Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite

McCloud Services encourages health care professionals to have a bed bug management plan in place

South Elgin, Illinois (June 11, 2015) – This week is Bed Bug Awareness Week (June 7 through 13), an observance by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recognized by Chase’s Calendar of Events, to promote public awareness about bed bugs. McCloud Services is proud to join in this important industry effort and encourage health care professionals to brush up on bed bug prevention tips to curb infestations, especially for the health care industry.

Bed bugs are as much, if not more of a problem than they were just a few years ago. A 2015 survey conducted by NPMA and the University of Kentucky, found that nearly 100 percent of pest management professionals had encountered bed bugs in the past year.

“Although good sanitation practices and structural integrity may help reduce bed bug survival, no facility is totally immune to bed bug issues,” said Patricia Hottel, technical director, McCloud Services. “Bed bugs can be brought into a health care facility by a patient, a patient’s visitor or an employee. They are excellent hitchhikers and possess uncanny characteristics that make them extremely difficult to control. Vigilance is the key to avoiding an infestation.”

Although bed bugs are not typically living on their human host like body or head lice, they will hitchhike on personal belongings including items of clothing, purses, linens and suitcases. They prefer to feed on their host and then retreat to a harborage such as a wheel chair, bed or personal item.

McCloud Services recommends health care facilities plan ahead and have a bed bug management plan in place to proactively prevent and treat a bed bug infestation.  It is also critical to educate and address bed bug concerns with all employees so staff is properly trained on the procedures to take if a bed bugs are found in the health care facility.

McCloud Services has provided the following tips for health care facilities on bed bug prevention:

  • It is critical to have a program in place before it becomes an issue and management is left scrambling for a solution. Some health care facilities work closely with their pest management provider to assist employees with bed bug inspections and control in their residences.
  • Train staff on how to avoid bed bugs when working with patients and what to do if a bed bug should be found on their own clothes.
  • Health care facilities should have programs in place where staff is educated on bed bug identification and should be proactively checking for bed bugs and their signs when patients are admitted.
  • Specimens should be retained for positive identification and the pest management firm consulted.
  • When bed bugs are found, patient belongings should be isolated by placing them in sealed plastic bags or bins. If possible, these items should be sent home with the patient’s family. If this is not possible because a family member is not present, heat can be used to disinfest items on site. Clothes dryers can be used or specialized chambers for heating items can be employed.  Clothes may be placed in a dryer on high heat for at least 20 minutes. All stages of bed bugs can be killed using the proper heating methods.
  • If bed bugs are found on a chair in a room or ER, the chair should be removed and bagged to prevent any movement of bugs off the chair.  Heat chambers can be used for controlling bed bugs on furniture as can steam.
  • If you suspect an infestation or problem, notify facility staff immediately.  Be sure to move guests and patients to a new room that is not adjacent to or directly below or above the possibly infested room.


Bed Bug Management Programs 

We realize how damaging a single bed bug sighting can be, which is why we offer highly effective bed bug treatment programs to help companies combat bed bug infestations safely and efficiently.  Learn More