Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Is Bed Bug K9 Training Documentation Important?

We have all heard the terms "Bed bug K9 inspections are a scam" and know this couldn't be further from the truth! Bed bug dogs are being used all over the world and have proven to be a very effective tool in bed bug detection. Bed bug dogs are being used by pest control firms, and many have found this as an opportunity to start their own business. 

Bed bug K9's are recognized by the U.S. 9th Circuit court of Appeals as a "scientific instrument" if they are properly trained and certified. Many buy K9 detection dogs from reputable firms and get them ready to sniff bed bugs as being properly trained, certified, and licensed. One such company is the WDDO (World Detector Dog Organization) and there mission simply states: 

     "To improve the accuracy, dependability and performance of detector dog teams and to improve legal defensibility of detector dog team performance. We will achieve  these goals through quality training, education and focused evaluation of detector dog teams and trainers. It is further our mission to help member owners and handlers be the best in the industry. In addition, we are a resource center, bringing inspector K9 teams together for the purpose of better networking and communication."

Many companies go beyond the initial certification and keep good clean records of daily, weekly, and monthly training sessions. This is as critical as the initial training and certification. If good records are kept, and ongoing training is the standard, then a call to court will be a breeze. The judge is going to want to see these records and will most certainly ask for them! 
Some things to consider are:
  • Where and when is the training taking place?
  • What is the accuracy of the K9?
  • Are live/dead bed bugs being used?
  • What are the conditions (temperature, hide types, etc..)?
  • Is one or more trainers being used?
  • In addition: are the actual inspections for customers documented and available?
  • And much more...! Documentation is critical.
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