PEST CONTROL SERVICES FOR ELDERLY AND HEALTH CARE CENTERS
When it comes to nursing homes and health care facilities, pests are not only an annoyance, but can also turn into a health challenge. Bites or stings may spread disease-causing pathogens directly or indirectly to people presenting a health concern or older residents, some of whom may have chronic medical issues. The following are some health threatening pests that could be found in nursing homes or medical facilities:
Rodents are known disease carriers, diseases that can have dangerous symptoms, especially for nursing home residents. This pest is not only a health threat to nursing home residents and patients but also to the facility itself since they can cause damage to walls or other structures by chewing them.
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Sightseeing cockroaches is enough to disgust residents, patients, families and employees. But what makes this pest a threat is their carrying germs that can cause pneumonia, diarrhea and food poisoning. Cockroach droppings can also inflame allergies or asthmatic conditions
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Besides being an annoyance, flies carry bacteria and can drop germs wherever they land, which could cause different health issues. Flies are able to cover distances quickly due to their flying, making it easier for them to spread diseases by landing on food after being on garbage. It is very important to take action when a fly issue is in the facility, since flies reproduce rapidly and are hard to control once they gain entry.
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Fire ants, especially the imported variety, are particularly a greater health treat than other ants. They have attacked residents or patients in health care facilities in more than ten documented cases, several of them fatally.
Pharaoh ants are another type of ants that could be considered a threat, they are known to climb into open wounds, IV bags or used bandages, and since these ants nest in walls they may be difficult to find and control if they have infested the facility.
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Birds can be a health threat to humans when nesting in properties; they can spread up to 40 viruses and 60 transmutable diseases including salmonellosis, a form of food poisoning, and encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. Dried bird droppings can enter a building’s ventilation system and be inhaled by residents, patients and employees. Inhalation of these airborne particles can cause histoplasmosis, a potentially fatal respiratory infection.
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- Bed bugs
Nursing homes and medical centers can be a haven for bed bugs, providing fertile ground for bed bugs to hitchhike between beds and living areas. Exposure to bed bugs may cause itchy red welts that, when scratched, can provide an entryway in the skin for disease-causing bacteria. Regular checkups are crucial to put preventative measures in place and to ensure there are no signs of bed bug infestations that can turn into a bigger problem.
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WHAT CAUSES PESTS IN NURSING HOMES AND HEALTH CARE CENTERS?
Unfortunately nursing homes and health care facilities are particularly vulnerable to pest infestations due to the flowing of people. Residents, visitors, guests and staff may be transporting pests without even knowing it. Pests will infest any location where they can find food and moisture.
Besides people going in and out these facilities; food service, laundry and storage areas make them inviting targets for pests. Many nursing homes have multiple dining areas with one or two full kitchens, creating the same pest challenges that restaurants face. With food being delivered on a regular basis, pests can hitch a ride into the kitchen on incoming parcels or work their way in through open doors, cracks and crevices.
Pests can also be a threat to nursing homes and healthcare centers themselves. Negative publicity from an infestation can ruin a facility’s reputation, and multi-million dollar lawsuits can put the business on the line.
There is no doubt about the critical importance of pest control management services at nursing homes and healthcare facilities in order to protect the health and well-being of residents, patients, staff, visitors and the facility itself.
TIPS FOR HEALTH AND ELDERLY CARE OWNERS AND MANAGERS
Pests won’t infest a place that doesn’t give them what they need. Check the following tips to prevent pests from coming in your facility:
- Plumbing and air conditioning should be maintained routinely in order to prevent leaks, which will keep pests from having a convenient supply of water to drink if they do make it into the facility.
- Make sure that all exterior doors fit tightly and caulk any and all crevices, especially those on the exterior of the building(s).
- Inspect shipments for pests or evidence of pest presence such as droppings, chew marks or exoskeletons before bringing them in a receiving area.
- Keep your facility clean. Clean any spilled food products, keep tight control over your employee’s food waste, keep it in designated areas only and have it removed from those areas after each meal.
- Minimize airflow from the outside at receiving areas by using plastic-strip doors. Unpack shipments and dispose of any empty boxes.
- Cover and seal bulk food-storage containers and garbage containers.
- Store mops, brooms or other cleaning supplies off the floor in a housekeeping closet.
- Check and clean floor drains on a regular basis. Flies will breed in clogged or filthy drains.
- Make sure food isn’t left in employees’ lockers overnight. Provide a secure storage area, such as a refrigerator for all food. Require workers to regularly clean out their lockers, giving a pest management technician a chance to treat the area.
WHAT WILL WE DO?
E&G Pest Solutions offers Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to take care and prevent pests from invading your elderly and healthcare home facility. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a sustainable, science-based, decision-making process that combines biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools to identify, manage and reduce risk from pests and pest management tools and strategies in a way that minimizes overall economic, health and environmental risks (National IPM Roadmap).
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