Pests in the workplace can cause serious issues. The Queensland government claims that a significant amount of export income is affected by pest animals and insects each year. For business owners, it is important that they understand the significance pests can have and their ability to negatively impact their commercial activity. According to the Australian and New Zealand Pest Management board, it is recommended that training and practices that comply with health and safety welfare acts are implemented, as well as processes that will maintain records of any pest control activity.
A major issue that can come about in the workplace is when pests start to become abundant. Although it is a problem, it is one that could have easily been avoided if preventive action had been taken. Should the problem grow beyond your control, it will be in the business’ best interest to hire commercial pest control services to install pesticide, bait or fumigation solutions to completely eradicate your pest problems.
Prevention is better than cure
When pests become a problem, they can be difficult to eradicate. Preventive actions will save you money, resources and potential business losses from non-operational activity. Below are a few tips that you can use to prevent pests infesting the workplace.
1. Ensure that the office is cleaned everyday
There is a much higher value in keeping your office clean everyday. Pests are attracted to unclean environments, which can serve as a food source or breeding ground for them. Cleaning your office everyday will minimize the risk of pests being attracted and forming a habitat in your workplace.
2. Encourage staff to maintain a clean work environment
It is important that businesses address the source of the problem, which is usually around staff habits and practices. Conduct an audit of your workplace environment to determine whether the staffs’ actions are contributing to a rise in pest activity in the workplace environment. Primarily, you should look out for:
- Food stuffs on their desks or in their wastebaskets.
- Whether drains and sinks are regularly cleaned.
- Whether plates and cutlery are regularly cleaned.
- Residues from food stuffs such as honey or jam spreads. Ensure that they have been wiped down.
- Any clothes that may be unclean and that will attract bugs. Ensure that your staff clean their clothes properly.
- Plastic containers or bottles that have been rinsed out properly, especially if they are being recycled.
- Proper waste management. This includes regularly washing the bins and keeping lids on bins.
- Any wood storage areas that could attract termites.
- Any standing water areas that could attract bugs and pests.
3. Ask staff not to keep any food or drinks at their workstation
While it does seem like a good idea to keep food in your storage areas at your workplace, these can also work as bait to attract pests seeking new food sources. Ask staff to eat their food in the staff cafeteria and ensure that any leftover food is stored in the fridge to minimize the risk of pests being attracted to their workspaces.
What pests should you look out for?
It is important that you know what pests to look out for to know whether or not you may have a potential problem on your hands.
Cockroaches are a cause for concern as they spread disease. Their habitats include filth, rubbish and dirt and will pass on these germs by walking on tabletops, cutlery and other items humans will generally use in their day to day life.
2. Rodents (Mice or rats)
There are different rodents such as house mice or rats that can cause issues in homes, warehouses and shops. They tend to carry disease and germs. Should the mice rodents be infected, they can spread infections through bites, their urine and faeces. They can usually be found in sewers, rubbish tips and drains.
Look out for an unusual abundance of flies that may be lingering from food scraps that may be serving as an ideal breeding ground. Their presence may lead to an increase in maggot activity and health risks. Flies can multiply quickly as their life cycle is relatively short and they have the ability to lay many eggs. Beware of fly breeding zones around rubbish, drains, septic tanks, faeces, dirty benches and tables.
Mosquitos are annoying pests as they have the ability to break the skin with their bites and suck blood. Their ‘blood-sucking actions’ puts people at risk of receiving blood-transmitted diseases. They tend to breed in cool, dark places such as septic tanks, drains and water storage tanks.
Pests in the workplace are an issue that most businesses must face and commit to manage. Prevention is better than cure and both the business and employees can play their part to ensure that any potential pest threats are thwarted before they become a serious issue.