How Dogs Detect Bed Bugs With Their Nose

How Dogs Detect Bed Bugs With Their Nose

How Dogs Detect Bed Bugs With Their Nose
nose pic

I smell 3 bed bugs to be exact—and what is that I smell? Did someone just put bacon on the grill downstairs?

A dog with a dry, crusty nose can’t smell much. On the other hand, a dog can detect itty-bitty bed bugs if they have a moist, smooth snout. That’s a pretty powerful fact considering bed bugs average between 2.5 mm and 4.5mm long, and yet dogs can still smell them.

Bugs can hide anywhere, making it so hard for us humans to find them all. Dogs are smaller, more agile, and have an incredible sense of smell that allows them to identify something as small as one bed bug. They can also use their nose to determine the difference between live bed bugs with active eggs and dead bed bugs.

Training dogs to detect bed bugs has become a popular method for natural pest detection. Dogs can smell out bed bugs in locations humans would never even think to look, let alone locate them. Bed bugs can hide in some tight crevices, like the outlet switch, a pair of stuffed animals, in the carpet, or between the bedsprings. Once dogs detect the presence of bugs in a certain location, a trained exterminator can test these areas for bed bugs and act accordingly.


How Can Dogs Detect Bed Bugs?


Trained and ready bed bug detecting dog!

Dogs have the most incredible noses on the planet and can sniff out just about anything. You and I have 5 million cells that help us smell, your dog has 220 million. Plus, the part of your dog’s brain dedicated to analyzing scents is far larger than yours. This is why dogs are not only great at smelling things, but they are also superb at deciphering what each scent represents.

Ever wonder why dogs have moist noises? The particles throughout the air attach to this moisture and help dogs smell even better. A bed bug detection dog can’t perform with a dry or crusty nose because their ability to smell is limited. Keeping your dog’s nose smooth and moist is so important in order for them to utilize one of their most powerful gifts.

Since dogs are naturally born with an amazing sense of smell, detection dogs are taught to seek out certain scents and alert their handler whenever it is present. This is how dogs are able to hunt, help solve crimes, and detect bombs—they can smell things the human nose would never be able to.

The only facility in the U.S with accreditations for training scent dogs is the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association (NESDCA). Here, both dogs and their human handlers are trained side-by-side to produce the best working team.

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are tiny little pests, barley visible to the human eye, that love to live in bedrooms. Here, they can come out at night and feast on your blood. Bed bugs require blood to stay alive, and so those infested with bed bugs wake up with new bite marks all over their body each morning. It is so hard to kill bed bugs because there are rather hardy. Plus, adult bed bugs can go up to five months without a blood meal. Normally, bed bugs feed every three to seven days. Yet, population sizes can grow so large it feels like you’re waking up with new bites every morning.


Bed bugs are icky looking things ready to suck your blood while you sleep. Thankfully, bed bug sniffing dogs are here to save the day!

Are bed bugs easy to transmit?

Bed bugs can spread from one place to another, but they don’t typically attach themselves to you or your clothing because you move around too much to be considered a good hiding spot. Instead, bed bugs are typically transmitted from one place to another via luggage, briefcases, mattresses or used furniture. Luggage is one of the most common ways bed bugs hitch a ride home with you from a hotel.

Bed bugs live all around the world, causing many people nightmares in their very own beds. In 2009, the problem became so large that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held a summit in the name of bed bugs. Around this time, whole city blocks in San Francisco were battling bed bug infestations, along with hotels around world—from 2-star to 5-star resorts.


Thank you to all of the hardworking, pawsome canines out there saving the world from bed bugs!


Does Your Dog Have A Dry, Crusty Nose? You Can Restore Their Ability To Smell Again!

Your dog can learn how to smell out just about anything as long as they don’t have a dry, crusty nose. If your dog’s nose is rough to the touch or dry, he or she needs help in order to be 100% comfortable and smell to the best of their ability. Snout Soother is the all-natural dog balm solution, healing even the driest snouts in as little as 2 or 3 applications.

Our mission is simple: saving the world one snout at a time!

Give Snout Soother a try today, risk free!

See before and after photos of dogs that use Snout Soother.