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纽约旅馆招募臭虫嗅探犬

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上个月,在纽约一家著名的旅馆,一个穿制服的男子穿过走廊,旁边跟着一只混血小猎狗。

“我们看起来像警察”。Carl Massicott 笑着说。

 事实上,Massicott是个灭鼠员。他的小狗受过专训,专门嗅臭虫。最近几年里,美国的旅馆深受臭虫的迫害,还引起了一些瘟疫。“人们以为我们是在找煤气泄漏,甚至是毒品。没人怀疑我们在找臭虫。”

在美国,像DDT那样的超级杀虫剂,几乎杀死了所有的臭虫。但那些臭虫藏在床垫里,以人的血液为生。使用这些化学用品会对人体和环境产生危害。人们对此越来越关心,最终导致了大规模的禁令。

没有这些化学品之后,臭虫又回来报复了。2002年,还只有2例感染,到2007,已经有6889例

旅馆尤其严重。因为臭虫可以通过衣服,甚至行李传播。

Massicott经营一家“先进K9侦探”,这是一家专门杀虫的公司,它用狗来嗅出臭虫所在。一例感染的新闻可以破坏一笔业务,让投资者晚上彻夜难安。这一切都有助于Massicott小狗的出现。Massicott说,他听说过以前人们用狗来嗅出白蚁。他想可以用此项技术来嗅臭虫。他的第一例成功试验是在2002年。那时,正好有一例传染。

自此,他训练了一小队小狗。所有的小狗都是从小狗家园领养过来的。只有一个必要条件:“他们必须要像猎人一样。”

每条小狗平均受训18个月。刚开始时,先让他们知道臭虫的气味。如果他们闻到了臭虫,他们就会得到奖赏。这个过程一直持续到他们能够自己寻到气味为止。

每条狗每天能够巡视150个旅馆卧室。过程很快,一条小狗只要几分钟就能检查一个大的套房。它们主要嗅一下弹簧床垫和床裙,甚至是一些你想不到的地方:“我有只小狗在床边的电话和定时收音机上找到了臭虫。”Massicott说。

“在一家五星级度假旅店里,她在一个价值400美元的音响里找到臭虫。”

尽管弗罗里达大学最近的一项研究表明,小狗的嗅探率是100%,Massicott将他的小狗的嗅探能力归为98%。有些因素可能会导致一些错误。就像人类在工作时犯的错误一样,如疲劳和过度取悦老板的心理。

尽管小狗一天只工作8小时。但工作1小时后,准确率会下降,除非中间有足够的休息。另外,有时,他们想取悦主人(获取更多的奖赏),聪明的小狗有时会发出找到臭虫的错误报告。

为了防止此类事情的发生,成年狗会继续受训。用活的臭虫和死的臭虫进行嘲笑教育。Massicott解释说:”我们藏的,所以我们知道一切。即便他们找到了一只死的臭虫,也没有奖赏。”

狗灵敏的鼻子,不但能区分活的和死的臭虫,还能区分成年臭虫和它们的卵。

Massicott在2007年为30家旅馆,以及私人公寓,大学宿舍,甚至是轮船服务。他的几个项目是有1800个房间的综合性度假酒店。每个房间4-5美元(大约平均2.5磅)。生意非常兴隆,需求似乎在增长。

Massicott说:“自我开始业务以来(2004),业务已经增长了3倍。那时我只有2只小狗,现在我有7只,我还需要3只。”

 

 

译文:New York hotels enlist bedbug sniffer dogs


In a prominent New York hotel last month, a uniformed man strode purposefullythrough the corridors, a beagle mongrel trotting at his side.

“We look like cops,” says Carl Massicott with a laugh.

Massicott is in fact an exterminator; his highly trained dog sniffs outbedbugs – the pestilence whose virulent return has been plaguing hotelsacross the US in recent years. “People have thought we were looking for gasleaks, even illegal fruit. No one ever suspects bedbugs.”

In the US, super-powered pesticides like DDT once all-but eradicated bedbugs,the scourge of insects that nest in mattresses and feed on human blood.Increased concerns about the risks these chemicals pose to humans and theenvironment led to mass bans.

Now it's thought that in the absence of these chemicals, the bugs are backwith a vengeance. As recently as 2002, for example, New York City reportedonly two infestations; in 2007 there were 6,889.

Hotels are particularly hard-hit, as bugs can be transmitted on clothing, oreven luggage.

Massicott runs , a specialist extermination company that uses dogs to sniffout pests. News of an infestation can ruin a business predicated on givingpunters a good night’s sleep; it helps that Massicott dogs appear innocuous.Massicott says he's heard of dogs being used to sniff out termites in thepast, and thought to apply the skills of his first black-lab mix, Jada, tosniff out bedbugs when there was an epidemic in 2002.

He’s since trained a small army of mutts, all adopted from dogs' homes.There’s only one requirement: “They’ve got to like to hunt,” he says.

Each young dog is trained for an average of 18 months. Initially they areintroduced to the pest’s scent and rewarded with a treat each time theysmell the bugs; the process culminates in the dog seeking out that scent onits own.

Each dog is capable of covering 150 hotel bedrooms per day. The procedure isswift; in only a matter of minutes a dog can cover even a large suite,sniffing key areas like box-springs and dust ruffles, and even some placesyou might not expect to find the pests: “I’ve had a dog find them in thetelephones and clock radios near beds,” says Massicott.

“At a five star resort she found them in a $400 Bose radio.”

Massicott rates his dogs’ detection abilities at around 98 per cent accuracy,though recent studies by the university of Florida have put them at 100 percent. Factors that may lead to canine error are similar to those that causehumans to err in the workplace: fatigue and over-eagerness to please theboss.

Though a dog can put in eight hours of searching a day, accuracy dwindlesafter about an hour’s work, unless sufficiently rested between searches.Additionally, in their desire to please their master (and obtain scrumptiousrewards) clever canines sometimes falsely report finding bugs.

To prevent this, even adult dogs are continuously re-trained using mocksessions where both live and dead bedbugs are employed. “We hide them, so weknow where everything is,” explains Massicott, “even if they find a deadbug, there’s no reward.”

Dogs’ sensitive noses can differentiate between not just a living or deceasedbedbug, but between adults and their eggs as well.

Massicott serviced over 30 hotels in 2007 alone, along with privateapartments, university housing and even cruise ships. Several of hisprojects have been resorts in the 1,800-bedroom mega-complex range. At $4-$5per room (approximately £2.50 on average), business is booming and demandseems ever increasing.

“Business has tripled since I started out [in 2004],” says Massicott. “I onlyhad two dogs. Now I have seven, and I need three more.”


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绿色环保:environmental-friendly(一个词,是adj.形容词);也可直译为green(作adj.形容词用)。

例如:
environmental-friendly agriculture 生态农业

enjoy an Environmental-friendly Christmas 过一个环保圣诞

但是如果一句话中既有green又有environmental-friendly时,如下句例,green的意思就只能是其本意“绿色(地)”,而非“绿色环保(地)”:

Select green-decorated materials to do indoor environmental-friendly decoration 选绿色装修材料,做环保室内装修

而a green material翻译成“一种(新型)绿色材料”即可。

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