Updated: Nov 17
Bed bugs, contrary to their name, can be found anywhere. They can be found on planes, they can hide in clothes and furnishings, and they can even be stored in used books! Unfortunately, offices are no exception to places where bed bugs can be found. In fact, desks are great hiding places for sneaky little pests. With all the furnishings, rugs, and soundproofing panels in traditional offices, there are plenty of places to spend time. Fortunately, there are several signs of bed bugs that you can check to make sure your desk is free of pests.
Where should I look?
Upholstery and plush furniture isn't the only place you should look for bed bugs. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and can fit in some very small spaces. Not only do they stick to upholstery and on upholstery, but they can also penetrate carpets, especially turn-down rugs and other floors made of loose fibers.
Since these types of rugs tend to be thick, you may not know you've been infested with bed bugs for a while if this is where they decide to hide. Look into panels that reduce noise, too. Check out the filing cabinets and if you're really interested, check out the individual files. Keep in mind that bed bugs can hide in books as well, usually between spines and pages.
What are the signs?
Of course there are visual signs of bed bugs. If you see any small black or rust-colored spots, these could be fecal spots, which are a major sign of bed bugs. If you see a single insect infested in the office, it is worth checking it for others, because there is rarely only one. But if you don't see any visible signs of bed bugs, you're safe, right?
Well, not necessarily. Visual signs are not the only thing you should be aware of. If you smell a musty smell without an obvious source, this could be another sign of bed bugs. They release pheromones that can cause a rather strong odor. Additionally, if you notice mysterious bites coming out of nowhere, especially if they are in a row or group, you should probably check for other signs of bed bugs.
How can I prevent bed bugs from spreading in the office?
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prevent bed bugs from taking over your workspace. One step you can take is to the vacuum frequently and thoroughly if your office is carpeted. Bed bugs should be sucked into the vacuum if you do this. Make sure to vacuum all corners and crevices too! You can also prevent bed bugs by avoiding bringing personal items into the office or making sure they are clean.
Of course, you do have to bring a few items, but for example, you might want to bring a blanket during the summer because your office runs the air conditioner up to max. If you are going to do this, be sure to wash and dry the blanket before bringing it in. This way, if you have bed bugs in the house and you are not aware of it, you can reduce the likelihood of bringing them in the office.
Regularly check all areas of the office for signs of bed bugs. Look in cracks and crevices, especially around chairs, where the rug meets the baseboards, and behind electrical outlets. Pay close attention to employee break rooms, lounges, and other places with plush furnishings where people congregate.
Vacuum every day. With so many people coming and going every day, the possibility of bed bugs is always there. Regular cleaning of carpets and furniture can help eliminate and prevent bed bugs.
It's a good idea to get rid of clutter, as it can provide more hiding places and make bed bugs more difficult to spot. And before buying used furniture and bringing it to the office, check it carefully, bed bugs may already live in it. Don't buy any furniture that has bed bug marks on it.
It is also helpful to encourage tenants and employees to be vigilant about bed bugs in their homes and while travelling.
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