By Hope Bowman
Residents can make a difference when it comes to pest control, in your apartment buildings, common spaces, and individual units. Here are five things you should tell them:
1. Poor sanitation can lead to pests.
Pests such as rodents, flies, and cockroaches are often drawn indoors because they detect a food source. Maintaining a clean space and taking out the trash daily can help deter them.
2. Water attracts pests.
Pests need water to survive, so have residents report or fix leaky faucets, empty any bowls and cups collecting water in the sink, and remove any other sources of standing water in their units.
3. Cleanliness doesn’t prevent bedbugs.
It doesn’t matter how clean one keeps one’s space; bedbugs can survive anywhere they can find a blood meal — and they prefer to feed on humans. So ask tenants to stay vigilant, especially when returning from a trip out of town. If they suspect they or their belongings might have been exposed to bedbugs while they were away, tell them to contact the maintenance staff before bringing suitcases and other trip items back into their apartment.
4. Pests can spread from unit to unit.
Apartments share walls, noise — and pests. When one unit has a problem, other units are often affected too. That makes it even more critical to educate all your residents about taking the proper precautions, and periodically reiterating that message with friendly reminders.
5. Management should be notified early and promptly whenever a resident detects a problem.
If pests aren’t reported, they can quickly lead to an infestation. Encourage your residents to report any pests as soon as they spot them.
Hope Bowman is a technical specialist and board-certified entomologist with Western Pest Services, a Parsippany-Troy Hills, N.J.-based pest management company serving businesses and homeowners in major Northeastern markets.