I'm looking to move into an apartment in July. However I've discovered there has been a major roach infestation that began March of last year. An exterminator came in and applied treatments to the building of 6 apartments during the year (last time in December). Presently there doesn't seem to be any roaches left according to the tenants and landlord (now March).
Should I be weary of moving into such a place? Are roach treatments something that are to continue indefinitely even as a preventative measure? It just seems that roaches present even after 9 months seems an awful long time. The other concern I have is transporting a roach or 2 on travel to someone's home.
The rent is very affordable in a very convenient location, but I guess somewhere one has to draw the line. Is it reasonable to expect roaches to be gone by July? Am I just being paranoid, or should I really avoid this place?
By Otto from Ontario
I had this same problem. The landlord told me they were water bugs, yeah right. I had pros come in and they said it was THE WORST they had ever seen. They were out even in daylight. Truly I would not move there but there are things you can do. Put boric acid in all corners of rooms, and all around the walls. Throw out any furniture that has fabric. Take everything to the laundromat and wash in hot water. Talk to neighbors and see if they have a problem.
PS. I moved and left EVERYTHING that was not solid; sofas, beds, mattresses, toys, everything! (03/24/2009)
My husband is an exterminator, and any extermination technician that's worth his weight in bug-poop can get rid of the most terribly infested areas in a good 2-day session. Between the bug vacuum (yes, they DO make those!), the pet/human-safe sprays, and the powder roach-baiting systems, you can quickly rid a house/apartment of roaches.
The key question you need to ask your potential landlord is this: Do they have an ongoing contract with the pest-control company? Most apartment complexes have, at minimum, quarterly "maintenance" contracts with the pest-control company. That means every three months, the company will send a tech out to do preventive sprays to keep any infestation from reoccurring. Also, if you spot any bugs of any kind in between those quarterly sessions, you just let your landlord know, and he/she will call the pest-control service and a tech will come out, free of charge, to handle your specific problem.
Have an open dialogue with your potential landlord. If she/he is any good, she/he will be up-front with you about the policy of the complex as far as pest control goes. And, in our experience, THAT is far more telling than whether the place has roaches or not...the landlord/property manager being open to honest discussion and telling you up-front how she/he handles such matters, and then assuring you that she/he will take care of the problem quickly, and then following-up on that promise.
Hope this helps and good luck! =) (03/25/2009)
I have had wonderful results from Roach Away and Roach Proof in two rental houses and one RV that we rented. They are boric acid with something added to keep it in granular form. The first time I had a problem in a house we rented in Charlottesville, I tried boric acid only but it didn't stay granular, but became a hardened lump in the humidity. I had two great friends when we lived in base housing in Japan. Myself and one of the friends were so-so housekeepers (didn't mind leaving the dishes till morning, etc.). Neither of us ever had roaches. The other friend was a spotless housekeeper and she had roaches crawling across her walls in the daytime! She almost had a nervous breakdown over it. Even went up the chain of command to the top about it. They sent people out to spray her house for about the fifth time but she still was battling roaches when we rotated back from Japan. (03/25/2009)
When I was 26 I was tested for allergies and found out that I was allergic to cockroaches (feces, saliva and bodies) even though I had never even seen one in my life. Apparently it causes asthma so that would be one reason why I would turn the apartment down. Who needs unnecessary allergy shots. (03/26/2009)
Avoid this place, and I speak from experience. (03/27/2009)
By Mary Moo
I think now you know why it's affordable. I wouldn't move there. Unless whatever it is that drew the roaches in the first place has been alleviated, they'll be back. I'm sure the exterminators can get rid of them and come back again and get rid of them again, but I don't want all that poison around me either! (03/27/2009)
My grandma was from Alberta Canada so needless to say she had never even heard of a roach, but when she married my American grandfather they moved to Missouri for his job. They rented a huge old house and late one night my grandmother saw a sight that she claims was to haunt her to this day. She came down into the kitchen late one night and turned on the light. Everything in the entire kitchen, counters, floors, cupboard etc, was covered with roaches.
Keep in mind this was back in the early fifties before exterminators. She was advised by their wise old house keep to get a turtle from the garden and put in the basement during the day and turn it into the kitchen at night. My grandmother checked numerous times after giving the turtle a week and no more roaches. Apparently it was very effective so maybe consider getting a box turtle for a pet to go along with the exterminators visits. (03/27/2009)
With Boric Acid, if you mix it 1/2 and 1/2 with granulated sugar, it won't "clump up." Keep in mind that roaches are there for the food and moisture, so pull back the fridge and stove, sweep the areas well, and put out the sugar/Boric Acid mixture along the baseboards. Also, put it along the back of the cabinets under the sink. A good way to keep it contained is to use used, clean lids (i.e. tops of plastic baby food containers, yogurt lids, etc.). The roaches walk through it, it sticks to their feet, and they take it back to their "nests" where the roaches clean each other (lick each others' bodies and feet), thus ingesting the mixture... and VOILA! Kills them! =) (03/27/2009)
I used Combat roach killing gel and it kills all of them, even when the infestation is extreme. I called because I couldn't find it in my area, and Combat sent me several coupons and told me which stores carried it. 1-800-426-6228 is the combat helpline #. I hate to use poisons in my home but roaches are the limit. The lady who told me about it was where the roaches came from, they go everywhere with you. Her house was the worst case of roaches ever and they haven't had any since putting down the Combat. Good luck. (03/27/2009)
A problem is that they sprayed in Dec. and it's not warm until summer. Roaches can hibernate a long time. Another is that a few can be invisible until a crisis (visible) point is reached. Then it's hard to get rid of them. If it's a fantastic apartment, know that you will have to keep almost everything edible in plastic, spray (yourself - don't wait for the exterminator), clean very often and thoroughly, and hope that your fellow tenants are more tempting targets. I hate to say this, because you don't want to have dirty neighbors, but if someone else is more tempting they will leave you alone. I can't say that it's worth it, but it is possible. (03/27/2009)
I would be very careful about moving into this place. As one poster said, you want to see if there is a contract between the rental agency and a bug company to exterminate on a regular basis. Periodically, in my life, I've lived in apartments. The complexes with regular scheduled exterminating were bug-free. Two places I lived, the exterminators came every 6 weeks. Of course, this means they have access to your apartment, but I certainly didn't mind. I never had a problem with theft by the exterminators. The worst place I lived had no contract for regular exterminating. This was when I was a teenager (am 47 now).
To this day, I refer to this apartment as "roach motel." It was terrible (the entire complex was, not just my building). My Mother had a fit and called the office, who sent an exterminator. Our unit was over a crawl space, so he went under. He told Mother that the eggs were an inch deep. Things were always worse when someone would move out of a unit in our building. Those bugs had to go somewhere. Of course, I'm in Georgia, so things may be different. I, personally, would avoid the place like the plague. The rental office may tell you any story just to get you to rent. Good luck. (03/28/2009)
One more thing, if you feel you must move in, check the cabinets. If the apartment has been vacant for a while, roaches will still be present. They can eat wallpaper paste, etc. But, the kitchen or bath cabinets. Open them up and you will find roach droppings. It looks like pepper, almost. My dear MIL lived in such an apartment when a newlywed. She actually thought someone had spilled pepper in the cabinets, until she went to the kitchen at night and saw the bugs. She said the sink was practically moving, there were so many.
She killed them with a rolled up newspaper. Those that she could. She said that in the morning, the dead ones were gone. The live ones ate them, I guess. But, dead bugs would probably be swept or vacuumed away for tenants to inspect before signing a lease, but probably no one would think about wiping inside kitchen and bathroom cabinets. So sorry I've written 2 lengthy posts, but I've lived in this condition and wouldn't again if I could ever help it! (03/28/2009)
My mother and sister lived in an apartment building for over a year with no problems, then a new tenant moved in and brought the roaches with them. The property managers have exterminators that inspect/spray about every two months but my mother never could get rid of them until she started using the Combat roach killing gel. I was shocked by how well that stuff worked. (03/28/2009)
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