Dogs brought in to sniff out Bay Area bed bugs

SAN FRANCISCO — (KRON) — There has been a major increase in bedbug infestations in the Bay Area, and the problem appears to be getting worse.

However, one pest control company is bringing in four-legged helpers to help sniff out the problem.

They are nasty little creatures, said Robert Gallo of Round-the-Clock Pest Control.

“They’re like vampires,” Gallo said. “They hide out at night, they come out and feed at you, feed on you, and then go back out to their hiding spots after they’re done eating.”

However, there is no hiding place for bed bugs when the dogs are around. Bed bug sniffing beagles are specially trained to find the little blood suckers

“The dogs are trained just like a bomb dog or an arson dog,” Gallo said. “They are imprinted with an odor. In this particular case, the dogs are imprinted with the odor of live bed bugs.”

Toby the dog has been doing this kind of work for the past two years for Round-the-Clock Pest Control.

“If he were to find bed bugs, then he would scratch at the area,” Gallo said.

Gallo said bed bugs are all over the Bay Area

“Around 2006, we were probably doing maybe two-or-three bed bug calls a year,” Gallo said. “Now, on average, we are probably getting probably about 5,000 to 8,000 bed bug calls a year.”

He said the bugs typically find their way into the United States on people who have been traveling outside of the country.

“There is nothing you can really do to prevent bed bugs,” Gallo said. “The only thing you can do is catch it early.”

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