Ants are a common problem in the workforce. No matter what industry you work in or how clean you think your building is, ants can still find a way to creep into your office when you least expect it. Over the years, our cleaning company has noticed some simple mistakes many business owners make to entice ants onto their property. Check out these six ways to reduce your risk of ants so you can avoid those mistakes in the future.
Set Cleaning Rules for the Break Room
The break room is the heart of most office-related ant infestations. This is where people come to eat lunch, store snacks, grab a quick drink, and hang out when they aren’t helping clients. It’s important to set some ground rules for your break room to ensure that it stays clean throughout the day. For instance, make sure that your workers throw trash in a covered trash can, and ask them to store food in sealed containers. If you are going to keep food out for a special occasion (like donuts in the morning), make sure you have a way to seal that food off in between servings. If your workers understand your cleaning expectations, they are more likely to adhere to them and help you reduce your risk of ants.
Wipe Countertops Regularly
Countertops are big culprits in ant infestations because they house the crumbs and drink rings that people leave behind. Make sure these areas are wiped down frequently, especially in areas where food is stored and prepared. You should apply the same mentality to cabinets where food is stored. Wipe down the base of the cabinets at least once a week to keep the smell of food to a minimum.
Seal off Potential Entry Points
Ants are small enough to fit into nearly opening. That’s what makes them so hard to control and avoid. Seal off potential entry points with caulk, expanding foam, rubber strips, or anything else that keeps the ants away. If you notice a trail of ants going to a certain part of your building, try to figure out where the ants are coming from and eliminate that point of entry. This may be a matter of trial and error, but eventually you can block off all access for the ants.
Trim Trees with Overhanging Branches
Trim trees on your property with overhanging branches that touch your roof or building exterior. Ants can use these as bridges to crawl onto your building and get into the interior. If you have shrubbery near the base of the building, you may want to trim it back so it does not directly touch the exterior. Make it as hard as possible for the ants to get in.
Keep Dumpster Lids Down
If you have a dumpster outside your office, make sure the lids stay down. If the dumpster is uncovered, put a fence around the container to prevent people from throwing loose food and other debris in the dumpster. These items should go in trashcans, with bags to reduce the odor emitted from the dumpster. If the dumpster is continually overfilled with trash bags, you may want to invest in a larger dumpster or request that yours be dumped on a more regular basis.
Clean Up the Parking Lot
Parking lot trash is an easy meal ticket for ants, and it may go unnoticed because it’s not directly by the office. If there are certain areas that seem to gather more trash than others, put waste receptacles in those areas to encourage people to throw away their trash instead. It would also be wise to do a quick sweep of the parking lot a few times a day just to check on the trash levels. Clean up anything you see floating around, and you will be able to reduce your risk of ants and improve your curb appeal at the same time.