Dallas, Texas (PressExposure) April 20, 2009 -- For the general population, a sting from a fire ant is merely a nuisance. But when these tiny insects invade a nursing home, they pose a huge threat to patients. Frail elderly persons confined to their beds, especially those who are catheterized, unable to move, communicate, respond, or feel parts of their body are considered to be at high risk for fire ant attacks. While a wasp or bee sting is more painful than a single fire ant sting, the ability of an individual fire ant to sting multiple times can have an alarming effect on anyone, but especially an elderly person with pre-existing medical conditions. In nursing homes, when fire ants enter a resident's bed, hundreds of them may attack at one time and because each fire ant can administer several stings, a patient might suffer hundreds of stings before staff is even aware there's a problem. This is especially serious when a patient is non-cognitive and unable to communicate what is happening. A fire ant infestation in a nursing home is a serious problem; there have been many reports of nursing home patients in the United States succumbing to stings within days or weeks of a massive fire ant attack. Fire ant sting attacks on nursing home patients can cause respiratory tract obstruction, a worsening of existing medical conditions, or anaphylaxis. Sadly, in many reported cases of sting attacks, fire ants have been noted in the offending facilities days before the attacks took place which suggests attacks could have been prevented. Failure to provide a pest-free, clean environment can be fatal to patients in long term care facilities and when a pest control issue in a nursing home is unaddressed, it is considered a form of neglect and abuse. When fire ants are found in a nursing home, at risk patients must be relocated until ants are eradicated. The use of chemical pesticides however, while often the first choice to eliminate an ant problem, is not the answer. A survey conducted in 2003 by Beyond Pesticides revealed that 25 of the most commonly used pesticides have been linked to cancer, birth defects and other neurological problems. Harsh insecticides used in nursing homes can be as dangerous to patients as stings and bites from the insects being eradicated. To eliminate an indoor fire ant infestation, natural ant bait can be just as effective at eradicating the problem as a chemical pesticide but without the dangerous side-effects. An ant bait containing boric acid can destroy entire colonies of ants while posing no threat to humans. Boric acid is naturally derived from common salts in the Earth's surface and when ingested by ants, disrupts their ability to digest food. Uncle Albert's Super Smart Ant Bait is a natural product manufactured by Green Star Group Ltd. It's made from boric acid which is deadly to fire ants. It's available in gel and liquid forms and can safely be used inside a health care facility because it will not harm people.
Addressing the Danger of Fire Ant Infestations in Nursing Homes
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Press Release Submitted On: April 17, 2009 at 8:47 pm
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