In Case of Emergency

Although pests like mice and cockroaches do not pose an immediate health threat, they can result in adverse health effects for people with asthma and breathing problems. Call the Healthy Homes Coalition for more information on Integrated Pest Management.  

Integrated Pest Management

Protect Your Investment

Pests like roaches and mice are not only hazardous to resident health, they also bring down property values, contribute to higher turnover rates and make an apartment less attractive to prospective tenants. 

Even when a resident leaves, the pests remain. Regardless of how the pests got in, eliminating the infestation requires effort from both the landlord and tenant. Landlords have obligations under the law to make sure that properties are pest free at rent-up and that common spaces are kept pest free.

There’s no such thing as a minor infestation. One roach can quickly turn into thousands, and a pair of mice can quickly turn into dozens. The longer there is an infestation, the harder it is to abate.

 

Solutions

The best pest management strategy involves the tenant, property manager, and the landlord working together. Using integrated pest management (IPM) has proven to be more cost effective than other strategies. IPM uses a holistic, multi-faceted approach that assesses not only the extent of the pest problem, but the home environment and family habits as well.

IPM starts with removing the sources of food, water and harborage that make the home an attractive place for pests to live. Of course cleaning up food and removing trash is a tenant's responsibility.  But as the landlord, your help is needed in fixing leaks, providing trash containers as required by local housing codes, having trash removed from the property, caulking and sealing cracks and openings in the building, and other changes that lead to a dry, clean home.

Only after sources of food, water and harborage have been addressed should pesticides be considered.  Traps, bait stations (where the poison is safely contained from children and pest) and insect growth regulators have proven to have the most lasting effects. Pesticides like sprays, foggers, and bombs can be harmful to human health and are not as effective in eliminating the pest problem.  Supplies for doing your own pest work can be affordable and easily purchased.

These solutions work well for mice, cockroaches, and rats, but bedbugs are another story.  Bedbugs are resilient to pesticides and the best way to ensure complete elimination is with professional help. Do-it-yourself remedies rarely work and often put people at risk. Since bedbugs can live for up to a year without a meal,  bedbugs will remain in the unit long after a problem tenant leaves.  As a result, ignoring bedbugs only gives the problem time to get worse and more costly to correct.  The best solution is to take action immediately with professional help.

Landlords and tenants need to work together to solve pest problems.  Healthy Homes can assist by working with the family and their children, and is happy to consult with landlords on IPM strategies and solutions.

 

For Landlords: Obligations

Effective pest management can only be achieved with collaboration between landlords and tenants. Under the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC), landlords have responsibility to remove an infestation from the property before it is occupied. Tenants have the responsibility to prevent re-infestation. Landlords can protect their property investment by taking proactive steps and preventing pest infestations by addressing any structural issues that may contribute to the problem.

HUD provides 10 key steps for landlords to deal with pests on their properties in its Guidance for Integrated Pest Management. 

See the Resources to the right for more information on the IPMC or HUD guidance.

 

For Landlords: Resources and Training

Stop Pests Blog

Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Healthy Homes Coalition also offers trainings for landlords to address and prevent pest infestations on their ­properties. These trainings are often offered in conjunction with the Rental Property Owner’s Association. For more information about these trainings, please contact the Healthy Homes Coalition or see our Events Page.

 

Did You Know...

Sprays and foggers only kill 5% of pest populations and leave poisonous chemicals around the home.

Resources

2012 International Property Maintenance Code(53 KB)

Sections from the 2012 International Property Maintenance Code on garbage removal and pest elimination.

HUD IPM Guidelines(66 KB)

HUD Guidelines for Integrated Pest Management

Welcome, Tonya!

Please join us in welcoming Tonya Adkins-McKeever as the Interim Executive Director of the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan!


Thankful for 14 Years

Dear Friends and Supporters, after more than 14 years of leading the Healthy Homes Coalition, last week I informed the Board of Directors that I will be stepping down as the Executive Director effective October 31, 2020. This is a bittersweet time for me, as your commitment to action and justice has been nothing short of amazing.


Giving Thanks in Hard Times

Our Breathe Easier asthma program now looks newer, fresher, more relevant, and more empowering. Even though home visits are out of the question for safety reasons, it is a great time to invest in relationships.