R u guys running into bed bugs alot???


Hi, I work in hospital in the NY area, and we have cases of pts. with bedbugs like every 2 weeks! I am terrified of them or taking them home, sometimes the ER doesnt catch them first and this pt. has 2-3 tranfers to different units befoe they r found.

I just want to know:

How do u assess for them? are there bites you have to look for? and where?

How big are they exactly?

and if u can state if your in the NY area!


Specializes in FNP. Has 25 years experience.

No, not in NY. Haven't seen any in my area, but it is only a matter of time. It is going to be a nightmare when hospitals are infested. I stopped getting library books b/c of bedbugs. Only do e-media now!

What in the world? Library books? Ahhh the library is one of my favorite places to go! I didn't know about that

Has 12 years experience.

Bedbugs are nasty! They are almost like ticks but harder to get rid of. The adult ones are reddish color and easily visible but they sleep in the day and are out biting and crawling at night. One sign of them is small pin size(sometimes larger) black spots on the covers and mattress, which are dried blood. Signs on patients are red circular spots on the arms and legs.

They are very difficult to get rid of and the beds need to have special mattress bags that contain the bugs so they can't have access to blood. The bugs can live up to one year without blood thus containing them inside a specialty mattress bag is critical(and not cheap). Even then the bed, carpet, baseboards, etc needs to be sprayed and vacuumed from top to bottom.

Specializes in FNP. Has 25 years experience.

Oh yeah, they live in paper. Library books are a primary vector. You can "cook" your library books when you get them home to kill them. I think it is 250* for an hour or something. I'm not going through all that, I just bought a bunch of kindles and we stopped going to the library.

Specializes in ICU. Has 30 years experience.

Let me tell you a story about library books that happened to me. I am an avid reader, and brought home a stack of library books and plopped them down on my kitchen counter. Over the next few days, I kept seeing these tiny white things. Didn't realize what they were, until I saw them FLOATING in my cup of coffee!! I started looking around the kitchen, and they were everywhere! Still didn't know what they were, but there were tons of them. I sprayed and sprayed with bug killer, but finally I called in a bug specialist and found out they were book lice! I never knew there could be so many of them. Finally got rid of them, and have not brought home library books again.

rjflyn, ASN, RN

1,240 Posts

Specializes in Emergency. Has 23 years experience.

Im in metro Detroit and bed bugs are a pain my ED you know what. For what its worth 9x out 10 when some one complains of bed bugs its bites and they are not actually bringing them with them. That said our facility policy is when we actually see bugs- pt belongings get double bagged and removed from the facility. The room then is immediately cleaned top to bottom we an eye on the look out for those buggers.

Sadly it also had little to do with hygiene, one can be the cleanest person in the world, visit a hotel and bring them home. As other have said then they become a very difficult problem to get rid of.


89 Posts

I see people come in with them fairly often. I would guess it averages to one person per day? In our area, we usually only see this after people say they have stayed at a homeless shelter or at one of those weekly rate motels. When they mention having been to one of those places, I automatically think either bed bugs or scabies, and it's usually one or the other! At least with the bed bugs it's just bites they bring in, not the bugs.

Poi Dog

1,134 Posts

I feel itchy after reading this thread :nuke:


20 Posts

I feel itchy after reading this thread :nuke:

Yes, I am scratching while reading this but the info is very useful!

Thank u all!


22 Posts

I would think hospitals are realitively safe because the mattress and pillows are pretty water tight so the little critters aren't likely to be able to imbed themselves into soft fabric like a traditional bed. We are noticing tyvec mattress covers in more and more hotel we stay at.

Just to be clear, the local 4* hotel is just as likely as the local dive moter inn. DH travels extensively and the risk was enough for us to change the way we did things. Frist, he packs in duffle bags that are put in a plastic rubbermaid container in the garage when he gets home and then both the bag and contents are washed and dryed. Most people bring them home in the suitcase they put down on the bed at the hotel. At least with the duffel bags we are elliminate that risk right away.

If I was concerned at work I would carry your belongings in a "plastic" type bag you know like a beach tote or see through back pack. The can't live on the water proof plastic. If you knew that it was an issue and you were REALLY concerned I'd put a change of clothes in the garage and change before you come in then wash and dry your work stuff.

SummitRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 1,567 Posts

Specializes in ICU + Infection Prevention. Has 11 years experience.