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Dogs sniff out bedbugs at SFU

After a handful of Simon Fraser University students reported bedbugs in their dorm rooms, the school brought in man’s best friend in a preemptive strike against the spread of the itchy, unwanted pests. 

After a handful of Simon Fraser University students reported bedbugs in their dorm rooms, the school brought in man’s best friend in a preemptive strike against the spread of the itchy, unwanted pests.

“We made sure to address (this issue) from a very proactive and aggressive manner ... (by bringing in) a canine inspection team,” said Chris Rogerson, residence associate director.

Enter Vegas, the bedbug-sniffing beagle. With his keen nose, Vegas can more accurately detect bedbugs in a less obtrusive manner, said Marcos Michelet, his handler.

“A human inspection is just what (can be seen). Because (Vegas) goes by smell, even if the bedbug is hidden in an area where (one) cannot look, he can smell it,” Michelet said, noting Vegas can sniff out bugs behind heavy bookshelves, under carpets or even inside walls.

There are less than a half-dozen bedbug-detecting dogs in the Lower Mainland, which might be because the dogs require a lifetime commitment from their handlers, suggested Michelet.

 
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