No one likes dealing with pests at work. It’s easy to blame everyone else for the problem. Heck, maybe you’ve been the scapegoat yourself. Things can get passive-aggressive pretty quickly. The worst thing is, you’re sure you aren’t the problem! It’s obviously Kyle’s fault; he eats a burrito at desk every day.

But wait… maybe you are part of the problem. Below are a couple ways you might be contributing to your office’s pest problem without even knowing it. Once you know these, you’ll have a foolproof defense in case of confrontation.


Keeping a Personal Garbage Can

Yikes, you’re probably feeling pretty defensive already. We know it’s convenient to have a garbage can in your office. Everybody else has one! What’s the big deal? Well, personal garbage cans tend not to be emptied out with quite the regularity that communal garbage cans are. It’s too easy to just throw your lunch wrappers into a wastebasket under your desk and forget all about them. We’ve all done it. But you know who doesn’t forget about your garbage? Pests.


We’re not necessarily saying you have to do away with your garbage can all together. Just be sure you’re emptying it out regularly. Empty it into an outdoor dumpster, too–it’s pointless to take your garbage and just transfer it into another indoor can. The pests will find it either way. You should even consider taking your garbage out with you at the end of every workday.


Leaving Out Drinks

We know this isn’t meant to be malicious. Coffee is basically a part of your body. You make it automatically, drink it automatically, and go back for more automatically. You don’t remember the last time there wasn’t a coffee mug or at least a thermos on your desk; it’s just always been there. You’re pretty sure the desk came with it.


There’s no non-gross way to say this, so we’ll just get it out of the way: pests are definitely creeping up on your desk and sipping on that tasty beverage you left out while you’re at home, asleep.


Drinks, especially sugary drinks like soda or sweetened coffee, are like a beacon to pests. Any leftover liquids, whether they’re in a cup on your desk, in a plastic bottle under your desk, or even in a garbage can, are an absolute favorite of all kinds of opportunistic critters. At the end of the day, wash and put away any dishes, cups, or other utensils you may have used. Even if you’re just recycling that Coke bottle or throwing out a styrofoam cup, rinse it out thoroughly first. The pests really want that sweet, sweet sugar water.


Leaving Dishes Out to Soak

Doing dishes at home is bad enough; now we’re telling you to do someone else’s dishes? Have we ever seen how Kyle eats? The problem with that line of thinking is everyone in the office typically feels that way. When the dishes are always someone else’s problem, they end up being no one’s problem.


When you leave dishes out to soak, you’re combining the worst aspects of the first two problems we discussed. Not only is there now plenty of water for pests to sip at their leisure, it’s even been flavored for them.


If you haven’t already, consider implementing an office chore schedule. Every week, someone is in charge of dishes, someone else gets the garbage, someone vacuums, etc. You could also take on the job of doing the dishes yourself, but who wants to do that? If you don’t have an office protocol and don’t want to risk trying to implement one, the least you can do is to clean your own dishes. At least that way, when the fingers start pointing, you’ll be covered.   


Having a Cluttered Workspace

For being so bold and fearless, pests are surprisingly shy. They don’t like being spotted, so they’re very good at hiding out. You’d be surprised how pests can maneuver through an office building unseen. They’ll use virtually any cover they can find, and that includes your desk. Whether it’s your office or the building in general, it’s a good idea to keep everything as tidy as you can. Not only is this beneficial for productivity and morale, it’ll deprive pests of potential places to hide, live, and breed.


Start with your own office. Look around for anything that’s just sort of sitting out. Find or make a dedicated space for spare documents, files, boxes, furniture, bags, cabinets, electronics–anything that’s loose and untidy.


While you’re at it, consider scheduling an office-wide spring cleaning program. If everyone works together, it will be easier and faster to get the office clean. The secret to success is looking like you’re upset about the idea so you can keep slobs like Kyle off your back.


Moisture Accumulation

Bugs, mice, and other pests are attracted to moist, humid areas. If your office building is hot or feels humid, it’ll be enticing for any pest who wants to come in and warm up. Look for condensation on windows and mirrors, which is a sign that the humidity is too high in your office. Watch for any vents that might be blocked or otherwise obstructed. If you think it’s a big enough problem, consider buying a dehumidifier either for a common area or your own space. Humidity is also often a sign that your walls are not well-insulated.


Make sure all of that equipment is turned off at the end of the work day. You could also consider turning off the heat or air before the last person in the office leaves at night. That will save on power and also make it less likely that pests will break into the office while everyone’s away. Keeping an eye on the humidity may seem like a little bit of an abstract thing to do for your office, but it really does help deter pests, especially if you follow the other advice on the list.


We know you’re not the office’s mom. Not everything is your fault or your responsibility. However, someone has to take the first step in preventing pests. Don’t think of it as giving up and taking care of everyone else’s problem; think about it as taking a stand. “As long as there is breath in my body, no pest shall encroach upon this office threshold!”


If you do wind up with pests in your place of work, give Assured Environments a call anytime. We’re business pest control specialists, so we have a lot of experience with the kinds of pesky critters that prey on workplaces all over New York.


We’ll get them out, and keep them out. Even if Kyle won’t stop eating those burritos.