A survey once found that more than 80% of offices visited by pest control professionals had ant problems. While innocuous as individuals, ants as part of a local colony can cause problems for business owners and employees alike if they settle into your office building. An infestation is undoubtedly cause for concern, and often triggers disgust in employees and clients alike. Avoid any potential problems for your business by taking preventative measures and investing in commercial pest control services from PestLock!
Risks of an Infestation
There are a few species of ants that are known pests to home and business owners in the Portland and Vancouver area. The risks an ant infestation pose to you depend on what kind of ants you are facing. Carpenter ants can cause significant structural damage by tunneling through the wood of your building, while odorous house ants and moisture ants can put you and your employees at risk of food contamination. All ants pose problems when they enter a place where they don’t belong, but sometimes those problems aren’t always as obvious as wood damage.
Whether or not your building is host to a destructive ant species, experiencing an ant infestation in of itself poses problems for your business. Many people associate ants with uncleanliness, and that may drive clients away if you don’t address the problem in time. It can even chase away quality employees!
Why Offices Have Ant Problems
Ants are simple creatures. They are looking for food, water, and shelter, and most buildings in the Pacific Northwest offer that, whether they are homes or office buildings. They are looking for protection from predators and the elements as well as food and water that they can pass onto their young. An infestation isn’t necessarily triggered by unhygienic conditions, but spills, crumbs, and leaks do make your building more attractive to a colony.
Your Pest Prevention Checklist
The best offense is a good defense, right? One great step you can take to protect your business is to prevent an ant infestation in the first place.
Seal Entry Points
Your first line of defense is preventing ants from entering your building at all. Look for cracks and holes in the exterior or gaps around pipes and wiring and seal them. You should also trim plants and trees away from your building to prevent access and possible damage that could grant ants and other pests entry inside. You can also sabotage a colony’s route into or through your office by cleaning any areas where you have seen ants, cleaning away the scent trails they leave to guide other members of the colony.
Limit Water Sources
Ants come into your building seeking food and water. You can encourage them to turn away or move on by limiting their access to those important resources. To eliminate possible water sources, avoid or get rid of standing water and any decorative water features where liquid may pool. You should also check the building for drainage problems and ensure spouts and gutters are pointed away from the office. Inside, find and repair leaky pipes; make sure to look inside cabinets and under sinks where these leaks – and the pests they attract – may go unnoticed.
Limit Food Sources
Limiting an ant colony’s possible food sources is likely one of your biggest challenges as an employer, especially if you have many employees. Drinks and snacks in the office almost inevitably lead to crumbs and spills that can sustain an ant colony. Ask your employees to limit snacking, clean up after themselves, and store food in sealed containers. A cleaning crew sweeping through your office periodically can help keep floors and surfaces clear and regularly dispose of garbage.
Your office building itself offers more than enough shelter for an ant colony — or a few. Limiting the shelter ants can find outside your building can help prevent them from taking the extra step and finding their way inside your walls. Examine the area around the outside of your building and clear away possible hiding places like piles of rock, mulch, construction materials, or garbage. If decorative aspects of your business’ landscaping might offer shelter, try to keep these elements several feet away from the building at least.
Turn to the Commercial Pest Control Pros
Ask any pest control service professional and they’ll tell you: ants are one of the most difficult pests to tackle. If you want expert help in tackling these preventative measures or you already have an ant infestation you need to solve, turn to the pros. PestLock is a Top Rated Local® commercial pest control provider for the Pacific Northwest region, and we offer integrated pest management solutions from inspection and identification to treatment. We’ll craft a plan of attack specific to your property and your pest problems, and wipe out the colony terrorizing your office with environmentally friendly products.
What are you waiting for? Contact PestLock today for custom commercial pest control services!