If you do encounter an infestation of some kind, contact your landlord. They will usually want to know as soon as possible if there is a problem, so that they may address and contain it. If your landlord does not respond in a reasonable amount of time, you can contact your local health department. Many of the pests that will invade your apartment for food can also spread disease, so be sure to take action as soon as you come across a pest.
Rodents such as mice and rats are probably the largest pest that you will encounter, unless you live in an apartment in Scottsdale, where a rattlesnake infestation can get pretty dicey. But if you have an apartment in Washington, D.C., a city built on top of a swamp, you may need to vigilant keeping rats and mice out.
You can either purchase rat poison or mouse traps. If you buy rat poison, be sure that it is EPA approved brands such as these. Also, be wary of where you put place rat poison; behind floorboards and behind the fridge are places both out of the reach of pets and kids and likely for rodents to travel.
There are 3 types of mouse traps that you can use: spring loaded, sticky or capturing mice traps. The first two will result in the death of the rodent, whereas the last will allow you to set the mouse free outside of your apartment.
These notorious pests can spread filth and disease and once they get into your apartment, can be very difficult to exterminate. They have survived since the time of the dinosaurs which speaks to their resiliency.
The New York State Department of Health recommends these preventative steps:
* keeping food in sealed containers
* rinsing recyclables and putting garbage in sealed containers
* cleaning out junk and clutter from storage
* avoiding the use of shelf paper
* filling in cracks, sealing openings
* vacuum often, disinfect counters
* dust out of sight spaces with boric acid powder
* place roach baits under sinks, behind the fridge and behind furnitur
Bedbugs can enter your apartment by clinging to clothing and therefore all apartment buildings, regardless of cleanliness are susceptible to a bedbug infestation.
It is not necessary to dispose of mattresses or furniture, inform your landlord, and try to capture a bedbug with double sided tape so that you can show your landlord in case of a dispute. Your landlord will have to hire a professional exterminator to kill the bedbugs. In the meantime, wash all your clothes, curtains, sheets and other fabrics and encase your mattress in plastic to decrease the number of bugs and bites. For more information, check out the Bug Clinic.