FAQ - Bed Bug Detection Dogs - Part 1 - What does the dog do when they find something?

By Keith Coddington

Our bed bug detection dogs have traveled throughout Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and California performing bed bug inspections which is a very important part of a bed bug treatment.  This FAQ series about bed bug detection dogs will focus on the most common questions we are normally asked about our dogs when customers see them in action.

The number one question I receive about our bed bug dogs is how do you know when they alert or in other words when they find bed bugs?

As you will see in the video on this page from a recent training session, all of our dogs are trained as passive alert which means they will stop their searching behavior, stand still and sit.  Once this is accomplished they are rewarded promptly.  The detection canine associates the “game of seek” with the reward which is their toy that they love more than anything on this earth.  Yes even more than their humans and even food believe it or not.


Speaking of food, we don’t use food as a reward.  It is practiced by some detection dog trainers, however the vast majority of detection dogs worldwide in all scent disciplines are trained with toys as rewards.  Toy reward dogs work extremely hard, fast and for long periods of time.  They are obsessed with the game and it is often up to the handler to call it quits because the dog never will.  The main “problem” with toy reward dogs is that it can be very difficult to get them to relax and shut-down when they aren't working.  This is a problem any canine handler will never complain about and this type of high-drive is very difficult to find.  Another reason we have avoided using food reward dogs is because of the amount of food, crumbs and food odors we encounter on a regular basis while on the job.  Our toy reward dogs will pass right over food and could care less about these odors which is a huge distraction for a food reward dog.  Think about it from a dog’s point of view:  “ why do I need to look for bed bugs to get some food when there is plenty of tasty crumbs in this couch that I am searching?”

The video above is a training scenario.  In a real world bed bug inspection if there is a dog alert we verify there is an active colony present and show the customer the real evidence before noting it on our inspection report.

At the Cimex K9 office in Phoenix, Arizona all of our bed bug detection dogs are rescues and we will always do our best to keep it that way.  It takes a tremendous amount of testing and scouring rescues to find a good candidate for this line of work, but it is always worth the effort knowing we are helping a very highly driven animal find a home that wouldn't make a desirable pet for the majority of the owners out there.

For more information our dogs and services please contact Cimex K9 at 888-928-4364

When to call in the (bed bug) dogs…


By Keith Coddington As the use of bed bug detection dogs becomes more commonplace in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area educating consumers and commercial establishments on the benefits of this specialty service is very important.

First of all, bed bug detection dogs are not the answer to every case of bed bugs.  The use of the dogs has their role and can be very effective when warranted, but the use of properly trained, third-party certified and maintained detection dogs is only part of a properly configured plan of attack.

When to use a bed bug detection dog:


  1. When you want to be sure you do not have a bed bug infestation after you have visually inspected all suspected areas and can’t find bed bug evidence.
  1. Post-treatment to be sure that the bed bug treatment was effective.  This is normally completed 30 days after the last treatment or just before a treatment warranty expires.
  1. Inspecting a rental property prior to tenant occupation so you have proof it is bed bug free.


  1. In response to a report of the possibility of bed bugs or a report of biting bugs.  Having a report from a third-party stating that the area is clear of bed bugs can stop unnecessary hysteria in an instant.
  1. Large scale routine proactive inspections such as hotels, hospitals and dormitories.
  1. Post-treatment to be sure the treatment was effective.

Some additional important tips… 

  • Be careful when hiring detection dogs from a company that also treats as this can be a conflict of interest.  Keep in mind that the pest control company makes a much larger profit from recommending treatment than calling it clear with the dogs.  Unfortunately we have been first hand witnesses to these types of scams several times over the last two years.  Many companies sub-contract out the detection dog work which would create a third-party situation that would benefit the consumer.
  • Detection dogs will not be able to effectively sniff in an area that has been treated by pest control dust or diatomaceous earth.
  • Make sure that the detection dog company is not only properly licensed but ask for proof of certification from a third-party that requires a testing standard at or above the National Pest Management Association’s guidelines.
  • Consider who you are hiring.  Are you hiring from a company that bought their dogs or a company that has certified handler and detection dog trainers on staff?
  • Ask for multiple references from repeat customers that have used the company’s services many times over the years.

If you have more questions about bed bug detection dogs, bed bug extermination or if you are already working with a pest control company and something just doesn't seem right feel free to call with no obligation.


Keith Coddington


Cimex K9, LLC





Bed Bug Exterminator – Phoenix

By Keith Coddington There are a few things consumers should take into consideration before hiring a bed bug exterminator in Phoenix, Arizona.  Due to the continued consistent rise in hysteria consumers should be on guard and do their research before being talked or scared into costly and unnecessary bed bug treatments. Below are some tips to protect your sanity and your wallet.

  1. If you are absolutely sure that you are familiar with identifying bed bugs and you are positive that you have anRoss searching a warehouse for bedbugs infestation consider contacting us for FREE as we are a third party that works with over 30 pest control companies.  We can give you an honest unbiased choice of treatment options and steer you in the right direction of the honest and ethical exterminators in the area.
  1. If you are not 100% sure that you have a bed bug issue then the first step is to try to find the problem yourself.  Here are some pictures of real Bed Bug infestations that we have encountered to make it easy for you to identify the problem.  If you find an issue contact us for FREE to guide you in the right direction.
  1. If you have inspected yourself and can’t find anything it does not necessarily mean that you do not have a bed bug issue.  Early infestations are very difficult to detect.  This is where our service comes into play and can be worth every penny considering the psychological impact these creatures can have on the average person.  Do your research and consider hiring one of our bed bug detection dog teams.  This way we can find an infestation in the very early stages and help you get it taken care of or even better yet put the issue to rest so you can rest if we find nothing.

If you do have bed bugs you will eventually be forced to do something as bed bugs will not go away on their own and the issue will become larger and larger as the colony grows.  The more bed bugs there are the more difficult and more expensive the treatment can be.  From my experience of inspecting thousands of properties over the past few years, the worse thing you can do is go to the store and buy bed bug spray or even worse yet foggers (bombs).  I have seen the aftermath from these store bought chemicals and it rarely if ever eliminates the bed bugs.  What these chemicals do very well is kill a few bugs, stir them up and spread them all over the place.  The bugs will simply scatter to areas where the chemicals aren’t and find a new place to start feeding. I know in this economy it can be a difficult pill to swallow to hire an exterminator, especially for those do-it-Keith Coddington and his bed bug dog Rossyourselfers; however there are just some things that you should seriously consider leaving to the professionals and this would be on that list in my opinion. Give us a call even if you don’t need our canine services and we can at least point you in the right direction based on your situation. Good Luck and “Don’t let the bed bugs bite”,   Keith Coddington Owner / Founder / Certified Detection Dog Trainer 888-928-4364

Bed Bugs in Phoenix

Are bed bugs in Phoenix? Many people wonder and the answer is yes without a doubt. Over the last few years just as with the rest of the country the incidents of bed bugs here in Arizona have continued to rise. Sniffing an office for bedbugs

The official numbers released from Rollins Inc., a corporation which operates 7 pest control brands including Orkin, on March 15th, 2012 show a 33.6% increase nationwide in their bed bug business for 2011.

Phoenix Arizona moved up 19 spots from number 53 to number 34. The number one and two spots remained the same with Cincinnati and Chicago respectively. Los Angeles jumped 20 places and is now holding at number 5 while Las Vegas is at number 16.

Keep in mind these figures are based on figures only from Rollins Inc. The true bed bug business activity would only be measured accurately if all pest control companies compiled a database together to track their bed bug revenue.

Locally here in Phoenix and throughout Arizona, Cimex K9 (a bed bug detection dog company) has had to respond with the growing demand for their services. Cimex K9 currently has 6 bed bug detection dogs on duty ready to sniff out these pests.

The advantages of using a bed bug detection dog are for early detection such as proactive inspections of commercial establishments, reactive inspections when there is thought to be bed bugs but no physical evidence can be found without professional help and last of all post-treatment inspections to ensure the pests were eliminated by the pest control company.

Cimex K9 maintains their third-party status by not offering bed bug treatments. This avoids a conflict of interest that can be common in the industry considering the more treatments a pest control company can sell the more money they make. Bed bug dog inspections are a fraction of the cost of an effective treatment and many suspected cases of infestations turn out not being a bed bug issue.

Cimex K9 is the only bed bug detection dog company in Arizona that can boast all of the following:

• The owner/founder is a certified detection dog trainer that trains and maintains his search teams personally on a daily basis. In addition he is also qualified by the Arizona Office of Pest Management to own and operate this licensed pest control company.

• Handlers all have prior dog experience including military and police K9 handling experience.

• Is a veteran owned and operated business.

• All search teams are third-party certified according to the National Pest Management Association’s guidelines.

• Cimex K9 has an impeccable record since it began providing this service in 2009.

• Is an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau and maintains an A rating.

• Contracts with over 30 pest control companies from the largest national chains to small locally based businesses.

If you would like more information on Cimex K9 please feel free to contact us!

Keith Coddington Owner / Founder / Head Trainer


What do bed bugs look like?

As the bed bug epidemic continues to intensify in Phoenix and throughout Arizona, residents should educate themselves as to what a bed bug infestation looks like. Usually an active infestation can be found without too much trouble, however early infestations can be very difficult to detect without a professional. Using our bed bug detection dogs to provide the most accurate inspection possible is your best bet when you simply want to know for sure if you are facing a bed bug issue or not.

Below are several pictures of real bed bug infestations which you should familiarize yourself with so you can identify them.


colony of bed bugs

Bed bug in screw hole of bed frame

a well developed bed bug colony found on the seam of a mattress

Two large cast skins, fecal matter and several bed bug eggs.