Stink Bug Detectives

You may have heard of bomb-sniffing dogs, drug-sniffing dogs, and even bed-bug-sniffing dogs. But, have you ever heard of stink-bug-sniffing dogs? Meet Tig and Opal, two shelter-rescued Labrador retrievers from the National Detector Dog Training Center in Newnan, Georgia. Trainers Jennifer Anderson and Jodi Daugherty have been working with the furry, four-legged team to teach them to detect the distinct scent of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) in their overwintering sites. Tig and Opal have an overall 95 percent accuracy rating in their training lab, and have a notable history of detecting invasive snail species in 13 states and ports. They made their first in-the-field debut at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Station in West Virginia, the so-called “Stink Bug Belt.” Trainers hid captive BMSB for the pair of canine detectives to find as part of their first trial run in a natural landscape. “The dogs have been doing great, and we are pleased so far with the preliminary results,” said Anderson.

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Photos by Torri J. Hancock.


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