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Don’t Move Cockroaches to Your New Place!

By Chris Williams on August 21, 2013.
Cockroaches and moving companies

Question

We live in an apartment now and we are soon moving into a larger apartment in a different complex. We’ve had an ongoing problem with cockroaches in this place. How can we keep from moving cockroaches with us to the new apartment?

Answer

It’s smart of you to be proactive about preventing pests in your new home. Besides, you don’t want to be known as the one who brought cockroaches to the new building.

You don’t say whether your property has been providing regular pest control service for your apartment. If so, you should try to schedule a service shortly before you pack your things. Most properties provide for a few complaints or extra services during each service visit. Avoid prepacking any boxes until after you have had that last service. If your property doesn’t provide pest control, you should call a reputable pest management company and arrange for pest control service on your own.

Packing for the Move

Moving is a good time to get rid of clutter. Don’t move items that are broken or unwanted—and that may be harboring cockroaches. Do not pack any stored grocery bags, plastic bags, papers, cardboard boxes or other stacked items that could be housing cockroaches—throw them out. Check potted plants carefully or discard them. If you have clothes or other items already stored in cardboard boxes, wash them and repack them in new boxes (or better yet, plastic tubs) before you move them.

If possible, use new packing boxes. Any boxes already in your apartment, or from neighbors, may be infested with cockroaches or their eggs. Use plastic tubs or bins with lids when possible. Don’t bring the new boxes or other packing materials into your apartment until you are ready to use them.

Keep an eye out for roaches as you pack. Know what a cockroach egg case looks like so that you don’t take any with you. Shake out items that might have cockroaches hidden inside. Vacuum items that can be vacuumed.

It’s a good idea to pack food items separately in sealed plastic bags or plastic tubs. If you have some items, like small kitchen appliances, that could be hiding cockroaches, pack them separately and place a cockroach bait station in the box.

Moving into the New Place

On the other end, hopefully your new vacant apartment has been treated for cockroaches before you arrive. Verify this with your new property manager. If the treatment was more than two months ago, ask that your place be treated again. Inspect the new place for cockroaches before you unpack.

Unpack items carefully, looking for any cockroaches or egg cases. Discard cardboard boxes and bags as soon as they are unpacked.

It would probably be a good idea to schedule a pest control service for your new apartment a week or two after you have unpacked your belongings (unless you had service right before move-in), as extra insurance in case any cockroach hitchhikers have made themselves at home. Buy a few cockroach sticky trap monitors and place these in your kitchen to help detect any stowaways.

Photo credit: Moving Simplified / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

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