By Keith Coddington
Cimex K9 is a Phoenix, Arizona based company that specializes solely in bed bug canine inspections. Our goal and service is not only to find bed bug infestations, but more importantly protect our customers from being charged for unnecessary treatments and also making sure treatments were successful by completing post-treatment inspections.
Detection dogs have always been our business and we employ experience handlers and trainers that are experts in their field. We do not offer treatments and we have a good reason for that which you will learn about as you read on.
Unfortunately as with any service there are unethical practices taking place. This specific scam that we have seen involves pest control companies that own their own bed bug detection dogs and use them improperly to sell pricey treatment services that are not needed.
Here’s how the scam takes place:
Most people are already in a panic when they think they may have bed bugs which makes them venerable and some companies cash in on it. Once you call a company that has their own dogs (there are only a few in Arizona) they send out their K9 team. The dogs often false alert on areas where there is actually no bed bug activity. From this point the customer is usually an easy sale and can be talked into anything. To top it off the K9 handlers are usually paid a commission for the sale of the treatment. If that is not a conflict of interest then I don’t know what is!
The good news is that there are ways to protect yourself.
First of all if you are about to hire a bed bug detection dogs ask the company that has dog services if they are using a third party or if they own the dog and employ the handler directly. Verify their Pest Control License which is required by Arizona Office of Pest Management even for inspections of Bed Bugs and also check the Better Business Bureau.
Next, if the dog does alert or the handler claims there is an active infestation have them show you the evidence of the live colony. In any detection dog scent discipline the handler always confirms an alert with visual verification.
Be familiar with what bed bugs look like as carpet beetles and their larvae are very commonly found around beds and are sometimes passed off as bed bugs to make the sale.
Watch the inspection and be there with the inspection team in the same room during the entire process. If the handler claims that the dog can’t work with you in the room then you need to be very skeptical as something fishy might be going on. A properly trained detection canine can work through any distraction including food, people, other animals and just about any other distraction that you can imagine.
Last of all, If something doesn’t seem right get an opinion from different company. If you are in the Phoenix, Arizona area feel free to contact us for free to learn about your bed bug treatment options in Arizona including only the honest and ethical companies that we have had the pleasure of working with over the years.
Now just to be clear we are not accusing all companies that offer treatment and own bed bug detection dogs of this practice. Also, there are many companies that utilize a third party bed bug detection dog service such as ours to check their own work so just be sure to ask them if they own their own dogs or hire an outside company for their bed bug detection dog work.
Good Luck and if you live in Arizona and have questions regarding bed bug detection dog services or need assistance contact us on Thumbtack.com
Cimex K9, LLC
Founder / Detection Dog Trainer & Handler