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The Five Most Common Pests in Healthcare Facilities

Just as your facility addresses a variety of health concerns, you may also have to address a range of pest pressures. Ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, flies and rodents are among the most common, each of which pose unique threats to your healthcare environment.

For instance, flies can spread disease-causing microorganisms when they land. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mice and rats are known to spread bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli. They are also associated with the spread of hantavirus and more than 35 other diseases.

Patients with weakened immune systems in healthcare facilities face a greater risk of infection, so restricting their exposure to pest activity is crucial.

Below is a quick introduction to the common pests that you should be on the lookout for – for the full list, check out Healthcare Pest Control from a Patient’s Perspective.

  1. Ants are resilient pests because their diet habits change over time, their colonies can have massive populations, they can travel long distances to find food and they go to great lengths to protect their colonies.
  1. Bed bugs are exclusive blood feeders, making them reliant on human hosts. They reproduce and spread quickly, but they aren’t known to transmit human diseases.
  1. Cockroaches are a major health concern, as they can spread disease, contaminate food, trigger allergies and even cause asthma.
  1. House flies, phorid flies, cluster flies, blow flies and fruit flies are all pests that can affect healthcare facilities. House flies are especially filthy. They’re associated with more than 100 pathogens and carry twice as many pathogens as cockroaches.
  1. Rodents are known carriers of numerous deadly diseases. They don’t need a large opening to get inside: rats can squeeze through an opening as small as a quarter, while a mouse can fit into a hole smaller than a dime.

For a full guide on how to prevent these pests in various healthcare settings, check out The Fundamentals of Healthcare Pest Control.

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