Pest sightings are never a minor issue. Still, it can be especially problematic in a multifamily residence, as there are more places to hide and less control over those living there. Residents shouldn’t have to get used to pests skittering from dark corners, storage areas, the clubhouse, boiler rooms, office spaces, and other areas that have become underutilized due to COVID. And they certainly won’t appreciate the messes that pests can leave behind.
As a property owner or manager, it’s imperative to take control of the pests that affect the daily lives of current or future residents. Imagine this: you’re showing a potential resident around the property, and you walk into the business center, flick on the lights, and voila… a cockroach comes scattering out, showing off its secret headquarters. There’s simply no way of earning the trust back of that client.
Bed bugs, cockroaches, rodents, flies, ants, wasps, and mosquitoes are very recognizable pest invaders for the Property Management industry. And when they are not properly controlled, your reputation and bottom line can be affected (especially in a world where news travels fast on social media).
How to keep vacant and underutilized areas pest-free
Pest control is a year-round responsibility. The changes to daily life due to COVID have made it even more critical for property managers to prevent pest infestations and promptly handle issues as they arise. Connected walls and communal areas like lobbies, pool houses, business areas, fitness rooms, and storage facilities make it easy for pests to spread from one location to another.
- Reduce standing water: Standing water is a potential breeding ground for flies, mosquitoes, and provides all pests including mice and rats with one of the three things they need to survive (shelter, food, water). It can be easy to forget about the birdbath that is rarely seen on the other side of your property but a poor impression will be left on residents if they see it neglected and covered with unwanted guests.
- Monitor for rodent droppings: Rodents love finding a cozy and warm home in undisturbed areas including closets, storage cages, and utility areas.
- Seal cracks and gaps: Openings in floors, walls, and ceilings of unused areas can become the perfect entry points for various pests. Gaps beneath exterior doors are also at risk for pest entry.
- Trim tree branches and shrubbery: Overgrown and overhanging limbs can provide a bridge for pests to access your building. In addition, mulch can be attractive to termites, ants, millipedes, and other pests when not properly maintained. To keep pests at bay, create at least an 18-inch barrier between your buildings and any vegetation.
- Look for nests: Stinging pests can threaten potential and future residents – especially those that have an allergy. Paper wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and bees may try to build their nests in some of your property’s underutilized areas like clubhouses. And once guests start to assemble again, those nests can become extremely dangerous and the insects inside them may become aggressive when defending their homes.
- Check for bed bugs: Kids are starting to head back to school – and for some, it’s the first time in over a year. Bed bugs can hop aboard their backpacks and get delivered directly into various areas of your multifamily property – including the lobby, fitness area, and business center.
When handling pest control for a multifamily property, it is essential to work with qualified pest control professionals with commercial experience to help inspect, identify, and treat problems promptly and ultimately provide the best living environment for you and your residents.