Controlling Pest Infestation In Low Income High-Rise Buildings

In affordable housing, pest management cooperation is often very low. Tenants usually rely on the property manager to call exterminator pest control services to identify pest problems and treat them accordingly. Residents lack the awareness on the right ways of dealing with pests like bed bugs and cockroaches.

German cockroaches and bed bugs are associated to the transmission of pathogens, allergy triggers and asthma exacerbation. Bed bugs feed on the blood of humans and while they are not associated with disease transmission, their presence in a home can cause annoyance and negative physical and psychological impact.

In a recent paper that was published in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management, Changlu Wang, Ph D, an entomologist at Rutgers University confirmed the benefits of undertaking building-wide integrated pest management (IPM) to low income, high-rise apartment buildings.

In an IPM building, researchers placed monitoring traps in all the units. They performed visual inspections and treatment actions according their observations and trap counts. The residents were provided with several educational opportunities to learn about prevention of cockroaches and bed bugs in their apartments. After one year, German cockroach infestation in the IPM building was reduced by 75% and bed bug infestation by 63%.

Dr. Wang also said that it very likely for neighboring units in high-rise buildings to be infested with German cockroaches through vertical and horizontal dispersal. Pest control management of an IPM building must be long term instead of performing treatments in response to complaints from tenants. Conventional treatments must be scheduled regularly.

Property managers and their staff must step up and take part in monitoring pests in IPM buildings. However, this approach is easier said than done because of the limited time for pest control. Residents must also be properly educated on monitoring pest traps, visual inspection and applying treatment in infested units.

Homeowners rely on exterminator pest control services to make sure that any pest infestation is controlled and eliminated. Exterminators have the experience and training to handle different pests like rodents, cockroaches, bed bugs, termites, ants and many more. However, homeowners must also do their part in ensuring that pests cannot invade the home through cracks and gaps.