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For obvious reasons, healthcare facilities need to maintain a higher level of cleanliness and sanitation than other buildings. A pest problem in a hospital can have serious repercussions, so it is important to act on an infestation as soon as you notice there is an issue.
Health Risks and Pests
A pest infestation always comes with the threat of health risks, but especially true for healthcare facilities. Whether the problem is arachnids, insects, or rodents, pests carry a variety of diseases, germs, and viruses. Patients in a hospital typically have weakened immune systems. In this environment, pest exposure presents significant danger to patients. Even outside of the risk to patients, pests can cause severe structural damage that costs you both money and patients.
Pests Common to Healthcare Facilities
All pests represent issues to healthcare facilities, but some are more commonly found than others, such as:
- Ants: These are highly social insects, so finding one is a good indication that there are more nearby. Though any ant in a healthcare facility is cause for worry, the pharaoh ant is perhaps the most dangerous. This breed of ant is known to spread salmonella and streptococcus pyogenes, and is attracted to IV units and open wounds.
- Bed bugs: While these pests are not known to carry disease themselves, people can experience secondary infections from scratching at their bites. Bed bugs are easily brought into hospitals and other healthcare facilities, making their homes in laundry rooms, patient beds, and waiting room furniture.
- Birds: Common pests for larger commercial and industrial buildings, birds are often attracted to the architectural aspects of hospitals, such as eaves and flat roofs. Birds have a tendency to cause mechanical issues, nesting near HVAC units that can also spread dangerous pathogens.
- Cockroaches: One of the most prolific spreaders of bacteria, pathogens, and parasites, cockroaches don't just transmit disease and get into food supplies; they actually compromise the sterility of their environment. Roaches wreak havoc in any setting, but are especially problematic in healthcare facilities.
- Flies: Though easier to prevent and eradicate than many other pests, flies still present the dangers of disease. These insects contaminate food and every surface they touch, spreading bacteria and germs. Flies also defecate nearly constantly, making them incredibly unsanitary.
- Rodents: Most people place rodents at the top of their list when it comes to least-wanted pests. These creatures cause structural damage, spread filth and disease, and burrow their way into any available space.
Benefits of Hiring a Professional
It is always better to hire a professional rather than attempting to solve a pest problem yourself, especially in a healthcare facility. A trained professional knows exactly how to eliminate and/or remove pests in the quickest, safest way possible. Plus, with a professional, you know the job is being done by someone with experience.
Professional pest control services also advise on how to keep your facility pest free, provide and post-treatment steps you should take, and generally help with further pest prevention.
How Much do Hospital Pest Control Services Cost?
The cost of pest control services depends on the type of pest, the severity of the problem, the size of your facility, number of treatments required, and the company you hire. What follows is a general pricing guide to provide an idea of what you can expect to pay for hospital pest control services.
- Regular ant removal is typically included in general pest control treatments, but specific types of ant may have higher costs. Fire ant removal has an average cost between $100 and $300, and carpenter ant removal has an average cost between $500 and $1,000.
- For bed bug removal, an initial inspection may be free, but has an average cost between $150 and $200. Bed bug treatments have an average cost between $250 and $900 per room.
- Fly protection is cheaper than many other services, with monthly protection costing between $20 and $35 per month. Fly lights and mist systems have an average cost between $55 and $295.
- Rodent removal is trickier and often more time consuming. Initial inspections average between $90 and $250, with removal costs ranging from $200 to upwards of $2,000 depending on how many rodents are in the building and the extent of the damage.
If your pest problem is bad enough, you may need consistent, recurring treatments. These costs depend on the contract you sign and the requirements of your specific problem.
Be Proactive with Healthcare Pest Control
The best form of pest control is being proactive. It is important for everyone employed by the healthcare facility to know the proper way to prevent pest problems.
Any signs of ants, flies, or rodent droppings should be cause for immediate concern and needs to be reported. Make sure your staff knows that bed bugs hitch-hike into rooms on people's luggage, or that cockroaches are attracted to dark, wet areas. Everyone should be aware of the things pests are attracted to, as well as the evidence of their presence. It is imperative that any possible pest infestation in a hospital be handled as soon as possible.