Managing a college student housing property isn’t for the faint of heart. Your tenants are at a precarious and challenging time of their life. The problems you face as the person in charge are a bit more varied than those of traditional property managers. You have to interact and guide your tenants more because of their age. Their parents can get involved, which can make things more complicated. Behavioral issues can come from tenants experiencing independence for the first time. This can lead to problems with sanitation, maintenance, and damage. It’s a lot to keep handle.
While we can’t help you teach teens to not duct tape things to the wall, we can help in other ways. Namely: pest prevention. We’ll give you the tools and knowledge you need to help keep pests out of the student housing properties you manage. A little education and a few preventative measures can go a long way.
Make proper food storage mandatory.
College age kids love to keep snacks in their dorm. They also love to leave those snacks out in the open. When it comes to student housing pest control, proper food storage is necessary. Unswept crumbs, unmopped spills, and unsecured dry goods are all huge draws for potential pest problems. There is no way to truly force teenagers to follow sanitation rules, but there are ways to make them more inclined to follow them.
You can post notices of every-so-often inspections focused on food storage and teach tenants important storage tips. Remind them to keep snacks in airtight plastic bins and not to leave boxes or bags on the floor. Try to foster a communal culture of proactive housing tidiness. Your student tenants crave independence and maturity. It might be the first time they’ve ever lived on their own. Help them understand that proactive and responsible cleaning habits will help make their home feel like it’s truly theirs.
Incentivize better trash management.
Pests are big fans of garbage… especially the stinky, gross, unkempt garbage cans frequently found in student dorm rooms. How do you keep your tenants taking better care of their garbage? Try incentivizing the process!
Your incentives could be as simple as offering free laundry tokens for the floor that has the cleanest garbage cans at the end of each week. Motivating tenants by giving them small, low-to-no-cost incentives gives you a huge benefit without a huge sacrifice.
Publish bulletins informing tenants of pest infestation signs.
College campuses love bulletin boards. Why not join in on the trend? An informative bulletin listing the main signs of pest infestations in a heavily trafficked area can make a difference. It might not fix everything immediately, but you’ll at least be informing your tenants of what to look for.
The most common signs of any type of pest infestation include: droppings, physical sightings, dirt or grease stains, unpleasant odors, and chewed cords or boxes.
Practice better perimeter management.
The easiest way to prevent dorm pest infestations is to keep pests from sneaking inside in the first place. The best way to do that is to find and seal up the most common pest access points around the perimeter of the building. These access points include crumbling stone and brick, holes in screens, and worn away seals or caulk.
Try to conduct a weekly inspection of the perimeters of your buildings. Look for signs of worn-down access points. When you see any signs of vulnerable areas, repair them immediately. Many pests like mice and others can sneak in through holes as small as a quarter.
Don’t neglect your plumbing.
Student housing plumbing takes a serious beating because it’s used frequently, day and night. Students may often flush… that which should not be flushed on the regular, exacerbating the problem. Small plumbing issues pop up in dorms and other student housing all the time. Leaks in pipe joints and fixtures are especially common. These small leaks can be a big draw to water-loving pests like flies and mosquitoes.
Don’t let small plumbing problems sit for any period of time. They’ll lead to standing water, which draws pests like crazy. Even small water problems like hairline leaks can make a significant difference in your water bill surprisingly quickly. Perhaps most importantly, small plumbing problems never stay small for long.
The last thing you want moving in other than a deluge of newly independent teenagers are pests. Keep them out with the tips above and a relationship with a reliable commercial pest control company like Assured Environments. Give us a call anytime you need help or questions about student housing pest prevention answered.