Bed Bugs At Work: Taking Micromanaging to A New Level
Only the size of an apple seed, bed bugs are notorious pests that find their way into any home or office and can drive even the most sane person, completely bonkers. There are typically found in the seams of mattresses, electrical outlets, cracks, crevices, headboards, behind wallpaper, and anywhere else that is near their host. They hitchhike their way to their new victims using clothing, purses, and second-hand furniture. Which means, anywhere with a consistent amount of people flowing through is a high risk area, including your workplace. Ugh. Now we have to deal with bed bugs at work.
Brian, being the awesome grandson that he is, visits his Grandma in the local nursing home once a week. Little did he know, the nursing home just became infested with bed bugs, and when he went to bring her lunch during his break, some bed bugs crawled onto his winter jacket. After leaving the nursing home, he went back to the office, sat in the lounge for the remaining 15 minutes of his break, then went back to his office.
Ask yourself, where could the bed bugs be now?
The nursing home, Grandma’s room, Brian’s jacket, and now the seat in the lounge.
What happens after?
Every person that sits on that lounge seat now has an increased risk of becoming a bed bug victim.
What occupations are most at risk?
Anyone is at risk for having bed bugs and many have them unknowingly. They can be brought into the workplace by employees, custodial staff, customers, vendors, clients, and visitors.
Those at higher risk in the workplace at ones that handle or sleep in bedding that is used consistently. These occupations include, but not limited to, health care professionals, housekeeping, custodial staff, firefighters, police, and social workers. Also those that are consistently in hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, and shelters.
Where should I inspect for bed bugs?
To inspect for bed bugs, look within crevices, cracks, and creases on soft and wood furniture in community areas. If you are sleeping on a bed that gets rotated with people consistently, be sure to look between cushions, the seams, and the folds of blanket for bugs, eggs, or blood stains/excrement. If you find signs of bed bugs, report it to your supervisor immediately. If your concerns are not being addressed or not being complied in a timely manner, you can report the concern to HR, health and safety committee, or safety representative. You can confirm any suspensions by consulting with a pest control professional and they will provide proper steps for bed bug removal.
How can I prevent a bed bug infestation?
If you plan on bringing any used furniture into the workplace (psssttt teachers with flexible seating) be sure to inspect it thoroughly. It is recommended to have any furniture go through a bed bug heat treatment before bringing it into a location where others, especially minors, are often present.
Recommended Read: 6 Signs You Might Have Bed Bugs
You can also reduce the number of hiding places for bed bugs by decluttering. This will ensure their are fewer opportunities for them to travel home.
Keep your belongings separate from those of others. If you must put your items with others, place them in a sealed plastic bin.
Be cautious in areas where bed bugs are most commonly found, such as break rooms, storage areas, offices with upholstered furniture, and other places where people rest (ex: on-call rooms). If you believe you are entering a location where there are bed bugs, consider changing into work clothes and shoes when arriving at work and removing them before going home. Place all clothing that was in the infested location in the dryer on high heat for several hours.
What are my employer’s responsibilities?
Employers have to adhere by healthy and safety regulations to protect the health and safety of all its employees. Some organizations that are at a higher risk have regulations and steps in place in order to prevent bed bug infestations.
Some precautionary measures include:
- Developing policies and proper procedures for reporting and dealing with bed bug infestations
- Keep worksite clean and vacuum on a regular basis
- Keep detailed records of infestations
- Provide education to all workers regarding bed bugs
- Schedule regular inspections with a professional pest control company
What is the bed bug removal process?
In order to remove all bed bugs, including adults, nymphs, and eggs, the best bed bug extermination process is a bed bug heat treatment.
This involves our professional bed bug experts bringing in specialized equipment to raise the temperature of your office building to 118°F (48°C) or immediately at 122°F (50°C) for 90 minutes or more. This is all done in one single day (4-6 hours) and causes no damage to property. When using pesticides and insecticides it can cause damage to sensitive work equipment, such as technology.
Here at Bed Bug BBQ in Cleveland, OH, we pride ourselves on getting rid of all bed bugs in an non-chemical method of extermination, a bed bug heat treatment. If you think you have bed bugs at work, schedule a FREE inspection with us today by calling: (216) 232-2762 or contacting us through our site.