Ants in the Office?
You probably have enough office pests already: Judy in accounting always mining for the latest gossip. Roger in HR who shows up late, takes a long lunch, and leaves early. The last thing your company needs is another nuisance.
But then one day in the middle of summer, you notice them. A tiny crew of bothersome new workers shows up, and the worst part is—they’re not even on payroll.
Ants aren’t just the bane of summer picnics. Just like you, they work hard to provide for their families, and that means going anywhere they can find food...including your office.
Not Just a Nuisance
Ants in the workplace are more than just an annoyance—they present a real threat to both property and humans. A large enough infestation can damage product, supplies and even buildings. Some ant species even bite, which can cause allergic reactions including anaphylaxis, and can also spread bacteria such as salmonella.
It’s critical for health and safety that any ant intrusions be dealt with as soon as they’re noticed. Trouble is, the ants invading your workspace did not go through the usual hiring process, and firing them is going to require more than just documenting their repeated infractions.
The first step toward widespread layoffs is to make your office as inhospitable a work environment as possible for ants. That means minimizing the availability of the very thing they came looking for: food.
Shore up the Snack Sources
Limiting food and sugary drinks to the break area or kitchen will help curtail an ant problem by restricting the availability of food crumbs and other ant attractions throughout the office. This will also shrink the area you need to treat, making pest management simpler and more focused.
Cleanliness is Key
Keeping the break area clean, including making sure all food is stored in airtight containers, will further reduce its appeal to ants. Make sure employees know to sweep and mop up spills as soon as they happen.
Examine the Exterior
Keep the foundation of your property swept clean of leaf debris and make every effort to trim back tree and bush branches, stopping them from possibly providing the ants with an easy access to your building.
Although it may be tempting to include insect spray in your ant infestation’s severance package, it can introduce unnecessary toxins into the work environment if used improperly.
If you follow the ant trail outdoors to a below-ground nest, either in a sidewalk crack or a grassy area, that’s when it’s time to call out the big guns and spray. Be sure to wear protective gear, such as glasses and a breathing mask, as you completely saturate the mound with poison.
Be forewarned, however: ant spray purchased over-the-counter isn’t just toxic to the target, but to anyone and everyone who comes in contact with it, especially small pets and tiny humans. If you have little ones (with or without fur) visiting your office, it’s important they go nowhere near the treated area for at least an hour after you’ve sprayed.
If dealing with this yourself seems too dangerous and time-consuming, or if the ant colony continues to thrive despite your best defensive efforts, you don’t have to give in to the ants’ hostile takeover. A licensed pest control professional has access to products and techniques not available to the general public and can help you fire these unwanted workers once and for all.
When all else fails, call your pest service professional for expert assistance!