How Residents Can Prepare an Apartment for Pest Control
As a property manager, the state of your complex is often left in the hands of your residents. Making sure residents stay informed and work with you on many different maintenance efforts is crucial to your property’s upkeep. When it comes to pest management, this is no different. If you manage properties, one of the best tools you have is to make sure your residents know how to prepare an apartment for pest control and what to keep watch for in their units. Below are five tips property managers wish their residents knew about pest control.
- Bed bugs have nothing to do with sanitation.
A commonly-believed myth about bed bugs is that dirty environments attract them, or they can only survive in unclean places. The truth is cleanliness has nothing to do with bed bugs’ environments. They can be introduced to, and hang around in, even the cleanest of units as long as they have blood to sustain themselves. Be sure your residents are staying vigilant against these pests by regularly checking their units for signs of bed bug activity. If they are not caught until maintenance turns a unit after moving out, they could have already infested surrounding units. Which leads us to…
- Walls won’t stop pests from spreading amongst units.
In addition to bed bugs, cockroaches and ants are also capable of moving between units. The best defense to avoid this is, again, ensuring residents know to keep watch for these pests and notify management as soon as possible if pests are spotted in their unit. The sooner these pests are caught, the smaller the number of impacted units.
- Pooling water can attract pests.
Many pests can survive for a long time without food as long as they have water—so, removing water sources can sometimes be even more important than removing food sources. Residents should have maintenance fix any leaks as soon as they notice them, avoid overwatering indoor and outdoor plants and refresh pet water bowls daily. They should also avoid leaving standing water in areas like the kitchen sink or coffee makers.
- Poor sanitation can attract some pests.
Pests can enter units for many different reasons, whether that is unintentionally being carried in, entering for shelter or entering for food and water sources. By regularly cleaning, removing trash and doing dishes, residents can help reduce the likelihood of pests like cockroaches, ants and rodents from sticking around for food sources.
- When residents should notify management of an issue.
Going too long without notifying maintenance or management of a pest issue can quickly become a lose-lose situation for both managers and residents. Residents should report pest sightings as soon as they occur so management can step in and help control the issue before an infestation occurs and spreads to multiple units. As a manager, you should know that many apartment residents may wonder, “where does the pest control technician spray?” Be sure to run through the process with them if pests have been spotted in their apartment so management and the residents can work together to solve the problem.
At the end of the day, the best defense property managers and residents have against pests is keeping each other informed. Managers are not in the units every day, or even every week, and residents likely do not have control over the pest management happening in their complex. By working together to keep pests out, both parties involved have the best odds of stopping pests at the leasing office door.