What happens when you find Bed Bugs or Cockroaches in a Hospital or Long-Term Care facility?
What happens when you find Bed Bugs or Cockroaches in a Hospital or Long-Term Healthcare facility?
After almost 25 years in the pest control industry nothing gets our blood pressure up then when our office receives a call from a hospital or long-term care facility that “bugs” have been found in a patient room or bed. These types of facilities are highly sensitive and vermin are not tolerated!
Of course, the client wants you there immediately; there is always a shortage of available rooms or beds and oftentimes the public or media are involved.
Imagine this call: “ring…..ring – Good morning GreenLeaf: We have a Pharaoh ant or cockroach emergency, in the pediatric surgery room. Get someone here ASAP and fix it immediately. Oh, by the way there is a news van sitting outside. Don’t speak to anyone!!”
Many years ago, the thought was to just go in and spray a pesticide to fix the issue. Although this sounds “old school”; sadly, this practice still happens today.
In reality, this is not the GreenLeaf pest control way of doing business. We spend countless hours training and investing in education for our team to be the best. The risk of harming somebody and exposing yourself personally and your company to legal liability is tremendous.
How do we handle emergency situations in a professional manner?
OK, snap back to reality! Take a step back, take a deep breath and let’s professionally handle this situation with the client. GreenLeaf pest control has specific protocols written for these types of situations. Proper assessment and due diligence must occur before you react impulsively. Our goal is to protect everyone involved and correct the pest issue permanently.
Let’s break down this emergency into three simple logical parts.
1: Let’s properly identify and diagnose what the problem is. Is it truly an emergency? Is there a threat to public health and safety? Believe it or not, many times we assemble a team, arrive on site and discover that we are dealing with a black sesame seed or the dreaded bed booger (aka: booger, bogey, snot, nose nugget, etc.). Obviously, in this case someone has miss diagnosed this problem. A simple phone call and picture with a knowledgeable pest control partner would have avoided this crisis. If you are in doubt or a pest cannot be produced, then an extensive inspection or monitoring program needs to occur before treatment.
2: Health Canada and the pesticide label will have clear and concise rules about when, how, and where you can treat. Anytime a pesticide is used, caution needs to be taken. This is especially true when it involves sick people (and pets), children, elderly, food, healthcare facilities or pregnant women. Make sure your client has copies of the SDS and labels before treating. GreenLeaf has AML’s (approved materials lists) that are agreed by and signed off by the client.
3: You also need to consider the REI (Re Entry Interval) and how that affects downtime for the client. Certain labels require the room to be unoccupied and adhere to a specific re-entry interval (e.g. six (6) hours post treatment). In almost every case the room will need to be vented to the outside and the air exchanged. Signage is likely required on doors entering the treated room/area. Unfortunately, these are the most commonly overlooked steps and what will get pest control companies into trouble. Gone are the days of spray and pray that everything goes well.
At GreenLeaf most of our treatment protocols start with pest elimination via HEPA filtered vacuum. By no means am I telling you how to service your clients. Every service provider needs to do what they feel is right for them. From a due diligence standpoint, hopefully you and the facility personnel have determined that there is a pest problem which warrants immediate action. The team (service technician, facility personnel, etc.) has agreed on the products used (AML’s) and understands the REI.
Remember: stop, take a deep breath and break your crisis into logical, simple steps.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Mackie aka Mr. Know Bugs is the VP – Quality Assurance at Greenleaf Pest Control. With over 24 years in the pest protection industry, Mackie is a Toronto, Oakville, Barrie and Newmarket pest control expert. Daniel Mackie is well-known as an industry go-to guy, an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions, and is a regular guest on HGTV. In his free time, he is an avid gardener and beekeeper. According to Mackie: “We are Protectors of Public Health”