The average 9 to 5 employees spend one-third of their life at work. That much time at the office warrants a clean space that doesn’t harm your health or well-being.
Commercial properties with pest problems can do just that. If you spend Monday through Friday in a pest-infested space, you’re put at risk of poor health developments, including certain diseases, and dealing with bites, stings, and an overall unhygienic environment.
With professional pest control services, you can manage the existence of pests and prevent future infestations by utilizing expert knowledge and techniques.
Overview of Typical Office Building Pests
Office spaces provide pests with the necessities: warmth, shelter, food, and water. If your breakroom is usually left a mess or spills go unattended, pests will be especially attracted to your building. Some of the most common pests to spot in an office are rodents, ants, cockroaches, and termites. We’ll take a look at each of these below.
As we continue in this blog, we’ll look at the following:
- Identifying Common Pests in Office Buildings
- Rodent Prevention Strategies
- Insect Infestation Prevention
- The Role of Sanitation in Pest Prevention
- Employee Education and Participation
Identifying Common Pests in Office Buildings
Rodents: Mice and Rats in the Workplace
Rats and mice reproduce quickly once they settle into a safe environment, which can cause an infestation to begin rapidly after their arrival.
Signs of Rodents
If your office is their new home, you’ll likely find feces, particularly in pantries and cupboards (mice can leave behind 50 to 75 pellets daily), and chew marks on paper and plastic.
Rodents are generally nocturnal, but their presence may be accompanied by the sounds of scurrying in the walls, the smell of ammonia, and spotting one or two running across the floor.
Rodent Infestation Risks
Rodents are carriers for over 30 types of diseases. The illnesses they spread can cause various issues, including moderate symptoms like nausea and diarrhea and needing hospitalization. Along with risk to public health, rodents may also chew into walls and insulation to create tunnels for gathering nesting materials, harming the building’s structural integrity.
Insects: Ants, Cockroaches, and Termites
Tiny pests like ants, cockroaches, and termites are tough to exterminate. They’re silent when they enter your building and breed rapidly, leading to a pest infestation in less than a month.
Signs of Insects
Like rodents, most insects leave behind feces and chew marks, typically near food sources. You might also spot eggs or dead bugs in and around the office. You’ll have pests like termites with unique indicators like discolored drywall and peeling paint resembling water damage. Ants tend to be easiest to spot due to coming out in the day and swarming crumbs and food or water sources.
Insect Infestation Risks
Cockroaches belong to the group of insects that carry diseases like rodents. They’re known to be carriers of the bacteria salmonella, staphylococcus, and streptococcus. Many pests contaminate surfaces and get into food, potentially leaving behind disease-causing pathogens.
Along with the spread of disease, insect pests damage the foundation of commercial buildings, particularly termites. On average, termites cause $5 billion in property damage annually. Termites can cause a building to become unstable and require temporary shutdown without intervention.
Rodent Prevention Strategies
Recognizing and Eliminating Rodent Attractants
Rodents look for three things: food, water, and shelter. Controlling these aspects of your building can deter rodents and cause them to look elsewhere. This includes diligently removing crumbs and spills, disinfecting surfaces, and keeping storage areas clean and tidy to minimize hiding spots for rodent breeding.
Sealing Entry Points and Effective Trapping Methods
Even if you keep your office clean and organized, rodents may still find refuge in your walls. Physical barrier methods make it much more difficult for rodents to enter, which can make them give up and move on (hopefully to your competitor’s building, just kidding). You can do this by closing gaps in walls, floorboards, windows, doors, anywhere rodents could squeeze. Similarly, adding screens to vents makes it more difficult for rodents to get into your walls.
Insect Infestation Prevention
Key Practices to Deter Ants and Cockroaches
Ants and roaches get in the same way rodents do, through cracks and holes in the foundation of your building. Prevent pests from entering by practicing similar methods like closing entry points and installing vent screens and door sweeps.
Likewise, stay on top of keeping the office clear of debris and crumb and spill-free. If pests really like your office space, you can try more assertive methods, too, like planting deterrent herbs such as lavender and basil around exterior entrances or placing them indoors.
Termite Prevention and Early Detection Strategies
Termites are attracted to moisture. Make sure your building doesn’t have leaky pipes, improper drainage, or poor airflow, and if it does, address these issues immediately. The build-up humidity allows termites to thrive in the building’s foundation as they populate and destroy the structure.
The Role of Sanitation in Pest Prevention
Regular Cleaning Protocols to Minimize Pest Risks
Prevent pests by maintaining a clean environment in your office. Regularly disinfect surfaces like desks, fridges, tables, and toilets. Also, eliminate standing water, fix leaks, and secure trash receptacles and bags to discourage pests.
Importance of Proper Waste Disposal and Management
When trash isn’t cleared from the office regularly, it can begin to build up odors from decaying food. This creates a hotspot for pest activity. In addition, keep dumpsters at least 50 feet away from the building to steer clear of pests that get into the outdoor garbage.
Employee Education and Participation
Training Staff on Pest Prevention Best Practices
Your staff should practice office cleanliness, like washing dishes, drying up spills, and cleaning crumbs from lunch. It’s a team effort to keep the office clean, and one person not doing their part is enough to lead to pest problems.
Encouraging Prompt Reporting of Pest Sightings
Teach your staff about the main signs of pests so that they can report any suspicious activity. Emphasize the importance of reporting potential problems in a timely manner. Letting upper management know about a few ants spotted in break rooms could halt an infestation in the making.