Ever forgotten your lunch on your desk? Maybe even left an open candy bar in a drawer? If so, you’re not alone, but you may also be causing issues for your office.
As office properties convert to multi-use or open floor plans, your desk drawers are just one trouble area that could attract bugs.
Here are five hidden “hot spots” where you may not expect to find pests, but they may be hiding:
- Common areas (break rooms, food prep areas and cafeterias)
It really doesn’t matter what you bring to eat – once it’s open or even thrown away, it may be attracting pests. The real problem is when you leave opened food in a desk drawer, cabinet or countertop, and then forget about it. To avoid attracting pests, keep food in tightly closed containers, line all trash cans and take trash out frequently.
- Plumbing and drains
Pests (such as American cockroaches) are drawn to moisture. Dripping faucets, water weeping into walls or carpet, or even open drains are the equivalent of “vacancy” signs for bugs. It’s important to check drains often, and even better, to use products that physically block openings around drains. Equally important in older buildings is to look for old pipes that are now obsolete. If new plumbing has been installed, make sure the old pipes have been sealed so that pests don’t see those as a red carpet invitation to come in.
- Exterior entrances
Main entrances are invitations to not only visitors, but also pests. And trash cans are often nearby, which is yet another vulnerability. Both are manageable with a few precautions. Make sure you install an air curtain at the entrance, and establish positive air pressure that pushes bugs toward the exit instead of pulling them in. Remember to frequently empty the trash to get rid of food, liquid and odors that may entice pests.
- Loading docks, shipping/receiving areas
Loading docks and shipping/receiving areas pose two problems. First, their doors are frequently open to receive goods and products. Second, the goods and products themselves could have been shipped with pests that snuck inside. Luckily, there are a few solutions. Closing loading dock doors between shipments can cut down on receiving uninvited guests, and installing vinyl strip doors as an added barrier can help when the actual doors are open. Knowing the incoming shipment schedule can also help you manage proper inspection and storage processes to help identify and stop pest activity sooner than later.
- Multi-use buildings
As mixed-use buildings become more popular, offices now have neighbors like restaurants, apartments and shops, and they may even have a rooftop with vegetation and park-like features. Each kind of tenant environment can pose a different pest issue. Florists, for example, can tend to attract gnats, while restaurants can attract rodents and cockroaches. Further, green roofs can be inviting to flying and stinging pests. Download our checklists of top concerns for property managers with diversified portfolios and green roofs.
To get a handle on these issues and more, an integrated pest management program can help property managers stay ahead of the issues that come with operating a thriving mixed-use office building.
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