What to Do: Bed Bugs in Health Care Facilities


Bed bugs travel from one location to the next by hitch-hiking on items. Employees, patients and visitors are capable of transporting bed bugs on personal items, clothing and even wheelchairs. It is important to be vigilant in looking for the signs of bed bugs and bed bugs themselves in health care facilities. Early detection can be key in successful treatment.

Follow the ICE method to Isolate, Control and Eliminate bed bugs

  1. Learn to recognize all stages of the bed bug and signs of their presence (such as fecal matter).
  2. Notify your supervisor immediately if you find bed bugs or suspect bed bug activity.
  3. Isolate infested items, place them in plastic bags and seal. If it cannot be bagged, wrap it in plastic.
  4. Ask the patient’s family to take any infested clothing or suitcases home with them. Bag it prior to removal. Inform them that they cannot keep these items in the facility.
  5. If the bed bugs have come in on a resident or patient, do not automatically move the patient to another area. You may move the bed bugs to the new area and spread the infestation. Isolate the patient and items. Again, if an infested item can be bagged or wrapped do so. Any linen containing bed bugs should be placed in sealed plastic bags. Bed bugs on linen and blankets should be killed using heat. Transport bagged items to laundry area and heat in clothes dryer for 20-30 minutes on high heat.
  6. Bed bugs can be vacuumed up. If a vacuum is used for this purpose, discard vacuum contents immediately in a sealed plastic bag and in an outside dumpster.
  7. Call McCloud Services at 800-332-7805 for additional instructions, inspections and any necessary treatments.