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Top 3 Trials and Tribulations of Pest Control in Apartment Buildings

If you manage a multifamily building, own two-family rentals, or even just have lived in an apartment you know how difficult it can be to manage pests like mice, cockroaches, flies, and of course the elusive bed bug – just to name a few. But the reasons why pest control in apartment buildings is so difficult vary. Here are the top 3!

1. Only the Property Manager/Owner Can Deal with the Pest Control Company

It may be well-known among property managers and owners, but some residents don’t realize this. They will often call the pest control company directly instead of getting in touch with their property manager first. This can prolong the pest issue and give them more time to reproduce. If they do call the pest control company, they will be unsatisfied with the answer the customer service representative will have to give them (sorry but you have to call your property manager!). As the property manager, the best thing you can do is use a reputable company AND address any pest issues your residents raise with you immediately. Don’t put off calling or use a less reputable company. Local renter, Ashley, told us, “Being in a rental property isn’t easy but I’m really happy to have Western Pest Services to help me out!”

Typical apartments and fire escape ladders in Chelsea, Manhattan, New York City USA.

In addition, make sure you’re not only very clear with your residents about this rule but make sure the pest control company you partner with has compassionate customer service representatives and attentive and prompt technicians. For Ashley, this was a life-changer. She said, “Nick was extremely professional! He literally explained everything he was doing, which really eased my mind, because I was slightly freaked out! When Nick left, I really felt confident things would get better. Nick is awesome!! Thanks again.” That’s the kind of service residents need when they’re renting. Just because they don’t own it, doesn’t mean it’s not their home. While the pest control company should be dealing with the owner or property manager, the technician should still treat them like Nick treated Ashley. It’s important for the resident and the manager.

2. Bed bugs should be dealt with quickly!

bed bug sniffing dog checking a bed in an apartment building

It’s no secret how difficult bed bugs can be anywhere but in multifamily buildings, they are just the worst. From traveling and hitchhiking to adjacent apartments, to expertly hiding until bites happen, they are a threat that most apartment buildings will have to deal with at some point. According to Get One Desk, 89% of pest control professionals say they’ve dealt with bed bug infestations in apartment complexes. That’s a staggering statistic. Since bed bugs have nothing to do with cleanliness like cockroaches, flies, and mice do, they can show up anywhere. The best strategy for dealing with bed bugs is to get proactive. The ONLY way to be proactive with bed bugs is to have routine inspections done by bed bug-sniffing dogs. Having properly trained dogs inspecting your building will catch just one bed bug – even just one bed bug egg! Catching them that early can not only help keep them contained in one apartment, but it can also make the bed bug treatments go much smoother and possibly get these pests eradicated in one shot.

3. Pest control should be routine and prompt.

You shouldn’t be waiting until there’s a pest problem to call a pest control company. Cockroaches will infiltrate your boiler room, trash areas, and any other area that isn’t used all that often. Mice will reproduce quickly in secluded areas that have food, shelter, and water. Routinely inspecting these areas will keep pest populations under control. Leaving them be and you could be facing a much larger infestation – much more difficult and much more expensive to deal with.

Routine inspections in the apartments themselves will do much of the same! But only if you use a pest control company that not only keeps their appointment times but has the same technicians servicing your building. They will not only get to know the building itself but the residents. Seeing the same person with proper identification and a professional uniform coming in and out of the building you live in can seem like a small thing, but it’s not. Feeling secure and safe where you live is a huge thing! We all want that. The pest control company you use is only as good as their technicians. We heard from John, a local property manager. He said, “I work at a property in Edgewater, NJ and Miguel is our weekly technician who comes out for a building inspection and apartment requests. He is easily one of the best technicians I’ve had the pleasure to work with.”

When your technician is like that, not only are the residents happy, but the property manager looks great. The best thing your pest control technician can do – second only to taking care of the actual pests – is communicating with the residents. That will ease their minds about anything from pest control to the products being used for it. John noted that Miguel is “great at communicating with the leasing office team and goes above and beyond for residents when inside their apartments. It’s very important for me to be able to explain to my residents the procedures that Western will be taking in their apartment, and Miguel has always been extremely helpful in making sure I am equipped with answers to any questions residents may have. Thank you, Miguel, you’re the best.” It’s a simple thing, but it goes so far. That’s the kind of prompt and dedicated service your residents deserve. And the kind any good property manager should be looking for.

When tackling pest control in apartment buildings – or any multifamily home – the most important thing is choosing the right company for the job. Make sure the company you choose will treat you and your residents like the customers above were treated. Why settle for less?

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