How long will it take to see a change?

The fastest way to reach the tipping point for property-wide IPM is to jump into the program with both feet. If residents see management and maintenance putting in the time, they are more likely to get on board with the program. Begin with property-wide (in every unit) inspection and monitoring to identify the problem areas—we call these focus units/areas. Then focus efforts on those areas. If everyone focuses on units and areas with infestation, the integration of housekeeping, repairs, trapping, pesticides, and education to stop pest introduction can solve any pest problem in less than 3 months. Having a pest control company that will monitor, carry a vacuum, and speak with residents is key to eliminating pests as efficiently as possible.

In the majority of cases, once a resident goes a night pest-free after living with heavy infestation they will do their part to keep it that way. Along these lines, unit turnover is a great opportunity to focus on exclusion—sealing up pest entry and hiding spots. When the new resident is welcomed into a sealed up, pest-free home they will see that you have focused on pest-free housing and expect them to keep it that way. The combination of unit turnover and focus unit interventions should transition your portfolio into pest-free housing. The duration of this entire process depends on the size of the property and starting levels of infestation (as determined by inspection and monitoring).

IPM is ongoing. Regular inspection and monitoring will catch new introductions before they turn into bad infestations. An IPM program doesn’t only reduce and eliminate infestation, it reduces the risk of future infestation. When an area becomes pest-free, keep it that way by educating the resident about how to prevent introduction and continue to maintain the unit so that pests cannot get in and access food, water and shelter.