Apartment renovations are no small feat. They require careful preparation, thoughtful design, and detailed budget management. While planning your apartment building’s next big renovation, you may be asking what to do when it comes to pest control. Or, whether pest control should be part of the apartment plan before or after the renovation. Both are great questions. And the answer is both. Your building needs to consider pest management throughout the entire renovation process.
Renovations can be a gateway for pests to enter and take over, so make sure you don’t put your apartment pest control efforts on hold. Consider these three factors that increase the likelihood of pests inhabiting your space:
- Decreased Traffic, Increased Risk: Just because residents aren’t roaming the halls of your renovation does not mean these sites go untouched. In fact, pests prefer areas with less human traffic. Plus, these unmonitored areas allow pests to roam freely without the consequence of a potential sighting. Cockroaches in particular hide from people and scurry when lights are turned on. If they can find a nice moist area to take up residence with not a lot of people coming and going? That’s ideal to them.
- Open Entryways: With contractors, designers, and construction workers coming in and out of your property, the doors are left wide open to outside pests. These entryways don’t have to be as obvious as an open door. Rodents can squeeze through a hole a quarter inch in diameter, causing unsealed windows and gaps under doorways to act as entry points. And the excavating that could be taking place around your building (or even across the street) can disrupt rodents that are normally happily living outside. Once their nest is disrupted, they will look elsewhere and your building with its open doors for construction crew to come and go would look perfect to them.
- Excess Waste: Whether it’s leftover building materials or evidence of the construction crew’s lunch, waste quickly piles up during a renovation. Make sure food waste isn’t being deposited into the large dumpsters that are meant for construction waste. Food waste should be in dumpster areas where the top can be closed (and ideally locked). Flies, cockroaches, and rodents in particular are attracted to dumpsters for this very reason. The large dumpsters will be taken away, but the smaller ones that are fixtures at the building should have a scenting unit around them to neutralize the odors that can naturally occur. No smell, no pests.
Now, you can see the importance of preparing and implementing pest control prior to the start of any renovations. With pest control back on your to-do list, you may be overwhelmed with where to start. To help make planning for your apartment renovation easier, our pest control experts at Waltham offer these tips:
- Develop a Plan
Consider setting up a meeting with your pest management professional before the upgrades begin. Walk your pest control provider through your apartment renovation plans and ask them to conduct a comprehensive inspection of the area. Examining any current pest activity in the area can help determine how to reduce further activity and can help fortify your building against invaders. Treatments and regular inspections during construction can help mitigate the rodents that can be prominent during upgrades.
- Avoid Moisture
Pests need moisture to survive, so your renovation’s exposure to rain and increased humidity can create a wetland paradise for these pests. To help avoid these conducive conditions, try to schedule renovations and upgrades during the driest months of the year. Regardless of season, cover building materials to protect them from rain. Standing water can cause additional problems, so be sure to grade your property to avoid puddles forming near the construction site. This is especially important for discouraging mosquitoes which thrive in damp environments, but all pests need three major things to survive: water, food, and shelter. Excess moisture may not look like much, but it doesn’t take much for a cockroach to live quite happily.
- Keep Clean
During the apartment renovation process, prioritize cleanliness and sanitation not only to keep your property pristine, but also to assist with pest control. As mentioned, the renovation process is bound to get messy due to increasing amounts of waste. With so many people, tools, and materials moving about the property, waste is guaranteed to pile up. This buildup provides the perfect place for pests, offering a buffet of food and ample hiding spaces. To reduce the possibility of attracting pests, ensure the renovation site stays clean. Make an effort to pick up discarded food remnants, trash, and wood debris, all of which can provide scrumptious snacks for pests. Place additional dumpsters as far from the property as possible to help minimize potential pest hideouts. Like we mentioned above, put food waste in dumpsters and trash receptacles that can be closed and locked to keep pests out of them and add a scenting unit to neutralize the odors to help keep rodents, cockroaches, and flies away.
- Pay Attention to Details
Attention to detail can make or break your apartment remodel in more ways than one, especially when it comes to pest control. For example, your team should inspect raw building materials to make sure they are free of pests before transporting them onto the job site. Make sure that holes behind new kitchen cabinets are filled to prevent mice from moving from apartment to apartment. Outside, opt for sodium vapor lighting since pests are less likely to be attracted to them. And make sure new doors and windows fit tightly against their frames so pests cannot sneak in through the gaps. Consider adding screens and weather strips to help eliminate any potential openings for pests. Involving your HVAC professional can also help by creating a “positive airflow” in your building, causing air to push flying bugs like mosquitoes and flies out of open doors and windows, instead of sucking them into the apartments.
- Involve a Professional
When in doubt, defer to your apartment pest control professional. Before, after, and during the renovation, your provider can provide insight on all your pest control needs and how they can change during each phase. Working alongside your pest control provider throughout the apartment remodel not only helps mitigate pest problems as they arise but also allows for preventive measures. After the renovation, ask your provider to help develop an education plan for residents and employees so your renovated apartments stay pest-free. This can include helpful information such as recommended sanitation practices, proper procedures for reporting pest sightings, bed bug education, and more.
When property managers upgrade their apartment complex, it’s important to remember and execute effective pest management tactics. No matter what stage of the process your apartment renovation is in, you can utilize these strategies to help prevent pests from derailing your remodel. In fact, employing these tips from start to finish can help your building stay pest-free – as it should be. And when in doubt, involve your apartment pest control provider. A strong partnership can help your renovation go off without a hitch.
Learn more about multifamily property pest control.