Stark County Health Department uses dogs to sniff out bed bugs

Cleveland is now ranked 8th in U.S. for bed bugs

CANTON, Ohio - We've all seen how effective dogs can be in locating illegal drug and explosives, but now dogs are proving very valuable in sniffing out bed bugs.

Rose Pest Solutions now has five dogs on staff that are being used to detect bed bugs in homes, schools, hotels, movie theaters and more.

Demand for the bed bug-sniffing dogs continues to climb as bed bug infestation levels rise across the country.

"What takes us an hour to find, the dogs can find in a couple of minutes," said Rose Pest Solution dog handler Rebecca DeClark. "A trained bed bug dog is able to go through a room and not disturb it, where we would have to tear it apart."

The company brought Ranger, a bed bug-sniffing beagle, to the Stark County Health Department for a short demonstration in front of the department's bed bug task force.  In every test, Ranger was easily able to find a vile of live bed bugs, hidden among furniture at the health department's conference room.

"When it comes to bed bugs, we have not hit the peak, because we're such a mobile society," said Rose Pest Solution's Christine Rubeis. "What Stark County is doing with its employees, is teach their departments to be proactive when it comes to bed bugs. Early bed bug detection is important."

Rose Pest Solutions in Cuyahoga Falls will add a sixth dog to its operation in the next couple of months.

The cost of hiring a bed bug detecting-dog is based on the square footage of the location and other environmental factors.

"Our dogs aren't full-proof, but 90 percent of the time they'll find the bed bugs, when the human eye would have a smaller chance of succeeding," DeClark said.

Information on bug prevention, detection, and extermination can be found on the Stark County Health Department website.

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