What are the most common pests each month in multifamily housing?

Mona Latif

Property managers overseeing multifamily housing have an enormous task on their hands: to protect the safety and health of their residents. Pests can frighten, disrupt, and harm residents, having an overall negative impact on their quality of life and your brand.

To help property managers, Rentokil analyzed two years worth of data to determine what the top pest issues were in multifamily properties in each month of the year. We put it together in an easy to understand infographic that may help property managers put together their pest management plans, allocate appropriate resources, and direct maintenance and landscaping staff to further deter pest issues.

What are the top 10 pest issues for multifamily properties?

Rentokil provides services that cover hundreds of pest species. For multifamily properties, pest issues vary by month, but over the course of the year, they are most likely to face issues with pests in these ten categories.

  1. Rodents (Mice and rats)
  2. Spiders
  3. Occasional invaders
  4. Stinging pests
  5. Ants
  6. Cockroaches
  7. Wood-boring insects
  8. Bed bugs
  9. Overwintering invaders
  10. Large flies

common pests in multifamily housing

New month? New pest issues.

More than most industries, the multifamily property segment sees tremendous variation in problem pests month-to-month. While rodents dominate as the number one pest category every month, the remaining top five pests fluctuate by season.

Multifamily property operators may be able to use this calendar to anticipate pest issues for the coming month and have preventative treatments made to common areas, or provide educational materials to residents to help them deter problems within their units.

Spiders are a top pest in multifamily dwellings

In multifamily dwellings, spiders are consistently in the number two position for most months of the year. This is likely because many people have a strong fear of spiders, and seeing even one can prompt concern, resulting in calls for service.

Many people also believe that spider bites are a major threat – the reality is that spider bites are far less common than people realize.

Educating residents on what they can do to avoid spiders within their units may help you decrease overall concerns. Eliminating clutter is the top way to help your residents avoid run-ins with these eight-legged pests.

Your maintenance and landscaping teams can also help decrease spider issues by keeping exterior vegetation trimmed. Ensure that there is an 18-inch barrier between buildings and any vegetation.

Property-destroying pests are a problem in the spring

Wood-boring insects, which include a number of pests other than termites that can chew, bore into, and destroy wood, find their way into the top five pests in the spring and early summer months.

For multifamily dwellings, the most problematic pests in this category are carpenter ants and carpenter bees. Because treated wood is less likely to create problems, multifamily property managers may be able to get ahead of some issues by ensuring that wood areas are repainted, stained, or treated ahead of the season.

Protect your property investments by talking to your pest management provider about wood-boring insects as the summer winds down to create an action plan for your property.

Focus on stinging pests in summer and fall

Stinging pests become a serious concern for multifamily properties in warm weather months and into the fall. These pests rocket into the top three pests for the months of July, August, and September, and remain in the top five through October.

Stinging pests obviously pose a threat to residents. Stings are not only painful but can be life-threatening. Some people can have dangerous allergic reactions to stings and go into anaphylactic shock. Allergic reactions can cause itching, hives, dizziness, fainting, and breathing difficulty if airways become obstructed.

The primary stinging pest reported is paper wasps, followed by hornets, then bees.

Cicada killers are also reported at a high rate in July and August. Many people confuse cicada killers for large bees and become alarmed by their behavior. These large insects fly low hovering over lawns and other grassy areas. Though they can sometimes chase people and “bump” them, they will rarely sting.

common pests in multifamily housing

Educate your residents on bed bugs in the summer to deter problems in fall and winter

While bed bugs can rear their ugly heads at any point during the year, Rentokil data shows that problems are most often reported in the months from November through February in the multifamily segment.

There are a number of reasons that could be contributing to these months seeing a peak in activity:

  1. Vacationing peaks in summer months. People that travel may bring bed bugs home with them. By fall, what could have been a minor problem may bloom into larger infestations, noticeable by residents.
  2. Moving season also peaks during summer months. Bed bugs introduced by new residents may migrate into other units by fall, bringing a problem to the forefront.
  3. Children head back to school in late August and September. Bed bugs are increasingly being found in primary schools. Here, children have a higher chance of encountering and transporting bed bugs home with them.
  4. Holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving in November, usually sees an uptick in travel. This can unknowingly introduce bed bugs to an environment.

Educate your residents on bed bug identification, when they are likely to be introduced, and how to notify you of a suspected problem. This may help you get on top of an issue in its infancy, rather than after an infestation has developed.

Develop proactive pest management strategies

Working with your pest management partner to develop proactive pest management strategies that can help you mitigate, eliminate, or address pest issues year-round is critical to protecting the health and safety of your residents.

Need help? Rentokil’s pest management experts can help you design a comprehensive pest management strategy customized for your property’s unique pest pressures and needs. For a free inspection or to augment your existing program, call 800.488.9495 or visit rentokil-steritech.com and use our Live Chat feature.

Mona Latif
Mona Latif

Mona Latif is the Director of Product & Innovation for Rentokil North America. Mona specializes in creating and deploying processes, products and enhancements to improve the overall customer experience. When not at work, Mona is seeking new adventures, taking pictures, shopping and reading.

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