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Are you leasing or renting and looking for pest control tips for apartments?
We have answers.
A major concern for people living in apartment buildings is “who is responsible for pest control?”. Is it the landlord’s responsibility or tenants? Pests really don’t care one way or the other.
However, in practice, both parties should be equally responsible. Hear me out before you pass judgment.
I have found, when landlords and tenants are equally involved there are fewer pest problems in apartment units. It takes a joint team effort between landlords/managers and residents to effectively control and eliminate pests.
If you are tenant or manager, below you will find some of our best pest control tips for apartments. But before we get into all the great tips there is some other important information you need to know.
Common Pest Found In Apartment Buildings
Cockroaches are the worst of all pests found in apartments. They carry diseases and can contaminate the foods you eat. They can cause allergic reactions in children and older adults. If you suffer from asthma, cockroaches can make the symptoms worse. Here is a list of the more common bugs, insects, and rodents you will find in apartments:
Apartment Bugs, Insects, and Rodents
Rats and mice are equally bad when it comes to spreading diseases that can make pets and humans sick. Bed bugs, flies, and wasp are nuisance insects that can make you feel uncomfortable, to say the least.
Best Advice For Tenants and Managers
Tenants and apartment managers or landlords must work together to control and prevents bugs, insects, and rodents from infesting the property.
Managers can do their part by
- Keeping the property in good condition and well maintained
- Performing pest inspections and calling in a pest control professional on an ongoing basis
- Promptly responding to tenant concerns and request about pest control
Tenants must also do their part to control pests. They should…
- Vacuum at least once a week
- Take out the trash regularly, don’t let it pile up
- Keep apartments and storage areas clutter-free
- Store pantry foods properly in sealed containers
- Tell managers/landlords about all pest control issues
- Keep pet bowls cleaned and do not leave food out overnight
Why Do Pests Love Apartment Buildings So Much?
People love living in apartment buildings and pests do too. However, pests have other reasons for liking the environment that is created by apartment living.
When it comes to apartments I can guarantee you that pests have everything they need to survive. They have food, water, shelter and ideal temperatures for living and breeding. But most of all they like the fact that apartment complexes are high traffic areas.
Tenants are always coming and going, in and out of their apartments. Old tenants move out and new tenants move in on a weekly basis. These conditions are ideal for bugs, insects, and rodents.
All of these activities give them the best opportunity to get inside of an apartment and make themselves at home.
Pest Control Tips For Apartment Tenants
Information is power. This is especially true if you want to keep pests out of your apartment and the complex as a whole. So if you have a pest problem, say something about it to your manager or landlord. Don’t be too ashamed to report issues.
Often times, residents (maybe even you) are reluctant to report pest problems out of fear and embarrassment. They feel by doing so they will be labeled as a nasty and dirty tenant.
If you keep a clean home don’t worry about what other people are saying. Most apartment managers know that even the cleanest apartments can have issues. So report in pest issues you have and can not deal with.
Here are a few tips you can take to keep your apartment as pest-free as humanly possible.
Tip #1 Report Pest Sightings ASAP
When it comes to reporting pests the best rule is when you see something report it. It’s important for you and all other residents to report unusual pest activity after the very first sightings.
This will help management identify trends.
They are also able to get a better idea as to whether the pest problem is systemic, which would be the case if they receive multiple reports in short notice. If need be, they can call in pest control service right away to address issues.
Tip #2 Be Ready And Prepared For Pest Service
Many residents and tenants do not take routine pest services seriously. Some do not want pest control techs to come inside their homes. While others do not take any actions to prepare for pest services.
In both cases, these same people constantly complain about the pest situation to management despite being part of the problem.
If you can not meet face to fact with the pest technician, at least leave them a note detailing the issues you are having. Include details like:
- What type of pest you have seen
- When have you seen the most activity
- Where are the pest coming from
- Any areas they should pay special attention to
- Any ideas as to why the pests are coming into your apartment
You want whatever products that were sprayed or put down to do the job. Therefore you do not want to clean up right after service. It’s also a good idea to move furniture and appliances a few inches from the wall beforehand.
You should sweep, mop, and vacuum before service too, so you don’t feel compelled to clean up shortly after the pest control has been rendered.
Tip #3 Keep Your Apartment Clean
Keeping your apartment clean will go a long way toward preventing pests. At a minimum you should practice and establish the following cleaning habits:
- Promptly wash and put away dishes after each use
- Keep your sinks clean and drains free of food
- Vacuum carpets, sweep and mop floors weekly
- Don’t leave pet food and water sitting out overnight
- Wipe down appliance weekly and empty out the toaster crumb tray
- Secure your inside trash with a tight-fitting lid and take the trash out nightly
Tip #4 Don’t Buy Second Hand Furniture
You can get second-hand furniture cheap or buy it for little or no money. But with used furniture comes a host of pest associated problems. This furniture can be infested with pests and contain fleas, bed bugs, beetles and more. If you do decide to buy second-hand furniture give it a thorough cleaning and steaming before bring it into your apartment.
Apartment Pest Control Tips For Managers
I can not overstate the importance of working together with tenants as part of an integrated team. As managers, you must stay actively involved and put in sustained effort to reduce pest problems. Here are a few tips and focus areas to guide you along the way to a pest-free property.
Tip #1 Notify Renters If There Is A Pest Issue In Their Building
According to the National Apartment Association, tenants want to be notified when there are pest issues in the complex or their individual buildings.
Tip #2 Encourage Your Tenants To Report Pest Sightings
Most renters are reluctant to report when they see unusual pest activity. However, it is important that you encourage your tenants to do so since pests in one location can grow to a point that affects other renters.
Tip #3 Educate Residents On How To Prevent Pests
Tenants and residents are your best resources toward stopping and preventing pest infestation. As such, it’s important that you educate them.
Providing pest education is easy to do. Work with your local pest professionals to create flyers that you can distribute to residents. Place the flyers on the door of each property you manage to ensure they are noticed and read.
You can also include pest prevention tips in your monthly newsletters or announcements. Keep this information focused on steps each tenant can take to help keep pests out of their homes.
Tip #4 Keep Community Areas Clean
Community common areas like laundry rooms, fitness centers, clubhouses, and hallways should be cleaned daily. You should assign staff responsibilities to sweep, mop, dust, and vacuum high frequent areas daily.
Taking this simple approach will go a long way to prevent outbreaks from pests such as ants, cockroaches, flies, and mice.
Tip #5 Establish A Regular Extermination Schedule
Prevent maintenance is key to reducing pests. As such, you need to exterminate your apartments, facilities, and property on a regular basis. Do not be the landlord or apartment manager who is not proactive and who will only call in for pest control after issues have been brought to your attention. This would be a disservice to your tenants and not look favorably on your business.
How long should you stay out of the apartment after the pest control service? In most cases, you can go in right away. However it foggers or bombs are used you may be asked to stay out of the house for 2 to 4 hours. It’s always a good idea to ask this question before the service is rendered.
What should I do before pest control? It may seem counterintuitive, however, you should clean up before the pest treatment. You want to tidy things up beforehand. You can do this with a quick sweep, mop, and vacuum of all floors. Here is a list of other things you can do to prepare for pest treatment.