New York is a big city, and there is lots of garbage generated daily. And
where high-quality food is available, there high concentrations of pests are found.
personnel must concern themselves with three scavenger pests in New York City: roaches,
mice, and rats.
For each of these to survive and prosper in your
building, three conditions must be present:
If any one of these are
not present, they will have to go elsewhere in search of it, and you will free
yourselves and your tenants of these pests. Pests are found in direct proportion to the
food, water and shelter available to them.
Conversely, if there is
heavy garbage pileup inside or outside a building, if there are dirty dishes lying around
in an apartment, if there is running or sitting water found, these are all conditions
conducive to the growth and proliferation of pests. Take these away and you will send
pests elsewhere in search of them.
Extermination done on a regular basis is very important,
but sanitation is equally important.
The work of the
exterminator is of little value if supers and tenants, between exterminator visits, ignore
the basic principles for rodent and vermin abatement.
Supers can help educate tenants: beyond the obvious things
such as not leaving food out, help them to understand that it is unwise and unsanitary to
leave dirty dishes around - they provide food for roaches and mice. It is also important
to dry dishes immediately after washing them so as not to provide water to roaches.
For the same reason any
pipe leaks should be repaired immediately, dripping faucets should be fixed, and tubs
should not hold standing water for long periods.
If your building has a
compactor chute, educate the tenants not to throw loose garbage down the chute; it should
be put in a tightly sealed garbage bag before being tossed into the chute so that roaches
and mice cannot get to sources of food before it is compacted and taken to the curb.
So as not to give pests opportunities to find food and
water in common areas of your building, maintenance personnel should not hose down floors
but rather us a vacuum or broom.
Materials stored in the
basement should be at least six inches above the floor, and away from the walls, so that
the areas can be cleaned and the exterminator can get to cracks and crevices.
Since rats are nocturnal
animals, burrowing and living underground, supers should make sure that all openings to
sewers and other pipes are kept closed to keep them out. Also, basement doors and windows
should be kept closed; use well-maintained screens where feasible.
Cleaning should be done before
the exterminator arrives, not after; cleaning directly after an exterminator has done his
work will obviously take away much of the toxic residue that should stay in place in order
to kill pests.
Rat and Mouse Droppings
There is danger of contracting the Hanta virus from rat and
mouse droppings, which when dried can become airborne. The virus can be killed by using
bleach to wash areas where droppings are found.
Workers can also wear a
HEPA filter mask (it has a purple identifying band on it) when sweeping, and use a vacuum
cleaner with a HEPA filter. A HEPA filter catches the fine dust and virus particles that
can be harmful to humans.