Pulling Back the Sheets on the Bed Bug Controversy

By Ron Harrison, Ph.D., B.C.E. and Bill Lawrence, Ph.D., B.C.E.

May 22, 2017 | Formats: White Paper | Content Areas: Administration, Environmental Sanitation Operations, Regulatory Compliance | Tags: Beds, Chemicals , Contracting, Cost Management, Disaster/Outbreak Preparedness, Environmental hygiene and sanitation, Infection Prevention and Epidemiology, Laundry and Textiles, Linen , Pest Control, Process Improvement

Bed bugs exhibit a number of unique characteristics that make them problematic pests: parasites that are almost exclusive to humans; bites that frequently produce no reaction; nocturnal feeders that stay out of sight during the day, making them difficult to detect. The severity of the risk presented to humans is inconclusive. Clearly, further research is needed to define the degree of the the threat that bed bugs pose. Until then, prevention and early detection are the best practices.

Health care providers will need to rely on their staff for an effective monitoring and prevention strategy. Working hand in hand with your pest management professional, staff education and cooperation is essential to identifying and reporting potential bed bug infestations. Your pest management professional can educate employees about the pests, harborage points and signs of their presence. They can also train staff on sanitation practices and monitoring activities that will reduce the risk of a bed bug infestation and ensure that if bed bugs do enter your facility, they don't take up residence.

As the debate around bed bug continues to evolve and further research brings to light new information about these pests, the prevention and management practices will also evolve. In the meantime, rest easy with a proactive approach and the advice of a trained pest management professional.