Good hygiene and cleanliness are essential for all industries, especially medical environments as the peace of mind and good health of the patient depends on it.
However, just like other industries, medical environments also suffer from bed bug invasions. When such a situation occurs, it could cause panic among staff members and patients as well, leading to several unanswered questions.
But fear not! In this article, you will find the answers to the top 10 common queries that people have regarding bed bugs in medical settings.
How do bed bugs enter healthcare settings and where to look for them?
This is one of the most common questions that people have regarding bed bugs in a medical facility. Since these facilities need to ensure hygiene and cleanliness within the premises, it is often due to external factors that these insects make their way inside.
Often bed bugs enter medical settings by hitchhiking onto the belongings of patients, visitors, and employees. You can easily find them hidden inside the mattress, soft furniture, behind the headboard, in the cracks of the bed, and box springs. They are rarely found on the person themselves, but rather in their furniture or linen.
How should you efficiently eliminate a bed bug invasion in a medical facility and for how long would the treatment be effective?
The best way to control bed bugs and remove an infestation efficiently is by getting a professional pest control service. Since all healthcare facilities vary in their needs and size, the perfect treatment that suits all healthcare environments does not exist.
After the areas have been inspected by a professional insect management provider, they would suggest the best type of service to eradicate the bed bugs based on the size of the infestation.
The pest management provider would also provide you with preventative measures that you can adopt post-service to keep the area free of bed bugs. Depending on which type of service you get done, the treatment’s efficiency period would vary.
What steps are required to sanitize the area as well as the soft goods prior to and post a pest control service?
Prior to conducting a pest control treatment, the insect management provider would require you to follow some preparation measures like removing the linen from the contaminated room, dismantling the headboard from the bed and moving it outside the contaminated room, changing the position of the furniture, etc.
Once the service has been completed, your insect management provider would advise you to reattach the headboard to the bed and replace the furniture or their linen in the room, depending on how severe the bed bug situation was.
After the contaminated room has been treated for how long do you have to wait before re-using the area?
The answer to this would depend entirely on the type of treatment you decided to go with after consulting your insect management provider. You would need to wait anywhere between a few hours to a few days to re-use the treated area.
Therefore, it is essential to communicate efficiently with your insect management provider and discuss the proper time period.
How to stop the spreading of bed bugs while moving patients and their belongings? When treating a single area, do you need to treat the adjoining rooms?
Since bed bugs hide and travel by hitchhiking on patients’ belongings, it is important to thoroughly check their bags, suitcases, clothes, and other items while transferring them to another room.
If the person shares an area with another patient or if the room is connected, it would be necessary to get those rooms and their belongings checked for bed bugs as well. Usually, they do not grab onto gurneys or wheelchairs.
However, you should still inspect them for any bed bugs. It would also be ideal if you get all the rooms on the same floor as the infected area checked just to be sure that the bed bug activity hasn’t already spread elsewhere.
Can healthcare teams treat bed bugs on their own without opting for a professional insect control service, by using over-the-counter items like monitors and sprays?
Often people make the mistake of choosing DIY and over-the-counter treatments to get rid of these creatures. However, the efficiency rate of such methods is very low which causes them to return sooner than expected.
As mentioned earlier, the type of treatments vary depending on the surrounding’s size and need as well as the severity of the situation. Among various pests and insects, bug bugs are considered the most annoying and challenging to eliminate without proper professional help. Therefore, you should contact the best insect management provider to get rid of them.
How does heat treatment work in eliminating them?
Heat treatment is one method used to get rid of bed bugs which involves increasing the room temperature or in the heating room to particular temperatures that would kill them.
Since they can’t survive extreme temperatures, if the room temperature is too high even for a minute, it can kill them and if the room temperature is too low, it would take a bit longer but ultimately kill them.
The key to efficiently killing them is to treat every nook, crevice and hole in the area. Therefore, all these areas need to be heated exactly to that specific temperature needed to eliminate them.
Can isopropyl alcohol be used to eliminate young and adult bed bugs?
Spraying isopropyl alcohol on bed bugs does not kill them but it does affect them theoretically. However, by using isopropyl alcohol, you could actually kick start a fire.
Often many products used by professionals contain alcohol and should only be used by a professionally licensed insect management expert.
How should you manage situations where patients have an existing bed bug contamination in their house and keep drawing bed bugs to the facility?
As it is a sensitive situation, it would be best for you to take sufficient precautionary measures. If you have a heat chamber, you can start by keeping the patient’s belongings there to kill them.
It is advisable that you get the areas visited by the patient thoroughly inspected by a professional pest control provider and temporarily seal off any areas that you were not able to inspect or treat until it is inspected and treated.
How should staff employees stay safe from bed bugs in a medical environment, whether it is at the patient’s home or within a facility?
Employees in a medical environment can stay protected from bed bugs by following preventative measures such as staying away from the belongings of patients and keeping their belongings further away.
It would also be best for the employee to be observant of their environment whether in the facility or at the patient’s home to notice any signs of bed bug activities.
Employees should also keep a spare change of clothes in the hospital, or use steam and heat to wash their clothes when they walk into their homes to prevent bed bugs from travelling with them.