Have you been feeling itchy at work? Did you notice some insects shaped like apple seeds around your desk? Despite your disbelief, there may just be bed bugs at your workplace!
There is so much talk about getting bed bugs from hotel rooms, public transport, and second-hand furniture. However, no one talks about the possibility of having these notorious bugs in your office. Yes, it is possible for that to happen!
Don’t be alarmed! If you think you have a bed bug infestation at work, there are some bed bug control measures you can adopt. Here, you can learn how to identify bed bugs at your workplace. Keep reading to also learn how to control the infestation and eradicate bed bugs.
Signs of Bed Bugs at Your Workplace
If you have a hunch, there may be bed bugs crawling around your office; it is time to investigate. First things first, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the appearance of bed bugs. Bed bugs look a lot like apple seeds but are only 2 to 3 millimetres in size. They are wingless and reddish brown in colour.
Immature bed bugs are much smaller and off-white, so they may be difficult to spot. However, adult bed bugs are easily identifiable to the naked eye.
However, bed bugs are sneaky creatures that rarely come out of their hideouts. So, you need to look out for other signs of bed bugs in your office. Signs of bed bugs can include white-coloured eggs, dead skin, or red stains on office chairs and other furniture.
Be sure to check their favourite hiding places, such as the edges of carpets, electrical outlets, and storage boxes, for signs such as physical sightings, eggs, and droppings. Once you have confirmed the presence of bed bugs in the office, it is time to start the pest control process.
How to Eliminate Bed Bugs in the Office?
Now that you know you can get bed bugs in your office, too, you need to figure out a plan of action.
Take Action Promptly
Communication is essential when dealing with a bed bug infestation. Inform management about the situation as soon as you learn that there are bed bugs in your workplace. Employers are obligated to alert all employees and take care of the situation as quickly as possible. However, bed bugs in high-traffic places like offices can be a tricky thing.
Hence, the company should contact a reliable pest control service to carry out the extermination. These professionals will use heavy cleaning and pesticides to get rid of bed bugs. However, this process is not a permanent solution.
Because bed bugs go where you go, they will latch on to staff from the office and travel to their homes. But, ironically, they can also travel back to the office in the same way.
Provide Support to Employees
If any employees can be identified as the source of the outbreak, the situation needs to be addressed calmly. The aim is to handle the situation without embarrassing them.
The company could offer the employee paid time off and even help to pay for any bed bug control services that may be necessary. It is the company’s responsibility to tackle this problem, even if they need to extend pest control support beyond the office.
Hire a Bed Bug Control Dog
As surprising as it may sound, you can hire specially trained dogs to help combat bed bug problems. These dogs can sniff out bed bugs and indicate where the notorious little pests may be hiding.
The company could hire these dogs not only to investigate around the office but also to send them to the homes of employees. The findings by bed bug sniffing dogs are usually accurate and can help you take quick pest control actions wherever required.
Take Preventive Action for the Future
The office management cannot rest even after the matter is under control. They need to take some measures to protect the office from future infestations. First of all, every inch of the workspace should be cleaned regularly. Floors, bathrooms, hallways, and all public areas should be vacuumed periodically. Check often for signs of bedbugs. Inspection of closets, lockers and storage areas can be scheduled a few times a year.
As a team, prioritise having a decluttered office to protect the space from pest outbreaks. The employer should have policies in place for handling pest situations. Moreover, pest control should become the norm. Instead of waiting for an outbreak, there should be an emphasis on adopting preventive measures.
How to Avoid Bringing Bed Bugs Home?
Alongside tackling the bed bug infestation at your workplace, it is important to learn how you can avoid carrying a bed bug home from work. Bed bugs are not easy to eradicate, especially in offices where many people meet daily. As such, it is essential to learn how you can prevent bed bugs from invading your house.
Well, the effort must begin at the workplace. First, check all the resting areas, such as the couches and the break room. These are places where you might sit long enough for bed bugs to latch on and feed. Avoid these places until the bed bug problem is resolved entirely.
Organise and clean your space in the office regularly, so bedbugs are not drawn to it. Avoid clutter in general. Discard stacks of paper you no longer need. Also, vacuum the area every day to reduce the chances of bed bugs appearing.
Keep your belongings separated from those of others. When you reach home, store your office bag in a sealable plastic bag or a plastic bin and put it away. Change out of the clothes you wear to work as soon as you can and keep them separate from your home clothes. Use the highest heat setting on your drying machine to dry the clothes and get rid of bed bugs, if there are any.
Now you know that there can be bed bugs at your workplace. If that happens, you might also bring the bugs back home with you. To prevent the discomfort and nuisance caused by bed bugs, you need to take measures to eradicate the bed bugs.
Look for signs of these tiny pests and identify whether there are bed bugs in your office. Once identified, inform the people in charge. Your employer should then call for pest control and take steps to eradicate bed bugs. They may even offer paid leave and free pest control to employees.
Until then, you should be vigilant. Be careful and try not to carry bed bugs home. After the bed bug infestation is controlled, prevention tactics should be used to keep the bed bugs from returning.