Hospitals Risk Bed Bug Cross-Contaminations

Bed Bugs in Hospitals

By their nature, hospitals see a lot of movement from room to room, a factor that can exacerbate bed-bug problems. This makes the bed-bug-control process a bit more complicated, which highlights the importance of having well-documented plans for how bed-bug infestations will be addressed if and when they arise.

“In a hospital, a patient might be moved between three or four locations within the facility, and bed bugs have no parameters,” highlights Hope Bowman, Entomologist, B.C.E. “A good start in addressing issues is to isolate a patient if bed bugs have been discovered.”

Fear can drive problems even further, Bowman says, which is an issue Western always works to address with healthcare clients. “Once, we saw an entire wing of a hospital shut down for a bed-bug infestation that turned out to be simple carpet beetles.”

To prepare for bed bugs, Bowman recommends that hospitals consider:

  • Focusing on education: Properly identifying a bed-bug problem early can go a long way toward isolating its effects
  • Creating a bed-bug committee: From bagging and isolating clothes when an infestation is detected to selecting the right bed-bug control partners, an internal committee should be created to drive hospital bed-bug policies
  • Using caution when dealing with outside agencies: Bed bugs are hitchhikers, so hospitals must be careful who they are dealing with. Regular inspections that identify the sources of problems early can help.
  • Responding to bed bug issues by using some of the same concepts that are practiced by the facility’s infection control personnel: Western has a comprehensive service guideline that addresses bed bug control in healthcare facilities.

Bed Bugs & Hospitals Should Not Go Together
Any business can inherit a bed bug problem and, unfortunately, this includes healthcare facilities. The general influx of people, clothing, and furniture into emergency rooms, nursing homes, and the like is cause for concern when it comes to bed bugs infesting, what should be, the most sanitary buildings around.

Learn how bed bugs make their way into these facilities and stop them in their tracks.

How does this happen?

  • Clothing & People in Hospitals: Emergency Rooms are open to individuals from all walks of life, which is what makes them so accommodating. But with this wide range of people, comes a wide range of potential pest factors, most notably bed bugs, which can affect anyone, anywhere.
  • Older Furniture in Assisted Living Facilities: Those who move into assisted care facilities often bring with them memorable furniture, but bed bugs may be hiding within. Be sure to make sure all furniture is cleaned properly before entering the building.
  • Foot traffic: There are numerous staff and guests coming and going throughout the day, which can also introduce risk.

Dealing with a possible bed bug infestation in a healthcare facility is a delicate situation. It must be made clear that a bed bug problem can happen to anyone and anywhere. Also, rectifying the situation is contingent on the cooperation of all parties. Help your employees, patients, and residents feel comforted by the fact that your healthcare facility has a bed bug control plan in place.

Western understands the importance of better bed bug planning and will tailor our services to your specific needs. Prepare your facility for fast attention and remediation if bed bugs make an appearance.

Author: Western Pest Services