Bed Bug Extermination in Assisted Living Facilities
The introduction of bed bugs into assisted living facilities has exploded in the past two years. Triangle Pest Control, a Raleigh, NC based Bed Bug exterminator, has seen a 223% increase in assisted living bed bug calls in 2012 alone. The simple fact is that bed bug infestations are growing each year and this insect is here to stay. Triangle Pest Control proudly offers local bed bug control services.
Bed Bug Basics for the Assisted Living Facility
As an Assisted Living Owner or Manager, there are some basics that you should know concerning bed bugs. Chances are that you have already dealt with a bed bug infestation or will in the near future. Bed bugs are extremely difficult to exterminate as compared to other insects (such as ants, spiders or roaches) due to:
- Bed bugs are resistant to pyrethroid based pesticides. 95% of the pesticides used by pest control companies are pyrethroids. Bed bugs are resistant to these materials. That means that even if you have a bed bug exterminator treat for bed bugs, chances are the extermination will be unsuccessful.
- Bed bugs are very difficult to find. Bed bugs are most active at night. Typically if you see a bed bug during the day that means that you are dealing with a heavy infestation. These insects are very good at hiding in cracks and crevices.
- Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers. Bed bugs can spread rapidly when introduced to an assisted living facility. While we cannot speak for your facility, for the ones that we have worked with in the past the residents are very social. This usually leads to rapid spread of bed bug infestations.
- Female Bed bugs can reproduce (without a male). This is very troublesome as one bed bug can cause an infestation.
How do you get rid of bed bugs in an Assisted Living Facility?
While there are no easy answers, exterminating bed bugs in an Assisted Living facility can be very challenging depending on the nature of the facility. Issues such as patient mobility, treatment preparation and pesticide sensitivity can affect both your ability to treat an infestation as well as the effectiveness of the bed bug treatment.
Please note that the recommendations below are intended to be guidelines for assisted living facilities and are not be viewed as a comprehensive list of all of the actions that could or should be taken. We have added a sample action list that you can use in your facility at the bottom of this post.
Have a proactive bed bug control plan
You have residents to take care of, bills to pay, oh and that meeting that you need to prepare for next week. Who has time to deal with something out of the ordinary? There is no doubt that we all are over scheduled and time starved.
Creating a proactive bed bug plan does not have to take two weeks to develop. The best plans we have seen are simple, easy to understand and very specific. A proactive bed bug plan, at a minimum, should include elements such as:
- A procedure for responding to complaints from residents concerning bed bugs and bed bug bites
- A procedure for processing new residents
- A procedure for confirming an infestation (a simple report is not enough)
- Procedures to mitigate risks of spreading bed bugs
- Procedures to inspect for bed bugs (both for your staff and your pest control company)
Educate and train your staff
One of the best methods to contain a bed bug infestation is to catch the infestation early. Small localized infestations are often less expensive to exterminate and less prone to treatment failure. Having said that, if you think that you might have a bed bug infestation, do not ignore it. Ignoring the problem is likely to cost you much more money in the long run. Left alone, bed bug infestations can spread to other patient rooms, wiring harnesses and air handlers. Large multiple room infestations are more difficult to treat and more much more expensive.
Our primary recommendation to our commercial bed bug customers is to train their staff on what bed bugs look like and where to find them. There should be no one at your facility that does not know what a bed bug looks like. Additionally there should be no one on your staff that does not know what to do if they think they have found a bed bug infestation.
Bed Bug Heat Remediation with strategic minimal use pesticides
As of this writing, bed bug heat remediation is the most effective method of exterminating bed bugs. This has been proven in several research studies and experiments. Bed Bug Heat Remediation is a procedure in which all of the areas in an infested space (room or building) are heated to a temperature above 120˚F (including the wall voids). The heat kills the bed bugs naturally. Bed Bug Heat Remediation both increases the effectiveness of the bed bug treatment and also reduces the amount of pesticides to be used in the facility.
Select A Bed Bug Extermination Company with Experience
Not all pest control companies are created equal when dealing with bed bug problems. Bed bugs are a relatively new to the pest control industry and most pest control companies are still learning how to exterminate this pest.
As mentioned earlier, bed bugs are very good at hiding in wall voids and other non-accessible areas (such as building cable runs and wiring harnesses). You should look for a company that has experience in exterminating bed bug infestations in facilities that are similar to yours. You should ask for and get references before you agree to any bed bug treatment plan.
How can I prevent bed bugs in an Assisted Living Facility?
The short answer is, you can’t. We do, however have a bed bug checklist that you can use to get started in developing your bed bug prevention plan.
Triangle Pest Control is North Carolina’s leader in bed bug extermination in Chapel Hill. We have offices throughout the Triangle in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. If you have questions concerning bed bugs feel free to give us a call. We will be more than happy to assist you.