Category Archives: insect detection dogs

Can Dogs Be Trained to Sniff Out Insects?

By Ruthie Bently

Dogs are used for many things these days that assist us. Dogs are featured on the news apprehending criminals, sniffing for bombs and contraband at airports, and searching for people after disasters. Now those impressive nasal powers are being put to a new use.

Some search and rescue (SAR) dogs are augmenting their careers in a new direction. They are being trained to sniff out household pests such as bedbugs and termites, and detrimental insects on crops.

We humans are nasally challenged when compared with our canine companions. Dogs have approximately two hundred million scent receptors to a human’s mere five million. Not to mention those cute wrinkles around a dog’s face and head that enable them to pull in the scents they smell by catching them on the wind as they pass by. A dog’s nose is sensitive enough to pull in a scent as small as a few parts per billion. Imagine how many odors must assault your dog’s nose every time they take a walk. 

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