What You Must Know as a Home Healthcare Worker to Avoid Bed Bugs

Health Care Worker Bed Bugs

Health Care Worker Bed Bugs

You’re a home healthcare professional, a cable guy, babysitter, or any of the countless other jobs that take you into the homes of others. You haven’t had bed bugs yet? Congratulations! You’ve dodged a bullet… so far.

Bed bugs are very real, very difficult and expensive to treat, and the psychological impact of having them can last a lifetime. Here are some helpful tips to greatly decrease your chances of bringing home the creepy crawlies.

Do not sit on the furniture
This cannot be stressed enough. They’re called bed bugs, but that’s only because bed/chair/couch/recliner/blanket/pillow/ottoman/baseboard/carpet/etc bug would be just too long of a name. They can be anywhere, especially in fabric and wood and are masters at hiding. You can be in the middle of an infestation and not see any unless you know how to look for them. If you’ll be in the home for extended periods, such as sitting with a patient, bring your own folding (preferably metal) chair. If you’re worried about hurting their feelings, tell them it’s the only chair that doesn’t hurt your back.

Take off your clothes
If you’ve been working where you know or think bed bugs are present, take off your clothes before you enter your own home. This hopefully can be done in a garage, but if you have to step in the house, remove your clothes immediately and place them in the dryer. Keep spare clothes and bags in your car to change in your car. Best case:

  1. Remove clothing before entering the house
  2. Place clothing in a bag and seal the bag
  3. The clothing should go directly in the dryer

A full cycle in the dryer will kill any bed bugs you may have carried home.

Don’t place bags on furniture
Bed bugs will crawl on or in your work bag, purse, briefcase just as they will you and your clothes. Bags should be placed on the floor, away from walls, and preferably on a hard floor instead of carpet. You should use bags that are able to go into a dryer without being damaged, so that you can do so if they’ve been exposed to bed bugs.

These precautions will go a long way to keep you bed bug free. Getting bitten on the job is one thing; slightly annoying rash at worst, but what you’re really trying to avoid is bringing them into your home. Use a healthy dose of common sense when working in areas where there are bed bugs. If you have a choice, don’t work there until the area has been treated and elimination of bed bugs has been confirmed. Heed these precautions and you should stay bed bug free.

About Chad

Chad is the creator/owner of Big Bed Bug Blog. As the lead technician for Dead Hot Bugs in Columbus, Ohio he oversees every heat treatment. Trained by the equipment manufacturer, he has been with the company since day one. Prior to that, Chad was a technical writer and IT Business Analyst for a fortune 25 pharmaceutical distributor.


Comments

What You Must Know as a Home Healthcare Worker to Avoid Bed Bugs — 6 Comments

  1. when working in a facility or group home, and there is an out break of bed bugs, shouldn’t all enrolled or family/guardians be made aware of the problem?

    • It would be nice if that was the case. There is still a stigma the having bed bugs means the place is dirty and many facilities try to hide the fact. A better strategy would be to understand that bed bugs are eventually inevitable. It’s not if, but when. They would be better to be open and communicate that they are taking the proper steps to eliminate the bed bugs.

      • I am going to start wkg as a CPS and will be required to go into a clients home and provide services of transportation to the client as well. I personally have had to go through a B.B. NIGHTMARE 2x 6 months apart and lost well over a thousand dollars worth of furniture and bedding due to this mess. I am being treated for Anxiety and am taking several prescriptions for it. I am TERRIFIED of going through this trauma all over again. Will the company I am going to work for provide “training” on what to do in this situation for us in the home health field?

  2. Am i actually required to work in an environment where there are bed bugs & have the company tell me they dont knw when they can get it treated, and to sit on the sofa here they were not spotted? The company was made aware of this problem 5 days ago & as an employee i was not notified of this. Neither were the other staff memebers who have been working here and sleeping here. I feel so upset & completely lacking confidence tha my company has any concern for the well being of their employees or clients for that matter

    • Typo phone erorrs***
      Am i actually required to work in an environment where there are bed bugs & have the company tell me they dont know when they can get it treated, and to sit on the sofa where they were not spotted? The company was made aware of this problem 5 days ago & as an employee I was not notified of this. Neither were the other staff memebers who have been working here and sleeping here. I feel so upset & completely lacking confidence that my company has any concern for the well being of their employees at all or clients for that matter.

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