Bed Bug
Bed Bug

Pest Management Guide For Property Managers In Multi-Family

Questions To Answer About Your Current Program

1. Do you currently have ongoing pest-related issues?

2. Do you understand the required services to be provided to your property and are they being fulfilled?

3. Is there good communication between you and your service provider? Do you know your technician on a first-name basis?

4. Does your provider give good details on activity found and feedback on structural, storage, or sanitation issues on the property that could lead to pest-related issues? Are you taking time to listen to our provider?

5. Do you have a log book on the property and does it contain the following?

a. Emergency contact Information for your provider.

b. Insurance and licensing documentation.

c. Sighting log used to document sightings and signed off by your provider.

d. Service reports documenting each service.

If you can answer the above questions from a positive standpoint, I would consider your program to be successful. If there are negative responses above, these would be the areas to focus on to increase the success of your overall pest management program.

Common Pest Found In Multi-Family in East Tennessee


1. German Cockroach- Most common species found in multi-family. 1/2 to 5/8 inches long and normally found in kitchen areas but can spread throughout apartments and buildings.

2. Oriental Cockroach- Adults are about 1 inch in length and can be found inside and outside of apartments in East Tennessee.

3. American Cockroach- Adults are 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. These roaches are commonly associated with sewers and other damp areas.

4. Smoky Brown Cockroach- Adults are 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches long. On the exterior, they are normally found in mulch and wooded areas. Once inside the structure, they are mainly found associated with attic spaces above each apartment.

5. Pennsylvania Woods Roach-Adults are 3/4 to 1-inch long. In May and June, males will fly toward lighting on buildings and gain entry through open doors and windows. This roach normally does not reproduce indoors.

6. Brown-banded cockroach- Adults are about 1/2 inch long. Prefer warm dry areas in apartments such as picture frames, door frames, dressers, etc.

7. Turkestan Cockroach- Adults are 1 to 1/4 inches long and tend to inhabit areas similar to Oriental cockroaches.

Keys To Elimination

1. Identification of the species. It is hard to eliminate the issue if treatments are targeting the wrong species.

2. Follow-up is key to eliminating cockroaches. It is almost impossible to eliminate a cockroach issue if the provider is not following up on active cockroach locations on the property.

3. Structural and habitat modification is key to reducing and eliminating exterior roach access to structures. Gaps under doors, etc. provide easy access and create tenant sightings.


Multiple species of ants are found in East Tennessee. There is a link to a guide by UT Extension by clicking on ants if you would like in-depth information on species.

Keys To Management

1. Identification of the species. Again it is hard to control ant issues if targeting the wrong species since different control strategies are used for different species.

2. Identifying if the nesting location is inside or on the exterior of the structure.

3. Again, structural and habitat modification is key to an overall strategy. If a crack is found on the exterior ants are entering, sealing will prevent the same issue in the future. Eliminating vegetation touching structures, such as a tree limb, etc., is key to an ongoing ant management program.

4. Targeted applications on the exterior is also vital. Your provider can use a multitude of baits, liquids and granular applications to manage the population on the exterior of the structure once the species is identified.


1. House Mouse- About 5-7 inches long including the tail and can gain access by entering a gap 1/4 inch or more.

2. Norway Rat- About 7 to 9 1/2 inches long excluding the tail. Can gain access by entering a gap 1/2 inch or greater.

3. Roof Rat- About 13 to 18 inches long including the tail. This species is not prevalent in East Tennessee but can be introduced from time to time. Again, this species can enter a gap of 1/2 inch or greater.

Keys To Elimination

1. Identification of species

2. Structural proofing of entry points 1/4 inch or greater including gaps under doors.

3. Proper removal of waste on the property and dumpster areas.

4. Installation of an exterior rodent program on your property by your pest management provider in sealed and secured stations at dumpster corrals and in active rodent areas on the property.

Bed Bugs

I would recommend clicking on bed bugs above and ensuring your property is taking the proper proactive steps for dealing with bed bugs.

Other Nuisance Invaders

Numerous nuisance invader pests occur from time to time in apartment communities. I will touch on a few.

1. Earwigs-5/8 of an inch long. Habitat modification can be key if these are an ongoing issue at your property. Targeted applications around the foundation of a building in early summer can be effective.

2. Bristletails(Silverfish and Firebrats) – Can grow to 12 mm in length. Several control strategies can be used to control if these are an issue on your property including control of moisture, reduction of harborages and insecticide treatments by your provider.

3. Spiders-numerous species of spiders are found in East Tennessee. The two that are considered dangerous and should be avoided are the black widow and brown recluse. Contact your provider for more details on the control of the two spiders above. A normal control strategy for normal nuisance spiders in apartment communities would be reduction of exterior lighting (which normally cannot occur, but less attractive lighting to insects can be installed), removal of webbing and eggs from the perimeter of structures and applications of residual insecticides by your provider.

4. House Centipede Feed on other insects such as spiders, carpet beetles, etc. Control strategies include the reduction of moisture and applications of insecticides to targeted areas by your provider.

Numerous other species of pests are found in multi-family that I did not go over in this blog. But as a property manager some takeaways to remember.

1. Species identification is vital by your provider.

2. Great communication from the provider to the community related to structural, storage, sanitation and habitat modification is vital to a successful program.

3. Follow up by the provider when activity is identified to verify issues are resolved.

If you have any additional questions, Epituer Pest Solutions, LLC can be reached at 865-363-1155 or click here.

Epituer Pest Solutions, LLC services Knoxville, Tennessee and surrounding areas of East Tennessee.

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