Dog can sniff out bed bugs!

July 6, 2009 5:09:01 PM PDT
The problem of bed bugs has been rapidly rising in this country. The tiny insects that feed on human blood are extremely hard to find and eliminate. Our expert says in the last 5 to 10 years, the bed bug problem has increased 75-percent throughout this country. Marty Overline, President of Aardvark Pest Management, never thought a dog would play an important role in his career, but Heidi has proven to be his best asset.

"Heidi is the most invaluable tool I've purchased for my business since I started (the) business. She's that effective."

Heidi, an 18-month-old former rescue dog, is the only official bed bug dog in Philadelphia. The only one certified by the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association.

The "bed bug burrowing Beagle" can detect the pests much faster than a worker doing a manual inspection.

"With Heidi she can be in and out of the room in a matter of minutes. And she's 95-percent effective compared to me. I'm in the 30's somewhere or any other human being."

Also, because Heidi can find the problem before it becomes an infestation, it's much easier to treat.

Marty has been in the pest control business for more than 20 years starting as an Engineering Entomology specialist in the Air Force where he fought bed bugs for 3 years.

His son, Martin R. is Heidi's handler.

The bed bug's big comeback, they say has been partly due to the increase in international travel and the ban of strong pesticides decades ago.

"We had DDT and we had another chemical called malathion that really kept a lid on the bed bug population in this country.

But now the tiny, wingless insect is back and it doesn't matter where you live.

"It doesn't matter if you're in the White House or the outhouse, it's affecting everybody."

There is legislation in Congress to more aggressively attack this country's ever-growing bed bug problem. It's called the "Don't Let the Bed Bug Bite Act of 2009".

In the interim there are some 50 bed bug detecting dogs like Heidi, across the U.S.

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