What to Do When You Discover Your ‘New’ NYC Apartment Has a Rodent Problem?
You moved into your cozy apartment, you discovered a new coffeehouse nearby, the local organic grocer has free delivery, the park is walking distance and the subway is a stone’s throw away. What more could you ask for? Well, there is one thing you probably did not ask for and that is unwanted four-legged pests roaming around your apartment.
There is nothing more disheartening and frustrating than discovering your new humble abode has a rodent problem, especially if you have never encountered a rodent problem.
Unfortunately, if you live in a New York City apartment, you will encounter a problem with mice at some point, depending on how well your apartment building is maintained. If you live close to a restaurant, an alleyway, subway or even a park, you may experience problems. If your neighbors keep their apartments like a pigsty, your chances of having rodent problems increases. Here are some things that you can do to help avoid future problems with mice:
What Should You Do First When You See Mice?
The first thing you will want to do is contact your landlord immediately. He or she should have a solid plan of action to get rid of the problem. According to New York State laws, a landlord is responsible for taking care of an infested apartment. If you are forced to leave your apartment for a few days, so your apartment can be exterminated, your landlord may be responsible for covering hotel expenses. It is best to speak to an attorney to find out your rights as a tenant if your landlord fails to comply.
Use an Organic Peppermint Based Mouse Repellent or Peppermint Oil
Mice do not like the smell of peppermint. Placing peppermint mouse repellent or peppermint oil on a cotton ball, and placing it near cracks, holes, entranceway and openings can help repel mice. This should be used as a temporary solution only – it does not solve the root cause of the problem.
Seal Up All Cracks and Holes
When it starts getting cold outside, rodents tend to relocate to warmer climates, like a house or an apartment. The most effective way to prevent mice is to prevent them from getting inside your home. Check to see if there are any holes or cracks in your kitchen cupboards, doorways, windows, electrical wires (cable, phone, etc.) and plumbing.
If you find any cracks or holes, plug them up with copper mesh instead of chalking. Rodents can easily tear through chalking material. It is amazing what rodents can squeeze through to get into a home.
Keep Your Bathroom Well Ventilated and Dry
A well-ventilated bathroom will not only help prevent moisture buildup and mold, it can help prevent mice. Make sure the bathroom floors are dry at all times. Professional exterminators say that the bathroom is often a place where mice like to gather because it is wet. Mice are attracted to water. After taking a bath or a shower, consider leaving the bathroom door open to prevent moisture.
Keep Your Apartment ‘Extra’ Clean
Make sure you keep your countertops, floors and kitchen sink clear of dirty dishes. If you have a garbage disposal, clean it regularly. You do not have to use toxic chemicals to clean your disposal. Use one fresh organic lemon. Squeeze the lemon juice, pour it inside the disposal, then chop up the lemon, and place it inside. Lastly, run hot water down the disposal for about 2-3 minutes. This will help get rid of grease and grime, which can attract pests.
Make sure you dump your garbage daily, even if it’s not full. Your kitchen garbage container should have a lid. Place dirty laundry in a plastic or steel hamper instead of a cloth laundry bag or a pillowcase. Always keep your closets clear from clutter. In fact, there should not be any clutter stored in your apartment.
Check the Basement of the Apartment Building
If you have kept your apartment clean and your exterminator has made regular visits, and you still have a rodent problem, it could be the basement.
If the basement of an apartment building is a holding cell for garbage, it could attract mice and rats. Checking the basement of an apartment building should really be done before signing a lease.
Place Non-Perishables in the Refrigerator
If you’re used to keeping your pasta, cookies, bread and cereals in cupboards, you might want to place them in the refrigerator. You should also place vegetables, such as your potatoes, onions, bananas and tomatoes in the refrigerator. If you have limited refrigerator space, place them in sturdy plastic containers.
Make Sure All Windows Have Screens
If you are fortunate to have a New York City apartment that has many windows for natural lighting, make sure they have screens before you open them. A screen-less window is like an open invitation for mice, rats and other pests.
New Construction Can Attract Mice
If you notice that there is a new construction site or a new condo, apartment or commercial building being built nearby, beware. Whenever there is new construction, you can expect to see rodents because it disrupts their environment. Rodents tend to find shelter in residential and commercial buildings. This applies to any type of home whether it is an apartment, condo or house.
Hopefully, these tips will help prevent rodents from taking over your apartment. Remember, the key to preventing rodents from entering your home is to keep them out.