Every business owner has a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for their employees. But creating a productive and comfortable environment at the office is not only about amenities and team building. It’s about offering clean and healthy working conditions, without pests roaming around the workstations.
To make this possible, you need to know how to prevent and deal with pests in your office. Here are the best ways you can keep your company premises pest-free without too much trouble.
1. Make sure you have a tidy office
Pests love clutter, especially one consisting of cardboard boxes, food, paper, and water. If you want to avoid infestations by ants, cockroaches, rats, and mice, you should start decluttering your workplace. During tidying up, look for the possible signs of pests in the corners, nooks, and inside boxes and stacks of paper.
Make sure that every item has its place and is protected from heat, humidity, and other things that can make it a desirable breeding ground for pests. If you notice a lack of storage place, it’s best to rent a unit and keep your files there than to let it attract insects and rodents into the office.
2. Keep your office clean
Besides tidying up, regular cleaning of the office space is another way to eliminate pest attractions. Hire cleaning personnel that will take care of trash, vacuuming, dusting, and wiping of every room after everyone goes home.
If you have appliances in the kitchen, like refrigerator, stove, and coffee maker, make sure they’re thoroughly cleaned once a month. Food leftovers can attract ants, cockroaches, and rats, but also birds, raccoons, and other wild animals.
3. Service your HVAC system regularly
Air conditioning, ventilation, and heating systems need regular maintenance at least once a year, and even more if you have a large number of employees. These systems tend to accumulate debris that can attract animals to use them as their nests.
Dust and dirt are perfect homes to certain insects, like spiders, but other pests as well who see it as perfect spots to lay eggs and breed. Some of them, such as dust mites, can cause allergies and respiratory problems.
4. Inspect the exterior of the building
The condition of the building’s exterior can greatly contribute to having a problem with pests. If you have cracks in the façade, those may be entrance points for insects. Holes in the roof and basement area are openings for larger pests, like rats and mice. A clogged roof drainage system can lead to leaks and water accumulation that is perfect for mosquitos.
Make sure that trash bins are not close to your office building and are closed shut to avoid attracting birds, raccoons, and other animals that can spread it. Hire a structural engineer to inspect your building and point out problematic areas you have to fix to prevent pest problems.
5. Let professionals deal with pests
Types of pests vary from region to region and you need to know what to expect to be able to act properly. For example, if you have offices in Australia, inspection and pest control in Cairns may have to deal with a different variety of pests than companies from Melbourne. Poisonous snakes and spiders are not common in all parts of the continent, so you need to know how to deal with them before the professionals arrive.
In the US, the common pests are bed bugs that are impossible to deal with on your own, considering employees can bring them from home and infest the whole office. Due to the dying out of certain insects, pests have been on the rise, like cockroaches and houseflies. Using preemptive measures can keep your office pest-free and avoid having these critters running around. Professionals know how pests behave and so taking care of them is just another day on the job.
6. Encourage employees to clean after themselves
A portion of responsibility for a pest-free office falls upon your employees. If they keep their desks tidy, without piles of papers, and food crumbs, chances are the pests will find them uninteresting. However, responsible behavior doesn’t end at their desks but concerns the way they use the kitchen and other areas of the workplace.
For example, spilled sugar can attract ants and uneaten fruit can attract flies. Leaving dishes in the sink and not sealing food properly is an open invitation to bugs and other pests as well. Paying attention to these things is especially important if the office is not cleaned daily and during the weekend.
The bottom line
Preventing pests in your office is important for a variety of reasons. They can cause allergies and diseases, make your employees uncomfortable, and distract them from their work. As shown above, regular cleaning, pest control, maintenance, and responsible employee behavior may keep the majority of culprits away from your office.