get worse, there's no lack of work. Walker says they get five to six bed bug calls a week.

"Lot of times you'll see it in flux when school's out due to the fact the kids from college come back in town, bring their bed bugs from the dorms back home," he explained.

But, the office is more than Rosa's home. Just like you and me, she goes to work every day, because that's what pays.

"To her, this is how I earn my living. If I decide I don't want to work, I don't get fed," he said.

They say dogs like Rosa are great when it comes to inspecting large areas like hospitals and nursing homes, because she can do it without disturbing the patients.

Rosa has only been on the job for a few weeks. The company says it's been a major investment for them, costing several thousand dollars.

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