Hoarders and Pest Problems
In the pest management industry we see hoarding all the time, much more frequently than the popular TV show. From the pest management prospective, hoarders create lots of pest problems especially in multi-family housing, and the problems that they cause effect their neighbors as well as themselves. Our experience shows that hoarder units get house mouse infestations, roach infestations, bed bug infestations and clothes moth infestations. In one hoarding unit the drain fly problem was so bad the flies were emerging in units above and around the hoarder unit in a building. There were even flies in the hallways and elevators. All of this in a building that is all concrete and steel!
Any way you look at this problem, hoarders are people that need counseling from a professional psychologist to gain control and perspective on their problem. Whether you are a property management professional or a pest management service technician you cannot help with the core problem. The last thing we would want to do is facilitate the hoarding by ignoring the problems. Just putting the hoarded items in bags or plastic containers does not help at all. This decision will facilitate the hoarder and encourage more hoarding and it still does not leave us with enough area to successfully treat for pest problems.
From the pest management prospective no pest control firm can properly treat for pests in hoarder units until the unit is cleaned out and properly prepared for pest treatments. It is really simple to understand that we cannot treat for pests unless we have available locations to place pest traps or perform pest treatments. We occasionally hear “can’t you just spray” or “do the best you can” or”do they really have to get all their stuff out” when a hoarder unit is requiring treatment for pests. Our response to this is if we try to treat a unit that is not being properly prepared then we risk spreading pests to adjoining units throughout the building. We have learned from previous hoarder treatment experiences that anything less than a properly prepared unit will cause pest movement to occur.
Another problem caused by hoarders is what happens when the unit is actually being cleaned out. Trash or other hoarded items will now be moving through the hallways and elevators from the unit to the trash room. Pests can easily escape from boxes or drop off furniture while it is carried through the building. These pests can then infest units by simply climbing under the door and enter units in search of food and new harborages. Make sure that items are placed in sealed plastic bags before they are removed from the unit.
At Pest Control Technicians Inc., we offer a variety of services to help protect your home from pests and wildlife damage. To learn more about the various services we offer, please click through the list below.
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