In clinics, care homes, and other healthcare institutions, pests are a major problem. And keeping high hygiene standards is a critical part of your job as a healthcare professional.
But what happens when clients detect pests or a sudden outbreak occurs? The cleanliness of your working environment and your reputation are compromised. Effective pest control in healthcare is needed to protect patients, staff, and visitors from infectious diseases.
Our experts at Dyno-Pest have years of experience in commercial pest control in Central London. So, we’ll share our top strategies and tips to prevent pests from infiltrating your healthcare facility.
What are the top 5 pests affecting healthcare facilities?
Pests such as rodents, cockroaches, and bedbugs can transmit and spread diseases, compromising the hygiene of your institution. It’s therefore essential to take proactive measures to keep pests away from your healthcare facility.
But what are the most common pests affecting hospitals, clinics, and care homes? Below is a list of the 5 most common problems in healthcare facilities.
Pest control in healthcare: Mice and rats
Mice and rats can enter your clinic through small cracks or crevices and are attracted to food and water sources. They consume fat, cardboard, and water to survive. And these pests can transmit diseases such as salmonella, hantavirus, and leptospirosis through their droppings and urine. They’re also a fire hazard, as mice can chew through wires and cause short circuits and fires in your institution.
Pest control in healthcare: Cockroaches
Cockroaches thrive in warm and humid environments. They contaminate food and surfaces with bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause diseases such as salmonellosis, typhoid fever, and cholera. These organisms carry germs that can trigger asthma in your patients.
Pest control in healthcare: Flies
Flies can spread disease by contaminating food and surfaces with their droppings and saliva. These infectious disease-carrying insects can feed on faeces and rubbish one minute and your patients’ food the next. They can transmit diseases such as salmonellosis, E. coli infections, and dysentery.
Pest control in healthcare: Ants
Ants are attracted to food and can quickly infest a healthcare facility. They’re primarily a nuisance in the UK and aren’t directly harmful to humans. When allowed to run wild, they can transfer diseases to their bodies, infect sterile wound dressings, and in extreme cases, cause severe allergic reactions. So it’s best to stop an ant infestation before it gets out of hand.
Pest control in healthcare: Bedbugs
Bedbugs have proven to be a growing infestation problem in recent years. They can hitchhike on clothing and bedding and spread easily in shared living spaces. Thus, they are easy to transfer from home to facility and back to home. These insects cause itchy bites and are extremely distressing to both residents, patients and staff.
How to implement Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Healthcare Environments
Pest management and pest control in healthcare facilities differs from pest control practices in other institutions. It’s essential to commit to measures that avoid pests and the need for toxic chemicals. Hospitals have patients in various stages of debilitation and convalescence. Thus, the use of any pesticide poses a risk of uncertain magnitude.
It’s crucial to make sure your facility is free of pests and hazardous pesticides to protect patients who are at the highest risk because of the following:
- Immune or nervous system weakness
- Respiratory conditions
- Allergies and reactions to chemicals
That’s why integrated pest management and pest control in healthcare environments are of the utmost importance.
What is IPM?
IPM is a collaborative and ongoing cycle in three major areas:
- Prevention and implementation of pest control measures
- Monitoring effectiveness
IPM uses biological, mechanical, and chemical solutions to solve your pest problem. Chemicals would always be the last resort. So this approach to pest management will help you save money because fewer products are needed. IPM is also more advantageous for the environment, as there are fewer health risks for people and pets.
What can you do for pest control in healthcare institutions
Here are Dyno-Pest’s top strategies and tips for pest control:
- Conduct regular inspections of your facility to detect pest infestations early on.
- Inspect all areas, including storage rooms, kitchens, and patient rooms.
- Look for droppings, cast skins, gnaw marks, and similar signs.
- Hire pest control experts to perform a thorough inspection of your institution at least twice a year.
- If there are pests that only appear at certain times of the year, register this information and keep historical records. This data can help your pest control professional to create the pest control programme tailored to your needs.
The professionals at Dyno-Pest take all of these aspects into account as well as the characteristics of your building, its age, structure, surroundings, etc. A thorough assessment helps us understand the extent of the problem and create an effective programme including the following stages exclusion, maintenance, sanitation, training, and monitoring:
- Exclusion measures may include sealing entry points such as gaps in walls, windows, and doors, installing door sweeps, and repairing cracks or holes in the walls.
- Pests are attracted to unsanitary environments. A clean facility is less likely to attract pests. Establish and maintain a strict cleaning schedule that includes disinfecting surfaces, emptying waste bins regularly, and cleaning up spills immediately.
- Ensure that food is stored properly in sealed containers and stored at the right temperature. Food should be kept off the floor and away from walls. Ensure that all expired food is disposed of properly and that food waste is removed from the facility regularly.
- Bins should have self-closing lids and be kept closed. Sealing bins eliminates odours that can attract pests.
- Inspect, repair and clean rubbish chutes at least once a year. Functioning chutes keep pests away and prevent unpleasant odours.
- Check drain traps to reduce odours that attract nuisance flies. Repair leaks and water damage and monitor humidity levels. Moisture and standing water cause mould and insect problems.
- Educate staff on the importance of pest control and how it can help prevent infestations. Staff should be trained on proper food storage and disposal, reporting any pest sightings, and proper cleaning procedures.
- Healthcare workers need to be bedbug-conscious to avoid carrying these pests and contributing to their spread. If you’re to visit an infested home, you should avoid wearing certain garments, such as shirts with pockets and cargo trousers. Your shoes should have minimal thread. And PPE should be worn.
Finally, our most important advice is to hire a licensed pest control expert with experience in healthcare facilities.
Dyno-Pest is your pest control company in London. We’re a proud member of the British Pest Control Association and are known for our first-class service. One call to us is all it takes to deal with your pest infestation. We’ll get to your healthcare institution as quickly as possible and develop a tailored and cost-effective pest control solution. Contact us and get a quote today.