Hos­pi­tals call out pest con­trol up to 10 times A WEEK

RATS AND COCK­ROACHES CAUS­ING MA­JOR PROB­LEMS

Bangor Mail - - NEWS - Tom Mol­loy

PEST ex­ter­mi­na­tors are hav­ing to be called out to North Wales hos­pi­tals up to 10 times a week.

There have been 777 call outs to sites run by Betsi Cad­wal­adr Uni­ver­sity Health Board since Jan­uary two years ago.

And they’ve been deal­ing with ev­ery­thing from rats to mag­gots, bit­ing in­sects and cock­roaches.

Pests can be a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem in hos­pi­tals, carry dis­ease and can dam­age the equip­ment, how­ever, BCUHB in­sist the sit­u­a­tion is un­der con­trol and isn’t any­thing for pa­tients to worry about.

Rod Tay­lor, di­rec­tor of es­tates and fa­cil­i­ties said: “We have ap­pro­pri­ate con­tracts in place to deal with the erad­i­ca­tion of any pests.

“Our fig­ures are very sim­i­lar to other health boards. Due to the ru­ral­ity of many of our sites there will al­ways be a need for some level of pest con­trol.”

The types of pest re­ported by the health board in­clude: ants, wasps, bees, rats, mice, flies, cock­roaches, fleas, sil­ver­fish, mag­gots, bee­tles, bit­ing in­sects and birds.

Pests that present the high­est health risks are:

Cock­roaches

– spread nearly 33 dif­fer­ent kinds of bac­te­ria, six kinds of par­a­sitic worms and at least seven other kinds of hu­man pathogens. They carry bac­te­ria such as E-coli and Sal­mo­nella. They’re also re­spon­si­ble for in­creas­ing the sever­ity of asthma and in­door al­lergy symp­toms, es­pe­cially in chil­dren and the el­derly.

Ants

– can con­tam­i­nate food and sur­faces and spread more than a dozen dis­ease pathogens, in­clud­ing sal­mo­nella and strep­to­coc­cus.

Ro­dents

– can con­tam­i­nate any and all food and food prepa­ra­tion sur­faces and chew through elec­tri­cal wiring, caus­ing risk of fire.

Flies

– can carry more than 100 dif­fer­ent kinds of dis­ease-caus­ing germs.

Health­care In­spec­torate Wales con­firmed that the amount of pest con­trol call-outs made by BCUHB wouldn’t im­pact on their re­ports, so long as the cor­rect in­fec­tion and pre­ven­tion con­trols were in place.

A spokesman for Health­care In­spec­torate Wales said: “We don’t specif­i­cally look at pest con­trol, we look at the en­vi­ron­ment and in­fec­tion and pre­ven­tion con­trol.

“If some­thing was ob­vi­ous in terms of rat drop­pings, for ex­am­ple, then we would look into that fur­ther. But if some­thing wasn’t ob­vi­ous then we wouldn’t ex­plore it.

“If we did see did see ob­vi­ous signs, then we would es­ca­late that to the health board im­me­di­ately and ex­pect them to get that sorted straight away.”

Pest con­trol are be­ing called out to North Wales hos­pi­tals up to 10 times a week to deal with prob­lems in­clud­ing rat in­fes­ta­tions

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