When people think of bed bug problems in businesses, they most often think about hotels. In reality, bed bugs can become a problem anywhere that people and their belongings come in contact with each other. This includes airplanes, trains, apartment buildings and even retail stores. It also includes healthcare facilities. When you think about the high volume of traffic in places like hospitals, nursing homes and clinics, it makes sense why this would be the case. Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in bed bug complaints across industries, including healthcare.
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With bed bugs come a multitude of business challenges, including employees and patients returning to their homes with bed bugs, cost of treatment and the impact bed bugs can have on your brand. Although bed bugs don’t transmit diseases to their victims, they can put patients at risk. The presence, or even the suspicion of bed bugs can be very stressful. Bed bugs can also leave an itchy welt on their victims, which may become infected and pose a threat to sensitive patients. Here’s what you can do to help train your staff to be aware of bed bugs and understand detection and treatment options.
Signs of Bed Bugs
Before you invest in a bed bug treatment, make sure you have a certified and trained individual do a thorough inspection. There are some things you can watch for too:
- Small blood stains on bed sheets, which may indicate squished bed bugs just after they’ve had a meal.
- Fecal stains from bed bugs may appear on bed sheets as well. They resemble small, black ink stains.
- Sighting an actual bed bug itself. Many people believe that bed bugs cannot be seen by the naked eye. In fact, adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and range from brown to red depending on their last meal.
How to Train Staff
Preventing bed bugs from ever entering your facility is nearly impossible with how easily they can transfer from one place to the next. However, you can prepare your staff to identify and handle potential bed bug infestations with urgency.
- Make sure your staff is able to identify when bed bugs may be present. Even though a pest technician will know for sure, the signs mentioned above are things that anyone can look for and should call attention to if spotted.
- Set a standard protocol for suspected infestations. Inform your staff who to report to if necessary.
- Label hospital bed sheets. If a bed bug problem is identified, you can track what department, floor and room were effected.
- Inspections should take place on a regular basis. Canine inspections are effective in a large facility like a hospital, since more ground can be covered quickly. You will need to avoid having dog inspections in areas that may disturb patients, though.
- Educate your staff on how to handle complaints or concerns from patients/families if they fear bed bugs may be an issue.
Bed Bug Treatment Options
If you discover bed bugs in your hospital or other healthcare facility, there are several measures you can take with a pest control company like Wil-Kil.
Conventional treatments are ideal for localized areas that need to be treated. Methods include:
- Pesticide Dusts
- Crack & Crevice Injection/Spot Treatment
- Mattress Encasements
Heat treatment is the most effective form of bed bug removal as it can kill all stages of bed bugs in one treatment. This is achieved by heating the rooms to temperatures above 120°F, the point where bed bugs in all stages die. This ideal for heating a whole room, but can get costly when multiple rooms needs treatment.
A Wil-Kil pest professional will help you to find a treatment plan that works with you, and schedule regular inspections to stop infestations before they begin to spread.
Contact us today to learn more about bed bug control for healthcare facilities.