No matter how clean your office environment is, at some point you may encounter unwanted pests in your workplace. As we move into the summer months, many pests such as rodents, ants, flies, gnats, roaches, wasps become more active.
Offices that have been closed, or housed fewer employees due to the pandemic, have provided a quiet place for these little creatures to live without much deterrence. If insects or rodents are allowed to settle into your space, it can be incredibly difficult to get rid of them. In this post, we go into detail about how to prevent pests from invading your office this summer.
Who Invited Them Anyway?
Pests are the party crashers of the office world and can enter office buildings in a variety of ways. They can fly or crawl in through the smallest of spaces or cracks. They can also hitchhike in with deliveries or on people’s personal items like plants.
Pests are attracted to any space that offers water, food, and shelter. Your workspace can be susceptible to pest infestations if these three elements are present, and if problem areas are not addressed.
Once inside, pests will seek out spaces that will meet their needs of survival and they will invite their friends along. The hustle and bustle of your office building, with people who eat, drink, and utilize the office space, provide all the essentials for a pest population to thrive and expand.
Who’s Going to Tell Them They Need to Leave?
Cleanliness and pest control go hand in hand and are extremely important in an office environment. The team at Commercial Cleaning Corporation put together a comprehensive list of guidelines to help you prevent troublesome pests who have their eyes set on making your property the home of their dreams.
A little prevention goes a long way, but if this job feels overwhelming, consider investing in a weekly cleaning service to help manage your cleaning needs and take the stress of cleaning away from you and your staff.
Prime Real Estate – Start with the Exterior
The first line of defense in keeping pests out of your office is to make sure the exterior is well maintained, making it inviting for customers but not for pests.
A well-maintained exterior will reduce access points that pests can use to get inside. Use the following suggestions when inspecting areas around your building like the foundation, basement, roof, windows, and doors.
- Weatherproof your building’s exterior. By sealing holes, cracks and gaps with caulk, sealant or foam you will close off points of entry for insects and rodents alike.
- Ensure gutters are clean and free of debris to reduce leaks and entry points in the roof.
- Perform regulator maintenance on your entryways, windows, siding, roof, and other exterior entrance points.
- Make sure all window and exterior doors are securely sealed when shut.
- Do not leave exterior doors open, especially on ground level, unless they are being used.
- Check all window screens for rips or tears. If a window can open, it needs a screen. Proper screens are critical to preventing flying pests.
- Keep lids on exterior garbage cans and close the covers on larger garbage containers.
- Place trash dumpsters at least 50 feet away from the building and dock areas when possible.
- Keep common outdoor areas clean and don’t allow debris to accumulate.
A Pest’s Definition of Curb Appeal
Low ground cover and plantings add greenery and beauty to the often-stark look of commercial office buildings, but they are also ideal habitats for all manner of pests.
Unkept garden beds, grasses with high blades, and unruly shrubs can easily become hot spots for insects and rodents. Mulch and ground covers hold moisture that can attracts insects.
Overgrown shrubs and plants provide camouflage allowing rodent populations to flourish. Untrimmed and overgrown tree branches create efficient superhighways that allow squirrels, mice, and rats access to your rooftop.
If trash bins or dumpsters are close to the building, it won’t take much for pests to be encouraged to seek shelter close by.
- Landscaping, including trees, should be cut, mowed, and trimmed regularly.
- Make sure you have proper drainage around the entirety of the building.
- Install gutters or diverts that will channel water away from the building.
- Keep dumpsters or trashcans away from landscaped areas.
- Use a landscape medium such as decorative stones instead of mulch.
- If it is safe, minimize light fixtures by entryways and windows. Night-flying bugs are attracted to light, and this can help deter them from entering your building.
Maintain a Clean Kitchen
Kitchens and break areas are often the social hub for employees, but unfortunately they can create a perfect breeding ground for pests. By cutting off access to food and water and following these easy steps, you can keep rodents and other pests out of your office kitchen.
- Ask employees to keep food and snacks in the kitchen area as much as possible and out of desk drawers or common areas other than the kitchen.
- Wipe down tables and countertops with a cleaning agent frequently and at the end of each day. Don’t forget kitchen appliances like toasters, microwaves, ovens, and coffee bars.
- Food should be stored immediately in airtight containers.
- Keep as much of office food in the freezer or fridge as possible.
- Kitchen shelves and cabinets should be cleaned regularly, and expired food thrown out on a weekly basis.
- Your kitchen’s trash cans should be removed or covered on a daily basis.
- Check the corners of the kitchen, behind large appliances, and under the sinks and tables for possible signs of rodents.
- Inspect and seal gaps or holes you see beneath the kitchen sink using spray foam or caulk. Repair and leaks immediately and use metal covers over pipes and drains.
- Remove cardboard containers or boxes. Use cans or jars whenever possible.
Eliminate Water Sources
Bugs love moisture. Water is one of the three main things they need to survive and they will nest near an accessible water source. Plumbing issues that create areas of standing water or provide a recurring water source are like a welcome sign for rodents and bugs to make themselves at home.
- Pay special attention to areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and utility rooms.
- Look for water damage and address any structure issues immediately.
- Repair leaky faucets or pipes both indoors and outdoors and seal any leaks or cracks around plumbing or drains.
- Clean drains by using a drain brush to help remove organic matter since this is where flies breed.
- Don’t allow standing water. Regularly empty any receptacles that collect water.
- Be cautious when keeping windows and doors open on days with high humidity.
- Install weatherproof stripping around windows and doors and replace them as necessary.
The Dirt on Office Plants
Although they help lift your mood and beautify the office, office plants can lead to pest problems if not treated responsibly. Uncared for or overwatered office plants can hold stagnant water that can create a breeding ground for gnats, mosquitoes, and other insects.
Spiders, ants, and earwigs will also find your plants and flowers attractive and can hitchhike their way into your office via your botanical friend.
- Proper plant watering will prevent mosquitoes and gnats and will help to negate potential breeding grounds.
- Remove any unused planters or bins from around the office.
- Inspect cut flowers or foliage before bringing them inside your office.
- Properly treat or remove any plants if you see signs of bugs or infestation. Look for yellowed or dropped leaves, weak growth, or wilting stems. (1)
Clear Your Clutter
The phrase “Out of sight, out of mind” applies to this often-overlooked office area – storage rooms! We forget what we cannot see, and we keep in mind what we do see.
Inspect storerooms, utility rooms, and vacant offices for clutter as these can be preferred nesting sites. Piles and clutter provide pests with nesting materials and quiet, undisturbed areas that make a cozy home and a perfect place to raise a pest family.
- Don’t allow areas to become over crowed and unmanageable.
- Immediately dispose of used cardboard boxes or materials.
- Use designated storage rooms, containers, and racking so items can be stored up off the floor and make it easier to spot any unwelcome tenants.
- Even if you are using a weekly cleaning service, you should dispose of trash each day before you leave the office.
- Floors should be vacuumed, swept, or mopped daily by cleaning staff. Ask your employees to wipe up any spills immediately.
The first step for pest control is prevention. Protect your office from insects, bugs, and other pests by following a detailed cleaning and maintenance routine.
Although you cannot prevent every pest from entering your facility, using the above guidelines will help you as you manage your building and help deter a pest invasion before it becomes a big problem.
The more frequently you can clean, the better, this is one of the many benefits of having a nightly janitorial cleaning services for your office.
Consider hiring a routine cleaning service to keep your office clean and orderly and help make your building as unappealing to insects and rodents as possible.
Commercial Cleaning Corporation offers a wide variety of services to keep your office clean and pest free, including day porter and janitorial work, carpet and furnishing cleanings, floor care, kitchen cleaning, window cleaning, and more!
Contact us today to freshen up your facility during the summer season. Click here now to schedule a free consultation.