Don’t you hate it when you bring a chair out onto the balcony of your condo to relax, but then immediately have to vacate because the seagulls won’t leave you alone or wasps decide to sip at your glass of fresh juice? Not us! Why? Because it may mean pests have moved in and there’s no better time than now to help condo tenants and strata managers out when they’ve got a pest problem. Knowing about pest control for condos can help both parties out and prevent infestations from arising in the first place!
Why Condos Need Pest Control
This sounds obvious, but there are a lot of valid reasons why condo tenants and owners should and must have pest control in place:
- A pest problem interferes with your daily life. Nothing quite says “stress” like having to wake up to and find a creepy crawler in the cupboard. And while fans of mice and rats as pets are out there, rodents are definitely not what you want to find in your pantry. And did we mention how annoying and messy seagulls and crows can be from the rooftops?
- It looks bad on your condo’s strata managers to not get the problem fixed. Reputation means everything no matter what type of building you own or live in. If one person spreads the word about how your condominium complex is infested, well, the news can spread and be as bad as an actual infestation!
- It will cost more to get rid of an infestation left alone for a few weeks than it would be to prevent it from happening in the first place. This is why any report of an infestation should be taken seriously by the condo building strata council. It’s also why construction pest control is a necessary course of action for some managers, since a lot of pest problems can arise while a new condo building is being built.
- Pests can cause severe damage to the property such as contaminating the insulation, creating holes in the roof, ceilings, and walls of units, and damaging the electrical and ventilation systems. The longer they’re around, the more extensive the damages will be and the more expensive extermination can become.
- Diseases can spread from an infestation or wild animal nests if left alone. Yes, even from nearby wildlife this is a possibility, and the last thing we all want is our health and safety to be at risk.
Long story short, condos need pest control. Period.
How Infestations in Condos Arise
With all the urgency of getting pest control, it’s a wonder that some condo tenants and owners aren’t getting the extermination services their building needs (part of us wants to assume laziness, but that’s not always the case). No, the most common causes of an infestation can actually be one or a few combined causes, such as the following:
- Pests nesting during the construction of the condo building that go unnoticed
- Pests moving in with traveling tenants, usually from new or used items or on pets themselves
- Littering and improper garbage/recycling disposal
- How old the building is (i.e. buildings as old as your grandparents when they were kids)
- Access points for pests in the infrastructure or foundation gone unnoticed until now, such as the ventilation and air ducts
- Tree branches extending over balconies, as well as the balconies themselves
- Drains, plumbing, and sewer pipes going uncleaned or unmaintained for an extended period of time
The Most Common Pests
Pretty much everything we’ve listed on our website can be considered a pest worth reporting on in condominiums. However, these would be the most frequently recurring pests to watch out for:
- Ants (carpenter, Pharaoh, cornfield/moisture—mainly from spring to fall)
- Bed bugs (summer)
- Wasps (summer)
- Hornets (summer)
- Termites (year round)
- Silverfish (year round)
- Raccoons (mainly from spring to fall)
- Seagulls (year round)
- Woodpeckers (year round)
- Mice (year round)
- Rats (year round)
- Skunks (spring)
- Spiders (year round)
- Fleas (year round—yes, even in non-pet-friendly complexes it can happen!)
- Ladybugs, specifically Asian Lady Beetles (mainly from spring to summer)
- Cockroaches (mostly year round, but especially in summer)
- Rabbits (spring)
- Fruit flies (spring)
- Squirrels (year round)
- Crows (spring to summer)
This is just a sample of potential pest problems we get a lot of calls for at our local pest control company. For more information or to identify which pest is the current problem, check out our Click-a-Pest section.
What Condo Tenants Can Do
If you are renting a condo unit, you are responsible for maintaining your space as well as reporting to your strata managers and council of any pest problems. There are some ways to prevent a possible infestation from happening in the first place:
- Don’t leave pet food bowls outside, and keep their eating areas clean.
- Regularly check your bedding.
- The vacuum cleaner is your friend. Repeat after me: the vacuum cleaner is your friend.
- Don’t leave trash or recycling inside the suite for too long and dispose of it properly.
- Keep any and all outdoor barbecues, bird feeders, and trash and compost bin lids tightly sealed.
- Don’t bring any used items home off of the street.
- Check all your luggage both before and after coming home from a trip.
- Wash all your clothes in hot water and soap before and after traveling.
- Keep your ears open and your eyes peeled when outside.
- Keep your home clean and follow the sanitation guidelines outlined in your lease.
What Condo Strata Managers Must Do
Proper communication is a must between condo tenants and the owners and strata managers in charge of the units. Otherwise, you’re looking at one big expensive mess that neither of you want. Like we said before, it costs way more money to get rid of an existing infestation and additional treatments if needed than it would to prevent an infestation in the first place.
Strata managers, while they are not solely responsible for the entire task of upholding property upkeep, are usually responsible for overall common areas in the building. The first action that should be done in the event an infestation has been reported is to call a pest control company near them. This should be done in order to properly protect the units and prevent further infestations from arising.
It’s also advisable for a pest management plan to be set in place so that prevention can be provided and money and time can be saved.
Nothing will change or be righted if the pest problem is left alone! Otherwise, your condo units could stop looking along the lines of this lovely living room:
And start to look something more like this:
Call your local Pest Boss if you need an infestation exterminated or removed from your condo building, or if you’d like to get a pest management plan set up. We’ll get you, varmints!
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