02/21/2019 | 3 Pests That Most Commonly Spread Disease
Pest control is important for any commercial property, of course, but it’s absolutely essential for healthcare facilities. Hospitals, long-term care facilities, physical rehabilitation centers, and properties like them need to be especially vigilant for pest infestations. Your recovering patients or clients may be particularly susceptible to pest-borne diseases. The last thing you want is your patients getting sick where they’re supposed to be recovering!
Healthcare pest management can be an intimidating undertaking. Pests are capable of spreading bacteria, contaminating surfaces, and compromising medical equipment. The first step you should take toward better healthcare pest management is information gathering. You need to know which pests are most dangerous to your facility and what you can do about them. We want to help you get started. These are the three pests that most commonly spread disease--and how you can keep them away.
Mosquitoes are responsible for more damage to human beings than any other insect on the planet. Mosquito-borne diseases lead to over a million deaths each year. According to the World Health Organization, malaria alone caused more than 438,000 deaths in 2015. Mosquitoes are part of a subset of insects known as diptera, also referred to as flies. They're distinguished by their proboscis and hair-like scales. Mosquitoes are frustratingly hardy and difficult to eradicate, which makes their infestations particularly dangerous.
Mosquitoes are often responsible for the proliferation and transmission of several dangerous diseases. They’re capable of carrying the West Nile virus, viral encephalitis, Dengue fever, Zika virus, malaria and more. The best way to prevent mosquitos is to maintain stringent cleanliness protocols. They’re more likely to be drawn in by a mess than most other pests. Stick to strict garbage processing protocols. Sterilize everything, and as often as possible. Consider investing in regular fly drain treatments. You’d be surprised how much a little extra sanitation helps prevent mosquitoes.
The United States Center for Disease Control lists over sixteen different pathogens carried and spread by ticks. While not as imminently deadly as mosquitoes, ticks-borne illnesses may cause fevers, rashes, gastrointestinal distress, and other problems. Your patients may already have compromised immune systems, which could make these symptoms considerably more dangerous.
Ticks hitch rides on people and their pets. If you don’t find them quickly enough, they may begin to reproduce in their new environment and spread out. To prevent ticks from spreading, keep a close eye on areas where they like to lay eggs. Indoors, ticks typically reproduce near baseboards and entry points. Vacuum those spaces thoroughly every day, and throw out the bag when you’re done. You should also take care to wash uniforms and linens as frequently as possible.
Rats and mice have both inflicted quite bit of damage to the health of human beings. Remember the plague? Rodents may spread the life-threatening hantavirus, as well as salmonella, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, and more. They also tend to bring their mess with them wherever they go, which can also introduce health hazards.
The best way to prevent rodent infestations is to focus on strict cleanliness procedures. Control rodents’ access to food, water, shelter, and warmth wherever possible. You should also try to figure out how rats and mice get into your building in the first place. Check your building’s entrances, exits, window frames, and outer perimeter regularly. Look for holes, cracks, loose screens, or any other potential entry points. Seal and fix them as soon as you see them. If they can't get in, they can't harm your patients.
If you want to learn more about how to protect your healthcare facility from pests, give Assured Environments a call anytime. Our experts have the skill, tools, and years of experience to protect you, your business, and your patients. We keep New York healthcare safe, one pest removal at a time.