Controlling the spread of pests and rodents in large apartment complexes is a seemingly never-ending battle.
According to the experts, pests like cockroaches and mice can thrive in large scale apartment complexes due to easy access to shelter, food, and water.
Adjoining walls along with shared utility chases mean even bed bugs can move easily to the apartment next door if a resident moves out and resources become limited at best.
What this means is, rental managers are presented with the constant challenge of having to mitigate not only the proliferation of pests but the damage they can inflict on the buildings and grounds.
So then, what are some of the best ways for landlords to provide effective pest control in apartment facilities?
Landlords Need Help With Pest Control
According to noted Entomologist Shane McCoy, you must use your entire staff to accomplish your pest control goals. If your apartment facility is relatively small, this might mean the building managers, maintenance person, and even the salesperson must all play their part.
Larger, high-rise complexes such as those located in the major cities and that employ legions of maintenance staff, managers, and sales personnel, must implement a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management program, or IPM, to keep residents happy, and the bugs and four-legged creatures at bay.
If this can’t be handled in-house, a large apartment facility owner might want to consider employing an outside firm for pest control. Depending on where your apartment is located, if it’s in Georgia, there is Ardent Residential, a property management company in Atlanta. Many professional property management firms specialize in apartment buildings to relieve the burden of pest management from property owners.
DIY Best Practices
Best practices for pest control begins and ends in the apartment itself. In other words, residents need to be involved in effective IPM. Let’s face it, bugs and rodents thrive in unclean, messy environments, including where the trash is rarely taken out to the dumpster, the floors are always dirty, the sink is full of unclean dishes, and the hamper is overstuffed with soiled clothing.
According to this article, damaged fabric, plants, furniture, and walls are all signs that you have a pest problem.
Cockroaches especially thrive in unclean and cluttered environments, McCoy stresses. But how to do you convince a resident to be cleaner in the day-to-day maintenance of their home without alienating them? You educate them the best you can. That education, via snail mail and email, can go a long way toward effective pest control.
Effective Pest Control Starts With Education
A concerted effort must be put into educating staff and residents about the dangers of pest and rodent infestation, which can mean sickness and disease if left unchecked. It’s one thing to stress the importance of tidiness, but if a resident doesn’t know what to look out for, such as little mouse droppings in the cabinets, tidiness is just a nice idea.
The same goes for maintenance staff. If they don’t know precisely where to spray for cockroach infestation or the perfect times of year for ants and spiders, the pest control results can be minimal. Again, hiring an outside management agency to tackle IPM head-on is advantageous. They will create a comprehensive training plan for keeping your facility bug and rodent free and create a specific list of pests that can be found in your apartment.
Information on pests and rodents is just one part of the process for a management agency. Also included in their work is warning residents who plan on taking IPM into their own hands.
Many over-the-counter pesticides are very toxic and can cause harm to other residents. They can also offset the effectiveness of professional pesticides.
Once staff and residents have been sufficiently informed and trained about the pests that inhabit their building, inspections should be scheduled at least two to four times per year, preferably at the dawn of a new season, depending on your location.
What pest inspectors look for
- Actual pests, be they insect or animal
- pest feces and waste
- animal rubbings and teeth bite or chew marks
- existing infrastructure conditions that will invite pests to move about freely inside walls and into adjacent apartments, such as pipe chases, holes in walls, spaces around interior-to-exterior utilities, plus gaps between window and door jambs
- holes in screens or nonexistent screens
- spaces and openings around air conditioners
- ack of sanitary conditions like clutter, lack of cleanliness in the kitchen and bath, improper storage of food, and garbage/waste pile up
Pest control is in American is a billion dollar industry.
There is no way to eradicate pests; however, a clean, well-maintained, routinely inspected apartment building will result in relatively pest-free apartments. Plus when building management is overwhelmed by rampant pests, they outsource the pest control to a third party.