We chatted to pest control expert Eberhard Niklaus, about the best way of going about selecting a pest control provider for a hospital or medical facility. Before you send out an RFP (Request for Proposal) for a hospital pest management service provider, familiarise yourself with the following considerations:

What industry certifications should a hospital pest management provider have?

A pest control service provider should be a member of SAPCA (SA Pest Control Association). Additionally, they should have a thorough understanding and commitment to best practice of food safety and infection control in sterile environments like a hospital or clinic

How regularly do hospitals need to have pest control services rendered?

At a minimum, medical facilities should have this done monthly. During hot, wet summer months, high risk areas may require more frequent treatments to ensure pests such as flies, for example, do not become problematic. Food-safety principles dictate a minimum of a monthly service (which auditors require evidence of). Medical facilities are audited for compliance with food and safety requirements, in particular, SANS 10049 and ISO/TS 2202-1 standards.

Are there certain types of chemicals or practices that should be avoided in a hospital environment?

For one, pesticides should only be used as a last resort. Initial pest management steps will include inspection, exclusion, sanitation and hygiene safeguards in order to prevent the presence of pests. When pests are present and pesticides need to be used, only low-odour or odourless insecticide formulations should be used, and should be used in a manner that does not allow them to become airborne. In addition, care should be taken around sensitive electronic or medical diagnostic equipment.

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Are there any other considerations to bear in mind when hiring a pest management provider?

A reputable pest management company should also have access to the services of a consulting entomologist, who will make recommendations in the event of unusual pest infestation on the hospital premises.

Another important requirement to expect from a reputable hospital pest management company is their ability to offer training on concurrent measures which hospital staff are responsible for as part of their integrated pest management solution.

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