Taking the Bite out of Bedbugs

September 5, 2008 at 9:13 pm 9 comments

From Wicked Local Marion:

Virtually eradicated 50 years ago in the United States, entomologists say the flat, oval, reddish-brown, wingless blood sucking parasite, known by its Latin name of cimex lectularious, has slowly made its way back into our everyday lives, much to our discomfort.

 Enter Michael Tache of Mattapoisett, an enterprising former international fish salesman, who latched onto the idea that there’s opportunity to be had in the opportunistic bugs. Tired of sitting behind a desk, in April of 2008 Tache traded in fish for dogs to start American K-9 Private Investigators Inc. to ferret out the yucky bugs for a price.

As I’ve written here before — I DETEST wingless, blood-sucking parasites.  Kudos to Tache for finding a creative way to search out those evil freeloading vermin.  We’d also like to commend him for the dogs he’s chosen to work with.  According to Tache’s website his working dogs, Tracer, a Beagle, and Ace, a Beagle-Husky mix were both rescued from Florida dog pounds:

“They go from doggie death row to bedbug investigator,” Michael Tache said.

Bedbugs were believed to have been largely eradicated in the U.S. until recently.  An increase in international travel combined with the bugs’ remarkable abilities to hide. As quoted in Wicked Local:

“They can fit in a crevice the size of a business card, they can hide behind baseboards, frames, mattresses, Tache said. “My dogs have actually could found bugs behind wall light switch plates, alarms clocks, and TVs.”

And reproduce:

“The female is highly reproductive,” he said. “She can lay two to three eggs per day, and up to 400 in a lifetime. Normally, they live around seven months, but they’ve proven they can go into deep hibernation and come back later.”

They’ve made a strong — and unfortunate — comeback. From Tache’s website:

Until recently, they also were a rarity among pest control professionals. Bed bug infestations were common in the United States before World War II. But with improvements in hygiene, and especially the widespread use of DDT during the 1940s and 1950s, the bugs all but vanished. The pests remained prevalent, though, in other regions of the world including Asia, Africa, Central/South America and Europe. In recent years, bed bugs have also made a comeback in Canada and the United States.

Oh man…. now I’ve got to go change my sheets and check MY bed.

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Entry filed under: dog training, dogs, health. Tags: , .

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dorene  |  September 6, 2008 at 3:19 am

    This is old news here on the East Coast — in PA, they blame NYC for being a huge port and bringing the bed bug back in the hotel industry. It’s why I won’t buy a mattress or pillows used.

    BTW, per the thread on PetConnection, what are the different jobs that English Shepherds and Border Collies were developed for? Pepper herds, so I’m guessing she really is a rescue BC, but maybe I’m wrong! ;-)

  • 2. Audie's Gramma  |  September 6, 2008 at 3:31 am

    Thanks so much for the case of the creepy-crawlies right before bed. Much appreciated.

    Dorene, the short answer to your question is that the English shepherd is a general-purpose diversified small farm dog that will work livestock, guard the farmstead and his animals, go hunting with you, kill vermin and predators, hang with the kids, etc. When working stock he’ll be upright and “loose-eyed,” not locked on or mesmerized. He can be left at liberty on the farm, and indeed, really should be if he’s to do all his jobs.

    The border collie is a superbly refined herding specialist, best suited for large farms and ranches with a lot of stock to move and manage. He has a genetically long outrun. He works stock with strong “eye”. He has little to no interest in guarding anything, going hunting, eradicating varmints, or hanging out with the kids. He’ll typically be tied or kenneled when not working, because otherwise he’ll harass the livestock on his own out of his workaholism.

    YMMV. But essentially, it’s a generalist v. specialist thing.

    The breeds have diverged from a core collie ancestral pool over the past 150 years or so.

  • 3. Dorene  |  September 7, 2008 at 3:00 am

    Interesting. As far as we can figure, Pepper is a Border Collie/Shiba Inu mix (she came from rescue on the “transport line” from a high-kill gas shelter in West Virginia to Southeastern PA)so until the genetic tests are more reliable, we’re all guessing.

    Herding seems to be her obession, but hunting seems to be a passion that she enjoys. She also herds upright — I’m not real sure about her outrun as most of my ag collegues are into produce, rather than livestock.

    I had looked into the American Farmcollie folks when she was younger as she seems to have the traits they wanted, but with that curled Shiba Inu tail, she gets limber tail once or twice A YEAR so I figured that was a “design flaw” that shouldn’t be passed on. She’s spayed and I haven’t pursued it anymore, although she seems to enjoy doing everything you mentioned at the community garden except hanging out with the kids (which makes me think that it’s the Shiba Inu part that kicks in the hunting/guarding part)

    My guess is that the Shiba Inu portion is diluting the Border Collie portion into a generalist, rather than a specialist, but a generalist is exactly what I need, so I’ve got a great fit. Too bad about the limber tail, since between that and not being too thrilled about kids (she’s very patient with the autistic, but it’s funny if you look at her face when they are hugging her — if a dog could roll her eyes, she’d be doing it!) are pretty much the genetic dealbreakers for passing those genes on, but for me, she’s a great dog.

    Thanks for the explanation! :-) I came to dogs very late (had cats since I was 6), but I enjoy learning more about them.

  • 4. Audie's Gramma  |  September 7, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    I would be surprised if there are three Shiba Inu in all of West Virginia. Lots of prick-eared, curly-tailed wonderful little mutts, though. I’d think horses, not zebra, from these hoofbeats.

    Border collie eye doesn’t normally “dilute” — IOW, when mixing them with other breeds, the herding ability goes away long before the tendency to crouch/stare does.

    Just one of the joys of owning a dog of unknown origin — guessing games.

  • 5. Dorene  |  September 8, 2008 at 12:56 am

    My vet is convinced on the Shiba Inu part (I’ve also heard Basenji from her trainer and Skipperkke from others) and since there are some very exclusive, expensive fishing/hunting lodge-type resorts in West Virginia, we’ve made up this great story about how six years ago, this really expensive, intact male Shiba Inu went running through the hills and spent the day with a hard-working, female Border Collie who was all alone with her sheep.

    If genetic testing ever gets good enough to differeniate between all these breeds, there’s going to be a bunch of us qucikly having to make up a new set of romantic stories! ;-)

    Regardless, she’s the right dog for us.

  • 6. Cortney Duncombe  |  October 10, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Dorene, Im interested in seeing pictures of your dog. I have a border collie mix and ive been trying to figure out what shes mixed with. Came across Shiba Inu dogs online and she looks similar. So id like to see what a mix dog looks like, see if my Lucy matches with your Pepper :)

  • 7. Sara  |  February 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    My Shiba Inu/bordie collie mix (5 yrs old) has been with me since her birth. Her four other litter mates were black and white like her border collie mother, but mine is all gold.She is amazing! I could go on and on. No aggresion, excellent at tricks, I’d love to share stories with anyone has any like mine!

  • 8. Lisa  |  October 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I’m very curious to see pictures of other border collie/shiba inu mixes. I believe my Lucy is one.
    she’s about 35 pounds, shiba coloring with silky hair and a tail with a slight curl in it.

  • 9. Bed Bug Killer  |  June 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Just like you I detest bed bugs. They all should be killed! – Jim

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