PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A group of dog owners has gathered at a Philadelphia hotel to get their canines trained and certified to sniff out bedbugs.

There are about 50 dogs in the hotel but you wouldn’t know it. No barking, no snarling.

These dogs are about serious work, going through training sessions so they can be certified as professional bedbug hunters.

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bedbugs vial karin Philadelphia Hosts Training, Certification Conference For Bedbug Sniffing Dogs

(Live bedbugs in a special training vial that allows the odor out, but not the bugs.)

It’s a first-of-a-kind conference involving the National Pest Management Association and the National Canine Association.

“The dogs actually detect the smell of the bugs themselves,” says Missy Henricksen of the Pest Association.  “Dogs can also be trained to detect viable eggs.”

Henricksen says that dogs were first trained to sniff out bedbugs about five years ago.

Hope Fink (in top photo) has a canine detection business in Eastern Maryland, but decided to come to Philadelphia to train her five-year-old beagle “Flip” to hunt bedbugs.

“There’s not a week that goes by that you don’t see something about bedbugs, and we’re willing to do the service,” she said.

Reported by Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio 1060

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