Pest-Proofing your Apartment

Cockroach lifespan

Being a first-time apartment owner can seem just as overwhelming as it is exciting.  There are many things you have to take into account regarding the basic upkeep of your new space, such as cleaning the floors and countertops, doing your laundry on a regular basis, and even preventing pests from sharing your new apartment with you. 

This last task can be one of the toughest to deal with, especially considering how different infestations can be in apartments as opposed to single-family homes.  Because of the fact that you share walls, floors, and even utility pipes/vents with your close neighbors, it can be very difficult to pinpoint the origin of a pest infestation and even harder to keep pests from entering your apartment through your neighbor’s space. 

The kinds of pests that can invade your apartment range from small insects like ants, bed bugs, and fleas to larger rodents like mice and rats.  This shows just how important it is to be diligent when it comes to pest control and prevention when you move into your first apartment. 

Your New Unwanted Roommates

What are some basic things that we as humans seek out to survive?  The answers many would come up with to this question are food, water, shelter from dangerous weather, and shelter from other dangers.  These kinds of basic fundamentals are what pests are also looking for when they decide to intrude on your personal space and invade your apartment.  Even if you think that you are a clean and organized apartment owner, pests can still find a way to sneak in and find the comfortable home they are looking for.  They can even form a colony and recruit other pests from the outside world or your neighbor’s unit, creating an even greater issue when it comes to getting rid of these pests. 

Some Tips for Keeping Your Space Pest-Free

One of the most important areas to focus on cleaning in order to prevent cultivating a comforting home for insects or rodents in your kitchen. 

Make sure to disinfect and wipe down your countertops very often and wipe down any spills that can make a sticky mess/residue on the sides of your cabinets or refrigerator. 

Be sure to also sweep up any crumbs and mop your floors often to ensure that there are no trails of food that create an ideal path for pests to follow once they make their way into your apartment and are searching for a nice area to nest. 

One more important part of your kitchen (and even your bathrooms) to pay special attention to when doing your weekly cleaning is under your sink.  Make sure there are no leaks that can allow a residue to form that would attract pests as it builds up; remember, pests need moisture just like us to nourish their bodies. 

To be diligent about keeping insects, spiders, and rodents from infesting your apartment, it is also important to prevent piles of essentially anything to build up.  For instance, trash piling up even in your trash can provide not only nutrition for insects but also a protective area for them to hide their bodies from our sight. 

Not only should you take out the trash and recycling out often, but you should also not let your dirty clothes pile up and create a mountain of crevices for unwanted friends to bury themselves in.  It’s a good idea to have a designated area in your home for your dirty laundry, such as a basket elevated from the ground.  Also, wash and dry your clothes regularly to further ensure that they are not attracting pests.  

Sleeping with One Eye Open

Now, there is no need to actually sleep with one eye open when it comes to watching out for insect or rodent infestations in your apartment.  However, you do want to be sure that you are being very observant when spending time in your home to notice signs of an infestation.  Pests, especially insects, can be skilled in hiding from our human sight, burrowing in a heavy rug or creating a colony in the back corner of a dirty kitchen cabinet.  This holds diligently looking out for signs of an infestation at the utmost importance.  

One of the most tell-tale signs that an insect has joined you in your apartment is the presence of damage to your furniture, doors, or clothes.  New holes / gnaw marks can certainly lead you down the path of discovering a furry creature that you may need to call an exterminator to take care of.  

In addition to the damage to your apartment, collections of dirt on your walls or floors can signal that an insect or rodent has been trekking along the inside of your residence.  Furthermore, insects often pile up dead bodies and body parts like wings or legs in a space separate from where they are forming a colony, so keep an eye out for these.  To find the colony itself, it can sometimes be as simple as noticing a “nest” of shredded-up materials like indoor plants or paper. 

Using All of Your Senses

As keeping your eyes peeled is a good way to look out for new pests, you ought to also be aware of any peculiar sounds/odors that come about in your apartment.  Especially if you have an annoyingly noisy neighbor that plays the drums at 2 in the morning or has a newborn baby that seems to cry instead of sleep, it can be difficult to detect the sounds of pests.  Listen closely to confined areas like cabinets, pantries, and inside walls for any chirping or the pitter-patter of tiny footsteps.  

Though the human sense of smell is deeply inferior to our other senses like sight and hearing, it can still serve as a very helpful tool when detecting the presence of home intruders.  If you notice a rotten smell in your apartment, be sure to check your pantry and fridge for old/moldy food.  If you cannot find any food at all that may be the source, you surely could have animal feces, urine, or bodies themselves hiding somewhere out of sight. 

Words of Encouragement

The quest to keep pests out of your apartment can prove to be a challenge, especially if it is your first time living in one alone.  However, with diligent cleaning and observation, and even help from TermiGuard Services when things get out of hand, you can ensure that your private space is yours and yours alone.