Keep your office healthy and pest-free with natural pest deterrents that work like a charm
You're in the breakroom. You open the cabinet underneath the microwave to get a new coffee filter, and you can't be sure, but there may have been some movement in the back near the water pipe.
Later at your desk, you could almost swear there is a skittering sound in the wall. But it's late, and you're ready to go home. That's when you see the unmistakable clue: mouse droppings, right there underneath the corner of your desk.
Do you need to call in a professional? Can you find some natural pest deterrents so you don't end up with harsh chemicals around the office? What is the best solution?
The idea of natural pest deterrents has come a long way in the past decade as people shift toward more environmentally friendly and healthy lifestyles. Natural pest control methods also save you money: many of them are made with products you already have in your home.
And while the movement toward natural solutions may seem new, some of these ideas have been around since our great grandparents were little tykes. Here are some of our favorites, along with the reasons they work.
Natural pest deterrents to keep your office critter-free
1. Keep it clean
Pests like ants or mice come into your office for one reason: food. That recycling bin with sticky soda cans and the pizza box that accidentally got left out are open invitations to pests. Crumbs around your desk, spills that don't get properly cleaned up, and even the lunch bag that gets left behind in the breakroom are all attractive to pests. You can significantly cut the appearance of bugs and rodents by keeping everything as clean as possible and always putting food away.
Vinegar is delightful in a salad dressing or on chips, but it is also good for pest control. For ants, make a 50/50 blend of vinegar and water, then use that to clean counters and surfaces in your kitchen area. The vinegar breaks down the ants' scent trail so they don't keep coming back to the same spot for late night snacks.
Fruit flies, on the other hand, love vinegar, but they won't love this: fill a glass or jar with three parts vinegar, one part warm water, and several drops of dishwashing liquid. Fruit flies find the vinegar irresistible, but they can't escape this mixture.
You don't want bats inside your office, but if you have a problem with mosquitoes outside the office, bats are your go-to solution. There are a few ways to attract bats, but once they arrive, they can eat thousands of mosquitos and other insects each night, and bat guano makes an excellent fertilizer for your flower garden.
4. Boric acid
According to the Entomology Department at the University of Kentucky, boric acid "is one of the most effective cockroach control agents ever developed, provided that it is used correctly." Boric acid is toxic to cockroaches but generally not to people as long as it isn't ingested.
5. Diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth, or DE, is great for controlling roaches, silverfish, and fleas. The sharp edges of DE cut into the insects, dehydrating and eventually killing them.
6. Make your own flypaper
Admittedly, flypaper isn't the prettiest office decoration, but it's easy enough to make your own non-toxic version with a paper bag, a little sugar, honey, and water. Just make sure to change them frequently.
7. Humane traps
These are ideal for a few mice but not an infestation. Most traps work by attracting mice into them with food (peanut butter works well). When the mouse enters the trap, it triggers a door, trapping the mouse inside. All you have to do is take the trap far away and let the mouse go.
Is it time to call a professional?These solutions work well for small problems, but you may need to call a professional if the natural pest deterrents aren't doing the trick. The good news is that it's getting easier to find organic and environmentally friendly pest control companies.
Some pests can do a lot of damage to your business if you don't catch them in time. Whether it's a mouse chewing through your merchandise or a squirrel causing an electrical fire, make sure your business is covered. Call your local Pekin Insurance agent today to get the business insurance you need.
Do you use any natural pest control methods in your office? Is there something you would add to this list? Join the conversation in the comments below.