Bed-bug sniffing Bugsy to the rescue

Bed-bug sniffing Bugsy to the rescue

If you have a problem sleeping tight, Bugsy, a bed-bug sniffing beagle, may be able to find out what’s bugging you.

The dog is one of two specially trained dogs used by Canadian Thermal Solutions as part of its canine bed bug detection program.

However Bugsy doesn’t work alone. He is by his handler Becca Hoffman.

The pair not only work together, but they also live together.

Hoffman said it’s always been her dream to work with dogs and being with Bugsy 24 hours a day is perfect.

“I love it,” she said about her job. “You get to meet a lot of interesting people.”

Before Hoffman was hired for the job as a canine handler, she had no idea bedbug-sniffing dogs existed.

Bugsy, a light brown and white spotted beagle, was trained in bedbug detection in Florida. So when Hoffman was hired more than a year ago she travelled to Florida to get Bugsy who was 11 months old at the time.

“He was trained right from the time he left his mom,” she said. “So (the dogs) are work ready when we get them.”

Beagle

The pair then trained together for another two months before they began working because Bugsy had to prove that he knew what he was doing.

She said any dog can be trained to smell out bed bugs, but beagles are special because they are energetic and are bred to smell.

“He can work up to eight hours a day,” Hoffman said.

Although she considers Bugsy her pet and loves spending time with him, he is first and foremost a working dog.

“Every piece of food that he gets, he has to work for,” Hoffman said.

After more than a year of working together, the pair have their daily routine.

Hoffman said they are kept busy because bed bug sniffing dogs are rare in the province.

“It’s never boring,” she said of the work.

She said her first time on the job was scary, but she put her trust in Bugsy.

The dog did not let Hoffman or his company down, and as long as he is able to perform he will always have a job.

Alfie Kiernan, owner of Canadian Thermal Solutions, said the dogs are essential for the treatment of bedbugs because the animals are trained to sniff out live bedbugs and viable eggs.

He said the dogs are vital to his business and are every two weeks to ensure they have at least a 95 per cent accuracy.

In addition, Bugsy and Hoffman have to be recertified as a team every two years by the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association.

Since the bus ines s launched three years ago, Kiernan said they have retired

… Continue reading here.
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