Have you got any idea on how to prevent those sugar ants to take over your office? What can you do? As a building owner or management, you are always aware of some of the common pests such as termites, rodents, cockroaches, mosquitoes, flies and bed bugs. We tend to miss out that the ant is also a nuisance pest. Ants can be anywhere and their encounters are somehow mysterious. These ants form a continuous trail and visible for everyone to see, yet it is easy to eradicate them with ant pesticides that made the trail disappear. If the ants return to the office again soon after that, it became one more additional problem. This tiny pest can bring a negative impact to your business and damage the building. Therefore, there are few things to deal with an ant infestation in the office;
Recognize what type of ants are attracted
Ants prefer to live inside the cracks or crevices, hide inside walls, floors and moisture environment. Whenever there are water, food and warmth in the office, that is where the ants love to live. These are the signs to look for;
- Any food areas such as office pantry or rubbish bins that consists of thrown-out food
- Rotten wood from flooring, beam, desk or furniture.
- Listen for ant activities by placing an ear on the wall
- Individuals who are bitten by ants that leave with itchy, swollen or red marks
- A live pathway, trail tracks or colony of ants in and out of the building.
- Small heaps of dirt for nest sites at outside and inside of the building
- Nest entrance
It is nice to share and bring in along the tasty food for lunch or snacks during break time with the office mates. This practice is good but some people might leave out the delicious snacks, sweets, chocolates and other foods or leftovers for a long time in the office pantry, meeting room or office desk. Leaving food or snacks overnight, the ants might invade your office the next day. Secure everyone foods by storing inside some airtight containers or sealed with plastic wrappers. Storing the food or leftovers in the cupboard or refrigerator. Read the food storage recommendations and food like milk, ketchup and other foods should be kept refrigerated after opening. Whereas, dried food like cookies or biscuits can be kept inside the sealed jar and in the cupboard.
Avoid employees to deal with the pest issues alone
Home remedies to treat the pest problem can be a great solution but it does not always work and it can even turn into a much worse condition. Some ways you can help is to use Windex and wipe down the ants’ scent trail, which makes the ants confused and unable to detect the food source that they intended to bring home. Coffee grounds are also useful to ward off crawling ants which it’s natural and cheap. Spread the coffee around the food area to repel ants. The worst thing of home remedies or DIY is when the employees start to use pesticides products or other products with labelled “quick kill” or “rapid kill”. As a result, these products can bring ants to panic and start spreading more nests throughout the office building. Advise your office mates to exercise more care and patience
Cleaning up the mess
Whilst eating, things can get messy so clean it up immediately after eating. Before people leave the office, ensure that any crumbs, leftover foods on the desk or pantry are properly cleaned and throw it away. Crumbs may be small, but that is enough for ants to signal to others informing on the existence of bigger food sources available in the office. The ants will invade the office if they even find tiny crumbs on the floor or desk.
Clean out the office refrigerator
Does the shared office refrigerator smells funky, filled with unknown items and expired food? Then, it is time to do something! The fridge or freezer must be cleaned and regularly checked or adjusted to the right temperature. Foodsafety.gov stated that, do not store any food in the fridge between 40° F to 140° F temperatures because this temperature leads to in just 20 minutes (Safety Health, 2018). Throw away any perishable food or leftovers that have been in the office for the past of one week. Use hot water and soap to wipe any spills in the refrigerator. Discard away any expired food or food that smells stink due to moulded growth. Encourage the office mates to do cleaning as part of shared responsibility and monthly cleaning duty.
Wipe off all surfaces
Spilled drinks can leave a stain on the surface and food crumbs can leave food residue. The ants able to smell even the smallest crumbs and they can also sense other sugary sweet beverages that have been spilled on the table before. The best thing to do is wipe off all surfaces with disinfectant especially food that may have contacted the surface.
Let the pest control company handles
Sometimes we have done our part in handling ants’ issues but the pest problem source may come from a very different place in the office buildings. The workplace buildings are complex since the offices share with other companies. There are some big possibilities your neighbouring company does not do their part handling pest problem and cleanliness. Pest control companies are expert people who can pin out the source of the problem and advise earnestly to the building owner and other offices around. They are able to collect information from various department and educate employees regarding the pest infestation. The co-workers can eventually change their attitude of cleanliness and be aware of the pest infestation. It is best to contact the pest control companies immediately and get them to work right away to eradicate this issue permanently.
Atalian Global Services provide professional pest control services and dedicated to eradicating any pest problems for your business. If you have pest issues at your workplace, do contact us for a free consultation today for a thorough examination. Atalian offers the best pest control service that is tailored to your specific needs and provides a suited treatment programme for you!