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A Fresh Start

maintenance and pest control

For an efficient unit-turnover process, make sure cleaning, maintenance and pest control crews work together.

When a resident moves out, well-run apartment communities have a standard operating procedure for turning the unit as efficiently as possible.

Kacie Layton, business manager at Ferebee Properties, in North Carolina, oversees operations at the company’s four apartment communities — two in Rocky Mount and one each in Wilmington and Greenville. She and her property managers have unit turnover down to a science.

“When someone moves out, our standard process is to clean the apartment and then let pest control in there,” Layton says. Pest management company Orkin, visits each Ferebee apartment community once a week for routine pest control maintenance. So whenever Orkin is on-site and there’s a vacant, cleaned unit, Orkin implements Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques in the unit either preventively or for a specific issue the cleaning crew has found.

“If there’s an issue, we might have to treat more than once, but typically we don’t,” Layton says. “But if they see an issue that’s really bad, they’ll come back and follow up again if they need to.”

Layton notes that in the turn process, communication is key to staying on top of a pest problem, helping to ensure that it doesn’t spread to other units. “If there’s an issue when someone moves out, [the Orkin technician] will come into our office and tell us,” she says. “We can then work with the cleaning staff and the maintenance turn crew to make sure everyone on the team is working well with Orkin.”

Stubborn pest problems

The most common pest-creating issue that occurs during move-out is when residents leave trash in the unit, which can attract cockroaches and mice.

But Layton’s biggest pest problem has been a type of millipede that’s common in North Carolina. The bugs, which Layton says look similar to roly polies, were coming in through sliding glass windows from the mulch outside. They would then make new homes underneath the carpet in apartment units — and they didn’t want to leave.

“When it rains, they come out and they multiply very quickly,” Layton explains. “Orkin came and worked with our maintenance teams to help treat them, and we don’t have a problem anymore.”

If a pest problem crops up outside of an apartment community’s weekly Orkin visit, Layton knows it will be taken care of immediately.

“The great thing about Orkin is that you call them and they are there right away,” Layton says. “They treat it and follow up with it. They don’t want to have an issue either.”

For more information on incorporating pest control into unit turnover, 

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