Who else is living in your building?
Residency restrictions apply when property managers consider a pest management program.
Pests can be particularly troublesome in multi-family housing or other densely populated buildings where they are hard to control. Often property managers will find pests not just in one or two apartment units, but spread throughout a building, or even a complex of buildings.
That's because multi-unit buildings have many "highways" for pests to follow. They crawl along heating ducts or water pipes and they squeeze into tiny cracks and gaps in floors, walls and doorways. No matter how clean one resident keeps their unit, pests can move into the home from the apartment next door or the one above or below.
Building a strong defense. Prevention begins with building managers and extends to other people in the building, including custodians, contracted workers and, most importantly, the residents themselves. Here are a few suggestions.
· Limit unwanted guests- Fix broken windows, screens, vent covers or holes in exterior walls. Doors and windows that do not completely close should be fixed. Doors that do not seal at the bottom should be fitted with weatherproof sweeps, or the threshold built up to insure the gap is less than 1/4 inch. Automatic door closers should be considered for frequently used doors that tend to be left open, especially main entryways to multi-unit buildings.
· Utilities included- Place screens over air intake and exhaust vents for heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Whenever possible, use screens on doors, hatches, skylights and other openings. Cover fan and vent openings with galvanized mesh with openings of 1/4 inch or smaller. Plug gaps and openings where wires and conduits come through walls, ceilings, floors, etc.
· Revisit recycling- Wash recyclable containers and encourage residents to do the same. Food and drink left on or in recyclables will help support insects and rodents. Set rules against residents leaving recycle bins outdoors on back steps or patios. Arrange for all recyclables to be picked up as frequently as possible.
· Keep garbage in and pests out- It is simply a fact of multi-unit buildings there is a heavy concentration of garbage in one area to attract pests. Store dumpsters and trash cans on concrete or asphalt surfaces far away from the building as possible. Provide adequate numbers of dumpsters and trash receptacles. Outdoor trash receptacles should have self-closing lids.
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