We’ve all encountered the lone spider or ant in our homes. They can shatter your sense of comfort even after you’ve taken care of the problem. Was this a single intruder or are you dealing with an infestation?
Unfortunately, your business space is just as vulnerable as any home. But the threat is even worse. You have to worry about the safety of your employees and the condition of a massive office space.
A pest infestation could lead to tens of thousands of dollars in damages if you ignore the signs.
Not sure what to look out for? Here are the most common signs your business has a pest problem.
1. Shredded Paper and Plants
If you find something that looks like a bird’s nest in the office, you might want to think again. It could belong to a rodent. But you don’t need to see the entire nest to pick up on pest control signs.
They’re fond of using grass and plants in the construction of their nests. When these aren’t available, rodents will also use paper products. These might be parts of cardboard boxes or sheaves of documents.
If you discover damage to any of your boxes, a rat may be the cause. You’ll likely find bits of paper strewn about in your building’s hallways.
2. Pest Droppings Indicate a Pest Infestation
Vermin aren’t the cleanest guests. They tend to leave dark, pill-shaped droppings where they nest or feed. If these start to pop up around the office, they are sure signs of a rodent infestation.
But mice and rats aren’t the only pests that could infest your office building. Although insects are harder to detect, they’re just as troubling for the health of you, your employees, and the building site.
Insects leave their own droppings, called frass, which are often visible to the naked eye. You can find a speckling of them by doors, windowsills, and walls. Always keep an eye out for a collection of small black dots, as there’s a good chance it’s not just dirt.
3. Structural Damage
Pests of all shapes and sizes can cause serious damage to your workspace. Mouseholes aren’t cartoon tropes. They’re a real and present threat.
Rodents chew through drywall to create an easy passage into and out of their nesting space. If you see unexplained holes along the bottom of your office walls, it’s time to call an exterminator for an inspection.
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Damage to the walls is bad enough, but vermin are also fond of chewing electrical cables. This could lead to a fire or a serious repair bill in the near future.
You’ll also want to beware of dangerous insects such as termites. These insects will chew through drywall and create minuscule holes. As they continue to feast on the wood of your office building, you might experience loose floorboards, sagging walls, and sagging paint.
4. Strange Noises
Depending on the layout of your business office, you may be able to hear vermin running within the walls. Unexplained sounds are a good reason to call in an inspector for a closer look.
And believe it or not, you can hear insects, too. Wood will crackle and snap if there’s a termite infestation. You can also put your ears to a wall and knock your knuckles against it.
Does it sound hollow? Maybe it is. Termites will continue feasting on the wood in your office building until there’s nothing left.
5. Discarded Wings and Exoskeletons
Discarded wings are clear signs of pests. You’ll normally find them on windowsills. Some pests, such as termites, will mature and fly to create a new nest.
They’ll slough off their wings once they’ve settled down. Other pests will shed old exoskeletons as they grow, leaving behind small carcasses throughout your office space.
These signs are easy to ignore, especially when you don’t see a living insect. You might assume these discarded parts are signs of a dead infestation. In reality, they indicate the infestation is longstanding and becoming worse.
6. Unpleasant Odors
Mice and rats smell like urine or ammonia. You’ll notice it in areas that the vermin frequent, such as the office kitchen. If they’ve been digging in the garbage for scraps, they’ll also spread that smell wherever they go.
Some insects, but not all, have detectable odors. Mites and bed bugs tend to give off a musty or moldy scent. Even if you’re not dealing with an infestation, mold is a serious health hazard and should be examined immediately.
Get to the bottom of any strange odors your office experiences. Not only can it distract your employees, but it could be the sign of a serious pest problem.
7. Slick Trails and Mud Tubes
Does it look like someone smeared a path of oil across the floor? It might have been a rat. These creatures have slick, greasy fur.
As they travel the same path day after day, the grease will create thin, distinguishable trails in their wake. Since they prefer to hug the bottoms of walls, you’ll likely find them there.
Insects also leave perceptible tracks. For example, termites will create brown mud tubes along the walls. If you see any dirt on the walls, inspect it closely for signs of termites.
Treat the Infestation With an Exterminator
Don’t wait to see the elusive pests yourself. When you discover signs of a pest infestation, call an exterminator right away. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these tips for selecting a pest control service.
Once the problem is resolved, consider protecting your office building with the help of pest control professionals. In the long run, it’s cheaper to pay for an occasional checkup than for serious pest removal and repair.
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