Uh-oh: Apparently man's best friend might not be the best arbiter of whether your apartment has bedbugs, even though he (or she) is so cute with those puppy eyes and wagging tail. According to the NY Times, "As the number of reported infestations rises and the demand for the dogs soars, complaints from people who say dogs have falsely alerted to bedbugs are also climbing."
The Times offers from tales from apparent "false-positive" bedbug incidents, including incidents in Union Square and Upper West Side, but an interesting one is from Windsor Terrace:
Jessica Silver and her husband paid $3,500 in extermination fees after a dog indicated there were bedbugs throughout their rowhouse in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn. They got rid of 40 garbage bags full of clothes and baby toys that they feared were infested and their Pottery Barn queen-size bed. But Mrs. Silver continued to get bitten, and she called another exterminator, John Furman of Boot-a-Pest, based on Long Island, who spent two hours combing through her bedroom where the biting was taking place, only to find no traces of bedbugs, alive or dead.
The culprits, she eventually discovered, were rodent mites. Mr. Furman said the antibedbug treatment probably killed some mites but failed to eradicate their breeding grounds in Mrs. Silver’s walls.
So, where are the rodent mite-finding dogs? Anyway, Silver, who wouldn't name the company (there was a whole kerfuffle about a post she made on an online bedbug forum), also said, "Everyone’s getting sucked into the whole bedbug pandemonium." You don't say?!
There's also debate about when to feed bedbug-detecting dogs.