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Steps You Can Take to Prevent Pests in Your Apartment

By Chris Williams on August 12, 2014.

Insect pests in your homeIf you live in an apartment or condo in multi-family housing, you know that you have to be even more vigilant to prevent indoor pests. If one of your neighbors has a serious cockroach or mouse infestation, there’s a chance that those pests will try to invade your space as well. Don’t wait for that to happen. There are steps that you can take on your own to make your home less attractive to pests:

1. Get Rid of Clutter

Clutter doesn’t cause pest infestations, but it gives pests places to hide once they arrive, making them harder to find and kill. When de-cluttering, sort items into 3 piles – keep, donate, and throw away.

2. Vacuum

Vacuuming not only sucks up bugs, it also gets rid of the crumbs that pests eat and some of the allergens that they leave behind. To remove pest allergens, make sure you use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Bag and seal the vacuumed material and throw it away in an outside dumpster.

3. Block ‘Em Out

Seal the openings that pests can use to get in. Caulk or stuff openings around pipes under the sink, around windows, or where cables and cords enter walls. Make sure that your front door has a threshold or door sweep that seals tightly at the bottom.

4. Don’t Feed Pests

Pests need food and water to survive. Mice, rats, cockroaches, ants and many other pests go where they can find these essentials. Don’t make life easy for them:

  • Clean up dishes before you go to bed at night
  • Store food in the refrigerator or in sealed containers
  • Eat only in the kitchen or dining area; don’t scatter crumbs around the house
  • Use a garbage can with a tight-fitting lid and empty it regularly
  • Ask to have maintenance fix leaky pipes or dripping faucets

5. Check for Hitchhikers

Check everything that comes into your home. Stowaway pests like cockroaches and bed bugs can enter in packages, luggage, backpacks, furniture, and grocery bags.

6. Use Your Clothes Dryer

High heat will kill most pests, including fleas and bed bugs. Drying clothes (and other items that won’t be damaged) on high heat for 30 minutes can kill hidden insects and their eggs.

None of these suggestions will eliminate a pest infestation if you already have one, but they can help prevent and detect a pest problem. If you’re already battling pests, contact your property manager or a professional exterminator for help.

Source: www.stoppests.org | Photo credit: Sam Droege / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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