Hospitals and Healthcare

Pest Control for Hospitals and Healthcare Vancouver, Portland, Beaverton

Pest control in hospitals and health care facilities presents a real challenge. Obviously, pests are unacceptable in a doctor’s office or any healthcare setting. Common structural pests like cockroaches and flies are known to transmit very serious diseases and obviously have no place in a healthcare setting. But even pests that aren’t known to transmit diseases make your facility seem less healthy to patients and can undermine its reputation as a place of health and healing.

Residential facilities like hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers are especially challenging. Think about it: hospitals are very attractive places for pests. They can find everything they need: food, warmth, shelter, and even a steady supply of transient human beings to ferry them there on their persons and in their belongings. Most cases of bed bugs in hospitals, for example, begin when bed bugs are carried in by patients.

In addition, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and nursing homes also have food-preparation and food-service facilities, garbage storage areas, dumpsters, receiving areas, laundry rooms, and other areas that are high-risk areas for pest infestations in any case. Incoming food shipments, in particular, are common sources of infestation by cockroaches. Exterior trash storage areas can be breeding grounds for rodents and flying insects. Utility tunnels and chase ways can be entry points for rats and mice. And a hospital’s many patient entrances can allow flying insects into the hospital.

Long story short, to a pest control professional, hospitals combine pretty much everything that makes a building vulnerable to pest infestation.

Integrated Pest Management at Hospitals

Obviously, old-fashioned “exterminating” methods, such as spraying baseboards with powerful, neurotoxic chemicals formulated with volatile solvents, have no place in a health care facility. Pest control in hospitals, nursing homes, and other residential health care settings requires an approach that relies primarily on non-chemical control measures, and minimizes the use of pesticides.

That’s why hospital pest control and Bugaboo Pest Control are a perfect match. We were the first pest control company in the Portland and Vancouver area to be founded with a specific commitment to environmentally-friendly IPM. That was almost three decades ago, and we still pride ourselves on our commitment to providing pest control services in a health-conscious, environmentally-friendly way. As we often say, we were green long before being green became all the rage.

Our Hospital and Health Care IPM programs are based on a philosophy that incorporates a set of practices that has proven to be the most effective and most environmentally-friendly protocol for pest management in health-related facilities, specifically:

  1. Communication

    More so than at any other kind of account, hospitals need an effective, easy-to-use communication system that allows any staff member to quickly and efficiently report even the most minor pest control concerns. We accomplish this through the use of centralized log books and reporting slips that make it easy for staff members to alert us to problems without distracting them from their medical duties.

  2. Inspection, Inspection, Inspection

    We often say that if we hadn’t become exterminators, we probably would have become detectives. That’s because we never stop looking. We look for pest problems, obviously, but we also look for problems that may favor pest problems in the future. For example, we look for things like:

    • Cracks and crevices that can provide harborage for pests.
    • Missing or improperly-installed door sweeps, broken or unscreened windows, and other potential pest ingress areas.
    • Areas in need of sanitation attention.
    • Spilled or improperly-stored food items.
    • Overflowing or damaged dumpsters (those with poorly-fitting lids, for example).
    • Leaks and other moisture problems.

    To assist us in inspecting, we use a variety of non-toxic traps and monitoring devices, including pheromone traps when needed. These traps not only provide early warning, but also serve a control purpose, especially in the case of stored food pests.

  3. Non-Chemical Control Measures

    As is the case with all of our pest control services, our pest control plans for hospitals rely on non-chemical control as the primary pest control strategy. In fact, we consider it a success when our technicians don’t apply any pesticides at all during a routine visit.

    Depending on your building and your specific pest problems, the non-chemical control measures we’ll employ will consist of some combination of the following:

    • Inspection, of course. (Did we mention that we never stop inspecting?)
    • Identification and sealing or potential pest entry and harborage areas. This is known as “pest exclusion” in the lingo of our profession.
    • Caulking of cracks and crevices in the kitchen, food storage, and food service areas.
    • Correction of moisture problems (clogged drains, leaky faucets, etc.).
    • Non-toxic pheromone traps, light traps, sticky traps, or mechanical rodent traps, if needed at your hospital.
    • Air curtains at entrances and exits, if needed.
    • Pest-resistant chimney caps and ventilation covers, bird spikes, and other wildlife-exclusion measures, if needed.

    Depending on the nature of the problem, we’ll either correct these problems ourselves, or notify your maintenance or housekeeping staff so they may address them. In either case, we will report our findings, actions, and recommendations to your designated contact person, and record same in your pest control log book.

  4. Judicious Application of Pesticides

    When absolutely needed, we apply the smallest, most precise dosages of the least-hazardous pest control products that will be effective at clearing up the particular pest problem. All of the products we use are specifically labeled for hospital and health care facilities, and fall into the EPA’s lowest hazard class, except for a few that are so non-toxic that the EPA doesn’t even require them to be registered as pesticides.

    When we say “precise application,” we mean exactly that. It’s not at all uncommon for our technicians to treat an entire facility using only a few grams of insecticide, applied as a gel bait, and injected into cracks with a syringe. We don’t practice the old-fashioned “surround and drown” method of pest control. The less pesticide we apply, the better it is for all concerned.

    Whether you’re a private-practice physician, dentist, chiropractor, mental health provider, or other health professional with an outpatient office; a freestanding urgent care center; a medical laboratory; or the administrator of a hospital, nursing home, or residential rehabilitation center; we can custom-design an Integrated Pest Management plan that is guaranteed to be tough on pests, but easy on your patients and our environment. Please contact us for a non-obligation inspection and consultation.