A pest infestation can make a unit uninhabitable pretty quickly. Because landlords are required by law to maintain livable conditions, it is in the best interest of both parties to stay on top of pest control and related preventative maintenance.
Both parties—the tenant and the landlord—play an active role in preventing a pest infestation. Pest control should be part of regular maintenance on a property for management companies.
If a tenant notices a higher-than-usual count of silverfish or spiders for example, a call should be made to the property management company. Does this mean tenants should call every time they see a spider? No, but using good judgment here is warranted before an issue can get out of hand. Below are some other tips to ensure that tenants are happy and units are pest free.
Spring Flowers May Attract Unwanted Visitors
We all look forward to the fresh blooms of spring. Unfortunately, those beautiful buds and flowers offer a welcome mat to many unwanted visitors. The warmer the temperatures, the more active insects become. Because of this, you may begin to see some common pests in your house.
Pest Infestation Prevention
Knowledge is power. Knowing which pests are most likely to turn up in your units is the first step toward preventing them. The most common pests across the United States are cockroaches, mice, bed bugs, termites, fleas, ants, spiders, ticks, beetles, and silverfish. Awareness of the common pests in your area will help you identify any places of concern. Look for foundation cracks where mice can squeeze in or open garbage bins where other rodents can live.
These places of concern can be identified through regular inspections done by both the management company and by an extermination professional, who also can be hired to spray units with pesticides designed to keep bugs and rodents away. These are regulated state by state, and the professional should be versed in local laws.
Not only does preventative care mean annual inspections and sprays by an extermination professional, but it also means educating your tenants. Be sure tenants know not to leave food out, to clean regularly and to stay on top of taking their trash out. Tenants should also notify their property management company if they notice any standing water surrounding the property, as this can be a pest breeding ground.
Exterminate When Needed
If your tenant notifies you that ants are somehow getting into the kitchen, or that termites seem to have gotten into the basement, it’s time to take swift action. Hire an extermination professional to perform extermination sprays as much as needed—this can be as often as weekly or as little as annually, depending on the pest.
What is Fumigation?
If the infestation is bad, fumigation may be necessary. Also known as “tenting,” fumigation requires that the entire property (all units of a multi-unit space) be vacated for a set period of time, and all doors, windows, vents, fireplaces, and other modes of entry into the building be sealed.
This will kill all pests within a property, but it requires more resources—more time, more money, and more coordination—than other modes of pest control, and typically is a last resort. With fumigation, property management companies should arrange alternate lodging for their tenants during this process.
As mentioned, communication is key between the tenant and property management company to prevent a pest infestation. Tenants should keep the property management company apprised of anything out of the ordinary. A property management company should let the tenant know well in advance when exterminators are scheduled.
If you have questions about pest prevention, please don’t hesitate to call.
We also want to remind you about our highly rated Preventative Maintenance Services.
Working together will keep everyone happy and keep pests out!