According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, almost a third of all Americans are afraid of spiders. More often than not you and your tenants have more to worry about than a few spiders here and there. Nonetheless, all pests taking up residence in your rental property can become a problem. As a property owner, it is your job to help prevent all pests including rodents, bugs, and snakes from moving in. It is a legal requirement in most states to offer and maintain a pest-free rental property. Keep reading to find out how to prevent and protect your rental property from pests before they become an overwhelming problem.
How to Protect My Rental Property From Pests
Common Pests to Look Out For
Cockroaches, rodents, bed bugs, termites, ants, fleas, and silverfish are on the most unwanted list. Depending on the location of your property, you might be more prone to certain kinds of pests. For instance, termites are most commonly found in the South.
Who Is Responsible for Handling Pests?
If the pest infestation is caused by the tenant leaving food out, or not taking the trash out, then the tenant should take responsibility for the pest control bill. This is especially true if you state this clearly on the lease agreement. Again, most state laws require that the landlord maintain a pest-free rental for the health and safety of tenants.
Ways to Prevent Bugs and Other Pests
The best way to prevent pests on any property is to not attract pests in the first place. Pests gravitate towards properties where food is left out regularly, and garbage is not being taken out promptly. Property managers and landlords should also look at standing water and cracks in walls and pipes.
Techniques to Prevent Pests in Your Rental Property
Educate Your Tenants
As your tenants are around the property on a day-to-day basis, they can do a lot to maintain a pest-free environment. You can request them to do the following:
- Throw away trash often
- Clean the house regularly
- Notify you if there is standing water on or surrounding the property
- Put away food in well-sealed containers in the refrigerator
- Make sure that the garbage bins have lids that stay closed when not in use
Make Regular Visits to the Property
Visiting the rental property regularly allows you to spot and fix potential problems. Here is a checklist for when visiting the property:
- Check for cracks in walls, floors, and foundations and seal them
- Make sure the garbage cans have lids that close properly
- Ensure that the sump pump is plugged in and working
- Ensure the common areas are clean
- Call in an exterminator or pest expert once in a while to walk through the property with you even if pests aren’t visible.
Use Pesticides as Needed
Check with your local Department of Health to become knowledgeable about local pest control laws. We recommend that you buy pesticides that have an EPA registration number. This allows you to be sure it is a registered and tested product. Read labels carefully, to make sure outside pesticides are only used outside.
Exterminate Your Property
Exterminating your property is a good way to prevent as well as handle pests. For prevention, you can treat the outside of your property. Should your property be in a warm climate, it is common for owners to exterminate once per month. Every time you exterminate, keep children and pets off the lawn for a few days.
Tent Your Property
Tenting your property is also known as fumigation. Everyone needs to be evacuated and the building must be sealed when this happens. Fumigation services are best when done between tenants. Nobody is allowed to enter the building for three days and two nights.
All of the points we outline in this article can help protect you and your tenants from pest infestations. Contact a local pest control expert for more information on how to protect your rental property from pests all year around.
Additional Reading: Hosts and Guests: What to Do if Airbnb Rental Has Bugs?
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