Long-Term Care

Trainer’s tip: Controlling and eliminating bed bugs

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, November 3, 2011

Maintain a high degree of suspicion for bed bugs (and/or scabies) if staff members or residents have rashes, or if the bed linen has tiny blood stains on it. When checking for bed bugs, shining a flashlight and aiming a hot hair dryer into the crevices will help force the insects out. As a temporary control measure, vacuum all carpeting, furnishings, and cracks and crevices in walls and floors thoroughly. When finished, discard the vacuum cleaner bag in a sealed plastic bag.

Determine whether your community requires reporting infestations to the local health authority. Bed bugs are all but impossible to eliminate without exterminator treatments. Even then, elimination is difficult, and eradicating the pests involves throwing out as many objects in the room as possible, then either freezing nonwashable items for 48 hours or exposing items to high temperatures. The most difficult part of the eradication effort is finding and eliminating the eggs. The exterminator must return seven to 10 days after the initial treatment and repeat the application to eliminate newly hatched bugs.

This is an excerpt from the HCPro book, The Long-Term Care Nursing Desk Reference, Second Edition, by Barbara Acello, MS, RN.

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