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Pest Control Tips for Apartment Tenants

Homeowners, construction companies, and commercial companies are not the only ones who have to worry about pests and infestations. Apartment building landlords and tenants should also be fully aware that a varmint or two may decide to call your home theirs too!

Nobody likes finding out their apartment has been infested, whether it’s the random fungus gnat on your favourite houseplant or our “favourite” pest, the bed bug. Thanks to our good ol’ Pest Boss though, we have some ideas to help keep these varmints out! Without further ado, let’s go over some pest control tips for apartment tenants together.

What You and Your Landlord Must Do

The good thing about apartment buildings is they usually have a contractual local pest control company and the number to reach them is in their contacts list. That means if you see any signs of pests or infestations in your apartment, any property damage is usually covered by your lease. Be sure to read your lease in full detail before accepting the keys to your new apartment, or before you move anywhere. Your lease should outline the rules about pest control and emergency situations. We don’t suggest signing a lease if it’s not covered! Pests can do a lot of property damage if the infestation isn’t dealt with ASAP.

Your landlords are also responsible for deterring any wildlife or pests from invading the building. In the event of raccoons, rodents, skunks, squirrels, etc. it’s best you report any findings to your landlord so that proper action (i.e. calling a professional pest control company for help) can be done. As the tenant you’re not usually responsible for making the call to an exterminator or paying for treatments, but you should be aware of the signs as well as be able to prevent infestations from happening in the first place.

One of the biggest telltale signs of an infestation in apartments is weird noises such as scuffling, squeaking, or rustling where there shouldn’t be. Reporting on this is important, because you never know what kind of varmint is running around near the roof, or in the air ducts (yup, it’s gross). Bug bites, droppings, and weird smells that weren’t there before are also worth reporting.

You should also file a complaint to your landlord if you’ve spotted an abundance of nearby varmints that are causing you and your neighbours trouble, such as a wasp’s nest (these varmints can build their nests even in garage compounds or in nearby bushes) or a raccoon raising its babies nearby. So long as the pest problem is on the property where you live and you have the proof of an infestation (asking your neighbours and joining forces is one good way to see some pest control action happen), it’s your landlord’s responsibility to make the call to your Pest Boss.

If you don’t report anything, they may not realize the extent of the infestation until it’s way, way too late and the pest control needed gets expensive, which deters most people from calling for help in the first place!

Cleaning Tips

Sanitation and controlling cleanliness are key to preventing infestations from occurring in your apartment.

  • Keep your kitchen tidy and clean. The less crumbs and dirty dishes you have lying around, the better. Keep an eye on your cupboards for any cereal remnants, dirt, and in specific cases rodent droppings. Vacuum, sweep, and mop the floors regularly, and clean the insides of the cupboards for best preventive care. Cleaning your kitchen appliances such as the microwave, oven, and toaster can also help.
  • Look for cobwebs and if you see any, vacuum them up or sweep them away.
  • Clean out all the drains in your kitchen and bathroom every so often to discourage fruit fly, firebrat, and silverfish infestations from building up.
  • Throw out all garbage, recycling, and compost if the bins are near overflowing, and wash out all the bins if they’re especially stinky (i.e. just be a considerate human being! No one likes smelly garbage. Pests love it though!).
  • Vacuum, vacuum, and then vacuum some more. Seriously, this is one of the best ways to prevent all sorts of infestations from rising up!
  • Throw out any old cereals, grains, and rotting produce the minute you find them. These are ideal infestation sources for pesky critters such as grain or flour beetles and fruit flies.
  • Toss out any items you’re not using or will never use, such as cardboard, loose papers, and clothing—all of which could attract pests such as silverfish and clothing moths.
  • Check for excess moisture such as kitchen pipes and leaky faucets. These can create a desirable environment for pests.

Unfortunately some varmints will infest even if you keep your apartment clean, such as the always popular cockroach and bed bug (yes, even cockroaches can and will infest the cleanest areas! It depends on how much decay has built up.). Never hesitate to call and report the pest problem if this is your current one! You can read more about these pests here (for the bed bug) and here (for the cockroach) if you need to refresh your memory on what these varmints may look like.

Bed Bugs

Like we said, these varmints are especially troublesome for apartment tenants (and everyone else). Homemade traps and pesticides will not remove the bed bugs, nor will store-bought mattress covers no matter how appealing they may look.

Only a professional pest control company has the right treatment, pesticide, and protective covers needed to get rid of bed bugs and prevent them from coming anywhere near you again. The sooner you report them to your landlord (and unfortunately, you may need a sample—here’s how you can grab one without being too squeamish), the more likely the treatment needed for applying will be effective.


Houseplants can bring a lot of green and colour to your apartment, especially if it’s the standard colour of boring eggshell. However, buyer beware, because many houseplants are also ideal homes and nesting places for pests such as fungus gnats, aphids, and mites.

If you can’t afford a ton of sticky paper, calling in your local Pest Boss can help eradicate the eggs and give you tips on how to prevent them from returning (unfortunately, you may need to get rid of the dirt hosting your plants—more often than not, that’s how these varmints get around).

Our Pets Need Some Love Too!

Even if your apartment building is not a pet-friendly one, that doesn’t mean your home can be pest-free! Fleas, dog ticks, and mites can all find their way in and near your home if even a pet dog is being walked around the corner and they’re host to a parasite infestation. Fleas are likely the most common given their uncanny ability to jump from host to host, and even if a cat or dog isn’t nearby, guess what their other favourite food source is? Yep—we mean you.

Thankfully, plenty of preventive solutions are available for these sorts of varmints. Flea and tick medication can be purchased from your veterinarian and our vacuuming tip can help eradicate and prevent flea infestations from even cropping up in the first place. If an infestation has been discovered, you and your pet should relocate for a little while until treatment is complete.

Like we said, even some of the best pest control for apartments on the tenant’s part will not prevent certain pests from infesting near or in your home. Birds are a big example, and so is some of the local wildlife here in the Vancouver area such as raccoons and skunks. If your apartment building needs some immediate treatment, or if you’re looking for a pest control company in the first place for your property, call your local Pest Boss. We’ll get you, varmints!

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