Healthcare facilities face unique challenges when it comes to maintaining a pest management program. With larger facilities come increased risk factors for pest infestations. More foot traffic, more food being served, and more space all result in a higher chance of pest invasions. In addition to a proactive pest management plan, it’s important to know some of the areas where there is a heightened possibility of pest invasion.
A high turnover of patients, their visitors, and circulating hospital staff make patient rooms a prime target for spreading of infestations. Pests may arrive on patient luggage, visitor baggage, from adjacent rooms, or any areas where service lines enter the room. Educating staff on spotting signs of infestation will help with preventing allowing any pest invasions to spread further. One hotspot to keep a close eye on is the bedside stand, where crumbs and other food particles may attract unwanted pests.
Pests may arrive at the nurses’ station on someone’s scrubs, in personal baggage or even travel to these areas from outside or patient rooms. Pests often breed in damp, hidden locations such as under the sink or in cupboards, so it’s important to stop infestations here before they are spread into patient rooms.
It is extremely important to keep the operating suite free of pests. Flying insects like gnats and flies are attracted to the bright lights and can breed in unsanitary drains in the area. Thorough cleaning is of the utmost importance in these areas to reduce risk of pest invasion.
Organic debris should be removed regularly, all cabinets, shelves, and other surfaces should be cleaned often, and housekeeping supplies should be stacked and stored off of the floor to avoid picking up any pests and spreading them throughout the facility. Housekeeping rooms are at high risk for spreading infestations of pests like bed bugs that may catch a ride on laundry items.
Pests are drawn to kitchen, cafeteria and vending areas for one simple reason – access to food and water. To add insult to injury, these are also some of the most high-traffic areas in a healthcare facility, attracting patients, visitors and staff alike. The most important thing to keep in mind in these areas is cleanliness. Clean up spills promptly, follow a strict cleaning regiment in all areas (don’t forget under appliances), take out trash frequently and store food in air-tight containers to avoid attracting the attention of cockroaches, ants, rodents and other pests.
While it is important to keep a vigilant eye on these areas as well as your entire building, pest management for healthcare facilities requires a highly technical approach to protect your building, patients, visitors, and staff. Holder’s Pest Solutions has been serving healthcare facilities for over six decades. Learn more about our HealthGuard® Program and contact our pest control specialists for more information.