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New York City's Guide To Bed Bug Prevention For Healthcare Professionals

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It wasn’t too long ago that doctors were using leeches to “purify blood” and “heal” patients. This, of course, is no longer a common practice. If it was, bed bugs might be a welcome addition to hospitals.

Thankfully more advanced and effective solutions for treating sickness have been discovered and using creatures to draw blood is just a crazy idea from the past. However, bed bugs did not get the memo. They want nothing more than to get into your facility and feed off the blood of your patients. Fortunately, we have some helpful prevention tips to keep bed bugs out of your healthcare facility.

How Bed Bugs Spread

Bed bugs are best known for their ability to get from place to place. Not commonly found in the wild, bed bugs use people to travel to and fro. More specifically they use items we carry around to find new places to call home. Without us helping them, getting around would be impossible as bed bugs cannot fly, jump, or move very fast by themselves. When inside hospitals, bed bugs can move from room to room on clothing, moving beds, and other equipment.

How To Protect Your Patients Against Bed Bugs

At any point, a patient might come in with bed bug hitchhikers tagging along. It is important that your medical facility has a plan in place, in case this happens. Here are some steps we recommend.

  • Have your patient’s clothing removed, have them cleaned off and changed into a new set of hospital garb.
  • Change the room they are staying in to one that is not suspected to have bed bugs.
  • Store any of your infected patient’s belongings inside plastic bags and keep them sealed for the duration of their visit.
  • Remove bed covers and transport them inside plastic bags to a place they can be washed and dried on high-heat settings.
  • Have the room cleaned thoroughly.

This is not a perfect solution, but it will minimize the chances of bed bugs being able to spread further.

How To Protect Yourself From Bringing Bed Bugs Home From Work

After a long day of helping patients, the last thing you need is to bring bed bugs home with you. To prevent this from happening, here are some things we recommend you put into common practice.

  • If you have a bag you take with you to work daily, be careful not to set it in any location for more than 20 minutes as this is how long it takes for bed bugs to hitch a ride. 
  • When bringing home used clothing or other fabric-based items, store them in plastic bags. Once home, immediately wash them in hot water (if possible) to kill off any potentially hiding bed bugs.
  • Check items you bring home for bed bugs. If any are spotted, wash the item if possible with high heat.
  • Do your research. The more you know about how to spot bed bugs, what they look like, and the signs they leave behind, the better equipped you will be to stop them before they get into your home.
  • Inform your coworkers about bed bugs so that they can be aware if an infestation occurs in their home.

What To Do If Your Healthcare Facility Has Bed Bugs

Sometimes bed bug problems cannot be avoided. If this is the case for your healthcare facility, the professionals here at Parkway Pest Services are here to help. With several treatment options to choose from and a K-9 inspector that is very good at his job, we have all of the tools you need to maintain a bed bug-free work environment.
Reach out to us today for any questions or to schedule immediate services for your healthcare facility. Our goal is to help you keep your patients safe.