Ah, summer. What better season could there possibly be? Long, sunny days that bleed into warm, balmy nights. The season of festivals and barbecues, office parties and work outings.
Summer really is the best. But of course, it’s hot. And lately, it’s been really hot. So naturally, office windows get flung wide open to oust the heat, with fans running full tilt.
And that invariably means an office full of bugs. Wasps, flies, ants – you name it. And if your office is in a rural area, the variety of multi-legged intruders gets even more interesting (or terrifying, depending on your relationship with creepy crawlies!).
If you add swarms and armies of insects to long days spent away from the office, you’ve got a recipe for infestation.
Now, while you can mitigate the effects of having a lot of bugs in your office, remember that when the bugs want in, there’s no stopping them – no more than we can stop flying ant day every year.
Flies are particularly active during the summer, thanks to an abundance of food and warm temperatures that trigger their impulse to breed. Anywhere relatively undisturbed with a steady food source becomes a potential site for nesting.
Bins are a firm favourite. They’re concealed, dark, and full of rotting stuff. Egg-carrying flies will be attracted to the stinky smell of bins, and will take any chance they can get to set up shop on a warm summer’s day. But also, scraps of food that have fallen behind office kitchen units or cracks in countertops can fester away, totally unnoticed…
One of the very worst situations to find yourself in is returning from a long weekend to an office full of maggots – or rather, the swarm of flies they turn into. Once it gets to that stage, it can be pretty disruptive!
Leading up to the explosion of flies, it can be hard to pinpoint where exactly the infestation is. You might find the odd maggot here and there, wondering where they’re all coming from – before realising that a hole in a bin bag has gone unchecked for a week, and there’s a family of maggots congregating at the bottom of your office kitchen bin!
Getting rid of the maggots at this point is easy enough (if a little bit gross). Once they turn into flies however… Well, then it’s time for pest control. For context, a single fly can lay up to 150 eggs in 48 hours, and if there’s a good food source, like a rotting half-eaten lunch in a bin, mother flies will happily share it with their friends.
So, if you’ve ever seen a fly crawling around on a window – imagine that multiplied by a few hundred. You won’t be able to see out of the window for flies. And if you disturb them, it’ll be total chaos as you run around in a living cloud of angry flies!
The best thing you can possibly do though, is not to get in this mess – and that means good old fashioned office cleaning. Here are some top tips for avoiding maggots and flies in the office over the summer.
1. Empty your office bins very regularly
A weekly bin emptying schedule isn’t going to be enough over the summer. It’s better to have maggots in your outside bins than inside, so get them into your commercial waste containers or company wheelie bin as often as possible. Flies reproduce very quickly, and their lifecycle accelerates in the heat. Eggs can become maggots and then pupae within 48 hours, so consider giving your bins an empty every two days – and totally clean the bins out come the weekend.
Bonus tip: put smaller bins in kitchens and shared spaces, to promote more regular empties.
2. How to clean bins
It’s best to use heat and disinfectant to clean an infested bin. Carefully pouring boiling hot water into the bin will eliminate any surviving maggots and eggs, and disinfecting will eliminate the odours that attracted them there, as well as lingering harmful bacteria. Be sure to check your bin is watertight and won’t warp under heat.
One good thing about doing this in summer is being able to do this outside, and having sunshine to dry the bin out thoroughly. The sun also adds some UV cleaning to the mix! Consider doing this once a week at least, to be totally sure that any little invaders have been dealt with.
Also, while you might think that vinegar is good for cleaning, be warned that it can actually attract flies that are desperate for food. Vinegary odours are produced by fruit as it rots, and flies are attracted to it – which leads us on to our last tip for avoiding maggots…
3. Make a fly trap
Flies run on impulse, and will fly directly to a food source, even if it means their doom… You can use this to trap them for easy disposal later, by making a simple fly trap with a fizzy drinks bottle and some bait.
Here’s a link to a very easy homemade fly trap you can place in your office, to catch flies before they become a bigger problem.
Office Cleaning in Cardiff, South Wales
The Abbey Cleaning Service does professional office cleaning in Cardiff. Call 029 2067 9323 today, and find out how we’ll help you keep your office clean and bug-free – without disrupting your work day.