Whether you run an apartment building or live in one, taking a proactive approach to pest management is the best way to keep your property in great shape. Managers and tenants in apartment buildings face a unique challenge in preventing pest infestations. They have to overcome their differences and decide how they can work as a team to maintain a clean and pest-free space that everyone can enjoy. If you are the building manager or superintendent, that means educating your tenants on how to care for their private apartments and common areas. If you are a tenant, it means stepping up to the plate and doing your share of work to keep pests out of your building.
If you are an apartment building manager, remember that you are in the position of authority. Tenants are much more likely to listen to you than other residents, so it’s up to you to establish strict pest management rules that everyone in your building has to follow. There are a few simple ways you can do this without being too intrusive or making your tenants uncomfortable. Discuss your rules with new tenants at lease signings to avoid any confusion in the future. To teach tenants who are already living in your building pest control basics, send over a friendly letter reminding them to keep their apartment clean and to contact you for exterminator services if problems come up.
To make sure that the shared garbage area is kept clean, post a few basic guidelines above the garbage can where tenants can easily see them. Remind them to watch out for garbage that accidentally falls out, double bag plastic bags that leak, and close the garbage can’s lid tightly after they are done. You can also post helpful pest management signs in the hallways and in the lobby. Signs reminding residents not to litter in shared spaces are very common in apartment buildings of all sizes, so don’t worry about offending your tenants. To avoid appearing pushy, post one sign in each common area in a highly visible spot. If there is a yard area, talk to the landscaper about pest control to prevent infestations that can spread into the building. If one of your tenants or maintenance workers reports signs of a pest infestation, call a local pest control company immediately to stop it in its tracks before it gets any worse. Once pests start to move from one apartment to another, eradicating them becomes a lot more difficult and expensive.
If you are a tenant, it’s important to look at the entire apartment building as your home. All residents need to work together along with their manager to maintain a clean and healthy environment for everyone in the building. Clean your apartment and appliances on a regular basis. Make sure that all food refuse is cleaned up and thrown out on the same day. That includes taking food out of your drain, cleaning up spills as soon as they happen, and vacuuming the floor. If you notice a problem in your apartment or in a common area, don’t try to take care of it yourself. Let your manager know that you need an exterminator. Most managers already have an established relationship with a local pest control company, so they can get you help quickly.