One of the most common challenges of living in an apartment is the fact that you have to deal with different pests. Whether it’s ants in the kitchen or mice hiding behind your walls, pests can quickly make themselves at home, and getting rid of them can be a challenge.
A typical home can be sprayed and fogged with insecticide, but when it comes to apartments, the process is a bit different.
For one thing, aside from the fact that most apartments are smaller than an average-sized home in the United States, living in close proximity to other people means that you have to be more careful about the chemicals you use.
Pest control companies usually spray only on the outside of an apartment complex to avoid any potential health hazards to the people inside.
You may also notice that people living within the same building may schedule pest control services all on the same day.
The building administrator will usually post a notice on the door or in the lobby, letting residents know when the treatment will take place.
How Do Apartments Do Pest Control?
Depending on your management and the size of your complex, there are a few different ways that pest control might be handled in your apartment.
If you live in a smaller complex, the property manager or owner may hire an outside company to come and spray for pests on a regular basis.
In larger complexes, there may be an in-house staff member whose job is to keep the property free of pests.
You may also be responsible for scheduling and paying for your own pest control services if you live in a rent-controlled apartment or housing complex.
In this case, it’s a good idea to ask your neighbors what companies they use and get a few different estimates before you make a decision.
How Does Pest Control Work in Apartments?
The process of pest control in apartments is similar to that of homes, but there are a few key differences. If this is your first time or if you have no idea how pest control companies work in apartment complexes, here’s what you can expect:
Spraying on the Foundation and Outside the Doors
The first step in most pest control treatments is to spray the foundation and the area around the doors and windows of an apartment complex. Because this is usually the most common entry point for pests, it’s important to make sure that these areas are treated regularly.
From the foundation, doors outside your apartment will also be sprayed, depending on the type of pests that are being treated.
For example, if you’re having a problem with ants, the treatment will likely include spraying around door frames and any other potential entry points.
If you have a porch or an outdoor area that is part of your apartment, this will also be sprayed as part of the treatment.
Treating the Inside of Your Apartment
If you have a scheduled pest control session, your apartment manager may place a note on your door letting you know when the treatment will take place.
In most cases, you won’t need to be home for the treatment, but it’s important to make sure that any food is stored away and that any pets are in a safe place.
In some instances, doors will be asked to be opened to ensure that the chemicals and other treatments can be applied to the inside of your apartment.
Once the treatment is complete, you may be asked to keep all windows and doors closed for a period of time to allow the chemicals to work.
Depending on the arrangement with your apartment manager, they might ask you to open your doors or open them themselves if you’re not around during the treatment process. Although it’s not required for you to be inside the house during the treatment process, you can be around if that’s what you prefer.
Just bear in mind that you’ll need to keep all food stored away and that any pets should be in a safe place.
Different Kinds of Apartment Pest Control Treatment
There are a few different types of pest control treatments that can be used in apartments. The type of treatment that’s best for your complex will depend on the pests that are being treated and the severity of the infestation.
Some of the most common treatments used in apartments include:
Chemical sprays are the most common type of pest control treatment used in apartments. These sprays are designed to kill pests on contact and can be effective against a wide variety of pests, including ants, roaches, spiders, and more.
This is often used because, in a setting like an apartment complex, different pests might be found in different units. There are chemical pests available in aerosol forms like granules, powders, and baits as well.
Targeted treatments are usually used for specific pests, like bedbugs. These treatments are designed to target the pest directly and can be very effective in getting rid of them.
Compared to chemical sprays, fumigation is a more extreme measure that’s usually reserved for more severe infestations. This treatment involves using gas to kill pests and is typically only used as a last resort.
Preparing Your Apartment for Pest Control
Getting ready for pest control in your apartment is similar to getting ready for pest control in a home. Here are a few things you can do to prepare:
Clean Up Any Food That’s Left Out
Whether you’ll be opening the doors for pest control treatment or not, it’s important to make sure that any food that’s left out is put away. This includes anything on your counter, in the sink, or anything that you might consume.
Ensure that all foods are sealed in an air-tight container or inside the fridge to prevent contamination. Any exposed food in your pantry or kitchen needs to be kept in a bag or inside the fridge.
Chemical sprays or fumigation can be dangerous if ingested, so it’s important to make sure that any food is stored away safely.
Make Sure Pets are in a Safe Place
If you have pets, it’s important to make sure they’re in a safe place during the pest control treatment.
Keeping them away from the treatment area doesn’t just keep them safe from the chemicals, but it also prevents them from getting in the way and potentially getting hurt.
To also ensure that technicians can do their job properly, make sure that pet food and water bowls are moved away from the treatment area as well.
Remove Any Clutter
Get rid of piles of dishes, laundry, or anything else that might be cluttered in your home. This not only provides more access to the areas that need to be treated, but it also helps to remove hiding places for pests.
While you’re at it, ensure that you get rid of any items that may be getting in the way of the technicians during the treatment process.
The rule of thumb is to make sure that these pest control experts will be able to freely move around your home without extra clutter or things in the way.
Do a Thorough Cleaning
Pest control treatments are most effective when your home is clean. A thorough cleaning will help remove any food or water sources that pests might be attracted to.
This includes sweeping, vacuuming, and doing any other kind of cleaning that you can think of.
You should also take this opportunity to declutter your home, as this will give pest control experts more access to the areas that need to be treated.
Apartment Pest Control: Are There Risks?
Pest control treatments can be effective, but they also come with some risks. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
The Chemicals Used in Pest Control Treatments Can Be Dangerous
The chemicals used in pest control treatments can be dangerous if they’re not used properly. Because they’re trained professionals, pest control experts know how to safely use these chemicals.
However, if you try to do it yourself, you might not be as careful. This could lead to the chemicals getting on your skin, in your eyes, or being ingested.
Some people are allergic to the chemicals used in pest control treatments. This is why it’s important to open your windows after the treatment is done to help air out the chemicals.
If you have any concerns about the chemicals being used, be sure to ask the pest control expert before they start the treatment.
May Take Multiple Treatments
If your apartment does pest control on a regular basis, you won’t have much of a problem in terms of pests coming back.
Most likely, these treatments are done as preventative measures. However, if you’ve had a problem in the past, or if your apartment complex doesn’t routinely get pest control treatments, it might take a few treatments before the pests are completely gone.
Apartment pest control services usually are quick, thorough, and effective. Unlike other pest control treatments, the technician will be in your apartment (and premises) and will most likely be done in about ten minutes or so.
This includes spraying some hot spots in your unit, as well as treating the perimeter of your apartment to ensure that pests won’t come in.