Daisey and Dolley’s Bed bug Diaries

Posted: August 8, 2012 in Pest Control Industry News
Tags: , , ,
the following post was provided to Bug Off Pest Control Center by: Sandy “Ladybug” Honess and Frank C. Honess, III of Ladybug Pest Management, Inc. in Delmar, DE  (302) 846-2295

Delmarva’s Own, Daisey & Dolley  have been working together sniffing out  bed  bugs as a team since September 2011.

These are a few of the actual encounters with  bed  bugs as relayed  by Daisey & Dolley through their handler, owner and as far as Daisey and Dolley are concerned, their Mommy,  Sandy “Ladybug”, Honess.

But first I would like to share a little background history of Daisey and Dolley and how they came to be an important part of the Ladybug Team.
Daisey – From a rescue, to a graduate, to a certified bed bug detection beagle, Daisey has found a new career, a new home and a new family at Ladybug Pest Mgmt.

Daisey is our veteran sniffer.  She was a rescue and our pet for a short while  before being sent off to bed bug boot camp for her training.  She was trained  by Master trainer, Blaine Lessard of American Canine Scent Detection in lower Maryland.

Her trainer advised that she was one of his brightest students and graduated with high marks.

Once back at the Ladybug home base, she continued her daily training and started to work in the field.

Daisey has a personality like no other beagle we have ever encountered.  Of course she is cute. She bears the markings of a typical tri-color beagle.   We believe her to be approximately 4 years old.   She is very friendly and if not working loves to socialize and will actually hold your hands with her two paws.

To watch Daisey perform an inspection one might wonder about her scenting technique.  Unlike the frantic nose to the ground scenting of the beagle-hound breed we see on videos and TV, Daisey is very calm, focused and almost caviler in her inspection scenting protocol.  However, her handler, Frank, knows her behavior, when she is scenting, and when she is not.  There is  a bond that is developed by the hours and hours of daily training and field work that Daisey and Frank  have developed.  Daisey knows when it is time to go to work and she looks forward to it and pleasing her handler, Frank.  I also believe Daisey thinks that Frank is her Daddy too.

Once the bed bug scent hits Daisey’s nose, her alert is to sit and not move.   If there were any question of a false alert (trying to fake out her handler) she would easily get up from her seated position once Frank pulled easily on her lead.  A true alert will find Daisey seated firmly and she will not budge until she receives her pay and/or food reward.  Once Frank has confirmed her alert at a targeted area, he will ask Daisey to “show him the bug”.  At this command she will normally point with her nose into the location of the scent from the  bed  bug(s) and/or viable eggs.

One of her first inspection missions was at a very proactive hotel in our area.
The general manager is very educated about bed bugs and wants to do all that he can to avoid, detect and prevent (within his power) bed  bug introductions and/or infestations at his establishment.

Daisey was successful in targeting specific locations of bed bugs harboring in very hard to find areas by human inspection.  Daisey’s inspections and ultimate findings of bed bugs in various rooms prevented these bed bugs from establishing a larger infestation and potential bite reports from incoming guests.

Hello Dolley!  – The formation of “Delmava’s Own, Daisey & Dolley –

                                       Canine Scent Detection Beagles”

Daisey had been working for over a year prior to Dolley joining her this past fall.  Once Dolley and Daisey joined their bed bug sniffing schnauzers together they truly  became a Dynamic Duo. Sometimes referred to also as our “Double D’s”.

Moving on to our second bed bug sniffer, Hello Dolley, Goodbye Bedbugs.   Dolley is a smaller tan and white beagle also called a “block head” beagle.   She has somewhat of a sad sack face but is still very cute.  Dolley is a very sweet but precocious  2 year old beagle with a lot of puppy attitude and behavior to boot.

Dolley and Daisey are very close and do not like to be separated for long.  This works very well with our Canine Bed bug Inspections in that we always use both dogs on every job to confirm the others alerts.  We call this our “two for one special” as we charge for one dog only.

One of the first inspections Daisey & Dolley performed together was at a local hotel.  The conditions for inspection were not totally conducive to a thorough and accurate inspection.  The inspections took place on one floor where the housekeeping staff were breaking down the rooms for pre-season general heavy cleaning purposes.  Daisey & Dolley had to focus beyond the cleaning staff on the floor, loud noises of moving things within the room and air flow throughout.  However, D & D did not disappoint.  In one room, Daisey alerted in front of a dresser against a wall.  Upon command to “show me the  bug” , she kept pointing with her nose to the drawers of the dresser.  After Daisey’s alert, we brought Dolley in to inspect.  Dolley also alerted in the same spot at the dresser that Daisey alerted and pointed to. We were also very happy that the General Manager was able to witness their alerts.

Upon examination of the dresser by pulling out each drawer and looking very closely with a flashlight and magnifier, two live adult bed bugs were found tucked away under the metal track on the side of one drawer.  What an amazing find.

Many times D & D have alerted at the side of a bed and bed bugs are found in the brown metal bed frames.  Bed bugs in bed frames are impossible to see by housekeeping staff when cleaning the room after a guest checks out.

D & D have found bed bugs in the following hideouts:  pull out sofa beds, dresser drawer metal tracks, underneath night stands and on the carpet, behind carpet baseboard bumpers, in/under torn wallpaper, behind headboards,  and box spring corners.  Bed bugs are not always confined to the mattress and box spring.

More recently D&D have been performing “spot on” often at 100% accuracy in their alerts and thereafter visual confirmation of bed bugs being present at the alerted locations.

Daisey & Dolley really blew us away with a finding on two separate occasions in empty apartments.  Case in point:  One very proactive Apartment Complex has D & D come in after a tenant moves out, while the apartment is empty to “certify” bed bug alert free status.  We then issue a Certificate of Inspection to them which  documents the findings of the canine inspection as well as our visual findings as a Pest Management Professional specializing in bed bugs.

Daisey first alerted to the bedroom far wall area, somewhat near a receptacle outlet, but sitting/alerting and pointing more towards the carpet.  Dolley followed suit and had the same alert at the same spot.  Such strong alerts and on more than one run of the room have to be considered suspicion of bed bugs.  As we are also called on by this particular property management company to investigate further and to service should activity be found, we came back a few days later to investigate.  We pulled back the 1/2” carpet approximately 6 – 12 inches from the wall and could not find anything.  We then pulled back the 1/2” padding which revealed the sub-floor.  BAM.  2 live and crawling bed bugs were there.  GREAT FIND BY DAISEY & DOLLEY.

Locating bed bugs never gets old for this Ladybug Team and it still amazes us when Daisey & Dolley are “spot on” with their findings.  They truly are the Stars of Ladybug Pest Management.  They deserve top billing and they will always have it with us!

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