First K9 in Mississippi trained to detect bed bugs

First K9 in Mississippi trained to detect bed bugs

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - When David Livingston is not busy on the campaign trail seeking office as constable, he is hard at work training Mississippi's first K9 dog to detect bed bugs.

Roxy is a German Shepherd European pure bred working dog, and while most dogs of her kind are sniffing for narcotics, Roxy is on the hunt for those hidden little creatures.

"As far as we know this is the first bed bug sniffing dog in the state of Mississippi," Livingston said. "It took about 4 months to train the dog."

Livingston said Roxy now works for Havard Pest Control. Colton McMurray, who works with the company, said Roxy makes his job a whole lot easier.

"Say you have some apartments, it will take all day, whereas with Roxy, she cuts it in probably a quarter of the time, and we know exactly where the bed bugs are," McMurray said.

We decided to put Roxy's new skill to the test.  Her trainer planted a bed bug odor inside of an old mattress in an abandoned house to see if she could detect the odor.  Once Roxy went inside the house and sniffed around, she found the odor in about 20 seconds.

"There's no difference from training a dog to detect bed bugs than training a dog to detect narcotics," Livingston said.

McMurray said bed bugs are a serious problem in the area.

"(Bed bugs) can get almost anywhere from traveling and by other people. They move very quickly," McMurray said.