Healthcare facilities are required to put in extra care and effort on pest control when it comes to maintaining hygiene and sanitation levels in their surroundings. The presence of pests in such establishment can significantly damage may pose a threat to the wellbeing of the healthcare facility’s staff and inhabitants. They can also bring bacterial and viral diseases along with them, leading to further contamination. Depending on the nature and type of pests, the reputation of the facility may also suffer. This makes it imperative for healthcare facilities to create a comprehensive pest-control plan.
Where to Get Started with Pest Control?
But in order to create a comprehensive plan, you must first analyze your facility; find the possible entryways as well as the commonly found pests in your area. More often than not, healthcare facilities face pest problems because of pests that enter from the immediate surroundings and along with people visiting the facility. Take a look at some of the susceptible areas as well as ways of preventing the entry of unwanted pests and organisms through them:
- Ensure that the facility doors and windows are closed at all times or should be designed to avoid the entry of pests, such as automatic sliding doors that only open upon stimuli.
- A poorly maintained plumbing system can easily attract pests such as cockroaches, flies and mosquitoes seeking moisture to help them breed. Be sure to fix any type of clogging or leakages in due time to avoid water logging in any section of the facility.
- The food facility and the kitchen are extremely susceptible to pests as they are particularly attracted to food storage and handling areas. You must ensure all the food is well-stored and create an inspection schedule to ensure pests don’t go unnoticed with time.
- The docking area used for deliveries is another area which faces high amounts of pest infestations as they can also come in with the food and other supplies. So, carefully inspect all the delivery products for damage due to pests or droppings before accepting any delivery items.
- Another point to keep in mind is that larger facilities face higher levels of pest infestation in the colder months. They typically reside in basements or the shrubs and trees around the facility. Shrub trimming and landscaping would be the best way to prevent access to such pests.
Be sure to add extra focus while developing your housekeeping plan as many pests such as bed bugs, termites, ticks, etc., can reside in dirty laundry and damp areas for longer durations of time. Make sure you educate your staff about commonly occurring pests and provide them with information that can help them identify signs of infestations and helps them initiate damage control in the case of an infestation.
Which Pests Should I Keep an Eye-Out For?
While the areas mentioned above, have the highest risk of infestations, areas such as the employee lockers, break rooms, janitorial closets, food carts, sick wards, autopsy rooms, trash collection area and related spots are also extremely susceptible to infestations as they can go unnoticed for long amounts of time.
Now that you have identified the locations that are subjected to high infestation rates, take a look at the commonly known pests that pose a threat to healthcare institutions:
Studies have indicated that cockroaches spread nearly 33 different kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. These pests often carry bacteria and viruses which not only contaminate food, but also compromise the sterile environment of the facility by spreading harmful allergens.
can enter a facility from practically anywhere and can cause structural damage due to their ability to chew through anything. They are also capable of spreading pathogens through their droppings as they defecate constantly, thereby contaminating their surroundings.
The most worrisome type of ant in health care settings is the pharaoh ant. These ants are known to spread more than a dozen disease pathogens including Salmonella and Streptococcus pyogenes and are problematic because of their attraction to intravenous units, medical preparations and open wounds.
Flies have been known to carry more than 100 different kinds of disease causing pathogen. They constantly contaminate food and surfaces by spreading disease organisms picked up on the silla on their bodies and through their saliva that is used to break down foods.
Bed bugs pose a serious threat to healthcare facilities because bed bugs have the ability to hitchhike in bags, shoes and on people. They are often the cause of secondary infections as their bites can cause rashes, infections and act as an entryway for further contamination.
As you can see, the scope and complexity of operations at healthcare facilities make it necessary to take appropriate pest control measures. And the best way to approach and solve this issue is by creating a proactive pest control plan as opposed to a reactive one. Apart from educating your staff about potential dangers of pests and the type of pests, you must also invest in a regular pest control program. Comprehensive pest-control carried-out by seasoned professionals have the best success rate as they are already familiar with industry specific pests, areas susceptible of maximum infestation as well as location-appropriate materials to combat the pests without affecting the integrity of the establishment.
If you are looking for more information on protecting healthcare facilities from pests and ways to administer appropriate methods of pest control, call Take Care Termite on (209) 832-7300 and let our pest control professionals guide you through our specialized pest control process for healthcare establishments.