Bed Bug Infestations are Rising in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Facilities

When you’re laid up in a hospital, you’re already uncomfortable. You’re stuck with an IV, you’re eating awful food, and the beds feel like they’re made of nails.

Making your stay less inviting would be discovering the institution responsible for your well-being is so unhygienic, it’s infested with bed bugs.

Sadly, bed bug infestations are on the rise in healthcare facilities throughout North America.

Bed Bugs by the Numbers

A study by the National Pest Management Association found a staggering jump in bedbug infestations contaminating healthcare facilities between 2013-2015. There was a 12% increase in nursing homes, a 3% increase in hospitals, and a 7% increase in doctor’s offices.

Another study done by a pest control provider actually found a 388% increase in the number of bedbug services conducted in healthcare facilities between 2013-2016.

What’s Causing the Increase in Health Care Related Bed Bug Infestations?

More patient turnover means more chances for bed bugs to creep and crawl their way into a medical building.

It’s a simple numbers game. The more visitors, the greater chance that one of those folks checking into triage is accompanied by a legion of bedbugs.

There are more bedbug service calls during December, coinciding with a higher number of inpatients due to seasonal illnesses, further illustrating that higher turnovers cause more infestations.

Signs of Bed Bugs in a Hospital:

  • Bed bug feces looks like marker stains and are found on mattresses, box springs, bedding, or other soft furniture.
  • You’ll find dead bed bugs or cast skins¬†in mattress seams and box springs.
  • Keep an eye out for tiny-but-still-visible bed bug eggs. They are white with a pearly sheen, and found in clusters.
  • They’ll be found in a hospital’s sleeping or resting areas.
  • Break rooms, lounges, reception areas, and lobbies with soft furniture are welcome homes to bed bugs because of each area’s high foot traffic.

Bed Bug Prevention Tips for your Healthcare Facility

Since triage nurses and receptionists are occupying points of entry, they should be trained to recognize signs of bed bugs, preventing infestations in the first place.

Avoiding wood furniture and using plastic encasements for pillows and mattresses will lessen the chance for any potential outbreaks. Healthcare facilities shouldn’t have any fabric-based chairs, particularly in emergency rooms, rest areas, or the cafeteria, given the high volume of people.

Organizing regular inspections from pest control services is a proactive measure that can squash a bedbug outbreak in its tracks.

Terminix Canada offers bed bug removal, control, and prevention services to residential and commercial buildings, including medical facilities throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Get rid of bed bugs, or any other infestations in your hospital or doctor’s office. Contact us for a consultation!