A calendar view of the most common pests in offices and property management

Mona Latif

Business never stops moving – and that’s good news for property managers who oversee offices and other types of facilities. However, a pest issue can halt YOUR business cold. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew what pests were coming, and when? Rentokil analyzed two years of data to help our office and property managers plan their pest management strategies for the year.

What are the top 10 pest issues for offices and facilities management throughout the year?

Because Rentokil provides a wide array of pest management services, we grouped pests into categories to streamline the data. While most categories saw activity throughout the year, services were most frequently conducted for these ten pest categories:

  1. Rodents (Rats and Mice)
  2. Occasional invaders
  3. Large flies
  4. Spiders
  5. Small flies
  6. Night-flying insects
  7. Cockroaches
  8. Overwintering invaders
  9. Ants
  10. Stored product insects

 

common pests in offices and property management

Varying pest pressures by month

The infographic above illustrates the top five pest pressures in each month. In offices, more than in many other industries, the pest pressures seem to fluctuate some based on season. While rodents dominate throughout the year as the top pest in every month, other pests move on and off the top five list.

This means that offices may want to consider seasonal adjustments to their pest management programs to address specific pest concerns.

Rodents are a consistent, year-round pressure

Rodents account for half of all services in offices and property management groups, making them the top pest in every month of the year in this busy segment.

It’s no surprise that rodents take top billing – their sheer size can frighten people, but they can also be extremely destructive. Both rats and mice can gnaw and chew on equipment and products, damaging everything from computers to HVAC units to your office snacks.

Rodent activity begins to drastically ramp up in August, before reaching a peak in November and starting to fall back off and reaching a low in March.

 

common pests in offices and property management

What are occasional invaders – and why are they such a prominent issue for offices and property management?

Occasional invaders are the second-most reported pest throughout the year. This category includes a wide variety of seasonal invaders such as centipedes and millipedes, pill bugs, crickets, silverfish, and earwigs.

This pest category gets its name because they are not likely to infest facilities; more often than not, they are simply a nuisance. These pests do not pose a threat to humans. Although some can damage papers and fabrics, most are not likely to cause damage.

Spidey-sense

Eight legs are cause for big concern among office dwellers and tenants. Spiders represent nearly 6 percent of all services conducted in office and property management facilities.

Most spiders encountered in office facilities would be harmless to humans. In fact, spiders are typically more afraid of humans than humans are of spiders! While there are a few types of spider bites that can be dangerous to humans, such as those of the brown recluse or black widow, spider bites are far less common than most people believe. Most “bites” that people attribute to spiders are really caused by other circumstances.

To reduce spider activity on your property, there is one simple step you can take: reduce clutter. Spiders are often just looking for a quiet place to hang out and catch their food. This includes quiet, undisturbed areas. The less clutter that is present, the fewer places there are for spiders to hide.

Small flies, big problem

Small flies make their way into the top five list in the months from November to February. This pest category includes smaller nuisance flies, such as fruit flies, phorid flies, and moth flies.

Small fly problems can develop in areas where there is plenty of moist, organic material. In office and property management situations, this often includes bathrooms, office kitchens or food preparation areas, maintenance/janitorial areas, and trash and recycling areas.

To reduce the likelihood of problems with small flies:

  • Have all drains cleaned regularly
  • Be sure that drains with P-traps are serviced on a regular basis
  • In areas with tile and grout, replace or repair missing tiles or grout to avoid build up in cracks and gaps
  • Hang mops to dry
  • Replace mop heads whenever they become dirty or soiled
  • Ensure all garbage cans have liners or bags to avoid build-up of organic material
  • Clean recycling bins regularly

 

common pests in offices and property management

Stinging insects – not in the top five, but still a concern

Although they don’t make the top 5 in any month, stinging insects do pose a distinct concern for property managers in the months from May to September.

Paper wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, bees, and other stinging insects are active in the warm weather months and into the early fall and can be aggressive if they feel their hive or nest is threatened.

At office properties, ensuring that exterior trash cans have self-closing lids, are lined, and emptied regularly can help deter activity near high-traffic areas.

 

 Get 21 facts about stinging pests

 

Protect your tenants and your brand with a year-round program

Pest activity on any part of your property can lead to decreased tenant satisfaction, deter potential tenants, and leave your brand tarnished.

Use our infographic to help plan your pest management resources for the year. Need help? Rentokil’s pest management experts can help you design a comprehensive pest management strategy customized for your properties’ unique pest pressures and needs. For a free inspection or to augment your existing program, call 800.488.9495 or visit rentokil-steritech.com and use our Live Chat feature.

Mona Latif
Mona Latif

Mona Latif is the Director of Product & Innovation for Rentokil North America. Mona specializes in creating and deploying processes, products and enhancements to improve the overall customer experience. When not at work, Mona is seeking new adventures, taking pictures, shopping and reading.

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