Taking Care of a Pest Problem in the Workplace: 7 Tips

When you first moved into your office, there were a lot of things you had to get used to. You had to learn the space, navigate relationships with new co-workers and figure out how everything was going to work.

While some of these things are easy to manage with icebreakers, certain aspects of a commercial property can be a little less hospitable. More specifically, you might have come across insects.

At some point, every office deals with a pest invasion. Whether you found ants on a windowsill or flies in your kitchen, you can easily take care of the problem with the right approach.

But how? These seven tips will banish bugs and keep your office pest-free for the long haul.

1. Clean out the Fridge

It’s good to have a fridge in your office so everyone can manage their lunch. Some people might store leftovers or future lunches in the fridge as well, but those are easy to forget. When food starts to rot, a hungry gnat could make your fridge their home.

Gnats are one of the most common office pest problems, so you may have an infestation right now. The first thing you can do is clean out your fridge and throw out any rotten food. Cover the remaining food and set up a weekly cleaning schedule for tossing out spoiled food regularly.

2. Check Your Trash Cans

Cleaning out your fridge might not be enough to end your gnat problem. If that’s the case, head over to your trash cans and take out the liners. Sometimes food sneaks past unsecured trash bags and rots below.

Rotting food produces methane gas, which attracts adult fruit flies looking for a place to eat food and lay eggs. Rinse out or wipe down the inside of all your office trash cans, and check them regularly for new messes so gnats don’t find them first.

3. Remove Dead Trees

When construction crews build an office between trees just off a main road, everyone should know termites pose a potential problem. Even if you treat your office space and have it inspected every year, termites will find a home in dead trees or stumps in the landscaping behind your office.

Prevent an office termite invasion by removing any dead wood from your property as soon as you spot it. You’ll keep termites from eating through the broken-down cellulose with this ongoing effort, which also disrupts their breeding cycle and reduces the potential for a pest control problem.

4. Establish an Empty Desk Rule

Your co-workers or employees are in charge of cleaning their desks, but do they tidy up after themselves daily? Food from lunch or snacks left on a desk can lure cockroaches into the office since they love things like starch, meat, sugar and dairy.

Remind everyone to throw out food at the end of the day and spray the corners of the room with anti-cockroach spray. Traps may also be useful, because they protect a large space longer than most sprays.

5. Replace Your Furniture

It’s easy to accidentally let bedbugs invade your mattress because they’re experts at hiding, so some of your co-workers might accidentally bring a few to work on their clothes. Bedbugs love furniture like couches and desk chairs, which means you might have an office-wide infestation if you find them in one location.

Replace the furniture in your office if you spot evidence of bedbugs, like eggs or gnawed-through fabric. Don’t forget to vacuum bedbugs that get into your carpet or rugs.

6. Invest in a Dehumidifier

Take a look around your office. Is there moisture on the inside of your windows? Does your thermostat register a high level of humidity? Moisture in the air, combined with a warm environment, creates the perfect home for silverfish, especially if they have easy access to your bathrooms.

A quick trip to the store for a dehumidifier can solve your silverfish problem. Leave it running overnight or buy a silent one for use during the day. As your office becomes less humid, silverfish will look elsewhere for a permanent home.

7. Wipe Everything Down

Whether you have a pest problem at the moment or you want to prevent another one in the future, wipe everything down. Countertops, the inside of your office fridge, the windows and even the trash cans can all become homes to pests if they’re not clean.

Fifteen minutes of cleaning at the end of the day will remove and sterilize the areas bugs call home and keep them from coming back the next day.

Create a Cleaning Routine

Get your office involved in a cleaning routine so you can kick pests out for good. Make sure everyone monitors their desk space and takes their turn cleaning the common areas if you can’t afford to hire a daily cleaning service.

Pest control sprays, traps and cleaning solutions will take care of most pest problems in the workplace and let you get back to conquering your quarterly goals.

Author Bio:

Dylan Bartlett, aka, “The Regular Guide,” writes about a broad variety of topics on his blog. Check out Just a Regular Guide for more, or follow him on Twitter @theregularguidefor frequent updates!

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