PUBLISHED ON September 2nd, 2011
If there’s one place that should be picky about commercial pest control services, it’s hospitals. Hospital pest control is about more than just eliminating irritating insects – it’s also a method of promoting and protecting patients’ health. Because pests often carry dangerous diseases, health administrators appreciate the importance of practicing excellent pest control.
Commercial pest control services that rely on toxic chemicals may not be the best choice for health care facilities. Pesticides that wipe out insect populations can also harm patients. Eco-friendly commercial pest control services are therefore the best option for those who are looking for hospital pest control.
The following is a look at some recent news stories about pest infestations in hospitals, so as provide an overview of common pest challenges in the health industry. Next, we’ll list “green,” environmentally-friendly techniques for resolving pest problems in hospitals.
1. NHS hospitals in England see multiple pest infestations. As recently reported by the Telegraph, seven out of ten British hospitals, or “trusts,” as the Brits call them, have admitted calling for pest control services more than 50 times over the past two years, for a total of nearly 20,000 cases of hospital pest control problems. One British hospital at Nottingham University reported more than 1,000 pest control incidents. Rats, cockroaches and maggot infestations are apparently not uncommon in British hospitals. Neonatal units with wasp problems and maternity wards with rat infestations have stirred British citizens to call for improved hospital pest control in their country’s health facilities.
2. Bed bugs infest American hospitals. Bed bug populations have exploded across the United States, and even hospitals are not immune to the spread of these tiny insects. United Medical Center in Washington D.C. is one example of a health care facility that has been forced to contract with commercial pest control services to battle bed bug infestations. The presence of bed bugs in hospitals is especially frightening considering researchers have recently discovered that bed bugs may carry the deadly MRSA, or methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureaus, bacteria. Commonly called Staph, these bacteria are difficult to treat because they are resistant to traditional treatment approaches.
3. Mice overrun Vienna Medical University. Ants, mice, and other pests can plague hospitals. As the Austrian Independent reported recently, a clinic at Vienna Medical University was recently infested with mice. The Austrian hospital responded by bringing in commercial pest control services to battle the rodents. It isn’t unusual for hospitals to see rodent or ant infestations, as these animals are attracted to any excess food scraps, and hospitals distribute hundreds of pounds of food to patients on a daily basis.
Traditional “spray and pray” commercial pest control techniques are typically inappropriate for hospitals, as patients may be sensitive to the toxic chemicals found in many extermination solutions. Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a green pest control methodology, is a better choice for health care facilities. Below are a few IPM approaches for hospital pest control. Commercial pest control services can usually cater their IPM techniques for hospitals and retirement homes.
Physical exclusion. Integrated Pest Management for hospitals begins with a thorough investigation of where pests may be entering the facility. Sealing hospitals against invading insects and pests is the first step in creating a pest-free zone. Commercial pest control services may partner with hospital facility management staffers to prevent insects and other pests from entering health care facilities in the first place.
Habitat and harborage modification. Once pest entries have been sealed, pest management professionals work with hospital administrators to remove places where pests can nest and hide. Steps are also taken to improve sanitation throughout the facility, and the hospital staff is educated about areas that are especially sensitive to pest infestations.
Physical and manual controls. Non-chemical traps and monitoring devices can help hospitals prevent pest infestations from reoccurring down the road. Regular, ongoing inspections can also help pest management professionals catch and resolve new pest problems.
Through physical exclusion, habitat and harborage modification, as well as physical and manual controls, commercial pest control services can help hospitals eliminate current pest infestations and prevent future problems with pests. Eco-friendly hospital pest control approaches help keep patients safe while conquering hospital pests.