Health Care

Commercial Pest Management Services for the Healthcare Industry

How Waltham Pest Services Can You Help You

If you’re managing a healthcare facility that demands risk reduction and health promotion from your pest management provider, Waltham Pest Services is the partner for you. Hospitals, clinics, assisted and independent living centers, and skilled nursing facilities across New England and New York State have benefited from our proactive IPM practices in a healthcare environment. Our service personnel have experience working with local, regional, and national healthcare organizations.

With minimal disruption to your operation and an emphasis on patient, resident, and employee safety, we can reach and maintain pest-free conditions at your healthcare establishment. Request a free inspection or to locate your local Waltham Pest Services branch.

Challenges Faced

The healthcare industry requires a heightened level of sanitation and cleanliness, as patients generally have compromised health. The existence of pests in hospitals, laboratories, assisted living facilities, and even healthcare office buildings may lead to malpractice claims, worsening patient status, and death. Given the serious consequences of careless pest control, healthcare industry leaders should take the necessary precautions to protect clients and workers with comprehensive integrated pest management plans and wisely implemented preventative measures to stop pest outbreaks from occurring.


Effects of Infestation

Though pest infestation always poses health risks, the threats become especially dire in healthcare settings. Given the various germs, viruses, and diseases carried by pests, their presence in any healthcare building creates potential dangers. The immune systems of sick patients remain especially susceptible to pest-carried diseases. Exposure may lead to compounded illness and even death in extreme circumstances.

As healthcare facilities maintain responsibility for pest control, any harm caused to patients may result in legal action and cost large sums of money in both settlements and litigation. Finally, pests in healthcare facilities may cause costly structural damage and deter potential patients from accepting medical services.

Common Healthcare Pests

Flies - Common house flies feed (as larvae) on animal feces, carcasses, garbage, decaying organic material, and other filth. Hospitals have several fly breeding/feeding hotspots such as trash receptacles/compactors, recycling bins, and stores of fruits and vegetables. Since hospital entrances receive frequent foot traffic, there are ample opportunities for flies to enter the structure.

Rightfully considered dirty, flies have numerous tiny hairs that cover their legs and bodies and often carry disease-causing pathogens. Additionally, the pests secrete salivary fluid and defecate every time they land on a surface. As such, people often contract conditions like diarrhea, dysentery, E. coli, salmonella, and streptococcus after consuming food on which flies have landed.

Though not typically deadly, flies may cause significant harm in healthcare facilities by contributing to patient illness. Furthermore, the presence of flies suggests poor housekeeping and can adversely affect the reputation of a hospital or healthcare facility.

Cockroaches - Cockroaches pose similar problems to healthcare facilities. Garbage serves as a main food source for cockroaches, as well as:

  • Decaying organic matter
  • Grease
  • Meat products
  • Starches
  • Sweets

When cockroaches eat, they produce odorous secretions that contaminate and affect the taste of food items. Cockroaches may gain entry into hospitals and healthcare facilities through sewage/drainage pipes, and cracks in building foundations.

Like flies, cockroaches give off the impression of uncleanliness and may negatively impact the reputation of a hospital if seen by patients. The pests also carry a host of diseases and bacteria, causing such ailments as food poisoning, dysentery, and diarrhea.

Secretions and skin casings left behind by cockroaches contain allergens, which may cause rashes, watery eyes, sneezing, and congestion. Lastly, cockroach allergens are known to cause asthma in some cases.

Birds - While not traditionally considered a notable nuisance in the same way as flies or cockroaches, birds pose many problems to healthcare facilities. Pigeons, sparrows, and starlings represent the most invasive species of birds and adapt easily to urban settings.

Aside from small issues, like noise pollution and possible aesthetic damage to the exterior of buildings, birds carry viruses and ectoparasites. The presence of birds on healthcare facility grounds therefore threatens the health of patients, visitors, and employees.

Transmittable diseases carried by birds include salmonella, pseudo-tuberculosis, histoplasmosis, and more, while molted bird feathers are known to cause respiratory infections. Ectoparasites, like lice, fleas, ticks, and mites, often accompany birds and pose a serious threat to infection control, as they easily enter HVAC systems when birds roost on hospital roofs.

Additionally, bird droppings can corrode metal and cause significant structural damage. Finally, Canada geese often settle on the properties of hospitals, assisted care facilities, and office buildings, which frequently contain man-made bodies of water like ponds. In addition causing structural damage and spreading diseases (through their excrement), Canada geese frequently become territorial and may attack patients and visitors when threatened.

Ants - While most species of ants remain nonthreatening and ecologically important, several invasive species are considered pests. Ants prove capable of damaging wood and fabrics and contaminating food sources, which cost healthcare facilities money.

As with the other pests that pose serious dangers to hospitals, ants carry on their bodies several viruses and bacteria, like pseudomonas, staphylococcus, salmonella, and streptococcus. Pest species of ants that bite or sting, such as the red fire ant, cause serious problems for healthcare facilities.

In rare cases, invalids incapable of movement cannot escape fire ants and may sustain serious skin injuries and health damage from multiple bites and stings. Such cases have led to malpractice lawsuits in the past.

Why In-House Pest Control Doesn't Work

Though healthcare providers can implement certain deterrents to make facilities less favorable for pests, only comprehensive knowledge of various pests and species leads to effective and complete pest control. Different species of ants, for example, respond to different traps and baits. Therefore, accurate identification is a huge factor in efficient pest control.

Additionally, individuals often need special licenses and certificates to apply various chemicals and insecticides, as well as trap and relocate birds. To truly eliminate pest problems, healthcare industry leaders must rely on licensed pest control professionals.

How Pest Control Professionals Can Help

In addition to the knowledge and expertise pest control professionals are able to provide, specialists can help healthcare facilities set up an Integrated Pest Management plan, or IPM plan. IPM plans give employees and leaders of healthcare facilities the tools necessary to eliminate present pest issues, spot early signs of pest infestation, and prevent further pest outbreaks. Finally, pest control professionals regularly follow up with facilities to ensure the continued effectiveness and implementation of site IPM plan.

Why Waltham?

With over 120 years of varied experience, Waltham Pest Services is committed to providing superior commercial pest management services for the healthcare industry.

  • Risk reduction, health promotion, and the upmost cleanliness are values upheld as a pest management provider.
  • Wide ranging experience working with healthcare organizations of varying size and type.
  • Effective and complete pest control services led by professionals with expertise and knowledge of various pests and species.

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