Meet Quilty – Sprague’s Canine Bed Bug Expert

Canine inspectors bring a special set of skills to bed bug inspections of commercial properties.

When it comes to locating bed bugs in commercial properties there are few better than Quilty, one of Sprague’s certified canine bed bug inspectors.

Canine inspectors bring a special set of skills to bed bug inspections of apartments, condominiums and office buildings. Their superior sense of smell allows them to sniff out bed bugs with a high degree of accuracy in less time than a two-legged inspector can, according to Tom Pleas, Sprague’s canine handler.

Quilty and her fellow canine counterpart, Sadie, are a big part of Sprague’s success when it comes to preventing and eliminating bed bugs in commercial properties.

“Quilty has inspected a wide variety of commercial properties from apartment buildings and hotels to hospitals and doctor’s offices,” said Pleas. “She’s even inspected seafood processing ships.”

Pleas said canine inspectors do not see commercial properties the same way a human inspector does.

“Human inspectors can have preconceived notions about if a property has bed bugs and where they might be found, but canines go in with an open mind,” said Pleas. “She has definitely turned skeptics into believers with her accuracy in finding bed bugs.”

Pleas joined Sprague in 2009 after a career in marketing in the telecom industry and worked with the company’s first group of canine inspectors – April, May and June. In fact, May, who is retired, lives with Pleas and Quilty.

Even though Quilty’s schedule is filled with inspections, her energy level keeps Pleas on his toes. He makes her ‘shut it down’ at 5 pm and enjoy her fenced in backyard where she and May hang out.

“To Quilty finding bed bugs is a game, not a job,” said Pleas. “She gets rewarded for finding bed bugs and that’s what motivates her to locate their sometimes-well-hidden hiding spots.”

Pleas said Quilty is an excellent ambassador for Sprague and puts people at ease.

“She is very gentle and kind and makes friends fast,” said Pleas. “At the end of the inspection they remember her name more often than they remember mine.”

A Special Namesake

Unlike Sprague’s other canine inspectors who came from rescue shelters, Quilty was born to be a working dog. She came from the Penn Vet Working Dog Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

The center’s formation was inspired by the search and rescue dogs that responded following the attacks on 9/11. The Penn Vet Working Dog Center opened in 2012 and serves as a national research and development center for detection dogs.

Quilty was named after NYFD firefighter Michael Quilty who died on September 11 responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center.

The Quilty File

Name: Quilty
Breed: Yellow Labrador Retriever
Best Friend/Handler: Tom Pleas
Birthday: June 24, 2015
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Weight: 65 lbs.
Favorite Toy: Her reward toy or any ball she can chase!
Best part her job? Being rewarded for finding bed bugs
Favorite non work activity? Chasing balls
Favorite food/treat? Chicken strips
Nap or Walk? Walk
Her opinion of bed bugs? Interesting adversaries but no matter how clever they think they are at hiding; I’ll find them!

For more information on how Sprague Pest Solutions can assist you create and deliver an effective bed bug prevention or management program, call 855.805.0755.

Hotels & Resorts, Bed Bugs