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Rose Pest Solutions dogs and handlers sniff out bed bugs - Macomb Daily

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

sam and vernor rose bed bug canine teamBy Mike Inberg

Dog may be man's best friend, but, in recent years, these crafty canines have teamed up with their human handlers to become bed bugs' worst enemy thanks to the Rose Pest Solutions K-9 Division.

While bed bugs have always been around, the need for alternate methods of detecting them was not necessary until 2005. As Rose Pest Solutions saw demand for treatments rise, it needed to find a way to quickly come in and perform inspections.

'The key to fighting bed bugs is to detect them early before a small introduction becomes a large infestation,' said Rose Pest Solutions K-9 Division Manager Terry Giffin. 'Prior to the dogs, the only method we were able to use was visual, which is very time consuming and disruptive to the environment.'

Enter with the founding of the Rose Pest Solutions K-9 Division in 2011. Initially, the department consisted of just two dogs and four handlers. Today, Rose is one of the largest certified bug detection programs in the nation. By June, the program will employ eight dogs (seven of which are active and another that is used as a backup) and seven handlers to service regions in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. Rose also employs two supervisors and a manager.

The dogs used in Rose Pest Solutions K-9 Division are all rescue dogs and include beagles, terriers or a mix of those breeds.

'The breed actually is not that important because any dog can be trained to detect bed bugs by their scent,' Giffin said. 'What is important is finding a dog that has the proper behavior and drive to work and accomplish what we need to be done. We like using the smaller dogs because their size enables them to get in and out of places to perform the most thorough search possible without knocking things over. They also are not as intimidating to our clients.'

What separates Rose Pest Solutions' K-9 Division from competitors is the training received by both the handlers and dogs. Each handler must first become a certified technician before being given the responsibility of teaming up with a dog. This includes learning common pest biology (especially bed bugs) and how to inspect for pests.

The dogs are trained at the J&K Academy in Florida, where they not only learn how to detect the scent of bed bugs and viable eggs but also team up with their handler for the first time. Once they have earned their National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association (NESDCA) certification and completed their advanced field training, this formidable team is ready to detect bed bugs quicker and more efficiently than any other option available today. At the end of another successful day, the dogs and their handlers ride home into the sunset, preparing for battle against the newest pests lurking in the shadows.

Founded in 1860, Rose Pest Solutions, with locations in Clinton Township and Troy, provides comprehensive pest management services for commercial and residential clients from it's 15 district offices in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. Areas covered in Michigan include Metropolitan Detroit, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Saginaw.


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