Earlier this month, seven Kansas Department of Revenue employees were placed on administrative leave after a bed bug infestation was discovered in one of their office buildings. All employees were even required to inspect their homes for bedbugs before returning to work.
Believe it or not, pest infestations in the workplace are more common than you think. In fact, this year in the Central US, 87.1 percent of companies saw an increase in bed bug activity.
Beyond bed bugs, other pests to watch out for in the workplace include: ants, fruit flies, gnats, beetles, and moths. Pests like these are not only a potential health risk for everyone in the workplace, they cause a horrible first impression for guests or clients.
But, fear not, we’ve compiled a list of warning signs to watch out for, along with some of the best pest control solutions you can easily integrate into your own workplace.
Preventative Pest Control Measures
To prevent pest infestations from happening in the first place, consider implementing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. An IPM program can be used to manage pests anywhere—in urban, agricultural, wildland, or natural environments. Think of IPM as the strategy your workplace will use to solve any pest problems that might arise, while minimizing risks to staff and the environment.
IPM programs detect pests at the earliest stages and combat them before they can become a major problem. Simple preventative measures and do-it-yourself pest control tactics can be posted in common areas to educate staff. Here are some key points to include:
• Keep food in sealed containers, and clean dirty dishes at the end of each workday.
• Ensure trash cans have plastic liners, and empty them every night.
• Refrain from leaving fruit on your desk overnight. Instead, place it in the refrigerator or bring it home.
• Keep the workplace as clutter-free as possible. Store items in cabinets, racks, or bins.
• Be careful not to overwater plants, which can lead to gnat infestations.
Setting up an IPM program can be as simple as writing up a check list to review monthly and keeping records of any pest-causing problems.
Educate Your Staff on the Specifics
Local pest control services can end up costing your company thousands of dollars, so whether you already have an infestation or not, it’s best to train your workforce to take all preventative pest control measures seriously. Educating your entire staff is the easiest way to prevent an infestation.
Pests will enter buildings in many ways: through cracks and holes in the walls, gaps around pipes, or even on workers’ clothing. Some will target places with poor sanitation, while others move indoors to avoid the cold or locate vital resources.
Pests like bed bugs attach themselves to furniture or personal items—they suck blood at night and leave itchy bite marks on arms and shoulders. Cockroaches can come from dark, unsanitary places and carry bacteria that can contaminate food. Spiders feed on other pests, but also wander around before settling in undisturbed places. And depending on where you live, some invasive pests are venomous, so having a standard medical procedure in place is critical, should an issue ever arise.
If you see a pest crawling around your workplace, take care of it as quickly as possible, and inspect the rest of the office for potential causes.
Here are some basic tips for conducting pest inspections:
• Check potted plants, which attract a variety of major pests.
• Make sure there are no cracks and holes in the walls or vents—seal them if found.
• Properly contain or package food or other items.
• Make sure your custodian empties your trash bins regularly.
• Clean up any workplace spills, especially sticky or sugary substances.
Pest Control Supplies to Clean Your Workplace and Prevent Infestation
US Standard Products offers a full line of environmentally-friendly cleaning products for industrial and janitorial applications—read about these ready-to-use solutions, here.
In addition to a variety of cleaning products, US Standard Products also offers two insecticides that are safe to use inside the workplace:
1. The Haunt-II Residual can drive a wide variety of crawling insects from their hiding places and contaminate whole colonies with long-term residual control, making it an ideal product for industrial and institutional use.
2. The Eradicate Insecticide is a fast-acting, water-based formula with botanical insecticide pyrethrum that works without leaving any stain, residual, or objectionable odors. Able to control or kill crawling and flying insects on contact, the Eradicate is a bed bug’s worst nightmare.
Utilizing these insecticides is easy, just use a power-operated or hand-held spray to lightly cover areas. Make sure the surface is dry before allowing anyone into the treated area.
Start exploring your workplace pest control options by downloading our free catalogue or calling 844-877-1700. To stay up-to-date on the latest in workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media: Google+ | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook