While it is an icky subject to talk about, we want to go over pest control strategies with our residents. Bugs are an inevitable part of life and most of the time, you probably don’t even know they exist. But there are certain factors like weather and human behavior that irritate their habits and may increase their presence.
While it is easy to put pest control on your property manager, apartment pest control is a group effort. Pest exterminators recommend that all parties get involved: “Eliminating cockroaches in an apartment requires a combined effort on the part of management, tenants and pest control professionals.”
There are simple, easy steps that you can take to help eliminate any insects that may come skittering into your apartment. So, let’s explore things you can do to help control pests and contribute to a better environment for everyone in the community.
First Steps: Keep Things Clean
Exterminators will tell you that one of the first steps in eliminating pests in your home, especially yucky ones like cockroaches, is to keep things clean. According to Orkin: “Your home is an ideal breeding ground for certain pest species of cockroaches. With plenty of food, warmth, water and nesting sites, they can remain active all year round.”
Cockroaches will go where the food sources are, so if that means you have a messy kitchen with a leftover food out, overflowing trash inside, or outside, that is where the cockroaches will want to be. By removing the possible food sources, ie: taking out the trash regularly, and by keeping your home clean and sanitized, your home will be less attractive to yucky pests.
Doityourself.com posted an article about eliminating cockroaches from your home. “Bear in mind that roaches will gravitate toward areas where the environment is most comfortable for them. This means areas with a water source, a food source, and dark warm places to hide. You can make your home an unlikely target by eliminating as many of these things as possible. For instance, a leaky pipe or dripping sink can be a good water source for roaches, so fix all leaks and add washers to eliminate drips. You can also eliminate their food source by making sure that no crumbs or food waste are left in your home. This includes food residue on the inside of trashcan, sticky spots on the floor, or dirty dishes left in the sink. Keeping your food in airtight containers off the floor will help to prevent roaches from finding food in your home.”
Pest control starts with you. Taking the time to keep your apartment clean and free of food and debris that might attract cockroaches is a great place to start.
Second Step: Keep Things Shut
There is no doubt about it, cockroaches are gross and they can run really fast. They can sneak in just about anywhere so it is important to make sure any possible entrance to your home is sealed up. Exterminators will tell you that: “Cockroaches can enter your home in many different ways, from the outside through cracks and crevices, vents, sewer and drain pipes.”
This means you shouldn’t leave doors or windows open. If you notice any cracks around door frames or in walls, get them sealed right away. It can be as simple as putting caulk along a window or door frame, which you can do yourself. Your apartment maintenance staff is there to help you get the most out of your apartment, so let them know if your doors aren’t closing and sealing all the way. “All holes and cracks in ceilings and walls should be repaired. Any signs of a cockroach infestation should be reported to the superintendent or housing authority immediately.”
Third Step: Pay Close Attention
Cockroaches hibernate during the winter and become more active during spring and summer months. This means you may see more cockroach activity as the weather heats up. Cockroaches are attracted to darkness and moisture so the sewer is ideal for them. But, if the city flushes out the sewer lines or does any work on them, this can disturb the cockroach population and have them skittering around looking for a new home.
Rain can also disturb the roaches, when this happens, it is wise to cover up your drains. If your drains are covered, they can’t come crawling up your sink, tub or shower. You should also make sure you are running water down your sinks, if they are dry, it is easier for them to crawl up: “One of the ways American cockroaches get into buildings from the sewer is through dry floor drains. If the trap becomes dry, the roaches will travel up through the sewer pipes. To prevent this, floor drains should be flushed every week or so to recharge the trap. One way to keep floor drains from drying out is to add a tablespoon of mineral oil to the water inside the floor drain.”
Fourth Step: Communicate with Staff and Property Managers
Property managers and maintenance staff are there to help you get the most out of living in one of our communities. If there is a problem, let them know and explain in detail what is going on. If you notice cockroaches around your apartment, they are not necessarily infesting the entire property. So let maintenance know if you are noticing a pest problem.
Pest control really is about team work. If one resident has leaking pipes or a messy apartment that is providing the perfect home for roaches, that can affect other residents living around them. Think about how close apartments are; spraying one apartment for roaches can cause them to move and find a new home. This is why it is important to attack the roaches from all fronts: residents keeping things clean, maintenance staff taking care of leaks, unsealed doors and other potential problems, and pest controllers spraying to take care of the problem.
It is important to be mindful of the way you take care of your apartment. Your efforts along with the property managers, maintenance staff and pest exterminators can eliminate pest problems and keep you living the good life.