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Apartment living has many perks. In addition to being close to transit, work, amenities, and leisure time activities, it can be affordable, have less upkeep and maintenance, and give you lots of opportunity to be social with neighbours.

Apartment buildings can also be a haven for pests, and a challenge for pest control. Due to the proximity of units, many entry points into the building, and shared walls, floors, ceilings, vents and utilities, pests can move freely, and out of site from unit to unit and floor to floor. Apartment complexes offer pests many places to hide, and may provide favourable conditions (food, water, shelter, temperature, etc.) for them to not only survive, but to flourish.

When a pest control issue arises in an apartment complex, finding the source of infestation, or even determining the extent of the infestation can be complicated and difficult.  At times, the tenant who unfortunately discovers mice, rats, cockroaches, ants or bed bugs (just to name a few) in their unit, is not the cause or source of infestation. The pests may have found their way into the unit in search of food or new shelter because theirs is overpopulated or recently disturbed during maintenance or renovations. But now that these bugs and insects have stumbled upon your home, it may be habitable enough for them to take shelter and become a nuisance or health concern to you.

It is impossible to prevent pest issues in an apartment complex, but there are things that can be done by the tenants that can help minimize pest issues for themselves, and neighbours.

Here are 10 Ways to Pest Proof your Apartment:

  1. Dispose of your garbage, recycling and food waste regularly in sealed containers with lids.
  2. Keep your kitchen and any dining areas clean and sanitized.
  3. Sweep daily, and if you have carpeting, vacuum thoroughly at least 1-2 times per week.
  4. Keep your pantry area clean and store food items in sealed plastic containers.
  5. Keep pet bedding, dishes and feeding areas clean, and store dry food in sealed plastic containers.
  6. Regularly check your kitchen and bathrooms for moisture, leaking pipes or clogged drains and repair.
  7. Avoid second hand furniture or clean thoroughly before you bring it into your home.
  8. Inspect all packages that come in cardboard boxes for pests before you bring them inside.
  9. Inspect, vacuum and wash your luggage or overnight bags as soon as you return home from travel (even an overnight stay at friends, or a night in a 5-star hotel).
  10. Work with your building’s Facilities Supervisor or Maintenance Manager by timely reporting maintenance issues in your unit or any pest sightings.

If you have a pest issue in your unit or at your apartment complex, check out this informative blog about who is responsible for pest control costs.