A walker sits by a bed in a nursing home.

Nursing Homes and Bed Bugs

Bed bugs in nursing homes are a serious issue. Infestations take a toll on staff, visitors and residents. Bed bugs can carry disease and spread it among those living there to make things worse.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home or work in one, these pieces of information will come in handy.

A More Common Issue Than You May Think

When visiting your loved ones in a nursing home, they may complain about the bed bugs. This problem is more common than you may think. A survey conducted in 2010 reported that a whopping 46% of nursing homes have had some form of bed bug infestation.

Luckily, bed bugs don’t carry infectious diseases. That doesn’t make them less of an issue, though. Your loved ones’ comfort should be their nursing home’s top priority. Their good night’s rest can be impossible with an infestation going on and the annoying itching it causes. 

Where Bed Bugs Come From

Bed bugs are hitchhikers. They may take a ride in your luggage or clothes. It doesn’t help that their tiny size makes it difficult to spot them if you aren’t actively searching. Nursing homes become highly vulnerable to infestations because of visitations from doctors, delivery guys, and loved ones, which might be bed bug carriers.

Ensure you don’t have any unwanted stowaways on your clothes or luggage if you’re visiting your parents or your grandparents. 

How Bed Bugs Spread

A nursing home becomes a bed bug buffet if a few successfully sneak in the place. Hundreds of people to feed on means that the bugs won’t go hungry. The establishment is a paradise for these critters because of the numerous beds and people.

You should also know that bed bugs can also use wheelchairs and walkers as homes, which will allow them to get around the nursing home and victimize more people. 

Containing The Outbreak

Getting rid of bed bugs is no easy task. The nursing home needs to take drastic measures to eliminate an infestation when they find at least one bug.

The home’s management should move residents from the affected rooms into empty ones once someone reports an infestation case.

The next step is to locate and exterminate the bed bugs.


There are numerous ways to kill bed bugs. The use of pesticides remains to be the most popular method of extermination.

A common pesticide used to kill bed bugs is pyrethrin. Manufacturers extract pyrethrin from chrysanthemum flowers. Exterminators use pyrethrin on almost everything in the room: bedding, clothes, and even carpet. However, it has side effects, which isn’t surprising since it’s a toxic chemical. Rooms in nursing homes often don’t have good airflow. This scenario often makes the use of pyrethrin quite dangerous. 

Breathing in large amounts of this chemical can cause a person to wheeze, develop headaches and nausea, feel burning sensations, and even experience tremors.

Fortunately, chemical-free alternatives exist and can work without unnecessary toxicity.

Heat Treatment

Bed bugs die when you expose them to extreme heat. Studies show that bed bugs begin to die out at 117–122℉. Pest control companies typically carry mobile heaters.

These devices can range from what looks like giant blow dryers to huge spatial heaters. Exterminators place these machines in affected rooms and leave to run at temperatures as high as 140℉ for several hours.   

So why should nursing homes go with heat treatment over chemical treatment? It kills all bed bugs and their eggs in the room without risks to the residents’ health. The nursing home can instruct the residents to move to another location for six hours and let the extermination proceed. 

Looking for Bed Bug Treatment in Cleveland, Ohio?

If you think you have bed bugs or are interested in a home heat sanitation treatment, contact Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC in Lakewood, Ohio! We use heat treatment to eradicate bed bugs and we offer entire home sanitation heat treatments. This safe, effective treatment is completed in less than 12 hours, and Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC offers a 60-day warranty for you to verify for yourself that your bed bugs are fully eradicated. Contact Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC today for a FREE quote at (216) 221-1227 or through our website, and check out our other bed bug informational resources on identification, prevention, and eradication.

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