When a patient checks into a hospital, the concern is about getting better. It’s not about the possibility of getting bed bugs.
A 2010 survey of pest management professionals found that 31% of them had treated bed bug infestations in hospitals. A 12% increase from the prior year. So you can imagine how that number has grown in the past few years.
Why Are There Bed Bugs in Hospitals?
A hospital is a fast-moving place with a constant influx of new patients. Hospitals don’t discriminate based on where patients live or how much money they make, and neither do bed bugs. That means anyone can walk in and bring unwanted pests with them.
Given the need for beds in a hospital setting, there’s often no time to fumigate each room as patients leave. Hospital staff inspect bedding and immediately address any signs of bed bugs. Unfortunately, in emergency situations, such inspections may not occur as suggested.
Dangers of Bed Bugs for Patients
While bed bugs aren’t dangerous and don’t spread disease, they are an aggravating problem.
In a hospital you have people who are at risk, already dealing with illnesses or recovering from surgery. As a result, patients often have a stronger negative reaction to bed bug bites.
Bed bugs are parasites that feed on the blood of their hosts. Of course, many patients in hospitals spend 24 hours a day in their beds. This makes patients an attractive food source for bed bugs.
While changing the bedding, bugs may fall off and escape into other rooms. These little pests multiply quickly and spread wherever they find food. What started as a nuisance can escalate to a full-blown infestation. Resulting in big problems for the hospital such as lawsuits, public relations pain, and patient complaints.
Protecting Against Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and can infiltrate a patient’s room before you know what’s happening. But, removing them can be done rather quickly too when you have a procedure in place.
- Hospital staff members need to know the signs of bed bugs.
- A system must be in place for letting management know of any bed bugs sightings.
- A tracking system will also be handy to identify the origin of the bed bugs to address the problem at its source.
- Employees need to conduct regular inspections of mattresses, bedding, and all furniture in patient rooms to look for bed bugs.
- Upon patient admission staff should look for evidence of bed bug bites and question the patient to determine if there is a problem.
- Management will need a set procedure for eliminating bed bugs.
With a little forward thinking, it can be easy to determine if bed bugs in hospitals are a problem sooner rather than later. If bed bugs staff identifies bed bugs, then they need a follow-up procedure to stop the spread of the insects.
If you have concerns about bed bugs in your facility, call us at 602-253-2495 or contact Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination today. We have extensive experience working with medical facilities dealing with bed bugs and other pest issues.
We will conduct an inspection of the potentially infected areas and, if bugs are found, will implement a treatment plan that’s appropriate for your facility and patients.