We hate to say it, but your workplace probably isn’t the cleanest place in the world. Don’t worry, we’re not here to yell at you. This isn’t like going to the dentist, where we’re going to tell you to floss more and get an electric toothbrush. The truth is, anytime there’s a group of people cohabiting a space, some chores are going to be neglected. Sometimes this neglect leads to some critters moving in.
With that being said, the best way to practice good pest control is to stop pests from infesting your work in the first place. We’ve already covered quite a few different ways to help you keep pests out of virtually any workplace. These are great for a review, but chances are you’re already pretty diligent about the basics. That’s why this time we’ve decided to cover the pest prevention strategies that are most frequently forgotten. Here are the big pest prevention steps you and your employees are probably forgetting to do.
Rinse Out Cups and Bottles
Everyone knows you shouldn’t leave crumbs sitting out for pests to find, but no one seems to think about liquids. Mice and cockroaches need to drink, too! Pests like fleas are more attracted to sugary waters than anything, so that drop of Coke you left in the bottom of a bottle is like a bug magnet. Even if you drained your coffee or energy drink, the residue left behind is more than enough to get bugs all hot and bothered.
Whenever you finish a beverage at work, take the time to rinse it out, even if it’s going straight into the garbage can. Pests don’t care if that sweet water is in a crumpled up wax cup from McDonalds; they’re surprisingly not picky.
Take The Garbage Out Before Leaving
This one seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget. Everybody thinks someone else will take care of it on their way out, and then nobody does. When trash sits out over night, it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet for mice, rats, cockroaches, fleas, spiders, and all manner of unsavory malcontents. Even sealed garbage bags or covered cans aren’t really safe when pests decide they’re hungry.
Consider making an office schedule for garbage duties. It can be one person’s “garbage day” once a week or so. That person will be in charge of collecting all the garbage from various cans and taking it out to the dumpster when they leave for the day. We highly recommend this! Keeping trash out of your building over night is one of the absolute best things you can do to prevent pest infestations.
Empty the Dishwasher
We know what you’re thinking: it’s a really good day if we somehow manage to get all the dishes in our office dishwasher and start it. Well, let us tell you: that’s a great first step, because the residue left behind on plates and utensils is a favorite snack of all kinds of pests. Like we said before, though… pests have to drink too.
If you run your dishwasher and leave it to sit, all those dishes will be dripping with moisture all night. After a short period, the dishwasher will cool down enough to be safe for pests to go inside. Then, it’s basically a damp, warm, dark cave. In other words, the absolute perfect pest breeding ground. Urgh. After you run the dishwasher at work, take the dishes out, dry them off and put them away. This is another task you can assign via a schedule. Plus, as an added bonus,when you get to work in the morning you’ll always have fresh clean dishes!
Water the Plants
Poor office plants. Perpetually in a state of slowly being forgotten. Cared for just enough to cling to life but not enough to thrive. The office orphans. “Isn’t that plastic?” says the callous copywriter on his way back from the kitchen. You honestly don’t know.
Well, now you have an even better reason than guilt to take care of that one shrub that was left behind when marketing switched office spaces: pests! As plants are neglected, they begin to dry out, die, and rot. This rot attracts different sorts of pests who feed on decomposing material. When you’re finally, guiltily watering the poor plants, however, be careful not to overwater. If you leave behind pools of water that the plant can’t drink quickly, you’ll be making a little watering hole for pests.
Keep Snacks Sealed
Everyone says they understand this one, but very few understand the extent of what we mean. We’re not just talking about the obvious; your apples, cinnamon bread, pop tarts… We mean whatever food is around the office. Wrappers are a big help but they’re not perfect, and they only keep food sealed before you tear them open. A half-eaten candy bar stuffed in its own wrapper is not a protected candy bar.
Whenever you’re not eating something, have a resealable container of some kind handy to store it in. This could be tupperware, a zip-lock baggie; anything that will be effective. This extends to common area foods too: if you leave out candies for people in a lobby or meals for staff in the kitchen, have something to cover them with. It could be as simple as a plastic dish with a cap over it. It’s no inconvenience to anyone, and it keeps pests away nicely. Make sure you periodically wash out your food containers, even if they don’t look dirty. It would be ironic if the thing you bought to prevent pests wound up attracting them!
No office can be perfectly diligent all the time. Sometimes the kitchen gets dirty or some trash sits out over the weekend. It’s not the end of the world. The best way to prevent pests is, ultimately, just to pay a little more attention to the stuff you do to keep your workspace clean every day. Not only will this help prevent infestations, it’ll also make you feel better about where you work!
And of course, if you do end up with an infestation in your workplace, give Assured a call right away. We offer all kinds of pest control programs tailored specifically for different kinds of business. We’ll kick those buggers out and lock the door behind them.