Older homes and apartment buildings can have frequent pest problems thanks to the many cracks that form over time and allow pests to squeeze through.
It also doesn’t help if the building owner or manager doesn’t care enough to fix these cracks because of rent-control prices or because they can always find new tenants willing to move in and replace someone who’s fed up with the pest problem. However, even if you’re stuck between high rent and high pest populations, you don’t have to let the invaders win.
Fruit flies are relatively easy to deal with. For individual flies you can buy a swatter and inspect your window screens to make sure there are no tears that could let a fly through. Fly maggots are disgusting, but you’ll only find them in old, rotting food. As such, you should clean up all your food leftovers right away and get a metal kitchen trashcan that can stay shut.
Cockroaches are another unwelcome guest that becomes hard to remove once they make a home for themselves. They also tend to stick to hidden areas where food crumbs can fall, and so by the time you spot one the problem is often much worse than it looks. Traps can help with a roach infestation, but the best solution is to find their nest and surround it with diatomaceous earth. This special material can cut open the waxy coating of a roach’s exoskeleton and cause it to die of dehydration.
Mice are scavengers like flies, but they’re better at hiding themselves in walls and furniture and they can chew through containers to get at the food in your pantry and cabinets. The metal trashcan will help with mice as well, but you should also sweep and mop your floors, put flour and sugar in sturdy containers, and wash your pets’ food bowls between meals. If you can keep all the food in your home in sturdy containers or the refrigerator, you can keep the mouse population low until you can find where they’re hiding.
4. Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are very hard to spot during the day, because they know how to wait for their target to go to sleep before coming out to feed on them. However, you can find them if you look behind and below every object near your bed, and that includes any posters or paintings you have on the walls of your bedroom. Once you find them you can take care of the problem by removing infested furniture, washing and heat-drying any bedding or clothing they’ve touched, and cleaning up their hiding spots.
If your residential manager isn’t helping with a pest problem, take photos and videos of everything you find so you can use it as evidence with the health department or other pest control services. Without this evidence it can become very hard for a tenant to go above their manager’s head. And if you need more advice or pest solutions for common invaders, you can contact Habitat Pest Control for more information.