Cold weather can attract pests seeking warmth and shelter in health care facilities. Learn effective strategies, including sanitation and pest management, to protect patients this winter.
Effective pest control is critical to every industry—especially health care facilities, where pests can pose serious health risks to patients and damage a facility’s reputation. These issues can increase during periods of colder weather as pests use cracks and crevices to flee the outdoors, seeking food, water, and shelter inside.
From winter invaders (like rodents) to overwintering pests (such as stink bugs and ladybugs), these pests can cause a host of issues: the spread of diseases and pathogens, allergic reactions, product and food contamination, property damage, nuisance issues and general discomfort amongst patients and visitors.
Read on to learn more about the strategies you should take this winter to help prevent common seasonal pests in your facility and keep patients safe during the colder months.
Winter Pest Control Prevention Tips
Winter pests are best handled by an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach: an all-inclusive, ongoing, and proactive program focused on prevention for your facility. A successful IPM program:
A pest control provider should establish a comprehensive IPM program by:
Once your IPM program is in place, start with proactive exclusion tactics. Exclusion refers to techniques that include repairing, sealing off, and shutting down common pest entry points around your facility. This season’s pests are notoriously difficult to treat, often requiring conventional solutions and more specialized pest treatments. Keeping them out in the first place helps you avoid a long winter of battling pests, and an outright pest explosion come spring.
For the optimal partnership with your pest control provider, always provide documentation of pest sightings and spotting trends in your facility. Implementing a process for staff to report any signs of pest activity can help keep employees engaged and on the lookout. Always maintain open lines of communication with your pest control provider and communicate the importance of preventative measures internally.
Winter Sanitation & Maintenance
Proper sanitation practices are crucial to mitigating any potential pest issues in your facility all year round, but they are essential during the cold and flu season. As most pests are attracted to food debris, standing water, and clutter, eliminating these attractants as much as possible will help deter winter pests. There are several simple practices you can do to help keep your facility clean and safe:
Navigating pest control in your health care facility requires intentional sanitation practices to keep patients and staff safe. You can help preserve your facility’s reputation and success by fostering an open communication environment and trust.
Help Safeguard Your Health Care Facility This Winter
As the colder months approach, pests seek refuge indoors, posing a significant threat to the hygienic environment crucial for patient wellbeing. Implementing rigorous pest control measures and maintaining impeccable sanitation practices during winter helps safeguard patients' health and safety and upholds the integrity of health care facilities through a dedication to cleanliness and infection control.