Cleaning Scabies Outbreak Management

Cleaning in a scabies outbreak is slightly different from other outbreaks. Careful attention must be paid to different surface types that may harbour the scabies mite.

PPE Required


Long sleeve disposable gown



Isolation room

Isolation bags

Yellow hazard bags

Vacuum cleaner

Use only cleaning items and equipment designated YELLOW for cleaning the isolation rooms

NB: The residential aged care facility will provide a safety data sheet on the detergents and disinfectants and how to use them.

Cleaning Different Surfaces

Large Fabric Items 

Vacuum all carpets, rugs, fabric-covered chairs, and large fabric items that are unable to be laundered 

Seams of large fabric items are to be vacuumed with a high suction small diameter nozzle, although recommended to use insecticide, as a vacuum cleaner may not pick up all the mites

Place large fabric items in a plastic bag for 48 hours, or leave them isolated in a closed room for 48 hours, or spray them with an insecticide

Small Fabric Items 

Washable small fabric items should be placed in a yellow hazard bag and sent to the laundry

Unwashable small fabric items should be placed in a plastic bag for 48 hours, or isolated in a closed room for 48 hours, or sprayed with an insecticide

Non-Fabric Surfaces 

Thoroughly wipe over non-fabric-covered surfaces such as vinyl chairs and plastic mattress covers with a standard cleaning solution

Toilet seats and commode chair seats, wiped after each use

Smooth floors to be mopped using a standard cleaning solution

The Vacuum Cleaner

In a well-ventilated area, spray the vacuum cleaner lightly with insecticide after use to destroy mites that may have accumulated during cleaning on the surface of the vacuum during the cleaning. Place the vacuum bag in a tied yellow hazardous bag, then throw the bag away immediately after use in a clinical waste bag.

Use of Insecticides 

Low-toxicity insecticides such as fly spray can kill mites

Use insecticides according to the directions on the label 

Only a small amount of spray is required

Pregnant women should avoid exposure to insecticides

When using insecticides, remove residents from the room, and the room should be well-ventilated before being reoccupied

Extensive insecticide treatments are usually unnecessary, however, if comprehensive treatment is required, it is recommended that a licensed pest control operator be used

Terminal Cleaning Steps

Terminal clean rooms used by residents, post isolation, transfer, post-death, or discharge, to remove the infecting microbes. 

1) Wear PPE 

2) Remove curtains and bed screens and take them for laundering; curtain hooks must be washed thoroughly with detergent and warm water, then dried thoroughly

3) Clean horizontal surfaces that may collect dust, such as wardrobe tops, shelves, sills, and light fittings

4) Clean walls

5) Clean bathroom fittings

6) Clean windows and mirrors using window cleaner

7) Wipe blind and allow to dry thoroughly before rolling up

8) Tie the yellow clinical waste bag securely

9) Place all used clothes in the yellow clinical waste bag

10) Colour-coded (yellow) mop head must be placed in the yellow clinical waste bag, labelled, and tied securely for collection and laundering

11) Clean, dry, and store the yellow bucket upside down; wipe the mop handle with neutral detergent diluted or according to the manufacturer's instructions

12) Remove gloves after removing other protective apparel and place them into a clinical waste bag before leaving the room to reduce opportunities for cross-contamination

13) Wash hands thoroughly after removing protective clothing

14) After completing the terminal clean, don fresh PPE and re-hang clean curtains

15) Remove gloves and other PPE and perform hand hygiene