Hospital Pest Control: Importance, Methods, Policy and Procedure

In this guide, we have outlined the various hospital pest control methods and their cost. We have also shared some common policies and procedure used in combating pests in healthcare facilities.

One of the ways bacteria and diseases get into hospitals and spread is through pest infestations. Rodents, bed bugs, cockroaches, flies etc, are very problematic pests that can contaminate surfaces. Thereby putting your patients at the risk of one disease or the other.

That is major reason hospital pest control must be well planned and done in such a way that maximum results will be achieved.

Do you need to hire a licensed exterminator? Get free estimates from top services in your area.

Are you searching for how to eradicate pests from your medical facility? Do you want to know the safest method to get rid of rodents and other pests from a hospital?

This article explains everything you need to know about hospital pest control, the methods, costs and so on. Continue reading!

The Importance Of Pest Control In Hospitals

Hospitals see a large number of people every day, week and month. Unlike other establishments, hospital doors are constantly open. This allows patients with different illnesses and injuries to be brought in, almost every hour of the day.

Staffs and visitors also make up the large number of people that go in and out of the hospitals daily. All of these people need to be safe while they are in there.

Due to these huge numbers of people that enter into these hospitals everyday, pests often find a way to gain entrance into these places. For instance through food materials, flowers, clothing etc.

Though some of these pests like ants, termites, cockroaches and flies may look quite small, the damages they can cause in a hospital within a short time is only better imagined.

Pests like Flies are known to transmit over one hundred different types of germs that cause diseases to humans. Due to how frequent they defecate, they waste no time in spreading these germs everywhere they land. Foods and surfaces not carefully covered, are usually contaminated by them. Leaving people at the risk of one disease of the other.

In hospitals, these flies are usually found in patients wards, autopsy rooms, surgical suites, Dumpster areas etc. You will find them almost everywhere you can find one or two persons.

Though Hospitals are places people come to be cured of one illness or the other. The presence of different kinds of pests can turn this the other way round. That is why pest control is very vital in hospitals.

Common Pests That Are Found In Hospitals

There are several pests that are found in hospitals. The most common of them includes:

  1. Ants
  2. Bed Bugs
  3. Cockroaches
  4. Flies
  5. Rats
  6. Mice

Others that are not so common are: Termites, Birds, etc.

Hospital Pest Control Methods

Due to the fact that hospitals are always filled with people (patients, visitors and staff), the use of chemicals as a method of pest control must be very limited. The reason is because pesticides are usually made of ingredients that are toxic to humans.

Though some are less toxic than others, they must only be used as a last resort in hospitals. Even when they are used, patients must be duly informed of their usage.

The best and most recommended way of treating pests infestations in hospitals is through Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

Integrated Pest Management in healthcare focuses on the use of a combination of environmentally sensitive methods to control the activities of pests.

Such methods include the use of biological methods, mechanical methods and less toxic chemicals (biopesticides).

Integrated Pest Management programs include pest monitoring, identification and devising the appropriate method of treating pests without causing any harm to humans.

In hospitals, IPM practices are used to eradicate or reduce pests. This is done in such a way that the health of the patients, visitors and staffs is not affected.

Hospital Pest Control Policy

Pest infestations can become a real problem in your hospital. That’s why certain actions must be taken to prevent or stop it while it is still early. One of those things you can do to prevent it from occurring, is to create a pest control policy for your hospital.

Pests gain entrance into hospitals as visitors bring food or food materials to patients. Therefore visitors must see to it that pests like flies, ants and cockroaches do not follow them into the hospitals.

Before bringing items like pillows to their relatives or friends in the hospital, visitors must ensure that such items are free from bed bugs.

The only way to do this is by thoroughly washing the pillows in hot water and using heat to dry them.

No one must be allowed to stand at the entrance for too long while leaving the door open. All doors must be properly closed after people must have passed through them.

Food debris must be removed and properly cleaned from the floor to avoid attracting ants, cockroaches and flies.

Medical supplies that are brought into the hospitals must be carefully checked for pests. The same goes for mattresses, bedding, clothes, upholstery materials and furniture.

All these must be clearly featured on the hospital pest control policy.

Hospital Pest Control Procedure

Integrated Pest Management procedure for controlling pests in hospital goes in the following order

  • Monitoring

This has to do with inspection and identification of pests within the premises of the hospital. If you are using the services of professional pest exterminators, they will usually set up monitors all over the hospital premises.

This is very important in knowing the type of pests in hospitals, the degree of infestations and their hideouts. It also help in knowing the channels through which they gain entrance into the hospital. For example, a hole on the wall where a pipe is passed.

The monitoring is done with the use of spore traps and visual inspections.

  • Mechanical Controls

This is often the first method of Integrated Pest Management that should be applied in hospitals, once the full inspection has taken place and the level of infestation determined.

This method involves the use of mechanical/physical tools and practices to eradicate pests from the hospital. E.g traps, barriers, vacuuming and so on.

Since hospitals aim to use the safest method in controlling pests, the mechanical/physical method is the most recommended option that should be used.

  • Chemical Control

This is the last method that may be used after other methods have failed. It involves the use of less toxic pesticides to control pests around hospitals.

After monitoring the pests and gaining every information you need to know about them, you can begin with the mechanical method. Only when the level of infestation has gone beyond what the mechanical/physical method can do, are you allowed to use this.

After the inspection, pesticides that are made from naturally occurring substances can be used to control pests in the hospital.

However before that happens, patients must be duly informed.

Financial Implications

The size of your hospital, degree of infestation and the pest management company you hire, will determine the cost of pest control in your hospital. The type of pests and frequency of the treatment (how many times it will be done in a month) also has a part to play in that.

From our findings, below is how much it is likely to going to cost you to control pests in your hospital.

  1. Rodents

Eradicating rodents in a hospital is not always an easy task. Sometimes it can take a long period of time before they are completely wiped out.

To hire an exterminator solely for rodent control, you may have to spend from $500 to $2000.

  1. Cockroaches

Cockroaches drop disease-causing germs everywhere they go. That is why it is important to treat them out as soon as possible.

To get this done in your hospital, you will be spending between $200 and $350. It may cost more or less depending on the size of your hospital and the degree of infestation.

  1. Bed Bugs

Bed bugs may not cause any serious harm to your patients. However, it can make them itch and have sleepless nights due to their bites.

Eradicating bed bugs from your hospital presently will cost you about $500 to $1500.

  1. Ants

Ants are a common pest in hospitals – especially Pharaoh ants. Like Cockroaches, they are known to carry disease causing germs. To get rid of them from your hospital, you should be expecting to spend from $250 to $1000.

  1. Flies

When it comes to hospital pests, flies are the cheapest to control. That is mainly because they are easy to spot and kill. On the average, you will be spending between $50 to $250 to eradicate them from your hospital.

Though flies are easy to control, they must never be overlooked. They are known to be far more dangerous than every other hospital pest in this list.

In Summary

Pest infestation can be very dangerous to the health of your patients, visitors and staffs. It can lead to an outbreak of a particular disease in your hospital and even mar your reputation.

In this guide, we have discussed the best hospital pest control practices, methods, procedures and cost.

Have you been searching for how to control pests in your hospital? I hope you find the insights here helpful.

Do you need to hire a licensed exterminator? Get free estimates from top services in your area.

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