Monday, August 6, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio --Before thousands of college students return for a new school year, one university is taking a special approach to make sure there are no unwanted guests awaiting their arrival.
Last August, Ohio Dominican University discovered that the university had an infestation of bed bugs after five students were bitten in one residence hall.
Ranger is a 2-year-old Beagle that is trained to sniff out bed bugs on command. Using a test sample, Ranger detects a specific odor and scratches the spot to indicate the bugs' presence.
"Ranger finds the bed bugs and eggs through scent. He doesn't actually see them. He smells them," said Becca DeClark, of Rose Pest Solutions. "They're about the size of an apple seed, rusty red in color."
While the bugs may be hard for humans to see, they definitely leave an unpleasant trail.
"This black fecal spotting, which you can find on sheets or baseboards where bed bugs like to hide in those cracks and crevasses," said Joshua Bryant, of The Ohio State University's urban entomology laboratory.
Bed bugs can show up in homes and businesses, transported by clothing and furniture.
"Heat is a very effective control for bed bugs. Once the temperature is raided above about 130 degrees, pretty much all life stages of bed bugs are killed," DeClark said.
That's what Ohio Dominican did to eradicate the bed bugs found in 18 beds last fall.
After calling in the dogs, university officials said they have had no complaints, but they called the experts in again Thursday to make another sweep of all campus buildings.
"We are taking a much more proactive approach, so we want to make sure that every student that comes here to Ohio Dominican … will have a real nice, comfortable orientation to campus," said Jamie Caridi, vice president of student development.
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