Four Health Hazards Caused By Pests In Office

Pests like rats and cockroaches are vital for ecosystems, but they may become a nuisance if they make your office their home. 

Besides the monstrous-looking pests, there are many microscopic “pests”, such as bacteria, mold, and dust mites in the office. Although these microorganisms are smaller in size than rats and cockroaches, their invasions can cause equally damaging risks to office workers. 

Both big and microscopic pests thrive in dirty, dark, and warm environments. They are commonly found in soft furnishings like office carpets and office chairs, desks, trash bins, door handles, and toilets. 

If these pests are left uncontrolled, they could quickly spread. They can damage properties and cause illnesses among co-workers. 

Infographic: Health hazards in the office
Infographic: Health hazards in the office. | Image: De Hygienique

The more you understand the potential health hazards they represent, the more you will be informed on how to safeguard yourself and your coworkers.

Major Health Hazards Caused By Pests In Office

Gastroenteritis and Influenza

Gastroenteritis (or gastric flu) and other flu-like diseases are some of the most dreadful illnesses connected with bacteria and viral infections. The diseases can cause severe diarrhea, respiratory failure, and fever. 

Man Sneezing on Sofa
Influenza can be contagious. | Image: Freepik

These viral infections are commonly spread to co-workers through the airborne virus, bacteria on furniture surfaces, and contaminated food or drink. 

These diseases can both be fatal if left untreated. Fortunately, both infections are preventable via regular office cleaning and sanitation practices. 

If there are reports of infected co-workers in the office with either gastroenteritis or influenza, here are suggested ways to mitigate the infections:

  • Maintain a clean and hygienic workplace.
  • Minimize contact with infected co-workers.
  • Regular cleaning and sanitation of surfaces.
  • Wash hands after using the toilets.
  • Wear masks.
  • Engage professional disinfection service if the infection rate is high.

Hantavirus and Leptospirosis

Through their droppings and urine, pests such as rats carry diseases such as Leptospirosis and Hantavirus. 

Rat
Pests like rats carry bacteria that can cause illnesses. | Image: Freepik

The Hantavirus can cause respiratory issues, high fever, and even mortality, whereas Leptospirosis can cause liver failure, brain enlargement, and even death in the worst-case scenario. 

Keeping rats out of your business is the only way to avoid these viruses. Here are some ways to control rats in the office.

  • Discard all exposed food and beverages daily in the office.
  • Keep the office clean and hygienic.
  • Engage pest control if rat droppings are spotted.

Skin and Respiratory Allergies

Cockroaches and micro “pests” like mold and dust mites trigger allergies. Some common allergy-related illnesses triggered by these allergens are asthma, eczema, and eye conjunctivitis. 

Woman Coughing
Allergens in the office can cause nasty allergy reactions. | Image: Freepik

Eliminating these pests is almost impossible. We can, however, take action to reduce their presence in the office:

  • Engage a professional cleaning service to clean office carpets and chairs regularly.
  • Frequently vacuum soft furnishings in the office.
  • Declutter office regularly.
  • Engage pest control if cockroach infestation worsens. 

Dengue 

Dengue has been an increasing health danger in Singapore over the years. 

The virus spreads when an infected Aedes mosquito bites a human, resulting in a potentially fatal illness. The seriousness of the disease varies. Some people who have pre-existing illnesses may be more vulnerable than others. 

Aedes mosquitoes
Aedes mosquitoes are pests that cause dengue fever. | Image: Freepik

There are several methods for preventing mosquito breeding in the office. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Remove stagnant water and leaks in areas where water can build to prevent mosquito breeding.
  • Overturn pails to ensure no stagnant water remains.
  • Change water in the vase regularly.
  • Ensure that all of your window screens are repaired and properly installed.

If you have spotted pest outbreaks in your office, like cockroaches, rats, termites, etc., you need to engage pest control services immediately. Not only do these pests carry harmful bacteria, but damage from these pesky pests can also cause structural harm to your office space. 

How to prevent pests in the office

Therefore, it’s paramount to be mindful of indoor office hygiene. Besides keeping the office environment clean and tidy, implement precautionary measures to prevent pest infestations. 

Employee cleaning carpet
De Hygienique provides carpet deep cleaning service. | Image: De Hygienique

De Hygienique is a Singapore commercial and residential indoor hygiene and cleaning company. We offer various services, including disinfection service, cleaning and sanitising carpets and upholsteries.

Please contact us if you have any questions about our services.

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