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We hope you’ve have had a happy holiday season (and yes, we realize it might not be as happy as it could have been if you’re here reading our site!). Nevertheless, hopefully 2012 is healthy and rewarding for all…
We spent the week before Christmas getting our K9 additional training at the academy that trained her – J&K Canine Academy, in High Springs, Florida. We’ve committed a minimum of 2 weeks per year towards this endeavor (even though it’s not required), doing all we can to insure that our dog is working as optimally as possible at all times. “Rockie” is in good hands when kenneled at J&K, and receives the best ongoing training and observation available nationally. As we’ve pointed out, only J&K can take credit for the 97.5% accuracy statistic in finding bed bugs that the rest of the industry is borrowing.
As 2012 rolls in, we feel that while the bed bug problem is being suppressed on some counts, we performed bed bug inspections along a wider radius in 2011. We received calls from upstate New York, to Washington D.C., to Philadelphia, and those were not calls we’d received in 2010 or before. It tells us that the problem is spreading. Two companies that distribute pesticides confirmed to us that their bed bug pesticide-sales grew from 2010 to 2011 . One of those companies told us that while sales were down slightly in the tri-state area, sales had increased on a national basis.
We also physically found some of the largest bed bug infestations we’ve seen yet in 2011, mostly in New York City, but also on a few occasions in New Jersey. The locations of these largest infestations were in single-family private homes, and in apartments. Apartment building residents continue to be at risk because there continues to be tenants who are not aware they have a bed bug infestation until the problem is well out of hand. Typically, these are tenants who are not reacting to bed bug bites and have no reason to expect a problem, or, sometimes elderly people who may lack mobility or who have poor eyesight. Property managers of these apartment buildings are often blindsided by these very large infestations that are detected much too late.
We’ve continued to see growth not only in companies that remediate bed bugs, but also in companies that are inspecting for them. Some newer bed bug inspection companies have replaced others that no longer operate. Companies that purchased bed bug detecting K9’s have learned first-hand how challenging maintaining the dogs can be, and on the NESDCA-certification website, we’ve seen many companies that have had to replace handlers, and other companies that are certifying many handlers in case of handler turnover. As one of the most important parts of the K9 inspection process is the relationship between the handler and dog, revolving handlers is not a positive development. A dog’s ability to perform properly can be impacted by a change in handlers, and indeed, we’ve noticed that dogs that were certified in 2010 were no longer certified in 2011.
Our pledge in 2012 is to provide our customers with the highest level of experienced, independent bed bug inspection available on a national basis. Our dog has passed all her mandatory certifications, and has only worked with one handler since she first became certified. Our K9 team has performed as many independent residential inspections as any team in the country, and our sales pitch is, while we hope you don’t have a bed bug infestation (and we sincerely hope you don’t), you need to know if you do. Our inspection team will not create a problem that doesn’t exist, but if you wind up having a bed bug problem, we’ll help you begin to solve your problem immediately. Our bed bug experience is wide-ranging, from being completely famililar with every kind of remediation method available, to providing a first-class inspection, to having preventative measures available should you need them. We continue to welcome your questions, and will always take the time necessary to address all of your concerns professionally and courteously.