Entomology, Department of


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University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Entomology Online Masters Program Final Project. Lincoln, Nebraska.


Copyright 2020

Josh Shoemaker


For my Master’s Project, I propose to develop bed bug training materials that can be used to offer education on bed bug biology and best practices for bed bug control in medical facilities. The materials will include a training program and handouts for use in educating management and technicians who are Pest Management Professionals (PMPs), as well as resources for those professionals to use to train facility personnel.


Bed bugs began to make a comeback as a pest in the US in the late 1990s. Since then, these ectoparasitic insects have become a significant issue for many households and businesses. Infestations are known to occur in a number of locations, including hotels, libraries, transportation vessels, movie theaters, schools and more.

Of particular concern is the healthcare environment. While to date bed bugs have not been shown to be a vector of any pathogens, they have been associated with a number of viruses and bacteria. Over 50 human disease agents have been found on or in bed bugs and the significance of this continues to be investigated. Since many of these pathogens may be present in a healthcare environment, an abundance of caution should be taken. Furthermore, bed bugs are confirmed to cause a number of mental health issues including shame, embarrassment, increased anxiety and depressive symptoms and sleep disturbances. Thus, bed bug control in the healthcare environment is of the upmost importance.

A large amount of information on bed bug biology and control is available. However, material specific to healthcare environments is somewhat limited. This project will help to fill that gap and provide needed materials for PMPs working to manage bed bugs in that space.

The specific materials are:

  • A PowerPoint presentation to train PMPs on best practices for controlling bed bugs in a healthcare environment
  • An informational flyer describing best practices for bed bug control in healthcare facilities which can be used for PMPs as an education review, or as a handout to clients
  • A short presentation overviewing bed bug biology, signs of infestation and recommendations for avoiding introductions, that PMPs can use to provide training to healthcare facility personnel

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Entomology Commons