Unfortunately, bed bugs are becoming a threat to not only homes, but to private and public workplaces. The fact that these pests are small and great hitchhikers as well as being amazing at hiding, one can easily carry them from one place to another, which can result in an infestation. With this in mind, it shouldn’t be a surprise if you find bed bugs at work.
Though it might scare you at first, don’t panic. There are things you can do to handle the situation properly without the need to disrupt your entire operation and prevent bringing bed bugs everywhere.
How to Properly Handle Bed Bugs in The Workplace
When dealing with bed bugs at your workplace, it is necessary that you take it slow but sure. You don’t want your employees to keep spreading them to other areas and bring them home. So, once you learn that there are bed bugs inside your workplace, do the following:
1. Survey your office completely
Given the widespread bed bug infestation, it is ideal to teach your staff about bed bugs, how to identify them, and how you can carefully and completely inspect areas. Since these pests hide in almost all corners, cracks and crevices, it will help if everyone is knowledgeable on how to make the entire process work.
2. Have the right response to your findings. In the case that you find bed bugs…
Don’t kill them! Proper identification lies at seeing the bugs alive and not after you crush them. Place them in a bottle or resealable plastic bag so an expert can inspect and identify them. Make sure that you isolate the place where you find the bugs.
3. Act Immediately
You don’t want anyone to be exposed to bed bugs at work, so it is necessary that you contact a pest control team immediately. Don’t wait for a day or two to pass as they can spread easily. The expert will verify the bugs onsite and will provide a treatment plan to exterminate the bugs. Everything will be explained to you and they will schedule the treatments. Most likely, they will schedule it when there are no people in the building.
4. Ensure that you and your employees are protected
Inform everyone of the situation and prevent them from going to the area where the bugs were found. Also, provide sealable plastic bags where they can put their belongings and clothing items. Let everyone use a specific pair of shoes or require everyone to wear shoe covers when inside the office premises to prevent carrying pests back and forth. This will prevent your employees from bringing any bugs home.
Let everyone practice reducing clutter regularly and observe a complete inspection of their clothes and shoes prior to going home. If you have a serious infestation, try to put up a Packtite Closet for everyone’s coats and jackets or extra work clothes and a Zappbug Oven 2 for the shoes and other items.
5. Have clear communication between staff and customers
Reassure everyone in the office that you are already working on the bed bug problem and that it is being handled by experts. Let your staff know the areas that will be treated and the type of treatment that will be used. It is also important to let them know that the sight of one or two bugs is not an infestation but only an occurrence. The treatments being provided are ways to prevent an infestation. Hand them material safety sheets for all chemicals that the exterminators are going to use for the treatment.
Aside from these tips on how to avoid getting bed bugs at work and preventing everyone from bringing home bed bugs, it is also necessary that you encourage everyone to cooperate during and after the treatment. Using bed bug traps and detectors will help to monitor the bugs and know whether the treatment was effective or if another one is still required.