Bed Bugs, a commentary from Gerald (Jerry) Starr, Executive Director; West Side Health Care District

Have you ever heard: “Good Night, Sleep tight and don’t let the Bed Bugs Bite!”? Well, that may have been a comment as mom or dad tucked us in for the night a generation ago; but, recently? Bed Bugs have re-emerged as a “for real” household pest. Bed bugs are an annoying and biting pest! Bed bugs, if present in your home, are a real concern to control-and-“a must” for you to remove yourself and the family from exposure!

We at the District and the Clinic sincerely appreciate the very complete and common-sense approach that the Taft City School District has taken in caring for their students and their families who may be faced with bed bug problems. We thank them for sharing their Policy with us.

For the staff of your West Side Family Health Care Clinic the presence of bed bugs in the Clinic is a very real concern. Patients with a medical problem that present when they have bed bugs on their clothing or person, may, unknowingly, create an exposure for our staff, other patients and visitors to the effects of bed bug bites.

When the Clinic becomes aware that there is a real or suspected presence of bed bugs we take actions to prevent exposure to staff, patients and visitors. Patients, if appropriate are isolated and the area of potential exposure is closed off. The furniture, equipment, linen, clothing and even the spaces that “the little critters” like to hide in, are cleaned with special solutions to prevent further exposures. In some cases the Clinic may have to temporarily close to control the exposure. We regret the inconvenience that results to our patients and their families.

Let’s look at some additional information about bed bugs!

    • Bed Bugs do not discriminate! They are not the result of unsanitary conditions. They can be found to exist in the cleanest hotels, motels, apartments and homes.
    • Bed Bugs do not carry disease! The bites are irritating, they itch and they can become infected. But there is no evidence that bed bugs are involved in the transmission of any disease agent.
    • Bed Bugs require blood meals to grow in stages and lay their eggs. They find warm-blooded humans and animals. They don’t travel far as long as they have access to blood meals.
    • How do we avoid these “little critters”? Prevention is the best way! Search out their many favorite hiding places: bedding, upholstered furniture, pet bedding, etc. An assessment or belief that there is an “infestation”? Then the best solution is a professional pest control company.
    • Source: Purdue University : Google Medical Entomology; Insects and Ticks > Bed Bugs

Patients or family members who have a health or wellness issue who are also aware that they may have bed bugs on their person or clothing should call to make an appointment with the Clinic (765-1935). The patient or parent/child will be asked to enter the Clinic at the rear door of the Clinic where we will be able to receive, assess and treat the patient. This will help us to limit any exposure of bed bugs to other areas/patients of the clinic.

Thank you for helping the staff of West Side Family Health Care treat our patients while we limit or avoid the impact of the occasional presence of those annoying little critters; the “Cimex lectularius”!

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