When you're a new renter looking for your first, or next, apartment, it can be difficult to see the signs of a bad apartment. You'll find lots of information about how to find a good landlord, check the water, and check the neighbourhood, but do you know how to check for pests?
With bed bugs and other pests becoming a growing problem in cities, suburbs and rural areas in Ontario, one of the worst issues you can encounter as a renter is a pest problem. Follow a few of these simple steps to check for potential pest problems during your next apartment viewing:
1. Kitchen cabinets
Kitchen cabinets are especially prone to mice looking for food. Look deep in corners that may not have been cleaned for some time. Look for small round droppings, or wood that looks gnawed.
2. Under the sink
Under the sink cabinets are often warm and moist, and not to mention a popular place to store small garbage containers. Check here for signs and symptoms of a pest problem. (It's also an important place to look for water damage or plumbing problems.)
Check in corners, nooks and crannies for holes. Critters like mice and other rodents will gnaw away corners, and create holes near baseboards into the walls.
If there is still current tenant when you're looking at the apartment, look around the bed when you visit the bedroom. Lift up the mattress at a corner and look at the box spring for dark spots. They could be bed bugs or bed bug droppings. It is always worth checking with your local town hall for reports of bed bugs. Your municipality should keep an official public record of complaints (and they may even be available online).
While pests don't tend to congregate around windows, they can be a common point of entry if they are not properly sealed. Look around windows for holes and gaps. (These can also drastically increase your heating costs.)
If you own a home or condo and find signs of pests, call Nimby Pest Management for help diagnosing and solving the problem.