Does your office have cable bugs?


A recent phenomenon called ‘Cable Bug’ is sweeping offices across the nation. Scroll down for more info.

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There is a misconception that some corporate environments are infested with bugs and mites but the reality is something totally different and quite bizarre.

High tech office blocks can often experience 'Cable Bug'

High tech office blocks can often experience ‘Cable Bug’

Companies have spent thousands on pest control when the solution is relatively simple.

What, where and how?

Occupants of large offices, computer rooms, telephone exchanges etc receive insect-like bite marks on exposed skin – usually lower limbs. For a long time, the assumption was made that premises with occupants with these symptoms where infested but in each case there is no evidence of anthropod activity.

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The truth

What really is happening is connected to high levels of static electricity. People wearing synthetic soled shoes and moving round an office (on shallow piled polypropylene carpets) surrounded by lots of electrical equipment generate a static charge.

They then move to a metal-framed cupboard or sit at a metal-framed desk. The result of this close contact is that a charge of static electricity arcs across from the person to the desk or vice-versa.

Office carpet, synthetic footwear and metal framed office furniture can be a risky mix

Office carpet, synthetic footwear and metal framed office furniture can be a risky mix

This ‘zap’ or ‘belt’ of static feels just like an insect bite – a characteristic ‘sharp’ sensation, followed by itching and discomfort. Inspection of the ‘bite’ will often reveal the typical signs of an insect bite – a raised redness of the skin, and even a pale white centre at the site of the bite’.

The problem has become so much of an issue that several councils have launched extensive research into the phenomenon as it’s costing lots of tax payers money. Trafford Council have released a thorough report that you can read here.

The solution

Recommendations from the Selden laboratory include the following preventative measures;

  • The affected area should be treated with an anti-static solution on a regular basis
  • Equipment and fixtures should be fitted with earth straps or placed on anti-static mats
  • If possible, carpeting with natural, rather than synthetic fibres should be used
  • Dust and paper fibres etc. should be kept to a minimum

Selden Anti-Stat is a specialist product designed to remove all static build up from carpet fibres. It comes in a 5 litre container and we recommend you decant into a 750ml trigger spray, diluting with water 1:10.

Spraying this on to the carpeted areas once a week will decrease the likelihood of static charge being built up.

Need a price for this product? Call us on 01276 676006.

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