Perfecting Pest Control

If you don't like pests setting up shop in your home, you might be interested in hiring a professional exterminator to help you with your problems. However, unless you understand the tools that they are working with, you might find yourself wondering what else you can do to curb issues. For example, if you don't mention that mosquito problem, your exterminator might not know to treat that water feature with a pesticide that targets larvae. My site explains different ways you can prepare for your professional pest control treatment, so that you aren't left with issues later down the road.

Look For Signs Of These 3 Pests Before Renting An Apartment


Theoretically, your landlord should manage pest control in your apartment building in order to ensure their rental property is suitable for inhabitation. However, when landlords are not conscientious about pest control, holding them to their responsibilities can be tricky for the tenant – you could end up in court trying to prove the pests pose a safety hazard. You're better off avoiding pest infestations altogether. One way to do that is by choosing an apartment that's pest-free from the start. If the apartment is pest-free when you take your first tour, it's a good sign the landlord is conscientious about pest control, and an apartment that has signs of infestation during a tour should be a red flag that the landlord may not be taking good care of the property. Check out the signs of some common pest infestations.  


Roaches are one of the most common pests found in apartments. The problem is, roaches are nocturnal, so prospective tenants touring the apartment during the daytime often don't notice them until after they move in. If you do see a roach during the day, you can be certain that there are many more hidden somewhere, waiting for nighttime to come, so don't brush it off as "just one roach." There's never only one.

The most obvious sign that the apartment has roaches is the presence of roach feces. If you see a substance that looks like spilled coffee grounds, or if you notice small, cylindrical pellets, it's a sign that the apartment has an active infestation. Also, be aware of musty or oily scents, especially in the kitchen, bathroom, or any other damp area. This is also a sign that there are roaches on the property.


There are good reasons to choose an apartment building that allows pets, especially if you have a pet yourself. But if the building allows pets, there's always a chance that it has fleas. Many people believe that fleas can't live without a host, but this isn't true. Fleas can remain dormant in carpets or furniture. If left undisturbed, they can live 100 days or more, and if you see one, there are probably at least 100 more nearby.

To spot a flea infestation, check the floors and counters for a substance that looks like coarse pepper flakes. This is called flea dirt. If you're not sure what you're looking at, try getting it wet – it will turn a reddish-brown color. Another thing you can do is wear long white socks when you go to tour apartments. Take your shoes off and walk on the carpets in your socks. If you see black specks on your socks, the chances are good that those specks are actually fleas.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs used to be something that only travelers worried about, but today's apartment dweller has to be just as vigilant as any hostel-hopping tourist. Bed bugs have been making a resurgence in the U.S. since at least 2000, and they're pesticide resistant. That means that these pests are tough to get rid of, and treatments are expensive as well. Many landlords don't want to deal with them, and if you report a bed bug infestation after you move in, you'll have a hard time proving that you didn't bring them in with you, which means you might be held responsible for extermination costs.

What's worse, bed bugs can be hard to spot in an empty apartment. Like roaches, they're nocturnal pests, and like fleas, they can go dormant when there's no host to feed on. Unless you're renting a furnished apartment, you can't look for the telltale dark red stains on pillows and mattresses that announce the presence of bed bugs. However, if the apartment has light-colored curtains, you may be able to spot stains on those. Otherwise, look in cracks and crevices. Bed bugs will hide in the corners of drawers and cupboards, in the shadows in the back of a closet or pantry, or even in a crack in the wall. You can also find them in and around electric outlets and appliances. A bed bug is about the size and shape of an apple seed, and they also give off a sweet scent that you may pick up if you have a sensitive nose.

At a minimum, you should ask the landlord to exterminate before you move in if you spot signs of an infestation. However, a better option would be to keep looking for a bug-free apartment. Either way, knowing the signs of an infestation will help ensure that you don't walk into a new apartment unaware of a pest problem.

If you do run into a pest problem after moving in, contact a company like A-Alert Exterminating Service Inc.


13 June 2016