Success Stories

Our hospitals are less welcoming—to flying insects

Hospitals must be sparkling clean. But what if flying insects are hovering around the pharmacy, café, and reception desk?

After a major hospital complained about kitchen pests, we found phorid flies breeding in the floor grease pits. We recommended they check for leaks in the grease trap box and connecting lines and look for any partial blockage in the lines to the trap. Then we suggested they

  • steam clean and vacuum the pits and side clean-outs
  • use a product such as ChemSearch’s Pit Boss™ to further clean
  • seal the pit covers with gaskets or clamps; tighten side clean-out caps
  • treat the room with a pyrethrum fog and residual spray
  • install insect light traps, then clean and maintain
  • use a foaming disinfectant/sanitizer such as Drain-Tain™ in kitchen drains

In cases like this, guidance can be the most important contribution to the solution. That’s a big part of what we do at First Illinois Systems.

FIS patiently wards off another hospital pest

When staff in a medical center found millipedes in patient rooms and nursing stations, they called First Illinois Systems. We inspected the rooms, then located the source outside. New mulch in a garden adjacent to the hospital was teeming with millipedes.

We treated the garden, then met with the landscaper, asking for the mulch to be turned so it could dry out. That nontoxic practice killed many of the millipedes. Additional recommendations?

  • Keep the sprinklers off
  • Pull the mulch away from the building; and
  • Monitor through the following year to make sure that the millipede infestation didn’t recur.

Using kiln-dried, sterilized mulch can prevent problems like this from the start.

Got a light?

At another hospital, flying insects were mobbing the entrance area at night. Once we visited, we knew the bright lights needed to be moved to standpoles 50 feet away, with the light reflecting toward the building. No pesticides were involved in this solution.

Ants discharged from hospital kitchen

A busy hospital in the Chicago area had a recurring problem: flying ants in the kitchen. How did we evict them? First we confirmed that the pest was a rare, carnivorous ant so we could treat it appropriately (baits would not be effective). Then we treated with additional residual insecticides, including a boric acid product. After that, we monitored for colonies within the kitchen and

  • installed black light flying insect traps and sticky monitors; checked them regularly;
  • sealed ant entryways and exits;
  • monitored wood pallets in the food store room; and
  • set up a task force consisting of maintenance, food service, infection control, and guest consultants.

Finally, we trained staff through in-services.

Evicting Plaster Beetles is a long but successful operation

Mysterious beetles showed up in the surgery room of a hospital outside of Chicago. We discovered it was a plaster beetle, which feeds on molds. How should the hospital treat them without exposing patients to chemical pesticides? Our remedy:

  • Locate the breeding site (drop ceiling? wall voids?)
  • Use a moisture meter
  • Correct the moisture problem
  • Install insect light traps

Your facility’s pest problem is a puzzle to be solved and First Illinois Systems is a top detective. 

Ants enjoy retirement community, but not for long

Odorous house ants like cracks in warm cement slabs and nearby mulched areas for their colonies. A retirement community in Chicago’s northern suburbs offered all this and more. We helped get rid of their ants by applying a treatment and making the following recommendations:

  • Tame sources of food. English Ivy, trees, and other plants attract sucking insects, which nourish ants with their honey dew.
  • Clear protective coverings (ivy, leaves, mulch) to expose a foot of space around the foundation; use pea gravel around the perimeter
  • Remove twigs and leaves from gutters (decaying organic matter attracts insects)