Nursing management agrees that a healthy environment for residents comes as a priority. No doubt, keeping the pests out is a mission. Recently, attacks from ants have made industry insiders and the public aware that pests can be dangerous for patients.
But pests are also a threat to nursing homes. An infected environment can affect the reputation of a long-term facility. Unfortunately, these facilities are inviting targets for different pests. Heavy traffic in and out of various entries, in a combination with laundry, food service, and storage places, makes effective pest prevention daunting.
Making the task harder, pesticides need to be used sparingly. If the exposure is too much to certain pesticides, it will lead to health effects, especially among the older ones.
Management should know which pests to take care of, and where the facility’s vulnerabilities are. Usually, one or more pests are the real reason for the trouble, and some areas inside the nursing homes can get the infestation.
What is integrated pest management?
IPM is a particular method to approach pest control. The major goal of integrated pest management is removing the infestations that exist already and prevent the ones that can come up in the future.
The management tends to make sparing use of pesticides because they are not good for the environment and hardly offer success for a longer period.
Instead, IPM has a lot of knowledge of controlling pests and the importance of passing this knowledge effectively. By focusing more on the reason for pests’ infestation, IPM offers permanent solutions than any other temporary method.
What can be dangerous for one’s health?
The flies are a nuisance, which can rapidly spread germs. As they cover the distance in no time, they are in the garbage for a minute and then the next minute on the food. Flies carry germs such as E Coli, staphylococcus and salmonella, and can get certain bacteria wherever they sit. The reproduction of the flies is rapid and cannot be controlled when they enter.
Pharaohs’ ants have been believed to climb to IV bags, open wounds, or used bandages. As they reside in walls, it will be difficult to find and control them once they are established.
If the procedure to control it is long, it might lead to disaster. Mainly, fire ants, which are red, can be of greater threat to health. Many patients have been attacked by them and various cases have been reported, which are fatal.
Rodents know and get attracted easily to the food which is served in the facilities. Some time ago, rats used to carry Black Plague with the fleas. Nowadays, rodents carry certain diseases with names which they might not have heard of – typhus and Hantavirus comprising life-taking symptoms.
Recently, it has been found by scientists in Hong Kong to transmit SARS. Additionally while threatening the health of residents, rodents can also damage the property by burrowing in walls, chewing, or any other structure.
Only a sight of a cockroach is enough to disgust and startle families and residents. But, as a threat to administrators, cockroaches carry certain bacteria which can lead to diseases like diarrhea, pneumonia, and food poisoning.
A dropping of any cockroach can also lead to asthmatic conditions and allergies.
While these are not regarded as pests, birds can prove to be infected for humans carrying transmutable diseases and 40 viruses, which include salmonellosis, which is a kind of food poisoning, and encephalitis, on inflammation of the brain.
If not treated on time, the droppings of a dry bird can enter the ventilation of a building and be inhaled by employees and residents. Inhaling these particles can lead to histoplasmosis, a respiratory infection that can cause death.
Why is integrated pest management ideal for healthcare?
IPM is perfect for healthcare pest control because of such reasons:
- The management follows healthcare environmental standards
Integrated management follows accreditation healthcare standards by its nature. The methods based on evidence and knowledge that are used by the practitioners to treat pest issues automatically live up to the standards of JCAHO.
- It aims to focus on the targeted and chemical-free approach
Healthcare facilities need to follow strict rules and regulations. You need to be careful about what is introduced to the facility. Integrated management doesn’t use techniques that are sweeping and big such as fogging or spraying on the facility. These techniques are not only unhealthy but are also ineffective.
In spite of this, the major focus of integrated management is to find and remove the source of water, food, and shelter where the pests come from and look for them. The target of IPM is to find out the reason for pests entering your facility, instead of just forcing them out.
- IPM helps in improving the facility and prevent pest permanently
Various programs related to controlling pests offer standard hygiene and pesticide application advice. Unfortunately, the advice doesn’t usually apply to healthcare facilities. One thing that you must know is that the environment is clean, and you don’t need to spray pesticides everywhere.
Luckily, the advice and training of IPM go way beyond the conventional standard. The practitioners know how the specific facility can be protected from pests. Different ways will be suggested to keep the perimeter protected and even let the staff know to identify and get rid of the pest infestations.
- It needs more expertise
IPM needs specialized training and knowledge. The practitioners know behavior patterns, biology, reproductive habits, and a lot more where pest infestations can be controlled. The latest technology is used, along with analysis tools and best practices. If IPM services are offered by the company, it means they know what they are doing.
Choosing a pest management professional
As applying pesticides the wrong way and pest infestations can both be serious for a long-term facility, many of them outsource their pest management to professionals.
In many cases, professional providers have in-depth knowledge and a lot of years of experience in preventing pests. Make sure to choose wisely.