PUBLISHED ON March 2nd, 2011
Most people fear encountering bed bugs at hotels or in hospitals. But the bed bug re-infestation sweeping the nation has revealed another place where people can pick up these unwelcome pests: at the office.
According to USA Today, about one in five exterminators are seeing bed bug infestations in office buildings in the United States. Not just your normal pest infestation, bed bugs in the workplace can hurt morale, reduce productivity among workers and even end in lawsuits.
Unless detected and dealt with early, bed bugs can become a major problem for both business owners and building managers. Many companies have been the target of lawsuits after employees have brought bed bugs home from work. The trouble can even extend beyond lawsuits and human resource complaints – some companies experienced major damage to their brand and image after news outlets and gossip columnists got word of their bed bug problems.
So how can businesses avoid this problem? While bed bugs can be hard to detect and difficult to get rid of, there are a few bed bug pest control measures you can take to help prevent a pest infestation in the first place, and deal with the situation if one arises.
Educate your employees. In almost all cases of office bed bugs, the pests have been inadvertently brought from an employee’s home. Make sure your entire staff knows what to look for at home and how to properly deal with a pest infestation. This will help minimize the chance of them bringing the problem to work.
Offer assistance. Many bosses will help workers deal with at-home bed bug pest control in hopes of preventing an at-work infestation. Providing pest prevention resources or even financial assistance to those in need can help save your company the cost and embarrassment of having a bed bug crisis.
Deal with the problem immediately. If you do find your office has been infested with bed bugs, don’t panic. Tell your staff about the situation, give everyone a day or two off, and call a professional pest control company. Extermination is the only reliable way to deal with a bed bug infestation, and the earlier you have it done, the less time and money it will cost you.