Apartment buildings are notorious for attracting pests, especially older buildings in urban environments. One of the biggest challenges apartment dwellers face is sharing the same space with complete strangers who may not know or practice effective pest management techniques. If your neighbor from across the hall doesn’t protect their apartment from pest infestations, there is a good chance that their pests will also become your pests. That’s why it’s so important to work together with your neighbors on keeping pests out of your private apartments as well as the building’s shared areas. Unfortunately, sometimes people are reluctant to see apartment living as a collaborative experience. It might be up to you to take the initiative and convince other tenants all of you have a shared responsibility to keep your building clean and pest free.
Each apartment building is different, so it’s important to come up with a pest management approach that works best in your situation. Landlords who own big buildings in busy urban areas often hire a pest control company that treats the basement and other high-risk areas to prevent pest infestations. Some landlords even offer free monthly service to tenants if it’s needed. If you have a pest professional who comes by regularly to treat the building or the apartments, it’s easy to get a false sense of security. Not maintaining proper sanitary standards can lead to a serious infestation that requires expensive pest eradication services. Whether you get free monthly services from a pest control company or not, it’s important to do your role in preventing pest infestations in the first place.
Cleanliness is the most important aspect of protecting your home from pests. In addition to keeping your own apartment clean, you need to make sure everyone else in the building maintains the same sanitary standards. While the concept of educating everyone in your building about proper pest management sounds easy enough in theory, you might run into a resistant neighbor who mistakes your concern for nosiness. The best way to handle this is to communicate your ideas to your landlord. In most communities, landlords are legally responsible to provide a good standard of living to all residents. It’s in your landlord’s best interest to prevent pest infestations to save money on expensive eradication treatments. You can ask your landlord to send an exterminator to talk to all tenants, mail a letter that outlines proper sanitary guidelines or allow you to post pest control rules in the building’s lobby.
Once they have a list of pest control guidelines they can follow, most residents have no problem sticking to the rules. All drains in the building should be cleaned regularly to avoid drain flies and roaches. In general, food waste should be thrown out as soon as possible. If your communal garbage area is in the basement, put up a sign that reminds tenants to tie their garbage tightly and keep the lid of the garbage closed at all times. Ask your neighbors to vacuum carpets, seal off cracks, and avoid leaving food out in the open. Kitchen appliances like stoves and refrigerators should be cleaned once every few months. You should also remind your neighbors not to litter in the hallways or in the lobby. If you or someone in your building has an infestation, ask your landlord to call a professional exterminator immediately to prevent it from spreading to other apartments.
This is a guest post from Rose McMillan, an experienced pest control professional, turned freelance writer and blogger. Her goal is to share the knowledge she’s learned of preventative pest control methods with others through blogging. Sources: Terminix Library.