|Updated: 7/18/2012 5:44 pm
||Published: 7/18/2012 4:06 pm
A dog trained to scout for bed bugs is sniffing around Tulsa’s Central Library after a customer spotted something crawling on his chair.
That pushed the library to lock the doors and call exterminators.
Using the nose and ears God gave her, Ms. Liberty Belle springs into action.
"She typically works in a left to right pattern in the room that we are working in and she picks them up through sound,” says her handler, Glen Collymore.
Once she’s spotted a bed bug, she alerts her handler by pawing at the bug with her foot. Without a dog, an exterminator can only detect bed bugs with his eyes.
"The Florida study showed the dog was about 93% accurate and the pest control operators by their own admission are about 30-40% accurate,” says Collymore.
This little beagle as been doing pest detection for about a year and a half and was trained in Florida. However, working in the bed bug industry can get a little itchy.
"She's typically bathed daily; in fact she's one of the cleanest dogs in Oklahoma. She had a bath this morning,” says Collymore.
Once she’s finished a job her handler is careful to make sure they don’t bring any bed bugs home.
“Everything comes off in the garage in terms of our clothing and gets sealed up and of course we hit the showers right away,” he says.
While Ms. Liberty Belle is inside searching for critters, there are dozens of people outside waiting for the library to open back up. One of them is Tyler Hamm.
"Usually what I do is go inside the library every day and get a snack and cool off and get some water but today and yesterday they've had it closed,” says Hamm.
After the dog is finished scouting for bugs, she and handler head back to Norman where he will prepare a report and let the library know what the beagle found.
Once she’s given it the all clear – the library can re-open.