Pests Plague Hospital And Cleaning Crews Respond
Hospitals in Florida are experiencing some serious pest management issues and experts suspect that heavy rain and standing water are to blame. The pests are so bad that a sudden infestation of flying ants has recently shut down a suite of operating rooms at one hospital.
According to WTSP reporting, the ants invaded most of the hospital's 18 operating rooms, forcing the cancellation and rescheduling of 15 surgeries. Less serious procedures were moved to the hospital's outpatient surgery rooms in another section of the hospital not invaded by the ants.
The infestation was discovered by cleaning crews, who informed hospital officials immediately. The operating rooms were shut down immediately, and remained closed for roughly 36 hours while cleaning occurred.
Once the ants were removed from the area, custodial staffs were sent in to sanitize the operating rooms, after which regular surgeries resumed.
"We think the rain was part of the cause," says Sacred Heart Hospital spokesperson Mike Burke. "The pest control company said the heavy rains recently have caused the ground to become saturated to the point where the flying ants will leave their subterranean nests and go flying off in a swarm."
The hospital's maintenance staff, Burke said, has not been able to identify the exact point of entry.
"We were told the ants need only the tiniest crack in the building to get in, something the size of a pin hole" he said. "So, we've had our maintenance people caulking windows and patching any cracks in the building."
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