More pest-management companies are being called to exterminate bedbugs in hospitals and nursing homes, according to a survey by the National Pest Management Association cited in a MarketWatch article on Yahoo! Finance.
The article says a third of pest-management companies had been contracted in 2012 to address bedbugs in a hospital, more than twice as many as in 2010. Nursing homes have likewise seen an increasing incidence of bedbugs, with 46 percent of contractors being called to address bedbugs in this facility type in 2012, almost double what it was in 2010.
Keeping bedbugs out of hospitals is nearly impossible, due to the high rate of visitors to the facilities. And though bedbugs themselves do not pose an immediate health hazard, when patients scratch at the itchy bite marks they could easily create entry routes for serious pathogens, like MRSA, the article says.
As nursing home residents are frequently transferred to hospitals, the higher incidence of bedbugs in nursing homes also poses a challenge for hospitals, says the article.
The article also touches on a new technology being developed to sterilize medical spaces, targeting both drug-resistant bacteria and bedbugs. At this time the system, which uses a gas, can kill bacteria in an hour but takes almost a day and a half to kill bedbug eggs. Therefore, in hospitals professional extermination is the primary line of defense against bedbugs, the article says.
Read the article.