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Kicking out unwanted condominium critters.

Think you're safe from the creepy crawlies just because you live high in the sky? Think again.

While living in condominiums and apartments often keeps you far from the ground, it doesn't mean that you're invincible against pests. On the contrary, your chances of living with insects and vermin are high because you live next to a lot of neighbors.

Even if you keep your place spic and span, but if your neighbor is a slob, chances are you might get an occasional unwanted visitor in your place.

So how do you get rid of bugs and rodents in your condominium unit? The initial response would be to call an exterminator and let them take care of the problem. An exterminator, however, can't guarantee a long-term solution. At the end of the day, you and your habits play the biggest role in attracting or repelling pests. You'll be surprised to learn that a few simple actions and lifestyle changes can help a lot in protecting you from the small monsters that hound your home.

Talk to the management

If you are just renting your unit, it is actually the lessor's responsibility to get rid of the pests. Talk to them on what they can do to keep the home free from cockroaches, flies, rodents and other vermin. If you live in a condominium, meanwhile, your building's property manager can probably help you sort this problem out.

Property managers usually conduct pest control measures regularly. Ask to be included in this regular service. Most likely, you will be able to get a lower rate for pest control services compared to ones that you seek out on your own.

Discard paper, cardboard

If you have problems with cockroaches, eliminate paper products and cardboards in your home. Surprisingly, cockroaches feast on these items.

Paper is to cockroaches as rice is to humans; they're a form of starch. Keeping these around is like offering free dinner to pests. If you do need to store these things in your unit, keep them in plastic and other non-biodegradable containers. Discard wet paper and cardboard immediately because these are more susceptible to infestations.

Use scent to keep pests away

Got too many ants in your home? Try spreading cinnamon sticks or powder around your unit. Terrified of spiders and mice? Heat up some peppermint oil. Citronella plants or oil can help deter cockroaches. Cotton balls doused in these scents can be placed behind refrigerators or beneath cabinets to repel bugs and vermin.

These natural remedies allow you to breathe a little easier compared to bug sprays and other chemicals.

Clean thoroughly

Keeping clean is the number one pest deterrent, but even if you clean regularly, it might not be enough. A vacuum cleaner is a good investment because it

allows you to access distant corners and unreachable areas.

Coupled with some bait, such as a little bit of sugar, this tool can allow you to immediately remove ants from your floor.

But besides the vacuum, regular washing of clothes and linens will also protect you from bed bugs and other small insects. It should also go without saying that food should be stored properly and the wet areas of your home should often be cleaned.

Seal off bins, entry points

If you do manage to keep out or eliminate pests, ensure that it stays this way by covering up entry points. Repair existing cracks and holes inside your unit. Cover your garbage bins and dispose waste regularly to prevent attracting pests.

Seal off doors and windows to keep out insects coming from outside. Use scented oil or chalk repellents to keep bugs from entering your home through drains and other necessary openings.

Pests are annoying, but you don't have to give up comfortable condo living just yet. It's great if you can get professionals to eliminate pests in your home.

At the end of the day, though, your home should be free from both pests and toxic chemicals. While there is no single, guaranteed way to resist all insects and vermin, daily habits will help keep pests to a minimum. By going natural as much as possible, you not only get rid of the pests, but also help keep your home a healthy haven.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Apr 21, 2018
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