Bed Bugs in Office Buildings
This article will discuss what to do if bed bugs are found in your office building and how to avoid bringing them home with you.
Before discussing steps one can take if their office building is found to have bed bugs, you should know that bed bugs in your office building are not new. You have probably had them several times in the past and probably will have them several more times in the future as well. The reason you are experiencing them now is because of the increase level in awareness around what they are, which is mostly due to the media. Yes, it's true the reported public incident rates are increasing but reported incidents doesn't mean there is necessarily an increase in actual incidents. The reason why this is mentioned here is so you don't panic. Bed bugs have been around for centuries and probably will be around for centuries more.
Steps to take to prevent bringing bed bugs home with you:
If bed bugs are found in your office building, there are a few steps you can take to avoid bringing them home with you:
1) Minimize what you bring to and from the office.
Bed bugs are hitchhikers which means they cling to your belongings and can be transported to your home this way. Bed bugs are much more unlikely to hitchhike on the clothes you are wearing.
2) Keep items you bring to and from the office off the ground.
The ground offers easier migration pathways for migrating bed bugs than does any other surface. Therefore keeping your belongings off the ground will minimize the risk of picking up a hitchhiking bed bug.
3) Seal your personal belongs.
Any items that you bring home with you can be sealed in plastic bag while in the office. This will help prevent bed bugs from hitchhiking on those items. Do a thorough inspection of the exterior of the bag before returning home.
4) Put your clothes in the dryer upon returning home
This will not apply to everyone. If there was one bug found in the office and it was on the complete opposite end of the office it would be overboard to launder all of your clothes upon returning home. However, if multiple bugs were found and discovered near your desk then you might want to consider this. Simply seal your clothes in a plastic bag immediately upon returning home or even before you enter your home. Then put them directly in the dryer for 30 minutes on high. Alternatively you may want to consider using a thermal remediation unit to heat your clothes and other belongings you cannot put in the dryer upon returning home. You can find that product here.
5) Educate yourself
Knowing what bed bugs look like and how they behave can help you prevent in in bringing them home with you. Take a look at our Prevention Guide as well as our Bug Bug Information page to learn more.