We get calls on a regular basis for offices where people are being bitten by insects. Or are they? Quite often the problem is not fleas or other biting insects but ‘cable bugs’. Although cable bugs are very common they are not widely known which is why most people automatically think of fleas.
What are cable bugs?
The name is a bit of a misnomer as there are no ‘bugs’ involved. Basically, static electricity causes the sensation of bites and can also cause red marks which can be mistaken for bites.
When called out for fleas or reports of biting insects in an office the most important thing to do is to rule out fleas or other biting insects. Identification is key to a speedy resolution. Repeated insecticide treatments will not solve a static electricity problem long-term and may cause skin irritation.
In pest control, we do not spray as a ‘precaution’ anymore. Now we need to have evidence that there are fleas present in the office.
If the investigation finds no evidence of fleas then it is more than likely to be a problem with static electricity.
What can I do if my office has cable bugs?
Firstly reassure your staff that they are not imagining things because they aren’t. Tell them that the ‘bites’ are being caused by static electricity. Women can be more affected because of the nylon in tights and also if they wear sandals.
The carpets can be treated with an anti-static spray and this may need to be done on a semi-regular basis to keep the static levels low.
Purchase anti-static mats to sit under the desk chairs.
Low humidity in an office can cause static so try to increase the humidity in your office by using humidifiers. Some plants like a weeping fig or the peace lily can also increase humidity in an office.
For further advice call 0208 355 3443.