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Bed bug hunting dogs help businesses, rentals avoid pest problems

Stephanie Koch trains with Joker in the living room of a rental property in Sandbridge, where a vial containing live bed bugs has been hidden. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Stephanie Koch trains with Joker in the living room of a rental property in Sandbridge, where a vial containing live bed bugs has been hidden. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS

SANDBRIDGE — Among the things Surfside Services offers the hundreds of homes and commercial clients it helps care for in the area is doggy detection of bed bugs.

Finding the pests is a big deal, especially for rental properties in this community, where there is a lot of turnover during the season.

“If you have a full scale infestation in a house with 10 bed rooms, you’re looking at shutting it down for weeks,” said Stephanie Koch, a canine trainer and handler from the Alexandria section of the Beach.

Not to mention the cost of eliminating the problem. So she and David Engelbert, a canine handler and pest control operator, work to identify issues before they spread, all with the help of dogs trained to smell bed bugs.

They train with bed bugs to do this.

Engelbert had vials containing live bugs, which were placed in one of the properties they work in to train the dogs.

During a recent visit, the animals trained and the handlers demonstrated how they do it.

It included test runs for the dogs to find the bugs when even the handler didn’t know where the vial was.

Ginger signals the discovery of the beg bug vial hidden in a bedroom. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Ginger signals the discovery of the beg bug vial hidden in a bedroom. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

David Engelbert holds one of the vials containing live pests. This is the target of the detecting dogs. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

David Engelbert holds one of the vials containing live pests. This is the target of the detecting dogs. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]


© 2016 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

The Independent News

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