Pest control in hospitals is important to maintain cleanliness and prevent the spread of disease. However, many pest control chemicals are toxic and can expose patients, staff, and visitors to harmful compounds, threatening health. Since hospitals are operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there is no “after-business” window with reduced exposure risks to safely apply chemicals.
Hospitals looking to reduce the number of pest control chemicals used in their facilities are turning to integrated pest management programs that eliminate regularly scheduled pesticide applications. Instead, non-chemical approaches eliminate the factors that attract pests or help pests thrive, including finding ways to block pest access to food and water through:
- Improved sanitation
- Physical barriers
- Proper storage
If pesticides are needed to control a pest problem, most integrated pest management plans also include a list of specific, less-toxic substances that can be used only when necessary.
Successful integrated pest management is a partnership between the pest control provider and the facility. Practice Greenhealth offers resources to help our members develop an integrated pest management plan, including tools to identify the pest control providers who do this work well. Our goal is to provide step-by-step resources that will make it simpler for any hospital with a pesticide reduction goal to design, implement, and measure the success of their efforts.