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How to Avoid Office Pest Infestation: Regular Cleaning & Maintenance: As a business owner or office manager, your employees, tenants, and patrons all expect a healthy, hygienic environment. That being said,  there’s nothing worse than spotting a roach or a rodent in your workplace. Cleanliness and pest control go hand-in-hand and are vitally important in an office environment. Even if you don’t have a pest problem now, preventative measures should be taken to ensure that you don’t have one in the future. Investing in a regular cleaning service can help manage your cleaning needs and keep pests from taking up residence in your office.

Pests are both a nuisance and a danger to people’s health. They can damage the structure of your premises, attack and contaminate food intended for humans, and spread many forms of disease and harmful bacteria. Rodents are capable of destroying insulation in attics and chewing through walls, baseboards, and electrical wire. Pests can also act as vectors of disease and enable cross-contamination. They can pick up and later excrete or transfer pathogens. Rats and mice carry diseases that can be spread to humans directly, through contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva, or through rodent bites. They can also spread diseases indirectly through ticks, mites, or fleas that have fed on an infected rodent.    

Pest infestation prevention  

Pests can enter your office in a variety of ways. They can fly or crawl in through the smallest of spaces or cracks and hitch a ride with deliveries or on personal items such as flowers or plants. Pests will be attracted to any space that offers water, food, and shelter. An office or workplace can be susceptible to pest infestations if these three elements are present, and if problem areas are not addressed. 

There are two main steps to pest infestation prevention: stopping access and removing the attraction. The first line of defense in keeping pests out of your office is to make sure the building exterior is well maintained – making it inviting for patrons but not for pests. A well-maintained office exterior should include eliminating access points that pests use to get inside.

  • Stopping access:
    • Start by Inspecting the areas around your building such as the foundation, basement, roof, windows, and doors:
    • All external doors should fit their frames closely leaving no gaps. Attach brush strips
    • to any badly fitting doors.
    • Install fly screens over external windows and doors where necessary.
    • Secure any gaps around pipework or cables that breach external walls, grates
    • on drainage gullies, etc. with suitable rodent resistant materials such as concrete
    • Remember that a mouse can squeeze through space the width of a pencil! 
    • Fill any cracks in walls, floors, and ceilings that could provide a place where pests can live, thrive, reproduce, and feed.
  • Removing the attraction:
    • Cleaning must be done regularly including hard to reach areas such as under/behind
    • equipment
    • Clean up spillages immediately
    • Store open packs of dry food in containers with lids. Check food packaging for damage
    • Make sure trash bins have securely fitted lids
    • Make sure trash bins are emptied and cleaned out on a regular basis
    • Avoid accumulations of cardboard and redundant equipment
    • Food and drink should never be left out overnight
    • Eliminate sources of water – fix  dripping taps and cover toilets
    • Check deliveries for signs of pest activity
    • Make sure staff know the procedure for reporting any signs of pest activity so action can be immediately taken
    • Hire a professional janitorial service to keep your office clean and well-maintained

Water sources

Pest problems are more likely to occur and become established in those areas where all their needs are met: food, water or moisture, warmth, and a hiding place (harborage). Pests need water to survive and areas of standing water or plumbing issues can provide a recurring water source that’s attractive to both insects and rodents. Although nearly every insect species needs some source of moisture to survive, the most common insects you might notice in your office or workspace include cockroaches, termites, earwigs, beetles, mosquitoes, black ants, spiders, silverfish, and booklice.

Rodents will look for water leaks under crawl spaces, as this will provide a steady source of water. They will also drink water dripping from outdoor spigots. If your building eaves and gutters are clogged up with leaves and there’s standing water, that will also attract rodents. By eliminating their sources of water, you can create an environment where they don’t want to stay. Pay special attention to water sources in areas such as bathrooms, kitchen/breakroom, utility rooms and follow the recommendations below: 

  • Look for water damage and address any structural 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.

Exterior building landscaping 

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 a variety of pests. Mulch and ground covers hold moisture that can attract insects. Overgrown shrubs and plants provide camouflage allowing rodent populations to flourish. Overgrown and untrimmed tree branches create superhighways for squirrels, mice, and rats to easily access 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. Below are a few tips for making outdoor landscaping less attractive to pests:  

  • Building landscaping, including grass, hedges, shrubs, and trees should be cut, mowed, and trimmed regularly 
  • Make sure there is proper drainage around the entire building
  • Install gutters or diverts that will channel water away from the building 
  • Keep dumpsters or trashcans away from any landscaped areas 
  • Use a landscape medium such as decorative stones instead of mulch 
  • Decrease natural food sources near the property by gathering any tree fruit and nuts promptly when they fall to the ground
  • Keep the area around your building and parking lot free of litter   

Indoor office plants 

Although indoor plants can help lift your mood and beautify the office, they can also lead to pest problems. Indoor plants attract insects that thrive on indoor growing conditions that include high humidity levels or a lack of air circulation. The most common indoor plant pests are aphids, spider mites, fungus gnats, mealybugs, scale, thrips, and whitefly. Uncared for or overwatered office plants can hold stagnant water and attract gnats, mosquitoes, and other insects. Avoid pest infestation from indoor office plants by following the recommendations below: 

  • Proper watering (not overwatering) 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  

Undisturbed clutter  

Inspect storerooms, utility rooms, cupboards, and vacant offices for clutter as these can be preferred nesting sites. Piles of paper and clutter provide pests with nesting materials and quiet, undisturbed areas that make a perfect pest harbourage.  Avoid office pest problems by keeping  the following suggestions in mind: 

  • 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 have a weekly cleaning service, you should dispose of trash and cardboard each day before you leave the office 

Food in the office  

If you don’t have areas in your office designated for eating snacks and meals, then you should consider one. This will discourage employees from bringing food to their desks and leaving food crumbs that can be sources of food for the pests.  Ask employees to keep any food in the kitchen rather than in their desk drawers, or store and food at their desks in pest-resistant, un-gnawable containers. Bring ripe fruit home or store in a refrigerator—don’t leave fruit on your desk overnight. Don’t leave cakes and cookies, or other employee-shared snacks, out overnight, as these can be highly attractive to rodents and other pests.

What to do if you discover a pest problem 

The key to dealing effectively with pest infestations is to identify them in the early stages. This involves regular monitoring of your premises for the signs of pests. If a pest problem is detected, make sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect all equipment and surfaces that may have been contaminated including the floor, and remove and dispose of any stock that may have been contaminated.

Care should be taken when cleaning as pest contamination can cause disease. Always wear gloves. Clean away all rodent droppings, dead cockroaches, and cockroach egg cases from the premises, or hire a professional cleaning service to do the clean-up for you. At Cleanstart, our cleaning professionals will make sure to decontaminate where ever necessary. Our deodorizers effectively remove all lingering odors. We will properly dispose of all discarded materials.

Regular cleaning   

The more frequently you clean, the less chance of having to deal with pest problems. Protect your office from insects, bugs, and other pests by following a detailed cleaning and maintenance routine. Although you may not be able to prevent every pest from entering your facility, following the recommendations mentioned above can help deter pests from taking up residence in your workplace and becoming a nuisance and a health problem. 

Consider hiring a routine cleaning service to keep your office environment clean, well-maintained, and unappealing to insects and rodents. At Cleanstart, we offer a wide range of services including deep cleanings, recurring janitorial services (daily, bi-weekly, or weekly, carpet and upholstery cleaning, floor care, kitchen/breakroom cleaning, restroom cleaning, high-dusting, window cleaning, and more 

High-Quality Professional Office Cleaning Services

Call Cleanstart today for more information at 253-921-2593.

Why your office needs Cleanstart

Cleanstart is a professionally run cleaning company with over 25 years of experience in the commercial cleaning and janitorial industry. Our experience, ongoing employee training, attention to detail, and high standards are what set us apart from other cleaning companies. We will clean and maintain your office/building using the most effective cleaning products and processes, and the latest equipment. Whether you are looking for daily, bi-weekly, or weekly office janitorial services, we can accommodate your office cleaning needs and schedule – after-hour cleanings are available.

Our stress-free services

When you hire Cleanstart, you can be assured that each of our cleaning crew members undergoes extensive vetting and receives a background check before they are hired. Our cleaning professionals are thoroughly trained in all aspects of cleaning, including the latest technologies, tools, products, equipment, quality standards, and safety. We are a licensed company and fully insured for your protection. Our cleaning technicians are bonded and covered by worker’s compensation insurance.

Our customer satisfaction guarantee

You can count on Cleanstart for consistent, quality cleaning services with every visit. We stand behind the quality of our work and offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee: If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of our service, please give us a call within 24 hours and we will correct the issue within one business day at no additional cost to you. Our goal is to build strong relationships with our customers and establish trust. Simply put, we care and want to provide the best cleaning services possible.  

✓ Over 25 years of experience in the commercial cleaning and janitorial industry
✓ Thoroughly trained and vetted cleaning professionals
✓ Commitment to the highest quality clean
✓ Local, licensed, insured, & bonded service
✓ 24/7 cleaning options & support
✓ Customized cleaning solutions
✓ One-time and recurring office cleaning services
✓ 100% satisfaction guarantee
✓ OSHA, HIPAA, EPA, CDC, AORN compliant
✓  A+ BBB-rating

If you would like more information about our office janitorial services or schedule a cleaning visit, please give us a call today at (253) 921-2593 or request a free online cleaning quote!    

Cleanstart services for the following greater Puget Sound locations: 

AuburnBellevueBellinghamBonney LakeBremertonFactoriaFifeGig HarborKentLakewoodOlympiaPuyallup, RentonSeattle, TacomaTukwilaUniversity Place, King CountyKitsap County, Pierce County, and Thurston County.

5013 Pacific Hwy E unit 16 Fife, WA 98424 • Phone: 253.921.2593 • Email: Caleb @ thecleanstart.com

Sources:

  1. https://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/dos-and-donts-pest-control
  2. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/
  3. http://www.pestcontrolmethods.org
  4. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/
  5. https://doh.dc.gov/page/rodent-control-tips-business-owners
  6. https://www.canab.com/15-ways-to-keep-your-office-pest-free/
  7. https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/dept/factshts/office_ipm.pdf