According to Pest Control Technology Magazine, the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) has designated this week – June 7 through June 13 – as Bed Bug Awareness Week. Bed Bug Awareness Week is designed to educate the public about how to prevent and detect bed bug infestations.
Bed Bug Infestations On the Rise
According to National Pest Management Association (NPMA), there is a widespread increase in the prevalence of bed bug infestations. An industry survey conducted last year, which was released in conjunction with Bed Bug Awareness Week, reported that nearly 100% of pest control professionals in the United States treated bed bug infestations within the last year. The infestations are increasing in the most commonly problematic locations, such as homes, offices, and hotels.
Given those numbers, it is no surprise that bed bugs are a major concern, particularly for renters; Consumer Affairs notes that renters are more concerned about bed bugs than about other pests. Fear of a bed bug infestation from having picked up bed bugs at a hotel or on public transportation is for well-founded. Bed bugs can cause a lot of issues and it can take a lot of effort (and money) to rid your house of them.
Health Care and Bed Bugs
If it wasn’t bad enough to worry about bed bugs in a hotel room, on a bus, or in your home, recent articles have raised a new concern – bed bugs at your health care facility. According to NPR, the survey revealed that almost 60% of pest control professionals found bed bugs in nursing homes. 36% of professionals reported finding bed bugs in hospitals and 26% reported finding bed bugs in doctors’ offices.
Bed bugs pose different problems in different health care facilities.In hospitals, because cleaning staff, nurses, and doctors are vigilant about cleaning and the space is more brightly lit, bed bugs are generally found quickly and more easily contained. Hospital infestations are more likely to be confined to a small number of rooms in the hospital.
In contrast, bed bug infestations at nursing homes can pose a larger problem. The infestations are more difficult to treat because there are a lot more things in each room. In addition to furniture, there are linens that need to be washed, as well as all of the resident’s personal belongings.
NPMA has published guidelines for treatment and prevention of bed bug infestations in health care settings. Some of the prevention measures recommended include targeting high-risk areas, such as long-term care, psychiatric wards, waiting rooms, laundry, and furniture storage areas. The guidelines also recommend empowering staff and medical personnel to be alert for signs of an infestation, for designated staff members to do routine inspections for bed bugs, and for staff and visitors to be encouraged to report evidence of bites or infestation.
If you or a loved one has been plagued by bed bugs and the infestation was not addressed in a timely or effective manner, contact our attorneys to discuss your situation and learn what options may be available to you. We are ready to work with individuals or groups to discuss individual cases, as well as potential class action matters.
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