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Health System Management • December 2016

16 WWW.HEALTHSYSTEMMGMT.COM “A good pest control partner can assess your pest risks, implement a custom plan to manage pests and monitor for any problems that arise.” high-speed fans mounted at entrances and exits. DEFEND YOUR STORAGE AND RECEIVING AREAS Unlike people coming to your facility, pests don’t have to use the main entrances to sneak inside. Pests not only can squeeze under receiving doors, but also can sneak in on shipments. • Keep storage and receiving areas clean, well-lit and uncluttered — pests love clutter because it gives them places to hide. • Ensure that all containers are tightly closed and store them at least six inches off of the floor and 18 inches away from walls. • Throw away or recycle cardboard boxes whenever you can, as cockroaches can find shelter within the ridges of the corrugation. They can even eat the glue if pressed for a meal. • Make sure that exterior doors form a tight seal when closed, and that all delivery trucks and incoming shipments are inspected for pest activity right away. • Keep doors closed as much as possible. Any time a door is propped open or left ajar, a pest has a chance to sneak inside. KEEP UP WITH TRASH AND SPILLS Pests have the same basic needs as people — they require food, water and shelter to survive. But just a few leftover crumbs and spilled fluids can create enough meals to sustain a population. Here are some suggestions for preventing this. • Keep trash handling areas free from clutter and accumulated waste, and ask your sanitation crew or waste management company to clean and switch out trash bins regularly. • Make sure trash cans are emptied and liners are changed on a daily basis. Trash buildup is a major attractant for flies. • Use an organic cleaning solution to break down tough stains and grime on floors and around drains. Organic cleaners use naturally occurring enzymes and beneficial bacteria to degrade stains and grime, which can help reduce the presence of drain flies. BE ON GUARD AGAINST BED BUGS The harsh truth is that bed bugs can be found anywhere, as they are excellent survivors and hitchhikers. Unlike pests such as cockroaches or flies, these bloodsuckers can survive and thrive in the cleanest of environments — as long as there is a blood meal available to them. Here are some steps you can take to help prevent an infestation. • Regularly monitor for bed bugs, which are about the size of an apple seed as adults, and are known to hide out in mattress seams, in the corners of box springs, under buckling wallpaper or in the edges of carpet. • Look for their calling cards — small, ink-colored stains or cast skins they leave behind on mattress seams and pictures, under seat cushions and behind headboards. Should you find any of these signs, you should alert your pest management professional immediately. • Ask your pest management professional to provide staff training, as many offer training for free and can supply educational materials such as tip sheets and checklists. • Establish a bed bug policy for your workers and guests that will encourage them to take preventive measures and report any possible infestations, whether at work or at home. Remember, employees must be vigilant even outside work hours so they don’t bring bed bugs into your facility from home. • Should bed bug activity be spotted, if possible, take the affected room — and the surrounding rooms — out of service immediately and don’t disturb the area any more than you have to. Leave everything in these rooms and keep the scene untouched so that pest management professionals can diagnose the source of the problem and treat it thoroughly. When it comes to implementing an IPM program, a good pest control partner can assess your pest risks, implement a custom plan to manage pests and monitor for any problems that arise. Talk with a pest management provider today to see what IPM strategies can be put in place at your facility. COVER STORY HEALTH SYSTEM MANAGEMENT | DECEMBER | 2016 WEBEXTRA Strong hygiene and sterilization practices are an important way to prevent infestation in healthcare facilities. For further ideas on promoting cleanliness in your facility, read “A New Method to Boost Hand Hygiene Compliance” at www.HealthSystemMgmt.com


Health System Management • December 2016
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