When discussing pests, we often focus on the needs of homeowners and what can be done to protect a house from damage and health concerns. Most of the tips and information that is provided can also be utilized by the millions upon millions of apartment dwellers, but it may be important to emphasize certain techniques that can be utilized to ensure a pest free apartment.
Step #1: Clean up after yourselves.
Roommates are always arguing over who dirtied which dishes and whose turn it is to take out the trash. These concerns go far beyond a lopsided handling of the cleanliness of the apartment. Rather, it means that constant bickering or refusal to clean up will translate to pests wanting to get inside your apartment.
A number of pests — cockroaches, ants, mice, rats, and several others — are attracted by garbage that’s been lying around because they’re in search for food. When dirty dishes pile up in the sink for days on end, pests can sense that. Same goes for garbage that hasn’t been taken out for a week.
Step #2: Schedule a weekly cleaning.
This is especially important when you live with other people. Pests are attracted to food and odors. Even if you clean up your dishes and throw away your trash, this can’t just be a one-time thing. Part of the “roommate agreement” should be to clean every room, including each person’s bedroom, at least once a week.
If schedules are tight, split up the duties and switch off once a month, or whatever schedule works for everyone involved. Regular cleaning will go a long way to making your apartment unattractive to the average pest. You won’t be able to stop them completely, but a strict schedule will help you make some strides in having a pest free apartment.
Step #3: Seal up gaps and cracks
Bugs, rodents, and arachnids love to sneak into your home through gaps and cracks. Your landlord might be reluctant to schedule his maintenance guy to check for what amounts to your apartment’s air leakage problems. If you want a pest free apartment, you’ll need to take control of the situation.
The first places to check for gaps are your doors and windows. These are common places, especially in older buildings where the sealant might have been worn down over time. If you can talk your landlord into it, try to get him to put in some weatherstripping, which can help keep a number of pests out of your apartment. If utilities are paid by the owner, explain to him or her that it’s of benefit to the landlord, because sealing cracks and gaps in this way can severely lower the energy usage.
Photo Credit: Apartments