Your heart stops as you stare at the little apple seed that just fell from your head.
Then the apple seed begins to move.
You back away in horror. Did you bring the bed bug in from home? Has it been hanging out at work all this time?
You want to tell management, but you can’t shake the feeling of embarrassment over this. You stay as still as the apple seed, unsure of what to do.
Yes, bed bugs in the workplace are a thing. So hopefully your company has a plan for bed bug infestations. And it’d be even better if your team had a plan to prevent situations like this in the first place.
Eager to learn how you can prepare for bed bug infestations? Read on for tips to keep your workplace safe and pest-free.
Response to Bed Bugs in the Workplace
If you find some unexpected guests in your workplace, you want to have a plan of action set up. Bed bugs are not the plague, but you don’t want to wait to address them. Here are some tips for handling a bed bug situation in your office space.
As mentioned, bed bugs look like little apple seeds and are about 2-3 millimetres long. Shed skin, white eggs, and red or rusty stains are dead giveaways for bed bugs.
You should pay close attention to walls and furniture when searching for these pests. Check for bed bugs in office chair areas, at the edges of carpets, and behind outlets.
Every nook and cranny serves as a potential hideout for bed bugs. Make sure you know the signs, so you can identify bed bugs and begin the pest control process.
As soon as you confirm bed bugs in your office, tell management immediately. Employers can get in trouble if they don’t alert employees and handle the situation right away. Communication is crucial when it comes to resolving infestations.
Your company should then contact pest control services for a thorough extermination. This usually involves pesticides and heavy cleaning of the office area.
However, extermination is not a panacea for your pest problems. Bed bugs go where people are, so your workplace may not even be the scene of the crime.
If an employee is the source of the outbreak, things can get a little tricky. You don’t want to embarrass the employee, but you want to get to the root of the problem.
A possible solution could be providing the person with paid time off to encourage them to stay home. And if they have a bed bug infestation at home, your company can even offer to pay for extermination services.
In the end, it’s your company’s responsibility to sniff out and snuff out the problem. To provide proper care for employees, pest control may need to extend beyond the office.
While you can never develop a full-proof plan to keep your space bug-free, you can make life a lot harder for bed bugs in office buildings. Follow these steps to transform your space into a living hell for pests.
You should account for every inch of your workspace.
Vacuum floors, hallways, bathrooms, and other public areas every day. Try to reduce the amount of clutter you have lying around. Be sure to check the furniture for stains.
It’s wise to schedule regular inspections of lockers, closets, and other storage areas. You want to monitor any areas that can serve as hiding places for these sneaky pests.
And double-check furniture additions, products, and inventory before bringing them into the office. Bed bugs are resilient travellers, so you don’t want to provide them with more ways of getting into your workplace.
Take the necessary steps to ensure you are protected from pest outbreaks. You can never clean and declutter your space too much if it means keeping the bed bugs at bay.
Bed bug prevention shouldn’t start in the workplace. The problem could be coming right from your own home.
Be sure to keep your bed nice and tidy. Don’t let sheets hang out and touch the floor. If your bed is touching the wall, move it away to make it harder for bed bugs to travel.
You might want to get a protective covering for your mattress. Of course, you should regularly clean your mattress too. And when doing laundry, transport your items in a covering or separate bag. Keep a lookout when using a public laundry facility.
And your company should consider a hygiene policy for employees. This doesn’t have to be excessive. It can simply ensure people are keeping themselves groomed.
Finally, be vigilant while travelling. Don’t set your stuff down on floors or near other people’s stuff. And make sure to isolate your belongings at work. Remember, bed bugs like clutter, so you need to adjust your behaviour to prevent these pests from spreading.
Have the Talk
Bed bugs can be a touchy subject, especially if your employee or co-worker is responsible for bringing bed bugs in office spaces.
There is an undeniable stigma surrounding bed bugs.
When people find out they or their home is the source of the infestation, they may get a little embarrassed. Bed bugs, after all, are drawn to clutter and messiness. So people may feel like they are unclean or messy.
To avoid people feeling shy about having bed bugs, your company can start the conversation ahead of time.
Come up with policies for handling pest situations, and publicly share them with all employees. If people feel comfortable talking about the subject, they will be more likely to report infestations at home or at the workplace.
Make Pest Control the Norm
You shouldn’t wait to implement pest precautions only after finding bed bugs in the workplace. You can start taking preventative measures a part of your daily routine.
Tidy up your surroundings to take away the places bed bugs love to call home. And start conversations today. As long as word spreads faster than the bed bugs do, you can crush any infestation.
But if things do get out of hand, be sure to call for backup.
Ready to make pest control a part of your everyday work life? Contact us to see what services and advice we offer to keep the bed bugs away from your workplace.