Termite and pest invasions in a rental property can cause you more trouble later on than you initially planned for. It’s legally required in most states to offer a pest-free property for rent. However, who takes care of the pests and termites in a rental property is sort of a gray area.

Prevent Termites & Pests in a Rental Property

Whether the tenant is responsible for preventing pest problems or the landlord depends largely on the local laws and the type of infestation. For example, if the tenant’s lifestyle caused the infestation then the landlord might wash their hands off the problem.
No matter who’s responsible, the ways to prevent pests and termites are similar for nearly all properties.

Pest prevention 101: Get the basics down first

Rodents are most common in northern states whereas termites and cockroaches are more common in southern states. Between east and west, western states are less infected in general compared to eastern ones.

Here are some common rules to exercise to prevent pest problems:

  1. Always keep the lids of garbage bins closed.
  2. Thrown away your trash regularly. Don’t let it accumulate.
  3. Clean your property regularly.
  4. Always keep all food in tight-sealing containers or the refrigerator.
  5. The kitchen is generally the place where pests start. Keep the kitchen extra clean.
  6. Don’t let water and garbage accumulate around the property.
  7. Avoid clogged drains for long durations outside the property.

Property inspection (or visit): Scheduling will help

Inspecting the property (tenant) or visiting the property (landlord) is critical. Pests don’t suddenly decide to plague your household and make your nights sleepless. Invasion works slowly. First, it’s one cockroach and when it finds food laying around or open garbage bins with leftovers, it eats its fill. A few more join. Soon, they are thriving. They roam the rooms when you sleep.
Before you know it, it’s a family. And that’s when they become noticeable and you say, “This can be a problem”. This is how the pest population grows in a property. Check every corner. If something looks as if it can be a safe haven for pests then it most probably will be.

Other important considerations

Controlling and preventing pests and termites is more complex than it might appear at first.

Get your lowdown on local pesticide usage laws

Pesticides cannot be used as much as you wish. Know your local laws on pesticide usage and preferably keep some handy.

Extermination spray for preventing or handling pests

Getting extermination spray is ideal for controlling out-of-hand situations. However, you can also get extermination done beforehand, especially outside the property, just to stay safe.

Fumigation as a last resort

Fumigation is the last resort and only the landlord can get it done. It’s important to keep the property uninhabited for three days and two nights after fumigation, so it’s either done between tenancy or when all the tenants have alternate temporary lodgings. Make sure all food is tightly sealed before fumigation. Fumigation gas is poisonous for pests and harmful for humans.

Additional Reading: Are Tenants or Landlords Responsible for Pest Control?

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