Solving Community Association Pest Issues

Many times Condo and Homeowner Associations face the same pest issues again and again.  Often, board members will ask, “Didn’t we take care of the rats at the pool two months ago? How many times do we have to get our pest control company out here before they correct the problem?”  But, before we can cast blame on pest control professionals working in a given area, we really have to ask, “What did we correct?”

There is a difference in simply taking a corrective action and actually eliminating a pest problem. Unfortunately, in our busy world, we often only think in terms of immediate corrective action in order to move onto the next pressing issue. This results in little more than a quick fix when an overhaul approach to a complicated pest issue may be needed. Let’s explore…

Rodents are a top nuisance pest in most association communities we service.  The most common approach taken is an immediate corrective action, mainly a target rodent trapping service without considering the long-term corrective action such as an ongoing rodent monitor and control service. These services are separate activities with separate outcomes. One is designed to “trap” rodents and is short and sweet service. The other is designed to deter rodents from entering the home and offers continuing control of any rodent activity. Immediate corrective action occurs on the spot as a kind of trigger reaction to a rodent infestation. The duration of the solution usually follows the same pattern and lacks sustainability, meaning the rodent trapping service is a 30 day service only. Afterwards, rodents can re-infest and very often they do. Subsequently, most Associations will again choose a target trapping service within a couple of months.

A long-term corrective action is well thought-out in order to accomplish a sustainable result that lasts for a long period of time. The results are quite different than those you can expect from an immediate corrective action. Long-term corrective action addresses the root causes and develops a controlled preventive approach to pest issues so they are not repeated.

Is “Quick Success” Your Norm? 

Community Associations, property managers and many of the vendors providing services to them often get caught in a mode of trying to deliver a plan that shows immediate results because quick success “feels good.” Unfortunately, this then becomes the routine approach to solving pest problems. It tends to create a short sightedness that leaves the building facilities and common areas in a questionable state, incurring additional expenses. With this approach to problem solving, community pest issues are never really resolved, just put aside for a short while.

Rather than focusing on so many short-term solutions to nuisance pest infestations that cost a community extra time, resources, and money, a conscious effort to look at eliminating them makes good sense.

There are different pest control programs available in the industry today that promote long-term strategies and reliable methodology. Sometimes pest infestation situations are very complicated and need to be approached on a number of different levels. Seeking assistance from a pest management professional with the more complex issues is a good idea. A professional who is not blinded by the circumstances may be able to sort through an issue and come up with a lasting solution.  In most cases, long-term corrective solutions are not always the most complex.

Effective Is Not Expensive. 

Immediate corrective actions can seem to be the best course of action when budget constraints are considered however, effective control over a pest infestation situation involves a review of one or more pest control programs and long-term solutions do not necessarily cost more.

Repetitive pest infestation issues send a message that the service designed to manage the issue is failing in some way or that the pest control company is not up to par.  However, a recurring sanitation issue, continuing landscape overgrowth, rotting fruit left on the ground or feeding of stray animals by residents likely could be attributed.  If an association is not looking for the solution in these very programs, they will remain captured in the immediate corrective action cycle.

When the short term immediate fast expense is not weight against the long-term slow cost over the course of the annual budget period, the later can appear to be more expensive.  A few years ago a small association called us for a rodent problem. After an inspection, we recommended an ongoing service due to numerous indications found in our inspection, plus rodent exclusion. The association opted for a 30 day target treatment of $479 and said they would do the exclusion themselves. However, after 3 months, the association calls us again for a rodent problem and of course chose another target treatment. After yet another month, they asked us to do the exclusion work as theirs had failed, plus another target treatment.  So all total they invested $1632 on a pest problem over the course of 1 year.  If they had selected the ongoing rodent service, the annual expense would have been  $904, a savings of $728, which is crucial to a small association budget. In addition to a $728 cost savings, the association would have received scheduled interval inspections, professional recommendations and expert rodent control versus untrained homeowner observations.

Vulcan Pest Control is certified by the State of Florida to diagnose pest problems, recommend solutions and utilize the materials necessary that are not only effective for association communities but also affordable for any budget.