NatureFresh Farms in Ontario, Canada have added a unique team member to their greenhouse staff— a Belgian shepherd dog. Chili is a working dog trained to sniff out just one thing, a pest known as the pepper weevil. This nasty bug can kill an entire crop of bell peppers before humans can even detect it.
Chili and her handler Tina Heide check every nook and cranny for pepper weevil, from the greenhouse to the packing line to the outbound trucks loaded with produce.
Thanks to her working dog background and 8 weeks of pest management training, Chili the dog can sniff as little as one weevil deep inside a pepper, and prevent an outbreak in just seconds.
“For Chili it’s like a game of hide and seek. While she’s out there working, it’s actually a game for her and she’s loving it,” Tina explains. Tina regularly hides pepper weevil specimens around the property to ensure Chili stays focused on her unique task.
You can learn more about Chili in her CBC interview here.
Featured image: NatureFresh Farms