Pests are a problem that landlords often don't see coming. You work hard to maintain the rental property and run thorough background checks on your tenants, but can you really trust someone else to keep your apartments pest-free? Before an infestation begins, take a look at how you can reduce the risks of an insect or rodent invasion.
Deep In-Between Cleaning
Make cleaning more than cosmetic. After a tenant moves out, thoroughly clean every crease and crevice of the house or apartment. While it's tempting just to wipe down the walls and shampoo the carpets, you need to consider more things to keep pests at bay:
- Hire a professional. Maintaining rental units takes time. If you don't have time to spend on a thorough cleaning, hire a professional company to do the job for you.
- Steam clean upholstered items. If the furniture stays with the rental, steam clean everything completely. Leave no cushion, couch cover, or other piece of fabric un-steamed.
- Professionally clean the flooring. You may not have the equipment or capability to deep clean your carpets, rugs, and other flooring. But insects can hide in crevices or gaps in non-carpeted flooring, so you need a whole-home, professional floor cleaning.
Along with the interior of the home, thoroughly clean all outdoor spaces. This includes removing garbage, cutting back overgrown plants, and possibly even renting a pressure washer to clean concrete or deck areas.
Pest Control Services
After deep cleaning, hire a pest control specialist before new tenants move into the building. Waiting until your tenants spot a bedbug, mouse, or ant will only result in unnecessary headaches and additional spending. A pest control service technician can do the following for your rental:
- Inspect the property. Some pests, such as bedbugs, are notoriously sneaky. To the untrained eye, the rental unit may look pest-free, but the expert exterminator can find insects/rodents and their nests in places that most landlords wouldn't think to look.
- Create a treatment plan. If the exterminator finds pests, they will create a plan of attack. This includes removing the pests and preventing a re-infestation.
- Routinely protect the property. Prevention is critical. If the inspection doesn't reveal a problem, the property still requires routine pest maintenance. This protects your rental from future infestations.
Pesticides are potentially dangerous chemicals, so you should never attempt a DIY pest treatment or prevention method. Clearly instruct your tenants to inform you of potential pest problems, but then leave the insect and rodent control to the pros.
Exterior Home Maintenance
Even with the best pest control available, some invaders can sneak through gaps and cracks in the home's exterior. Before your next tenant's move-in date, complete the following:
- Caulk the windows. Not only will this save your tenants money on heating/cooling costs and stop rain water leaks, but it will also keep insects out.
- Caulk the exterior door frames. Like windows, door frames are also a possible insect entry point. Carefully caulk around the exterior, filling all gaps.
- Check the foundation. Again, cracks and gaps are pest entry points. Contact a professional contractor to fill wide or long foundation cracks.
- Check other entry points. Garages, roof areas, attics, decks, and vents are all easy ways for pests to get in. Seal gaps or make repairs as necessary.
Don't assume that the renters will maintain the property as you would. Routinely inspect the exterior area and sealnew cracks/gaps as needed.
Outdoor Garbage Collection
Mounds of trash sitting outside of your rental is an invitation for an infestation. To avoid this issue, follow these tips:
- Provide outdoor receptacles. If your tenants leave garbage bags or other trash sitting by the side of the property (or in a garage), give them large receptacles with lids to use.
- Inspect regularly. Drive or walk by the property, looking for trash issues outside.
- Talk to the tenants. Provide the tenants with clear instructions on garbage storage and disposal.
A well-maintained outdoor area is the first step to prevent pests. Along with the trash, make sure that the tenants quickly eliminate standing water or debris and properly clean eating/outdoor cooking spaces.
Do you need pest protection for a rental property? Contact Monterey Bay Pest Control Inc. for more information.