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Apartment Living: How to Keep Pests Out
Living in an apartment generally affords many people the ability to live, work and play without having to travel too far. With a shorter commute and easy access to restaurants, grocery stores and shops, it is an attractive living option to many Americans.
And, because of the multifamily nature of apartment buildings, you tend to share a lot with your neighbors. You may share noise through the floor or walls, smells of a neighbor’s dinner wafting down the hall — you may even be that super nice neighbor that shares a cup of sugar. But did you know you could also share pests?
Apartment complexes are among the toughest structures for pest control. The close proximity of units often makes it difficult to pinpoint the cause of a pest infestation, and in some situations, may even amplify the infestation. Units share not only walls and floors, but also connected utilities, which create easy pathways for pests to travel. Plus, pests are sneaky and can enter through open windows or sliding glass doors, through ventilation slats for AC units, under doors lacking door sweeps and around windows without proper weather stripping. Potted plants, whether they be indoors or on an outdoor terrace can provide additional access for pests.
Bed bugs, cockroaches, flies, wasps, rodents and birds are just some of the pests that can plague an apartment environment. While it may seem like some of these pest problems are inevitable, residents can take steps to limit future infestations. Here are three main tips to avoid a pest encounter in an apartment complex.
Second Guess Second Hand Furniture
Pieces of secondhand furniture may seem alluring and may be the perfect fit for your home décor. However, it is important to carefully inspect any secondhand items before bringing them into the building as they can harbor bed bugs, powder post beetles and more.
Check Packages Carefully
Deliveries offer another avenue for many pests that may hitch rides inside via cardboard boxes. These boxes often have a long journey to get to their final destinations and can pick up pests at any point in transit. Check boxes before bringing them indoors to limit potential infestations. Cockroaches love a good grocery delivery!
Be Cautious When Returning From Travel
Travelers are often vulnerable to bed bugs and can unknowingly bring them back from their journeys. Bed bugs can be found in hotels, various modes of transportation, and also in some unexpected places like movie theatres, retail stores and more, making it very easy to inadvertently bring them home. When returning home, make sure to inspect and vacuum suitcases before storing them away until the next trip.
General Pest Proofing
Tenants can also participate in general pest proofing around their apartments by following these simple to-dos:
- Dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
- Wipe down kitchen counter tops and sweep floors to remove crumbs and residue from spills.
- Vacuum at least once a week.
- Keep pet bowls clean and wipe up any spilled food or water around them promptly.
- Store pantry food items, and dry pet food in a sealed plastic containers.
- Routinely check under sinks for areas of moisture and repair any leaky pipes.
Residents who see a pest in their apartment or in a common area should contact their facility manager immediately to determine if professional pest control is covered under the terms of the lease and to discuss next steps.