Having a pest in the house is one of the few things most landlords dread, especially upon remembering that pests could reduce the marketability of a rental property. Moreover, pests can wreck irrecoverable damage to furniture and other sensitive areas in the house. Not to mention that pest infestation from different pest classes could lead to a wide range of diseases and infections for those living there.
There’s no gainsaying the importance of pest control measures for your house as a landlord. We’ve put together this piece to show you what is necessary to keep the home pest-free. Here, you’ll see common household pests and how to protect your home from them.
The piece closes with a brief FAQ section answering questions like, “Is it safe to be in the house after pest control?”; “Who is responsible for pest control”; amongst others.
How to Know If Your Property Has a Pest Infestation
Knowing what to do when there’s a pest infestation is one thing. But it’s another identifying whether pests have started encroaching on your home early enough to prevent the worst-case scenarios. There are some signs to check out in your home.
Are there untraceable bad smells in the home? Do you find holes or cracks around the property’s exterior? Check whether there are grease marks or lines along the walls, floors, or damage to fabrics hanging on the wall. A positive result to any of these queries is a sign of pest infestation. Also, pest infestation often causes structural damage to roofs, gutters, or furniture.
Common Pests to Look Out for in the House
Have you conducted a check on your property and discovered signs that you have a pest in the house? The first thing you want to do is identify the type of pest encroaching on your space. Some of the most common pests you’ll find in most infested American houses include:
Of course, the list of pests that could infest a property is almost inexhaustible, and there are other pest types you may find in your homes, like mosquitoes or millipedes. If you’re unsure of what kind of pest you’re up against, you could consult an online pest library, look up traits of the pests via a basic Google search, or reach out to a pest control professional.
How You Can Prevent Pests in Your Rental Property as a Landlord
A pest in the house can wreak substantial damage to your rental property’s structure, deter tenants from renting the property, and ultimately increase the operating expenses of your rental property. Consequently, your best bet is to prevent a pest infestation before it occurs in the home.
Also, regularly staying on the offensive against a harmful pest infestation informs potential and current tenants of your dedication to their well-being and leaves a positive note in their minds about your property.
Following are some ways to prevent pests in your rental property as a landlord. While you might be unable to monitor all of these measures yourself, telling tenants about these measures will go a long way in keeping your rental property pest-free for the common good.
Keep the Environment Clean
Cleaning the home improves the house’s aesthetics and helps keep pests away from home. While you may not monitor the rental’s condition daily, you can periodically encourage tenants to sweep or vacuum floors. Remind them to clean surfaces like shelves, tables, and kitchen countertops regularly.
Close Up all Cracks and Holes
Ensuring no cracks or holes on the walls can help prevent rodents from straying into your property. Besides closing cracks on the walls to keep pests away, there are gaps you can only see from inside the house. Regularly check kitchen cabinets, refrigerators, and stoves for signs of pest infestation and seal any cracks or replace the furniture or equipment where necessary.
Sort and Dispose of Waste Efficiently
Everyone knows that household garbage draws pests like ants, roaches, and rodents to the home. But yard waste also can attract pests that could shelter or seek nutrition in the trash. It’ll help to have all trash cans in the house fit tightly. Also, it’s helpful to regularly clean the cans and the place where they sit to remove debris which can draw in pests.
Besides practicing waste management techniques, encouraging renters to sort waste themselves can further help reduce the risk of pest infestation. Consider placing marked disposal bins in every rental facility you manage so your tenants know where to put each waste type. Doing so would help keep the house clean and free of household pests.
Rinse Recyclable Waste
Like the recommended trash treatment, it’s helpful to keep recyclables in bins with a tight-fitting lid. However, your municipality may provide open containers for residents to hold recyclable waste. If that’s the situation around your home, take some time to carefully rinse all food substances from your recyclables before disposing of them. That could help keep your bin pest-free as much as possible.
Ensure to Use the Appropriate Exterior Light Bulbs
Certain light bulb types attract flying insects, such as standard mercury vapor or halogen bulbs. Reduce these pestilent insects by replacing light bulbs that attract insects with less attractive options like light bulbs tinted pink or orange.
Another tip is to change the position of your light bulbs. If your light bulbs are close to exterior walls near the doors, consider positioning them on a pole far from the house. By doing so, most of the insects would stay by the rod and not your home. Only ensure that the light rays illuminate your door and the garden area enough for security reasons.
Clean Out Drains
Gunk and debris often accumulate in sinks and floor drain on your property, and they certainly could make an excellent breeding site when they collect in the home, particularly for tiny flies. It’ll help to ensure there’s a regular inspection and cleaning of all drains in the laundry, basement, or elsewhere.
Minimize Plants and Mulch around the Home
Ensure to trim back any tree branches close to your home. That would help cut out platforms that pests could utilize to reach your home and come inside. Also, having mulch in garden beds on the patio could provide shelter for pests. Consider using less pest-attractive ground cover like rocks to prevent pests from hiding in your garden.
Keep Food in Sealed Areas
Pests like rats and mice have excellent sensory organs that attract them to food barns or kitchen stores. If there’s an open food container around your home, the chances are high they’ll come around it. An excellent way to avoid pest infestation is to store pantry foods like crackers and cereal in sealed containers.
No one likes fighting cockroaches in the kitchen or stumbling against rodents in the garage at night. While you’re possibly considering the above tips on preventing a pest infestation in the house, you might have some crucial questions about the topic. This FAQs section seeks to clear a few of the possible queries you might have.
Who is Responsible for Pest Control in the House?
The effects of pest invasion directly affect the availability of the home for current and potential renters. Consequently, landlords hold responsibility for general pest control activities such as applying pesticides in or around the rental property.
However, the tenants also share the responsibility of routine checks and maintenance. So, if someone asks, “Is the landlord responsible for pest control?” The short answer is “yes”. But tenants would do well to help monitor their space against pest infestation and call for help when necessary.
Do You Have to be in the House for Pest Control?
Many people worried about the safety of pest control activities might have this question “Do you have to leave the house for pest control?” The truth is, as long as the treatments employed in the process aren’t toxic, you may remain in the house during pest control.
Is It Safe to be in the House After Pest Control?
There’s no harm in staying in a home after pest control, provided the chemicals the technicians employed are non-toxic.
We’ve seen the implications of having a pest in the house and how to avoid them as a landlord. Knowing that the best form of pest control is prevention, both landlords and tenants would have to work together towards monitoring pests’ activities and preventing their infestation. Following the above tips would help any homeowner or tenant maintain a pest-free home. If you discover you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to a pest control expert.
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