Riley is a weimaraner who is only 12 weeks old but at his young age he has far more responsibilities than most puppies. This is not your usual pest control in Newcastle because the young pup has been trained to be able to detect specific pests such as moths. These pests are those that can cause damage to the most prized possessions inside the museum.
According to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts’ deputy director, Ms. Katie Getchell, getting the pup was only a trial and this is their pilot project thus they have no idea whether the puppy is going to be excellent at his job or not. She added that the idea is good thus they can’t afford to pass up.
A dog’s nostril is more powerful than any technology in the market when it comes to scent detection. In fact there are many dogs that have been trained to smell and detect explosives, ants as well as cadavers.
Nicki Luongo, the employee of the museum, said that she has previously been a trainer to police dogs during her spare time. Riley was first taken by Ms. Luongo in order to add a member to their family.
Ms. Getchell said that the partnership between the two made them question whether Ms. Luongo will be able to train Riley so that he will be able to smell insects that can harm wood and textiles.
Before Riley, the museum has already employed different measures in controlling pests such as sending new artworks to quarantine prior to being displayed in the galleries.
Preventing pests from entering or growing inside can be a challenge because the museum welcomes over one million visitors annually. The visitor could bring along bugs or moths in their clothing or cling to them before entering the museum. Insects are also known to come closer in areas where the foods are prepared.
The owner of a dog training business, Mr. Pepe Peruyero, said that the plan of the museum is feasible. He added that they have trained dogs before with insects and every time they are always able to detect them. This process is worth noting for pest control in Newcastle as they might be able to use the method in the future.