Pests are not just a mild inconvenience, not when it comes to the workplace. Aside from being a general nuisance, pests can spread disease-causing pathogens in the office, which puts your employees’ health at risk. Not only that, pests can disrupt work (who would stay at their desk when there’s a cockroach chilling just inches away?) as well as harm your professional image, which, of course, is bad for business.
So if you notice these signs at the office, it’s time to call in a pest control service:
1. Pest sightings
The most obvious sign that you have pests in the office is if you, your employees, or your visitors see them. Seeing just one or two creatures usually means that there are a lot more of them hiding behind your walls or making nests on your ceilings. Hence, regardless of the frequency of pest sightings at your workplace, you need to address the problem immediately before it gets worse.
For instance, if you see one or two termites crawling past, call in termite inspection services as soon as possible.
2. Droppings and dead skins
So you haven’t been seeing the pests themselves, but you’re finding their droppings and dead skins everywhere–on the floor, between window sills, on top of shelves, in the office pantry–everywhere! Obviously, this is a sign that you have a pest problem in the office, and it should warrant a call to a local pest control company right away.
3. Carpet fleas
Fleas can be brought into your office when an animal with fleas enters the building, or when an employee with pets at home has carried the fleas with them on their clothes. Fleas are external parasites that attach themselves onto hosts and feed on blood to lay eggs. Although fleas usually attach themselves to animals like cats and dogs, they can also bite humans, typically on the feet, ankles, and lower legs.
Flea bites are incredibly itchy and usually form a rash around the bite. Needless to say, this can disrupt your employees’ workflow and affect their morale. When several people start complaining of rashes on their feet or legs, you may want to have your carpets inspected for fleas.
4. Gnawing damage
If your office furniture, stocks, or equipment look like they’ve been gnawed out, you may have a rodent problem. Seeing as rodents are quick to cause damage on office property and are carriers of harmful disease, lay down traps as soon as you can. If, however, the traps don’t work or the population of rats is too big to handle on your own, call a professional exterminator to handle the problem for you. Depending on the severity of the infestation, you may have to close the office down for quite some time until the problem has been resolved.
5. Odd smells
Do you smell strange odors that weren’t there before? It could be a sign of pests. Here are some examples of pests and what their presence can smell like:
- Rats – ammonia
- Roaches – oily odor
- Mice – musty, urine smell
- Termites – mildewy or moldy smell
Ask other people in the office if they can detect the smell to make sure it’s not just you. If they confirm it, get an expert to do an inspection as soon as possible. It may be only the smell today, but you could be seeing visible signs of pests if you don’t act quickly.
6. Eaten food
Ants on the counter, paper bags eaten through, droppings near the fridge–if you notice these signs in the pantry, don’t ignore them! This can only mean that you have pests in your office, and the problem may not be isolated in your pantry only. Don’t wait until your employees are complaining of pests getting into their personal food items or you receive a serious health code violation. Call in a pest control service right away.
How to prevent pests in the office
No one wants to work in an office with creepy crawlies all around. To keep your employees safe, healthy, and happy, prevent pests from infesting your office with these tips:
- Encourage the employee to avoid eating at work areas
- Have your carpets regularly shampooed
- Call in a pest control service for preventative maintenance
- Have holes and gaps sealed to bar entry of pests
- Keep your stock rooms tidy and clean
- Store food in enclosed containers
- Promptly dispose of garbage
- Eliminate hiding areas for pests
- Prioritize cleanliness of the office pantry
Pests in the workplace are a nuisance, a health risk, and a morale dampener. To avoid a pest infestation from happening in your office, keep a lookout for these signs and call in the professionals when you see them.