Waiting rooms can be boring and a bit nerve-wracking, especially for doctor’s offices. You’re sitting in a room with other sick people, trying not to pick up their germs, and sometimes the doctor is running behind, which can really throw off your day if you’ve got other things planned. However, your schedule and sickness aren’t the only things you need to be thinking about when you sit down in a waiting room. Many people come through waiting rooms on a daily basis, and they could be leaving bed bugs behind- meaning you could accidentally pick them up.
Why Waiting Rooms Are Risky
A typical waiting room features plenty of places to sit, such as chairs and couches. They’re usually not exceptionally comfortable, but upholstered nonetheless. The upholstery provides a primo hiding spot for bed bugs that could crawl off of other patients. Emergency room waiting areas are also risky, because so many people come in and of those rooms every day. Some are sick enough that they haven’t been able to change their clothes in a few days, which is understandable, but also provides more of an opportunity for bed bugs to hide in their clothes. The bugs are fast and love dark spaces and fabric surfaces, so they’ll be eager to hide in the upholstery in the waiting room and even on wheelchairs used to take patients back to exam rooms.
Do I Need to Worry About the Doctor’s Office Itself?
If people are bringing bed bugs to the doctor’s office and sitting down in the waiting room, leaving those bugs behind, you might be worried about the doctor’s office itself. Can bed bugs stick around on exam tables and such? The good news is, doctor’s offices are kept so clean and sterile that it’s very unlikely for bed bugs to settle in on exam tables. Those tables are usually cleaned in between patients and covered with a piece of paper. However, in the offices, there are usually a few upholstered chairs to sit in while having a discussion with the doctor, and those are not cleaned between every patient, so they could be hiding some bugs.
How Do I Avoid Picking Up Bed Bugs in Waiting Rooms?
The idea of accidentally picking up bed bugs in a waiting room might sound pretty freaky, but don’t worry, it’s not so hard to avoid. The easiest thing you can do to avoid bringing bed bugs home from a doctor’s office is to not sit down on the furniture in the waiting room. Remain standing until your name is called to come back to the exam room. It’s also a good idea not to hang up your coat on the hooks in the waiting room next to other people’s coats. This provides an opportunity for bed bugs to jump from other people’s coats to yours. When you do get back to the exam room, sit on the paper-covered exam table to talk with the doctor, rather than the upholstered chairs. Don’t set your coat or purse on those chairs, either- if there are bed bugs on the chairs, they can easily hide in your belongings and end up in your car and your home. It is also a good idea to wash and dry your clothes as soon as you get home.
How Do I Know if I Have Bed Bugs?
There are several ways to tell if you’ve accidentally brought bed bugs home from your latest doctor’s visit. If you start waking up with small, red, itchy welts in small groups or lines, those could be bed bug bites and could indicate a bed bug problem. Check your sheets, too. If you spot any small, rust-colored or black dots, this is another sign that you may have a bed bug issue. And, of course, finding live bugs is another telltale sign of bed bugs.
How Do I Get Rid of Them?
If you do find bed bugs after a visit to the doctor, don’t worry. Bed Bug BBQ can help. Bed Bug BBQ uses heat treatment to get rid of bed bugs. This bed bug extermination process gets rid of bed bugs in just one day, is safe for all types of homes and businesses, and won’t fill your home with chemicals! Contact Bed Bug BBQ today for a FREE quote and inspection at (216) 221-1227 or through our website! Check out our other bed bug informational resources on identification, prevention, and eradication.