Read our latest blog to ensure that adequate summer pest control measures are in place in your office as the weather warms up.
Across the world, office blocks stood empty for large parts of 2020, and in some cases even into 2021, as lockdown levels ebbed and flowed and office workers remained at home. But now that the SA vaccination schedule is in full swing, offices are filling up again as workers return to their desks.
Of course, what they returned to was - in some cases - pest infestations of quiet epic proportions, as lockdown created perfect environments for pests to flourish in empty buildings.
This was because, with few people and little activity, empty office buildings became a perfect habitat for many types of pests. This resulted in physical damage to the buildings and fittings, larger pest infestations that were much harder to eradicate, contamination of buildings with debris from birds nesting material and droppings, contaminated surfaces - posing a health risk for employees and secondary pest infestations, such as ticks, fleas, mites, lice, beetles, and weevils that infest nests or are carried in with pest birds and rodents.
Preventive pest control this summer
In order to make sure that workers who have returned to the office are kept safe from the risk of pest-borne diseases and that premises remain hygienic, pest control for specific pests needs to be stepped up now that summer is in full swing.
This is because the warmer weather causes an accelerated breeding cycle for pests like cockroaches and flies especially, which means that what starts out as a few flies can very rapidly become an uncontrolled fly infestation. No one wants to arrive at work on a Monday morning to find the kitchen dustbin crawling with maggots!
Summer pests and the problems they can cause for your office:
This blog concentrates on two particularly problematic summer pests: flies and cockroaches. I've chosen these two because the onset of warm weather means a dramatic rise in both fly and cockroach numbers (aggravated by an accelerated breeding cycle) and because both of these are present in just about every business premise, including offices.
Flies are a topic that we have written quite a lot about on the deBugged blog, simply because they are such a problem for businesses and homeowners alike.
There are a number of fly species that can be considered a pest risk around buildings. Buildings also provide sites for some fly species to overwinter.
Risks from a fly infestation:
In summer, with adequate food supplies, flies multiply very quickly. Read how to spot the signs that indicate you have a fly infestation. They feed on faecal matter, rubbish, rotting materials and stored and processed foods, which means that an unemptied rubbish bin in the office kitchen is a perfect weekend breeding ground for flies.
Flies regularly move between the contaminated food sources and clean areas (like your office kitchen counters), carrying contaminated filth on their bodies. Some fly species regurgitate digestive juices and defecate while feeding and resting, further contaminating foods and surfaces with microorganisms that can cause disease.
You may also be interested in downloading our Filthy Fly Facts Poster for your kitchen area, as a reminder for your staff to keep surfaces clean and decluttered.
Disease-causing microorganisms carried by flies include Salmonella, cholera, Campylobacter spp, E. coli, Cryptosporidium, parasitic worms and fungi - none of which your employees will thank you for.
Read our previous blog: The 5 most common signs that indicate you have a fly problem, in order to assess whether flies are a problem in your office. Then read 4 great reasons why LED fly killer units should be your insect light trap of choice, given that they are the most economical choice for businesses, and are better for the environment.
Cockroaches are the most common type of crawling insect to infest businesses. They cause particular problems because of their small size (which means they can hide just about anywhere), their varied diet, their rapid reproduction cycle and the diseases they can carry.
Cockroaches shelter in dark places such as cracks, crevices, drains, sewers, inside equipment and furnishings, and hidden spaces - in fact just about anywhere that provides the right temperature and humidity. These places are also difficult for your daily office cleaners to reach.
Risks to your business posed by cockroaches:
Cockroaches can carry a large number of disease-causing bacteria, including Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Listeria, E. coli, and also fungi, viruses and parasitic worms. Like flies, they also feed on any decaying organic matter, mould, and faecal matter in sewers, which can then be carried into buildings on their bodies and in excreta.
They defecate wherever they crawl and frequently expel saliva on surfaces to ‘taste' their environment. And if that isn't off-putting enough, their droppings and bodily secretions stain and leave a foul odour that can permeate infested areas. And finally, allergens in their droppings and shed skins can cause asthma. You can read more about how cockroaches make us sick.
How to protect your office from pests:
Even if not all your employees have returned to the office, it’s essential to continue with your pest control services over summer, when pests can breed exponentially. In addition to pest control services, special attention needs to be paid to building maintenance and proofing to prevent pests from accessing your building. Find out what to expect when a pest control expert comes to your premises.
Rentokil can help to keep the pests at bay this summer
Our pest control programmes are tailored-made to protect your business and your employees from pest-related problems. Think that you may have a pest problem in your office? Contact us today about a pest risk survey.
You may also like to download our free pest prevention checklist e-book for your business to ensure that you remain pest free this summer.