One of the toughest problems that apartment management companies face is pest infestations. Most buildings have at least one unit who refuses to allow pest control professionals inside or refuses to keep the unit in good sanitary condition. This one unit can keep pest infestations coming back time and again, costing apartment management time, labor and money.
Integrated Pest Management for apartments: Step by step
Apartment managers should consider implementing an Integrated Pest Management program. Integrated Pest Management or IPM is a step by step approach to pest control. Instead of simply spraying insecticide or throwing down bait, a thorough examination is done first to determine the best course of action and only then is any type of treatment considered. Here are the steps that should be followed:
- Inspection. Inspect the environment. Try to determine where the pests are coming in, and why they are coming in. Is there a crack or crevice they are using? Is there a moisture issue? Are sanitation conditions poor?
- Identification. Identifying pests is a very important step. If you are unsure of what type of insect you have found, contact your local Cooperative Extension Office and ask that an insect identification be made (the employees at these facilities are usually very knowledgeable about pests in their region). Rodents are usually easily identified by looking at photos of the pests for comparison and by the area they are found in. If this step is skipped or the pest is misidentified, pest control management may fail.
- Monitoring. Monitor areas that are suspected to be infested. Put out glue boards or snap traps to trap rodents and insects. This will help identify what areas need to be treated.
- Exclusion. All entry points found during the inspection must be addressed. Cracks and crevices can be sealed with Stuf-Fit Copper Mesh or Pur Black Foam. Weather seals around doors and windows may need to be replaced. Mesh on screens should be replaced if tiny insect are able to crawl through. Attic vents may need to have mesh installed to exclude small rodents. Caulk around baseboards and cracks around door frames and window frames to stop insects from entering the apartment through the walls.
- Sanitation. Many rodents and insects are drawn to areas where poor sanitation exists. Dumpster areas should be kept clean and dumpster lids should be kept shut. Indoor trash cans should be emptied and washed out often. Counter tops and floors should be properly cleaned daily. Bushes, trees and shrubbery should be kept well maintained to eliminate pest harborages. All moisture conditions such as leaky pipes or poor drainage should be addressed.
- Treatment. Treat problem areas accordingly. Depending on the type of pest you are treating for this may involve spraying an insecticide or putting down traps or placing out baits to get rid of an active infestation. If you need help choosing petsicides, one of our friendly customer service representatives at Do My Own Pest Control would be happy to assist you.
It doesn't pay to cut corners.
Because of the ease with which pests can travel between units and buildings, it is of the utmost importance to properly inspect and treat EVERY unit. A written report should be furnished to the tenants explaining what the pest control operator is treating for, what type of chemicals or traps are being used and where the traps or insecticides have been placed. Any instructions, precautions or suggestions should be left on the report as well.
Educate and inform staff and tenants about pest control plans and procedures.
All personnel performing pesticide treatments should be fully educated on the type of products being used and all label precautions should be followed. Failure to follow all guidelines can lead to pest control failure or harm to tenants or tenants pets.
Liquid concentrates for unit perimeter treatments:
- Talstar - Talstar kills over 75 insect pests and can be used for indoor pest control and outdoor pest control. Plus, Talstar One is odorless, dries clear, leaves no stains, is non-irritating to the skin, and won't break down easily with rainfall.
- Suspend SC - Suspend SC leaves a clear residual on surfaces that keeps on killing pests for up to 3 months. Suspend SC Insecticide is an EXCELLENT general purpose perimeter pesticide for use both indoors and outdoors.
- Demand CS - Demand CS offers excellent indoor and outdoor pest control. Demand is micro-encapsulated meaning that when you apply it, it leaves thousands of micro particles that bind to the surface offering long-term protection and fast insect knock-down. Demand CS controls more than 30 common insects including spiders, ants, flies, wasps, fleas, ticks and bed bugs.
- Delta Dust - DELTA DUST is the world's first and only 100% waterproof insecticide dust, so it works in the wet and damp places that insects love.
- Tempo Dust - Tempo Dust formulation contains one of the most effective compounds available for quick knockdown and long-term residual control of insects.
- MotherEarth D - 100% high purity freshwater diatomaceous earth.