Bed bugs are typically thought of as household pests, and the lion’s share of advice is targeted at preventing and eliminating bed bugs in the home. However, these blood-sucking creatures recognize very few boundaries when it comes to looking for new places to invade and fresh opportunities to feed. While they might prefer to set up camp in a cozy house or apartment, they are just as likely to show up in a busy bus depot or shopping mall. In short, they go where the people go.
Which brings us to bed bugs in the office.
Bed Bugs in the Workplace
You might think your office would be a safe haven. Unfortunately, you’d be mistaken. While it’s true that offices aren’t really prime real estate where bed bugs are concerned they do make for convenient transfer points for these evil little parasites. They’re perfectly content to hitch a ride on a coat or a handbag only to jump off and then on to an unsuspecting trouser leg as they make their way to newer and better hunting grounds.
Your office may only be one stop along a bed bug’s travels, but it is an important one. If you fail to take the necessary precautions are work you could well find yourself bringing a stray bed bug or two back home with you, and that could result in a full scale home invasion. So, the question is “how do you prevent bed bug infestations at the office?”
Regularly Inspect Your Office Space
The average office or workspace sees a lot of traffic throughout the day. Clients, sales people, and delivery drivers are constantly coming and going. Any one of which could be carrying a stray bed bug or two. To protect your office from a full-scale bed bug invasion you need to be vigilant.
Regularly inspect your workspace for any telltale signs of infestation. You’ll want to cover all of the usual places bed bugs might hide, including:
- Office chairs
- Lobby furniture
- Cubicle dividers
- Behind desks
- Behind artwork
- Along baseboards
Talk to Your Employees
Early detection is key to combating a bed bug invasion, and your staff is at the forefront of the battle. Talk to your employees and make sure they all know how to recognize the signs of a potential bed bug infestation. Explain the importance of coming to you immediately if they suspect there is any bed bug activity in the office, and let them know that they should also notify you if they have any bed bug issues at home. Remember, bed bugs are travelers and if your employees have them at home they are likely to show up in the office.
Contact Your Cleaning Service
If you employ a cleaning service speak with the company’s management to ensure that their staff is also aware of how to spot the signs of bed bug activity in your offices. Confirm with the service that they have protocols in place to notify their clients of any pest control issues that need to be addressed.
Clean and Eliminate Clutter
If you don’t have a cleaning service than you will have to prioritize the cleaning of your offices yourself. Clean and vacuum all areas of the office on a regular basis, preferably daily. Eliminate clutter as much as possible, especially in cupboards and storage rooms where bed bugs might be hiding.
Inspect all Deliveries and Shipments
Bed bugs can, and will, hide almost anywhere. Make it standard operating procedure for employees to inspect all incoming deliveries. When unpacking new inventory they should carefully inspect all of the items, as well as the packing materials, for signs of bed bug activity before bringing anything into your facility.
Work with Your Pest Control Provider
If you or any of your employees notice signs of a potential bed bug infestation contact your pest control service provider immediately. The sooner you act the quicker the problem can be successfully addressed. Schedule a comprehensive inspection of the property and if bed bugs are detected your pest control provider will recommend a course of treatments. Schedule follow up inspections to ensure that your office space remains bed bug free in the future.
Bed Bugs at Home and Abroad
Bed bugs are likely to turn up anywhere, and businesses are not exempt from their travels. Remember, where there are people there can be bud bugs, so it is important to be vigilant and inspect your office regularly to ensure that it remains free of bed bugs and other pests. Don’t let your office space become the meeting ground for these pernicious little bloodsuckers. Follow the steps we’ve laid out here to keep your office, and by extension your home, a bed bug free zone.