Latest weapon in pest control - the bed bug beagle

EXCLUSIVE: National Pest Control launches first ever ME beagle service

Bonnie the beagle is under going training to sniff out bed bugs as part of an initiative launched by National Pest Control.
Bonnie the beagle is under going training to sniff out bed bugs as part of an initiative launched by National Pest Control.

As the National Pest Control (NPC) company celebrates its 20th anniversary next year it is launching the first ever beagle service in the Middle East to sniff out bed bugs.

Sean Baker has been the managing director of NPC since it was established in Dubai in 1992. It is one of the largest pest control companies in the UAE and the largest in Dubai.

He has just one beagle to start with called Bonnie, which he plans to train himself.

“In the last 20 years, the number of bed bugs has increased because people travel a lot more. Before, holiday makers were confined to the sub continent. We initially only had a few problems of bed bugs in the labour camps in the UAE, where crowds of people live together, but now there are more instances of bed bugs in villas and apartments where we never used to get them,” he said.

“We have seen incidents of bed bugs in hotels, cinemas, taxis. People are commuting and travelling more, mixing more, going to more exotic places, the creatures are a human parasite and they follow us around.”

Baker said Bonnie the beagle will be the first dog in the Middle East to sniff out bed bugs.

“The dogs have far more efficient senses than the human eye. Sometimes you can check a room and find nothing. Or you find the bed bugs but you can't find the eggs. A well trained dog will go straight to it.

“A lot of the time, guests will assume that bed bugs lie in the bedding and the sheets in hotels but these are regularly washed. More often the creatures will nest in the seams of the valances under the bed, which don’t get cleaned as regularly. We try to work closely with the hotels in putting in scheduled cleaning regimes to eradicate this sort of thing,” he added.

NPC provides pest control services for various types of properties and all pests that pose a threat to human health including rats, cockroaches, mosquitoes, flies, ants, fleas, wild cats, termites, red back spiders and snakes, to name a few.

Most of the business is done through word of mouth. It also develops itself through promotions and targeted clients such as FM companies, hotels, leading food manufacturers, any type of employer that has a direct need for pest control services.

To read the full story about Bonnie the bed bug beagle, pick up a copy of February's Facilities Management magazine.

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