A few years ago, the only time we heard about bed bugs were in child’s rhymes. Now, reports of infestations have been popping up across the nation. After decades of being controlled, these pests are reemerging quickly, and are not only invading homes, their moving their way into businesses.
Hotels, movie theaters, retail stores, and even office buildings are among some of the commercial locations that are being invaded by these tiny bloodsuckers.
An increase in international travel and changes in pest control practices, including the diminished use of DDT, could be to blame, claims Michael Potter, Ph.D., an entomologist at the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture.
How to Keep a Bug-Free Workplace
Bed bugs can slip into the workplace on employees, clients, or delivery packages to name a few. With so many possible entries, keeping bed bugs out may seem like a daunting task. Apart from physically searching people coming into the building—which would probably end with more problems for HR than good—what can an employer do?
A recent Forbes article suggests several approaches employers can take:
- Ask employees to check for bed bugs in the workplace, while they travel, and at home.
- Ask employees to clear any excess clutter in their workspace.
- Distribute or post information about the symptoms of bed bugs.
- Also, when there is an outbreak, notify employees and respond quickly and efficiently.
Some employers have taken it a step further to remain bug-free and preserve a good reputation. For example, a hotel in New York created a “bed bug technician” whose only job responsibility is to search rooms for bedbugs. The hotel also awards a $10 “bedbug bounty” to any employee who finds one.
New York Times