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By Hope Bowman
The trend toward densification in office buildings continues to increase, meaning private offices and cube farms could become a thing of the past. Not only does an efficient office layout allow you to fit more people in one space, it opens the door to constant collaboration. So it comes as no surprise that 70 percent of Americans work in open floorplans according to an IFMA report, and much of this shift can be attributed to Millennials. Millennials, who could make up as much as 50 percent of the global workforce by 2020 according to PwC, prioritize flexibility and teamwork in all aspects of life, including at work, so many companies are relocating to open or hybrid work spaces in the city to appeal to this growing portion of the workforce.While densification offers many advantages to employers and employees alike, it can also lead to an unexpected, new challenge: increased pest pressure. Your office should be inviting to employees, not pests, so it’s important to remove the most common pest attractants: food, water, and hiding places. Here are five important things to consider for your office space:Make cleanliness a priority: A collaborative, relaxed environment means people are working – and likely snacking – together. Don’t leave food, drinks, or trash behind or you may see pests there to pick it up.Fill in the gaps: Older office buildings located in the city may be full of character, but they could also be in need of repair. The older the building, the more likely you are to find holes and cracks that rodents can use as their entryway. Seal any gaps that you may find to help prevent mice and rats from making their way inside. Keep the breakroom clean: While office space is decreasing, common spaces like breakrooms are increasing. More room for food and beverages means the potential for pests like ants and roaches is even higher than usual. Regularly clean up any spills, crumbs, or dirty dishes to help keep these pests away.Monitor restrooms: Water collecting around the sink and trash overflow can be an open invitation to flies and other pests. Keep counters dry and take the trash out daily. Integrated Pest Management (IPM): You want to make sure your pest management program is safe for everyone around, especially when you have more people working in a smaller space. Implement an IPM program that focuses on exclusion, inspection, surveillance, and prevention methods. It is important to work with a pest control provider along the way to ensure the most thorough treatment plan is being implemented. Introducing an effective pest control program as early as possible will help prevent unwanted issues and keep pests out of the office, where they belong.Hope Bowman is a technical specialist and board-certified entomologist with Western Pest Services, a New Jersey-based pest management company serving businesses and homeowners in major Northeastern markets. Learn more about Western by visiting www.westernpest.com.