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Pests and people: An apartment guide

By Berit Griffin, Marvin Windows April 9, 2013

Apartment pest control is a subject near and dear to this blogger’s heart (I had a mouse in my apartment once; it was traumatic). If you’ve ever had any such concerns  you will definitely want to check out’s post about how to keep the pests at bay in multifamily housing.

First off, know that pests in apartments are very, very common. And sadly, it might not even be your fault! Pests can travel from unit to unit, so all it takes is one neighbor who isn’t vigilant about pest control for you to see bugs and rodents. But there are some things you can do, according to Bob Vila:

  • Make your home smell like peppermint to repel mice. They hate the smell, but it smells nice to humans! Try putting water and peppermint oil in a bottle and spraying everywhere you think they might be coming in. There are also various peppermint repellent products sold commercially–I use Fresh Cab.
  • Don’t forget about the electronic option, too. Just plug a device into your wall that will emit a high-pitched squealing noise. Don’t worry, you might notice it too much, but rodents will hate it!
  • Did you know that despite the fact that roaches will eat literally almost anything they hate spicy food? Try a twist on the peppermint trick and combine Tabasco sauce and water in a spray bottle. reminds us that unlike peppermint this isn’t necessarily something you want your house to smell like, so just spray where you see roaches. They also remind us to wear protective eyewear while spraying. The last thing you want is Tabasco in your eyes!
  • We also hear that roaches hate Borax, so maybe try mopping your floors in a Borax, water and neutral soap solution.
  • If the scourge of bedbugs have descended upon your home, never fear! Try some diatomaceous earth. Check out’s original post for details.

The most important thing you can do is to try to keep your apartment clean. Don’t leave food or dirty dishes out. Take your trash out regularly–even daily. Pick up clothes and promptly dispose of cardboard boxes and paper bags. And seal any entrances where you’ve noticed pests.

Do you have any tips for dealing with pests in apartments? It’s frustrating to think that your neighbors may be the source of your pest woes!


Image courtesy of Brian_Kellett on Flickr