Whether pests fly, crawl, or scurry into multifamily properties, in most states, property managers are legally responsible for stopping them.
An Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan, as recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency, will help property managers proactively identify, monitor, and manage pest issues before they escalate – without the use of potentially harmful chemicals.
Hire smart, train well
In-house maintenance technicians are the frontline defenders against pests. Ensure they are properly trained to handle various types of pests and recognize signs of infestations. Spotting pests early on is key to preventing widespread and costlier problems – and fixing issues quickly.
Promote tenant responsibility
Establish clear guidelines that encourage tenants to maintain clean, sanitary living conditions in common areas and in their own rental units. Regular trash disposal and storing food in tightly sealed containers will reduce the likelihood of infestations in the first place.
Providing tenants with a convenient way to report pests and other maintenance issues ensures property managers can address their concerns much more promptly.
Create a physical barrier
To fortify the building itself against pests, have the maintenance crew (or professional third-party contractor) seal any potential entry points. These include cracks and gaps in walls, around doors and windows, and especially gaps in and around plumbing, electrical outlets, and vents.
There are also smaller changes that you can make, such as opting for metal trash containers, as they are harder for pests to chew through than plastic.
Local ordinances may mandate a minimum distance between dumpsters and residential buildings, but pest control experts recommend placing them at least 50 to 100 feet away from the property to further reduce the chances of pests finding their way inside.
Pest control prevention is not the place to pinch pennies. Sacrificing quality to save money can result in more severe issues down the line, requiring pricier treatments and risking damage to your business’s reputation.
The most effective IPM plans involve seeking professional assistance when needed. Experts can pest-proof a property more effectively, protecting it and your tenants for the long term.
At the same time, pest control experts may be able to recommend more cost-effective, over-the-counter, or DIY treatments. These alternatives can complement or substitute traditional pesticides for more minor pest issues.
Be proactive, not reactive
Pest control is not just about reacting to problems as they arise – it’s about staying one step ahead of a building's most unwanted visitors in order to safeguard the health, safety, and reputation of the multifamily properties under your management.