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Bed Bug Infestations Challenge Senior Living Communities

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is working to revoke the license of an assisted living community in Tabor City, because of an “imminent danger to the health, safety and welfare of the residents."

The assisted living community's license to operate was ordered to be suspended on September 22nd or when the last of the 71 residents’ placement had been arranged.
The cause of this emergency relocation? Bed bugs. Once in the community, bed bugs multiply and spread quickly. They can wreak havoc throughout the building, and their bites can leave itchy red welts.

Understand the Threat of Bed Bugs in Senior Living Communities

Relocation puts an emotional strain on senior living residents, who have built friendships within their community, and strips them of their familiar surroundings. Removing residents from the place they call home is extremely detrimental, but can be necessary if a bed bug infestation threatens their health and wellness.

It is the responsibility of each senior living community to be prepared for infestations and know how to manage the problem efficiently and effectively. Staff must have the tools needed to minimize the risk of a bed bug infestation and understand the necessary steps to take if your community encounters bed bugs. 

Preventive measures: 

  • Training – Your staff are the eyes and ears of your community. Train them to recognize the signs of bed bugs, which can include bed bugs in any life stage, cast skins, and dark stains left by fecal matter. Bed bugs are habitually nocturnal, making it hard to immediately recognize when you do have them. Remember to look for bed bugs in dark, quiet places, which is where they retreat when they aren’t actively feeding.
  • Inspection – Ensure that your housekeeping staff and other personnel are conducting regular inspections for signs of bed bugs. A good time to do this is when staff members are cleaning or performing other services. Remember that these pests aren’t limited to mattresses. They can hide in the box springs, headboards, electrical outlets, and nearby furniture.
  • Notification – Contact your pest management professional in the event that your staff should find signs of bed bugs. He or she will be able to positively identify the pest and recommend a course of treatment.
  • Plan of Action – Upon positive identification, you should be prepared to follow the action and treatment protocol that you have developed with your pest management professional’s recommendations. This could include stripping the room of linens, which should be laundered separately from other bedding, preparing furniture for topical treatment, or disposing of infested items.

Take Action to Prepare Your Community

Learn about the causes of bed bug infestations and how to reduce the chances of one striking your community.
Publication Date: December 2012
Member : $100
Non-Member Cost: $150

Orkin bed bug slide

Read more about the Tabor City assisted living community.

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