K9 Bed Bug Detection Services

Nellie, Professional Bed Bug Detection Dog

Meet Our Cedar Rapids K9 Detection Team

Certified K9 Detection Handler
Denise is our Certified K9 Detection Handler. She has received extensive training and can identify and interpret the behaviors or alerts from our K9. She holds a Commercial Pest Applicator’s License with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IA 7A/7B 35747). Denise has extensive knowledge of bed bug biology and proper bed bug remediation.





K9 Bed Bug Detection Dog
Springer Professional Home Services would like to introduce you to “Nellie” – Cedar Rapids’ newest Bed Bug sniffing dog. Nellie has received over 6 months of specialty training from K9 Operations, Inc. and has been certified for bed bug detection. This will give you quicker and more accurate results with less time and hassle than human detection. When she is at work, she is high energy and high drive. Off duty, she has a very calm and gentle disposition and loves to unwind at the office.



Bed Bug Dogs? Really?

The need for K9 Bed Bug Detection in Iowa is ever increasing. There is value in having a trained K9 detection over human inspection. K-9 Detection dogs typically increase the rate of identifying the presence of bed bugs double that of human detection alone.


Trained dogs have an impressive 90 to 95% accuracy rate because canines do not have to rely on their vision to find bugs. They rely solely on their trained nose to do all of the work! While in working mode, Nellie’s nose will actually sniff up to a whooping 170 times per minute! This will dramatically decrease the time spent inspecting and sorting through stored items and personal belongings.


accuracy and time


Nellie can pick up the live scent of a bed bug and pin-point its location in a matter of seconds. Our handler has been trained to properly read or understand the alert from the behavior displayed from her dog.

Our Certified K9 Detection Team will search in very methodical pattern so that the team does not over-look or bypass any identifiable bed bug scent. However, the handler will never lead the dog to target areas, but rather allow the dog will pick up the scent of live bed bug(s) and the dog will then lead the handler to the area of interest.

Many hotels, apartment complexes, retail stores and call centers are now employing the use of a Bed Bug Detection Team every few months. This offers peace of mind to their tenants, staff, and customers.


EEEEKS!!! Was that a Bed Bug?

Imagine finding bed bugs in the movie theater or in the dressing room of your favorite store? How about seeing a bed bug crawling across the purse of your co-worker. Does your neighbor have them? Did your college student just bring them home? How can you be sure? This second-hand furniture was sure cheap… but why? My tenants have had bed bugs for a year and never told me! These type of scenarios can be avoided with the use of periodic inspections.

Preventative services are quicker and far less expensive than having to treat a bed bug infestation that went undetected or unreported for months on end. Treatment prices can quickly reach thousands of dollars.

Buyer Beware: Not all canines are created equal. Just like employees, some will work and others won’t. Springer understands the need for competence while inspecting for bed bugs within a residence or facility. Therefore, if a canine does not perform well, it is time to retire them from the fleet and hire another.


What to Expect During the Inspection Process

The K9 Detection Inspection includes the deployment of a trained and certified bed bug detection dog, the trained dog handler that is also a licensed pest control technician. The dog handler has been professionally trained and certified and will never lead the dog to target areas, but rather the dog will pick up the scent of live bed bug(s) and will lead the handler to the area of interest.


If the K-9 alerts on any given area, the inspector will try to locate the insects whenever possible. If multiple stages or bed bugs are found at that time, we can deem it an “infestation”. If nothing additional is found, it would be acceptable to say that it is an “introduction”.  As a standard of practice, Springer Pest Solutions will always recommend treatment when an area is deemed as infested.


Our K-9 has been trained to enjoy work and will get very excited while working. We do not discourage her enthusiasm to work.

  • Trained with positive reinforcements (such as a ball or play toy).
  • Can appear to be overly excited and energetic while working, this is normal.
  • Safety transported within a specially equipped vehicle. The vehicle is logoed accordingly.

Nellie, Bed Bug Dection Canine

If you have more questions about our K9 Detection Team or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Denise Morrison at 319-362-2626.



Selecting the Best Working Dog

Detection dogs are typically selected by the training instructor for their level of energy, willingness to work, and breed. Detection dogs are used for various purposes throughout the United States, such as tracking, explosives, and narcotics.

Nellie has been trained alongside other working dogs for the majority of her life. As she is a pure breed black Labrador retriever that has a keen sense of smell, hunting drive, and energetic disposition. Her main objective is to please her Handler… and she can do this by finding the presence of LIVE bed bug scent. The quick commands that Nellie is particularly responsive to is the command to “Find It”. When she hears her handler say this, she knows it’s time to work!


Training Our K-9 Inspection Team

Handler Training: Springer Pest Control has handpicked one of our best Certified Pest Control Technicians as our canine handler and bed bug inspector for the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area. Since being paired up with her new dog, she has attended a required on-site three week comprehensive course. The course has provided her with both classroom and real world experience. She is now equipped and skilled in how to read and work her new partner, Nellie. They are a very specialized Detection Working Team.

Team Training: Our technician and trained canine have both received classroom instruction and testing in the following areas:

  • Principles of Detection Training
  • K9 Behavior
  • Basic K9 Anatomy
  • Basic K9 First-Aid
  • Science of Training and Learning
  • Scent Theory
  • K9 Maintenance Training Skills
  • Safety and Health Maintenance (home/work)
  • Determination and Its Importance in Training
  • Practical Record Keeping


k9-opps-logo-smallMaintenance Training: An additional 120 hours of instructor training is required every quarter to maintain and verify the accuracy of our working team. All Certifications, training and on-going maintenance has been provided by trainer, Patrick Curry, K9 Operations, LLC. K9 Operations..