Bed bugs are small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of humans and other animals. They are about the size of an apple seed and reddish-brown in color.

Bed bugs can spread through contact with infested furniture, luggage, clothing, or other belongings. They can also spread through cracks and crevices in walls and floors. Because a single female bed bug can lay around 1–7 eggs per day, and each egg hatches in 6–10 days, every week of waiting gives time for a new generation of bed bugs to be produced and start spreading.

The signs of a bed bug infestation include:

·       Bites on the skin, often in clusters

·       Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses

·       Dark spots (about the size of a period) on bed sheets or mattresses

·       Egg capsules or eggshells

·       Live bed bugs

Once bed bugs are detected, we recommend consulting a licensed pest control professional.  Exterminators have the expertise and equipment to effectively treat bed bug infestations.

You can prevent bed bugs by:

·       Inspecting second-hand furniture carefully before bringing it into your home

·       Keeping your luggage off the floor in hotels and other places

·       Vacuuming and dusting regularly

·       Keeping your bed away from the walls

Dogs are very sensitive to the scent of bed bugs and can detect them even when they are not visible to the naked eye.  Dogs can be used to inspect a wider area in a shorter amount of time than humans and with greater accuracy.

Potomac Working Dogs selects canines from parents that have strong scent tracking records. Then, they are evaluated as puppies for scent detection. Only the dogs that are confident in all types of environments and those that show the highest aptitude for scent detection are selected for training. Positive reinforcement training is used by rewarding the dogs with food and praise when they identify the scent of bed bugs. 

Our dogs bed bug detection skills stem from rigorous training in precision odor detection, conducted by a military expert with over 20 years experience in explosives and narcotics odor detection.  This military-grade training ensures superior accuracy and efficiency in their work. 

Depending on the size of the room and number of other surroundings, it can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes for a canine to detect bed bugs in a typical bedroom.

The success rate of canine bed bug detection is very high. In one study, dogs were able to detect bed bugs with 97% accuracy. 


Reference:  The Ability of bed bug- detecting canines to detect live bed bugs and viable bed bug eggs published by PubMed in August 2008

Yes, our dogs are friendly, well-trained, and pose no threat to you or your family.  They are used to working around people and are not aggressive.  However, we request you limit the number of people in the inspection area to avoid distractions for the canines.

To prepare for the inspection, please following instructions located here.