How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in Your Apartment Building

About Thorn

Thorn is a local Utah pest management company. We are a QualityPro certified company which is a prestigious accreditation awarded to less than 3% of the pest management companies in the US.

how to get rid of cockroaches in your apartment building

Need to know how to get rid of cockroaches in your apartment building? Eliminating cockroaches from an apartment building or complex requires multiple steps, including:

  • Building wide cooperation
  • Inspection and assessment
  • Baiting and monitoring
  • Targeted treatments
  • Exclusion
  • Sanitation
  • Follow-up checks

While cockroaches may not bite, they can heavily infest apartment buildings, create unpleasant odors, contaminate food and spread disease.  It’s important to be proactive if a cockroach issue arises. 

In an apartment building or other multi-family dwelling, being proactive means teamwork between all involved including the building management, tenants and pest control professionals. Continue reading to find out more about how to get rid of cockroaches in an apartment building. 

Are Landlords in Utah Responsible for Pest Control?

In Utah, the Fit Premises Act (Chapter 22 of the Utah Code) requires both landlords and tenants to do their part to keep apartments free of “dangerous or unhealthy conditions“. 

It is the tenant’s responsibility to maintain their individual unit in a way that does not create safety or health concerns, and it is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the entirety of the building and property in order to protect the health and safety of their tenants. 

If you are a landlord or property manager and you find yourself needing to provide cockroach control for your entire apartment building or multi-family dwelling, it can be difficult to know where to start.

While there are many factors to consider in large-scale cockroach control that can feel overwhelming, don’t put it off! Contact Thorn Pest, where we specialize in helping apartment buildings and multi-family dwellings throughout Utah effectively address their cockroach issues.

(P.S. Did you know we wrote the book on commercial pest control? If you own or manage an apartment building and you want to implement proper pest control strategies, find out exactly how to do it in Here to Help, written by our founder, Kevin Thorn).

A Tenant Friendly, Low-Prep Approach to Roaches

Cockroach issues are stressful enough. Here at Thorn Pest Solutions, we are here for you and your tenants, and we want to make life simpler for everyone! 

Time and time again, we successfully achieve results in cockroach management while utilizing a low-prep approach to our cockroach treatments. This approach does not require tenants to prepare for treatment day, and this is a good thing! It means less stress, less hassle, and less workaround for all involved.

While we focus on a low-prep approach, there are still steps tenants can take to make sure the cockroaches go away and stay away, such as:

  • Keep appliances thoroughly cleaned, especially the stove (including the sides and around surrounding it)
  • Empty the garbage daily and keep the can free of food residue
  • Clean up spills
  • Keep the sink clean and clear of dirty dishes
  • Store pet food in sealed containers and don’t leave it out overnight

German Cockroaches: The Most Common Roach

German cockroaches are one of the most common types of roaches found in homes and apartments. 

When it comes to pest control in Utah, if an apartment building is infested with cockroaches, German cockroaches are likely to blame. These pests are attracted to food and moisture, and they can quickly reproduce in large numbers. German cockroaches are small and brown with two dark stripes on their backs. They are typically about 1/2 an inch long, but they can grow up to 1 inch in length. 

German cockroaches are often found in kitchens and bathrooms, where they can easily access food and water while remaining hidden.

If you are certain there are cockroaches present in your apartment building, act quickly! The problem will not go away on its own and waiting will only allow time for the problem to worsen.

9 Ways Thorn Gets Rid of Cockroaches in an Apartment Building

German cockroaches can travel through cracks in the walls, ceilings and floors of your building, and they sometimes use water pipes or garbage chutes to move between units. Their ability to spread makes German cockroaches tricky to control long term if the problem gets out of hand.

Control of German cockroaches requires a multi-step plan. Thorn follows these 9 steps for effective control of cockroaches in apartments:

1. A Building-Wide Approach

Whenever possible, it is best to address the entire building, not just individual units.

Thorn takes a whole-building approach to cockroach control in apartment buildings and multi-family dwellings because of the biology of the German cockroach.

German cockroaches spread easily and reproduce very quickly (each female lays 30-40 eggs at a time and they go from egg to adult in 54-125 days). Considering this, it can be difficult to get results when only inspecting or treating parts of the building. This is especially true when dealing with larger or more widely spread issues.

2. Inspection and Assessment

Inspection and assessment are the first and most important step when it comes to cockroach control. 

When a Thorn IPM professional is performing a cockroach inspection, they are watching for the following things around your building or complex:

  • Confirmation of German cockroaches
  • Assessing the level of infestation
  • Locating areas where cockroaches are hiding
  • Spotting conducive conditions

DEFINITION: A conducive condition is anything that could be attracting roaches to your property. Leaky pipes, open garbage receptacles, and accumulations of food debris in drains are just some of the examples of conducive conditions that may be present when dealing with roaches in an apartment building.

3. Baiting 

Thorn utilizes baiting programs to address cockroach infestations in multi-family dwellings. After our inspection and assessment is completed, we know how much bait we should use and where it should be placed, and we make sure to rotate our baits to avoid product resistance in Utah’s cockroach populations. After all, the last thing we need are roaches that don’t respond to treatment!

Baiting can take place in a variety of places, such as:

  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Near the water heater
  • Around the furnace
  • Living areas
  • Bedrooms

4. Monitoring

Some may think this step can be skipped, but it shouldn’t be. 

Here at Thorn, we find the use of cockroach monitors to be of utmost importance in cockroach remediation. Using monitors helps us keep track of how treatment is working, and it helps us assess the severity of infestations. This step is vital to a long-term cockroach treatment plan. 

To monitor roaches, we place special traps that are dated and logged each time they are checked. This allows us to keep a detailed record of what cockroach populations are doing, where they are most dense, and whether treatment programs need to be adjusted based on the activity present. 

By monitoring cockroach activity, we know exactly what roaches are up to and what we need to do next.

5. Inspecting Adjacent Units


Even if cockroaches are only present in one or two units, German cockroaches are very good at moving around buildings and between units. They are also very good at staying hidden, especially before cockroach populations have reached massive levels. 

It is imperative to inspect and monitor the units around the affected apartment to ensure that roaches have not managed to spread. Depending on circumstances, preventative treatments may be necessary to avoid roaches from further spreading throughout the building.

6. Targeted Treatments

Thorn stays up-to-date on the latest and greatest pest control methods in order to make sure our cockroach treatment programs are always improving. With certain cockroach issues, especially in apartment buildings, the use of targeted chemical treatments is necessary to get control of an issue.

The type of treatment necessary depends on what we find during our initial cockroach inspection and assessment, but typically involves some type of treatment in hard to reach areas where roaches are hiding. Treatment can involve:

  1. Dusting or treating in wall voids
  2. Treating around the dishwasher
  3. Using IGRs (Insect Growth Regulators)

7. Exclusion

Exclusion isn’t just for rodents! Here at Thorn, we have a couple of tricks up our sleeves when it comes to sealing cockroaches out. 

First, have building maintenance seal cracks and crevices around the building with caulk to prevent cockroaches from coming out of the walls, floors and ceilings. Then, Thorn can help minimize the spread of roaches between units by sealing the escutcheon plates around your building. These plates are related to your building’s pipes. When improperly sealed, they can allow cockroaches safe passage using your building’s pipe system. It’s very important to make sure escutcheon plates are impenetrable when it comes to roaches. 

8. Follow Up

Following up is critical in order for us to asses how treatment is going and what needs to be done going forward.

During the follow up, we are there to answer some questions:

  1. Are roach numbers increasing, and if so, why?
  2. Has the bait been contaminated due to self treatment?
  3. Are there cockroaches spreading between units?
  4. Should we increase the amount of bait being used?
  5. Do we need to place bait in other locations?
  6. Are we dealing with bait aversion or resistance?

Cockroaches can become resistant to treatments, so it’s very important to handle the situation right the first time to avoid making it more challenging to manage. Thorn will help formulate a surefire plan of attack and keep an eye on things to make sure treatment is going exactly as planned.

9. Confirm Elimination

Let’s not beat around the bush: when it comes to cockroaches in your apartment building, we’re looking for complete elimination.

After treatments, we will place sticky traps in specific areas: 

  • Behind the stove
  • Next to the fridge
  • Under sinks
  • Other areas where roaches may hide

These traps will be placed for a minimum of two weeks following treatments and will help us determine if cockroaches have been successfully eliminated.

Get Rid of Cockroaches in Your Utah Apartment Building

Considering our extensive experience in commercial pest control, Thorn will confidently handle any cockroach issue your apartment building can throw at us with as little inconvenience to you and your tenants as possible. We can answer all your questions on how to get rid of cockroaches in your apartment building, so let’s work together as a team! 

We’ll make your life easier and your tenants will feel more at home.

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