Marcus Property owners often find themselves in a difficult situation when pest infestations occur. What should they do? Should they just wait and hope that the problem goes away on its own, or should they take action by hiring a professional pest control service to exterminate the pests? This blog post will answer these questions and more so property owners can make an educated decision about how to handle pest infestations. 1. Use a pest control company with experience in apartment pest management It is a common mistake to hire a exterminator that is not familiar with pest management in apartments. Most of these exterminators have no experience or training for this specific area. Unless you are using a company specifically located and dedicated to apartment buildings, you could be putting yourself at risk for infestations, further damage and property loss. 2. Vacuuming is the most effective method for removing pests from your property Carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture create an ideal environment for infestations. These areas often become a haven for fleas and other pests that can cause serious issues for tenants. There are several steps you should take to keep these areas clean: Clean up clutter once or twice a week Vacuum carpets and upholstered furniture weekly Use a carpet shampooer on your carpets monthly. Remember to have your property inspected for pests regularly As the Property Manager/Owner, you should make it a habit to have your apartment buildings inspected on a regular basis, especially by someone who is knowledgeable in pest management. An important part of this is remembering to request that fumigation be done after bed bug treatments and other extermination procedures. 3. Keep your pest control program up to date Termination of a lease does not mean the end of pest control for you as a property manager. You should continue monitoring any units being filled in order to make sure pests are not re-initiated into your building. Additionally, it is important that all tenants know the importance of taking care of their belongings in order to prevent re-infestations. 4. Regularly inspect units and common areas Common areas inside and outside should be inspected regularly for signs of pests. Look for dirty dishes, trashcans and other common areas that may collect clutter and harbor pest. These are prime areas for rodent infestations. It’s important to keep these areas clean and free of clutter to prevent infestations from occurring in the first place. 5. Seal off any holes that may be allowing pests to get inside your property It is common for tenants to cause gaps or holes by moving around furniture, tearing down walls, etc. If there are any cracks or holes that are easily accessible, seal them off with caulk or another appropriate method to keep pests from getting inside your property. If you have a problem with tenants making holes in the walls or tearing down wall paper, equip each unit with a can of spray foam insulation that will seal holes up instantly. 6. Provide pest management programs to your tenants When a tenant enters your property, you need to make sure they know the rules about pests. This includes providing them with information about bed bug prevention in addition to other important facts that will help maintain a clean rental unit and property overall. Additionally, it is important to stress the importance of placing food in a sealed container, keeping dishes clean and not throwing out any trash, especially in the common areas. 7. Provide your tenants with traps or other pest control products, when necessary Remember to always consult and follow all local laws regarding pest control products. Oftentimes, pest control measures will require specific or limited types of equipment. Make sure you understand the laws and regulations before providing any type of product to your tenants. Be sure to place any products in areas that are easily accessible for your employees or new tenants (in the case of a move-out) but will not be accessed by pets or children. 8. Switch to preventative pest control The most effective way to keep pests from re-infesting your property is to switch to a preventative pest control program. This type of program requires regular monitoring by qualified professionals who are trained in the prevention of infestations and other common issues that can occur at a property.See alsoPest Control GuideHow To Sell a House with Active Termites or Past Termite Damage When pests are not handled correctly, they can spread quickly throughout your property and even into the surrounding areas. Remember to consult with professionals regarding any issues that arise as well as provide information about prevention measures to your tenants in order to ensure their safety and health. In conclusion, pest infestations in rental units and around the building can lead to a number of issues for both you as a property manager and tenants. It is important that all residents are aware of pests and what they can do to prevent them from getting inside their units. When moving out, it is extremely important that tenants remove any bedding or clutter from their unit in order to prevent pests from reinitiating. It is also important that you take corrective measures against pest infestations and address the problem immediately.