The Department of Veterans Affairs is asking the private sector to help it monitor for bed bugs at a major VA hospital in Illinois.
The VA on Monday put out a bid on a small business to take up pest-monitoring duties for the VA's Illiana Health Care System in Danville, Ill. That hospital offers a full range of services to veterans, including surgery, outpatient care and mental health services.
But that hospital may once again be overrun with bed bugs, a problem the same hospital has had before. A report from 2014 said the hospital had been hit twice with bed bugs.
In its Monday request for services, the VA said it's looking for a company that uses dogs to detect bed bugs.
"The handler is responsible for directing the dogs search, visually verify alerts and report the search results," it said. "The bed bug dog should have the ability to detect live eggs, nymphs and bed bugs hiding in cracks, crevices, clothing and clutter. The K-9 team shall use methodical search patterns to avoid missing any infestations."
The company must also be prepared to run targeted inspections at the hospital and run follow up inspections to verify efforts to kill the bugs.
The VA said it wants the company to inspect the hospital once a week for the next fiscal year, and said followup contracts for additional years may also be needed.
The VA didn't say precisely how much it might pay a company for these services, but it did say the code for the work it wants has a "size standard of $11.0 million."