Your facility may seem like an unlikely place for a bed bug infestation. After all, the top three places where bed bugs are found are single-family homes, apartments, and hotels. However, these nocturnal critters are master hitchhikers—they attach to luggage, purses, briefcases, backpacks, jackets and other belongings, and constantly looking for new carriers. If an employee or visitor has bed bugs at home, they can unknowingly carry them into your facility; it takes just two of them to cause an infestation.
How much of a problem are bed bugs at facilities? In 2018, the National Pest Management Association released their Bugs Without Borders survey of pest control professionals. Here are their findings:
- 97% of pest control professionals treated bed bugs this past year
- 59% reported treating bed bugs in nursing homes
- 45% reported treating bed bugs in colleges and dorms
- 46% reported treating bed bugs in offices
- 39% reported treating bed bugs in doctor’s offices
- 36% reported treating bed bugs in hospitals
- These professionals found bed bugs not just in beds, but also in wheelchairs, purses, airplanes, stuffed animals, and fluorescent lightbulbs
Bed bugs are small, so they are not easily spotted. On top of that, bites may take as long as 14 days to become visible, so often people aren’t aware they have a bed bug issue until after they may have carried them to work.
What To Look For
Most people have a hard time identifying bed bugs from other insects, confusing bed bugs and fleas. Eighty-four percent of pest control professionals reported that they were initially contacted about a different kind of bug, only to discover that the insects in question were in fact bed bugs. Their small size and ability to hide make them difficult to see during the day.
Here is a link to a handy chart that will help you identify the critter in question: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/images/misc/id-detailed.jpg 1
Bed bugs are most often discovered by their bites. Here is a link on how to identify bed bug bites:
Time Is Of The Essence
Bed bugs are capable of rapid population growth. An adult female can lay up to five eggs per day, so if you think you’ve spotted a bed bug, call a professional immediately.
What To Do If You Spot Bed Bugs At Your Facility
Bed bugs are notoriously hard to get rid of. This is especially true in an environment like a healthcare facility, where treatment can come into conflict with the need for sterilization. The best thing to do is to call a pest control professional ASAP.
For help in maintaining a pest-free facility, contact Vanguard Resources.