How Should Hospitals Handle Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are a serious threat to hospitals since infestations can spread rapidly. Patients coming to the hospital can bring bed bugs with them on their clothes and shoes. Bed bugs feed on blood, and they'll bite your patients while they're trying to sleep at night. Bed bug bites are extremely itchy, so a bed bug infestation can be very concerning for patients who are in your hospital to recover — and it can prevent them from sleeping fully throughout the night. It's important for all hospitals to develop a plan to counter bed bug infestations. To learn how hospitals should handle bed bugs, read on.
1. Train Staff to Spot Infestations Early
One of the most important factors in developing a bed bug mitigation strategy is training. Nursing staff needs to be trained to spot the itchy red bumps on patients caused by bed bug bites. Training your staff to notice the first signs of an infestation will allow you to begin controlling it before it gets the chance to spread further throughout your hospital. In addition to recognizing the signs of bed bug bites, your nursing staff also needs to know what the adult bed bugs look like — they're brown and around a quarter inch long. One telltale sign of bed bugs is that they smell like cardamom when they're crushed. If any of your staff notices a potential bed bug, they should capture it in a jar so that it can be confirmed as a bed bug by a commercial pest control company.
2. Call Commercial Pest Control Services Once You've Confirmed a Bed Bug Infestation
Once you know that your hospital has a bed bug infestation, call a commercial pest control service and have them thoroughly inspect your hospital. Commercial pest control services can use specially trained dogs to sniff out the areas in your hospital where bed bugs are hiding, which allows you to determine the extent of the infestation and know which areas you'll need to treat. Treating the infestation as soon as possible is important because it's nearly impossible to prevent bed bugs from spreading further throughout a hospital — they can easily move through electrical outlets in order to access adjacent rooms containing sleeping patients, which means they'll continue to spread rapidly until they're eliminated.
3. Once You Know Where the Bed Bugs Are Hiding, Eliminate Them Using High Temperatures
Once you know the extent of your bed bug infestation, your commercial pest control service can begin eliminating all of the bed bugs inside your hospital. High heat is the preferred way to eliminate bed bugs, as they die quickly when they're exposed to high temperatures. Patient rooms will need to be sealed off while they're being treated, which is why early detection of a bed bug infestation is so important — catching an infestation early will minimize the disruption to patient care. Heat treating infested areas will eliminate the bed bugs from your hospital, allowing your patients to sleep easily at night again.
Overall, the most important part of handling a bed bug infestation is to catch it early. This gives little time for the bed bugs to spread throughout the hospital, allowing you to eliminate the infestation more quickly. Calling commercial pest control services as soon as you first notice a bed bug infestation reduces the amount of disruption your patients will undergo, both by avoiding them being bitten by bed bugs at night and allowing the infestation to be treated without losing a large number of rooms.
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