5 ways to protect your empty office from pests
Pest control is still vital to protect your empty office. As the saying goes - “While the cat's away the mice will play”. This scenario is becoming a reality as offices sit empty during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Dr Dave Cowan from the Food and Environment Research Agency, there are about 1.6 million rats living in the sewers throughout the UK. You might not see them, but the pests are there.
When your office building is empty, it makes sense to try and reduce your maintenance costs. But it is far more economical to put steps in place to prevent outbreaks. Many pest control companies have reported a rise in callouts for pest infestations. This rise has occurred as offices have started reopening. So, spending money on pest control is now more critical than ever.
Steps to protect your empty office
Follow these practical steps below. They can help you protect your empty office from a potential pest problem.
Check the structure of the office building
Go through the office building with a critical eye and check for any holes or gaps. Additionally, check air vents, cables, and door and window frames. You will be able to eliminate potential pest hiding places. Also, identify and repair any water leaks in kitchens and bathrooms to deny pests access to water.
It is important to note that The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 holds local authorities responsible for controlling mice and rats. If your office has a pest problem, the local council can close your office.
Clean frequently and keep desks clear
Regardless, if your office is empty or some of your staff are back. Cleaning is your kryptonite against pest infestation. Ensure that you clean the office frequently, with the correct equipment, making sure to check the kitchen and desks. Start a clear-desk policy and check for crumbs, leftover food, and any spillages.
Also, if your office has a cafeteria, make sure that adequate pest control measures are in place. As per the Food Safety Act 1990, you could get closed down or given an improvement notice, if food products become damaged or contaminated.
Manage rubbish correctly
Rubbish is like a paradise for pests. So, ensure that you remove food waste from the office frequently. Any external bins must be pest-proof and keep the area around the bins clear of other rubbish. Remember to clean the outside of the bins regularly. Also, use bin bags or carrier bags, never place loose rubbish in an external bin.
Office plants and outside vegetation
Office plants provide a lovely ambience in the office and a healthy environment. But they can also be breeding grounds for pest insects. Remember to check them so you can stop any infestations. Also, check any vegetation that is outside the office building. You can cut back any greenery so that there are no places for pests to hide near the office.
Provide training for staff
Train all the cleaning and maintenance staff on pest control. They will then be able to spot any danger signs and check potential entry points. Also, encourage other colleagues and staff to report any sightings. The maintenance department should handle these problems. They can follow the correct health and safety measures procedures.
Pest control might not be the nicest of tasks in office management. But a pest management plan can save your business time and money. Also, some building insurers may not payout for an infestation if they can prove, you were negligent. If you take proactive steps now to protect your empty office, you can save time and money. Your staff will also feel reassured that they are working in a clean environment.