Don't let the name “bed bugs” fool you – they aren’t exclusively found hiding in beds and mattresses. These little critters feed on human blood, so it makes sense that they go wherever there are humans, including on public transport, in schools, hospitals, and even offices! For this reason, those responsible for communal office spaces need to look out for the signs of bed bugs and how to treat them if they’re discovered.
Let’s look at why bed bugs spread, how buildings become infested, and how to deal with them if you find them.
What are bed bugs drawn to?
Office spaces are great places for bed bugs to live and breed, just think of all the hidden corners, nooks, and crannies that make good hiding places. Offices also tend to have stable temperatures and humidity levels, not to mention most offices remain dark and empty after 5 or 6 pm.
Bed bugs are attracted to the scent of humans, and while they tend to feed on sleeping humans, they can also be carried in on clothing, bags, and furniture. People typically sit in their chairs for long periods, so it would be relatively easy for bed bugs to spread from a communal area to a meeting room, and then to desk chairs.
Why is it so important to treat an infested room as soon as possible?
Once bed bugs get inside a building, they can reproduce frighteningly quickly. Under certain conditions, an infestation left untreated for six months can end up with over 5,000 bed bugs in one building!
Bed bugs don’t spread diseases, but when they bite, they can leave their victim with itchy and painful welts on their skin. As if that wasn’t enough, bed bugs can cause understandable disruption to businesses, damage reputations, and even give customers a reason to sue.
It's impossible to completely prevent bed bugs because they can enter a building at any time – it just depends if they’ve managed to attach themselves to someone. Having said that, there are things you can do to minimize your office’s risk of becoming infested.
What can I do to mitigate my risk of having an infestation?
- Know how to identify bed bugs. Younger bed bugs are a white-yellow and adult bed bugs are brownish-red in color and about the size of an apple seed. Their eggs are about the size of a pinhead so it’s usually impossible to spot them.
- Vacuum at least once a day until you’re sure your office doesn’t have an infestation.
- Look out for signs of an infestation, even if you can’t see the bugs themselves. Signs of a bed bug infestation may include shed skins, white, sticky eggs, small red stains on the walls, skirting boards, and furniture.
- Inspect your office space regularly. Examine cracks and crevices, space where the carpet meets the skirting boards, break rooms, lounges, and anywhere else where employees congregate. Better still, work with a pest control company to do regular examinations, or invest in a heat treatment package from our range so you can do regular heat treatments.
- Treat company vehicles. If employees share company vehicles for travel, regularly have them inspected and treated too.
If you’re struggling to deal with bed bugs, Convectex can help you find the perfect solution for your office space. If you need to treat your office space regularly, investing in your own heat treatment system will help you save money and act quickly if bed bugs are suspected. We are North America’s top distributor of professional bed bug heat equipment, so visit our website today for more information.