Patient care and comfort are top priorities for healthcare facilities of all types. Unfortunately, healthcare facilities can be susceptible to pest infestations. Frequently opened doors, people coming in and out, cartons of supplies being delivered, plus food storage and preparation can all be conducive to pest activity.
Healthcare facilities have many different areas that can be attractive to pests, including patient rooms, exam rooms, lobbies, waiting rooms, hallways, restrooms and dining spaces. Here are some of the pests that you should know about if you work in a healthcare setting:
Known as one of the most resilient pests, cockroaches can develop large infestations quickly. Cockroaches can be vectors for bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella, which may be particularly harmful to patients with compromised immune systems. These pests can also trigger allergens and allergy symptoms in some people. Cockroaches often hide in dark cracks and voids and can be transported into buildings through shipments and deliveries.
As their name implies, bed bugs are small, ectoparasitic insects that nest in and around beds where they feed on the blood of sleeping people. Bed bugs can be difficult to spot, and they can be transported by people, as well as in luggage or on clothing. Bed bugs can cause itchy and sometimes painful bites, depending on how a person reacts. Most bed bug infestations are found in beds, furniture, pictures and baseboards adjacent to beds. They can also be found in cracks and in the folds in a bed. In addition to potential bite symptoms, other signs that bed bugs may be present include small, brown (fecal) stains on bedding, small blood spots on sheets and molted bed bug exoskeletons.How Pest Control Can Help Improve Patient Satisfaction
In addition to sometimes carrying pathogens that may cause disease, rodents can leave behind unsanitary droppings. Also, their gnawing can cause damage to packaging, products, equipment and structures. These unsightly pests can get into buildings via doorways, which are constantly open in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, and through surprisingly small cracks and holes.
Besides being irritating and annoying, flies can contaminate food and packaging materials and potentially spread food-borne illnesses. They can enter buildings through open windows, doors, cracks and other small openings. Flies can thrive in trash receptacles and drains, can be hard to control and often increase in number during summertime.
Mosquitoes can carry pathogens that may cause various diseases as well as cause potentially itchy bites. Found everywhere except Antarctica, mosquitoes are most active when outside temperatures top about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. These insects can breed in very shallow water, often in places like clogged gutters, decorative fountains, bird baths, ponds and even in water cooler drip trays and flower vases.
What to Do If Your Healthcare Facility Has Pests
Healthcare facilities have special needs and requirements, including patient welfare and federal agency, regulatory and health code compliance. That’s why it’s important to find a qualified commercial pest control partner with knowledge about specialized procedures and protocols designed for the healthcare industry.
For example, Terminix® Commercial serves a wide range of healthcare environments, including hospitals, clinics, medical offices, dental offices, nursing homes and assisted living facilities to deliver top-quality pest control and customized, comprehensive solutions.
In most cases, it’s best to act preventively or at least take action at the first signs of a pest problem before infestations become well established. Get a free quote and start discharging pests today.