Another university has the bed bug “bug.” According to this Fox News 42 article, “University of Nebraska officials have found bed bugs in about 35 campus dorm rooms at UNL.”
The university is leaning on a bed bug sniffing dog named Spots. Spots is a rat terrier that can boast a 95% accuracy rating when detecting bed bugs. According to James Pelowski who helps Spot in the bed bug inspection procedure, 95% accuracy “is the best that any drug dog, bomb dog or bed bug dog comes out of the academy at.”
According to the article, once bed bugs are located, the rooms will be locked down and heating units will be installed which will bring the temperature of the room to between 130 and 140 degrees; the rooms will be heated for “about four hours.”
The university hopes to have every dorm checked by the end of February. With only one week in February gone, the inspection is one of massive proportions. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to be extremely accurate when it comes to inspecting a premises of such magnitude. Perhaps that is why Spots was brought in, because he can check an area effectively without spending to much time per each dorm room.
Despite the dog’s effectiveness being much greater than a human’s effectiveness, the bed bug dog has its limitations. Again, this may not be the case with Spots, but inaccuracies can occur when just relying on the dog’s nose. 95% accuracy only goes so far… Perhaps Spots was just to miss one small infestation, in one dorm room. That one infestation can re-populate the entire campus with bed bugs. The chances of that happening? Slim, but it could hypothetically happen.
The university should supplement its inspection and extermination process with education for the students and staff about bed bugs and making sure that both students and faculty are reporting bed bug cases with urgency. A little bit of urgency can go a long way in stopping a large scale bed bug infestation.