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Bed bugs are excellent hitch-hikers so it is no wonder that they find their way into offices. Bed bugs don’t spread diseases but their bite causes uncomfortable and itchy welts and bumps. Although rare, some people may have adverse reactions to bed bug bites. The question of what to do with bed bugs in the office often comes up. Employees are protected under the occupational health and safety Acts including against pests such as bed bugs.
What to Do About Bed Bugs in the Office
The first thing you should do as an employee in an office infested by bed bugs is to report to the manager, supervisor or the applicable authority. The manager should take the appropriate measures to protect the staff, clients and anyone else frequenting the premises. The manager may provide coveralls, gloves, shoe covers or other protective clothing and covering for your equipment and belongings to make sure you don’t take the infestation home.
Next, take precautions to ensure that you don’t spread the bed bugs to your home. Take off your clothes as close to the entrance as possible and place in a plastic bag and seal tightly until ready to wash. Wash the clothing at the highest heat setting possible and do the same for the dryer. The heat should kill the bed bugs.
Keep your workspace clean and clutter-free even after the bed bug problem has been resolved. Bed bugs like clutter since it offers many possible hiding places. Minimize the number of items and extra clothing that you take into the office to reduce the number of potential hiding places that the pest can use to hitch-hike back to your home.
Bed Bugs in Office for Managers and Supervisors
Managers are required under the occupational health and safety act to hire the services of a licensed pest management company in Canada or professional exterminator in the event of a pest problem. A licensed professional will know how to best approach your pest problem on a case-by-case basis.
If at all possible, collect the pest immediately for positive identification by a professional. The expert will also inspect the rest of the office to determine the extent of the bed bug problem and offer the appropriate solutions. Possible solutions may include;
- Chemical treatments such as sprays, dust, liquids or a combination of these
- Customized heat treatment or fumigation chamber may also be used
- Spot cold or steam treatments
- Offsite fumigation for infested fixtures, furniture, equipment or specialty items
You are obligated to let all your employees know about the bed bug problem. The ensuing pest control job will likely span months and include multiple treatments and inspections.
Come up with an official bed bug protocol and train employees appropriately to make sure that future infestations are detected and resolved early on. Extend the training and assistance to include home inspections to the employees to avoid reintroduction of the pests since bed bugs mostly come from employees.
Finally, do not discriminate against employees who are suspected of bringing in the pests and handle these cases professionally. Future monitoring and inspections must include these employees’ work area and such cases must be handled professionally.
Hire a Professional Pest Control Company
Make sure that the pest control company you choose for your bed bug in office problem is properly licensed and bonded and that the bed bug exterminators are properly licensed, trained and equipped for the job. You may also want a company that exercises discretion such as arriving at the office in an unmarked vehicle. This may be a good time to contact the pest control company for future inspections and treatments. Such an arrangement makes sure that pest problems are detected early and resolved before they get worse.