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Resource Provides Tools To Fight Bed Bugs

Missed ALFA’s bed bug webinar series? Check out the highlights or get a comprehensive look at how to detect and eliminate bed bugs in your senior living community by listening to the full webinar recording in ALFA’s new bed bug tool kit.

Professionals Share Advice and Tips

In November, 100 senior living professionals signed up for the Bed Bug 101 Webinar, and another group of individuals continued their training via the NAB certified Advanced Webinar Series: Effective Bed Bug Detection and Management in Senior Living Communities. Orkin Commercial Services, Willis, LLC, and Elmcroft Senior Living all presented a wealth of information to provide senior living companies the necessary tools to minimize the risk of a bed bug infestation and manage bed bugs if found in their community.

“The Effective Bed Bug Detection and Management in Senior Care Living Communities webinar provided invaluable information to enhance our current bed bug policy and risk management program,” said Shannon Dentel, RN, Director of Clinical Compliance and Public Policy at Carlton Senior Living and participant in the advanced webinar series. “PowerPoint presentations, management tips, action checklist, white paper, and sample policies gave us the tools we need to ensure we take proactive steps to help prevent outbreaks from occurring and know how to immediately respond if they are detected.”

Among the valuable information shared, Shannon outlined her top five important takeaways for senior living providers.

  • The identification process is difficult, especially since many people will not have initial reactions to bed bug bites. In fact, the chance of a reaction after the first bed bug bite is less than 5 percent. Bites are relatively painless and may start as red, raised areas on the body. If routine inspections are not performed, residents could be silently plagued for months before it becomes a disastrous community wide outbreak.
  • It is so important to educate everyone from staff, residents, and families. This is an international problem, which is becoming more prevalent, not only in the public, but in assisted living and other senior living communities as well.  Residents, families, and staff must all know what to watch for and report on. Then, swift and correct action must be taken before one incident turns into a community wide disaster.
  • A good relationship with your pest management professional can be extremely helpful. Ask questions about types of treatments, and invite them to your safety committee a couple times a year to review your plan.
  • Communities should develop a move-in policy on bed bugs. In order to properly educate and inform residents and families about your bed bug management program, providers are advised to develop a FAQ sheet in the move-in paperwork.  A community should also decide to only accept new mattresses or, at the very least, require all mattresses and box springs to be fully encased and discourage residents from obtaining second hand furniture.
  • Ongoing inspections are key. Providers should execute a thorough inspection on all mattresses, box springs, and other furniture before moving the items into the community as well as ongoing weekly, monthly, and quarterly inspections. If regular inspections are not performed, one bed bug can easily turn into thousands in a matter of months.


Download the Tool Kit for Your Community

Bed Bugs in senior living communities

Download the Effective Bed Bug Detection and Management in Senior Living Communities Tool Kit to watch the full, recorded Webinar series and acquire tools such as: a sample bed bug policy, ALFA’s Top 10 Bed Bug Management Tips, a sample checklist and more. 


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