Bed Bugs in Office Buildings

Control Bed Bugs in the Office: How to Take Action!

Source: Bed Bugs in the Office Take ACTION! (PDF)

Bed bugs are finally showing up for work. After several years of concentrated presence in hospitality and multifamily industries, bed bugs have worked their way into office properties. These pests are difficult to detect and to control – especially without the cooperation of your tenants, staff and pest management provider. To ensure you aren’t asleep on the job when bed bugs are at your office, take the following ACTION steps to protect your property.


  • Bed bugs are typically nocturnal parasites that feed on blood, mainly human hosts.
  • Now being seen in offices, sometimes during the day when hosts are present. Frequently introduced by business travelers and apartment dwellers.
  • Survey of BOMA members revealed one in 10 has experienced bed bugs at a commercial property.


  • Inform your tenants that bed bugs can be in the office and where you can typically find them.
  • Educate tenants about your bed bug policy, including responsibility for notification and remediation.
  • Include information about bed bugs in tenant newsletters.


  • Consult your pest management provider about training tenants, maintenance professionals, cleaning crews and other building staff about bed bug basics.
  • Demonstrate a quick and easy bed bug inspection routine that tenants can do in their own offices.
  • Provide tips on preventing bed bugs during travel and at home, such as washing and drying clothes after travel, using a luggage rack when travelling and exercising caution with secondhand furniture.


  • Encourage routine inspections of office buildings for bed bug presence.
  • Check bed bug hot spots: office chairs, lounge/lobby furniture, desks, walls/cubicle dividers and behind artwork.
  • Look for live bed bugs in any stage, cast skins and dark, inky stains that are fecal smears.


  • While bed bug presence is not an indication of cleanliness standards, many are embarrassed to admit the issue.
  • Urge tenants to establish a reporting protocol with their HR manager so that the problem can be addressed early.
  • Be available to connect tenants with your pest management provider to answer questions.


  • In the event bed bugs are detected, notify your pest management provider immediately.
  • Do not move any of the items infested with bed bugs, as that can result in further contamination.
  • Notify your tenants of the situation and the treatment protocol as recommended by the pest management provider.