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Nasties In Nursing Homes

Wednesday July 25, 2012

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Mr Pest Control

Question:

What is a good product to use for pest control for spiders, cockroaches, ants, etc. in nursing homes where patients are present?

Mr Pest Control

Answer:

A huge consideration here is the physical condition of the people in these kinds of facilities. They likely are going to be older people with serious medical issues, and exposing them or potentially exposing them to toxins is not a good thing to do. There are many insecticide products labeled for use in "Hospitals and Health Care Facilities" and you can review our listing of these on PestWeb in our Product Documents resource, selecting the tab Products by Approved Site / Structures / Commercial Structures. Many or all of these would be effective on these kinds of diverse pests that you mention, but the concern is whether or not they should be applied when the patients are actually present in the room. I suggest that you would be much better off avoiding this, and if a specific room did need to be treated with a "spray" application of any kind the patients in that room should be moved out during the application and until any spray has dried. 


It is likely that the majority of the products labeled for nursing homes are going to mandate this anyhow, and if we pick a single example - Alpine Pressurized Insecticide - the Label states clearly "Do not apply this product in hospital patient rooms or nursing home patient rooms while occupied by the patient". Even if the Label does not mandate evacuating the room first you probably should have this policy in place yourself to lower your liability. For cockroaches and ants, if treating within the rooms themselves is necessary, you might consider sticking to bait products and non-chemical techniques. Bait gels do not normally require people to be removed from the room as there is no chance of airborne exposure to the active ingredient. Non-chemical techniques include removal of obvious food resources that are attracting these pests to the rooms, vacuuming for removal, and sealing all crevices that serve as entry or harborage points. 

Spider control within any room should be done with a vacuum, as the presence of spiders is going to be only one here and there and easily taken care of with the vacuum. Then, take the fight for the spiders OUTSIDE where they are coming from, and this should be the case for ants as well. Applications of insecticides around the perimeter of the structure are not going to impact anyone on the inside, and if you can intercept them outside before they get in, then all the better. The use of one of the excellent non-repellent insecticides that gives a good transfer effect should be great for eliminating local ant colonies. Do take the time to inspect the exterior carefully, and note in writing where you find contributing conditions that are encouraging these pests to be there. This may be dense vegetation that covers the soil, excessively wet soils, piles of debris that are unnecessary, or plants whose branches touch the structure, etc. Changing the look of the exterior to discourage the pests from being there close to the structure will be very helpful in keeping them outside. 

Mr. Pest Control

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Please note, Mr. Pest Control is answering questions supplied by PMP customers across North America. His answers are generated from industry and manufacturer-provided information. The answer may not be specific to the laws and regulations for your State, Province, Territory or Country. In addition, products mentioned may not be registered and or available in all areas. Always check with your local Univar office for specific information to your area. Always read and follow label directions.

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