The Fermanagh Herald reports that Erne Hospital in Enniskillen had 28 call-outs from pest control in 2008, including those for bed bugs; facilities in the Western Health and Social Care Trust had 128 pest control call-outs in total. (A small percentage of these were routine visits.)
A Western Trust spokesperson said,
“Visits are often to deal with one-off sightings of pests.”
I hope “one-off sightings” of bed bugs are not treated as “one-off sightings,” since it is so rare to see even one bed bug, and it may represent the presence of many more.
The spokesperson continued,
The most common types of pests dealt with were mice, rats, fleas, silverfish and bedbugs. Pest control specialists carry out treatments following each visit as appropriate. They also provide specialist advice to the Trust following the contract visits, for example, in relation to minor repairs to the building, reviewing housekeeping/cleaning arrangements and monitoring.
Contractors also had to treat bedbugs at staff accommodation at Altnagelvin Hospital as well as in areas of the Erne Hospital and Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital.
This is not the first report from Northern Ireland hospitals and medical residences. Or from Northern Ireland, where lorry drivers identified the problem as something they were bringing in via ferries from Scotland and the Continent.