Bedbugs going to the dogs at Philadelphia event

June 2, 2011 - 5:00 PM
Bedbug Bowsers

Kim Meiklejohn and her dog Mr. Rigsby take a bedbug location certification test during the National Canine Conference Thursday, June 2, 2011, at a hotel in Philadelphia. Meiklejohn with K9 Scent Detection in Easton Md., attended the event that offered training and certification for bedbug location canines and their handlers. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Dozens of dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds are in Philadelphia to see if their sniffers are up to snuff in the battle against bedbugs.

Hundreds of people from around the country are attending the National Canine Conference this week. As part of the event, 30 dogs and their handlers are trying for official certification as bedbug location canines.

The dogs and their owners are taking part in exercises in which they walk down a hallway lined with containers — some with bedbugs inside. The dogs have to pick the right containers to get certified.

Bedbug infestations are tough to eradicate. The apple seed-size critters have been found in hotels, movie theaters, retail stores and homes nationwide. Some are even developing resistance to insecticides commonly used to kill them.