Dogs being used to sniff out bed bugs in Ontario


Published March 14, 2024 at 10:46 am

Orkin K-9 bed bug unit

Bed bug infestations have been gaining the spotlight in Ontario recently, as people can’t seem to get away from them in areas like Brampton and Mississauga. Beyond just the irritating nature of their bites, bed bugs also reproduce at an alarming rate and can potentially cause severe allergic reactions in some people.  

But fear not, for there is help — it just has four legs instead of two — as Orkin Canada’s mobile K-9 units are mobilized all over Ontario and ready to sniff out potential bed bug infestations.

These dogs with jobs are not alone and come with specially trained handlers who assess potentially contaminated areas before their furry friend goes in to sniff out potential pests. 

“I make sure it is safe for him to go in, I talk with our clients to make sure they understand the situation and then I remove any additional pets or other variables so he has everything he needs to have the most accurate search possible,” says Brittany Borgal, one of Orkin Canada’s dog handlers when talking about her K-9 coworker ‘Hippo.’ 

Hippo Orkin K-9 Dog

When it comes to a general assessment of a potentially contaminated area, it usually takes these specially-trained scent dogs roughly 15 minutes to determine whether or not an area has bed bugs.

Orkin Canada also has some quick tips for dealing with a potential bed bug infestation prior to an inspection, which include:

  • Immediately stop the usage of a room or facility you believe is contaminated.
  • If operating in a business capacity, work with management to halt any further operations in the location.
  • Do not remove any items from the room.
  • Do not move any objects in the room, as this will impede any inspections

Once a case is confirmed, a full assessment and decontamination will then take place with Orkin staff. 

According to Borgal, most provinces in Canada have usually two K-9 bed bug inspection units, however, due to Ontario’s size and scope, the province has upwards of three to four K-9 teams operating at a given time. 

Additionally, K-9 units can be used as a first line of defence, inspecting locations before a residential move-in or commercial usage. As for why she uses a K-9 inspection service above other formats, Borgal was quick to shout the praises of her teammate and furry friend. 

“He’s so beyond a dog to me, to rely on him and trust him, and to see him do things for me just because I ask, it’s incredible,” says Borgal. “He is so much more than a tool to me, I’m going to adopt him because I cannot live without this dog.” 

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