By Rose McMillan, Terminix, Atlanta, GA
If you are a property manager, you may think that the idea of calling an exterminator is a nightmare. While dealing with pests of any sort is no picnic, it is far better than simply letting the infestation get worse and worse, which is exactly what is going to happen if you do nothing. If you are performing a property management role for a multifamily property, you need to have an integrated pest management strategy available at your fingertips should you detect a problem.
For Property Managers
Keep an open door policy for reporting pests. Be very clear that there will be no blame or penalties placed for reporting pests of any sort. One great way to keep things blame-free is to allow residents to sign up for weekly or monthly pest control treatments.
Be proactive with your pest control and make sure that you seal up any cracks or gaps in the walls and the baseboards. This keeps pests from entering the building on their own. Seal up the areas where pipe lines enter and leave the unit as well.
Call an exterminator sooner rather than later. For example, if roaches and bedbugs are seen during the day, this usually means that an infestation has gotten quite bad and needs immediate attention. An exterminator can tell you what you need to know about your situation.
Educate your residents by passing out notices with pictures of different pests and what draws them in. For example, people who live in urban areas should be warned about bedbugs and cautioned to avoid picking up furniture on the side of the road.
Put together a sound strategy for integrated pest management by working with a good company that specializes in pest removal. In many cases, a good company of this sort can ensure that you have all your bases covered.
All residents should keep their homes tidy to better facilitate good pest management. For example, they should wash their dishes every day, and they should reduce clutter in their home to provide less of a safe haven for pests.
Residents should also throw out old food. This is because insects are drawn to food that is left out and undisturbed, even if the food has not gone bad. This includes old frying oil, which can be put in the freezer and thrown out when it is frozen.
Use bleach if possible to clean up the wet areas in the home. There are many pests that are drawn to the damper areas of the home, and bleach makes it impossible for them to live there. Bleach also sanitizes the areas, making it more pleasant in general.
Do a thorough clean of the home or the unit once a month. This includes sweeping, mopping, and scrubbing. Not only will this discourage pests from coming in your home, you will find that it can also help you detect pests that you did not know were there.
If you are running a large multifamily property, you must be proactive when it comes to pest control. This is not a matter that you can put off, so act before there is a problem. Most pest problems can be nipped in the bud early on if you have the right information at hand.