Pest infestation is the nemesis of rental property success. Pests war against a property owner's income, because pests and tenants cannot cohabit. One usually has to make way for the other, and in most cases, it is the human inhabitants of the building that have to leave.
This means that the non-paying occupants of a home (i.e. pests) can end up chasing away the paying occupants (i.e. humans). This is how pests inflict damage on a rental property owner's profits, warns Realty Management Associates.The damage they cause goes beyond just making the home uninhabitable. Pests can cause even worse damage to a home by chewing through wires, walls and pipes. They use the home's materials to build their nests, and they undermine the home's structural integrity by burrowing into its support structures. Not to mention pests alsospread disease by leaving urine and litter around the house.
Yet despite how menacing pests can be to a rental property, these invaders are not easily detected. Before a pest invasion becomes apparent, it has usually reached an advanced stage. It usually means that the home, rental, and business are already suffering the impacts of the infestation.
This is why the best way to deal with pest infestation is to prevent it. Keeping pests out of a rental property is far more comfortable than ejecting them once they have gained a foothold. Eliminating vermin completely often requires months of expensive treatment.
The easier way to deal with the problem is to follow these simple guidelines for preventing pest invasion.
Conduct regular inspections of the property
Unless a person is intentionally on the lookout for evidence of pests in the home, the signs of their presence are very easy to miss. Pests are sneaky and can hide in the unlikeliest of places. Moreover, most pests are nocturnal - active when humans are asleep. During inspections, special attention should be given to areas of the home that are least-visited, hidden from sight, dank and dark.
Seal-out all potential entry points
Pest invasion often coincides with the onset of structural issues in a home. Where there are cracks and openings in the home's wall, floors, foundation and roof structures, opportunities abound for pests to invade. Sealing all potential entry points and hiding places will make it harder for pests to enter the building. And those pests which do find their way into the home will not remain, and they will be easier to detect.
Remove pests' food sources; handle trash properly
Pests need food to survive. If pests are found in a building, it is because they are feeding on something inside or around the property. Pests like to live near their food source. So if there is nothing for them to eat in a building, they will likely leave. Leftover food in the kitchen, exposed pantries and uncovered waste bins that are too close to a building will all attract pests.
Get rid of clutter
Any form of litter - cloth, paper and wood - can serve as hiding places or nesting materials for pests. Favorite lurking areas for pests include piles of wood, logs around the yard and compost heap in the premises. Overgrown hedges and bushes also offer the perfect camouflage and nesting site. Removing these things will also remove the pests that hide inside them.
Remove all standing water around the property
Standing water can result from leaks in the home's pipes or outside faucets. It can also happen if the ground around a property slopes inwards toward the home, rather than away from the base of the house. This will allow rainwater to collect in the yard. Standing water is a perfect breeding ground for insects. Rodents, cockroaches and other pests are attracted to damp environments.
Keep common areas clean
A rental property's common areas are mostly free of human traffic at night. This is perfect for pests that love to roam at night. Also, due to the constant daytime traffic passing through the area, food often litters the common area. Pests in the building can survive on this food. To prevent this, common areas should be cleaned regularly to keep them free of the trash.
Educate the home's tenants
Since landlords do not always live in their own rental property, the main responsibility for keeping a home pest-free falls to tenants. And even if a landlord lives on the premises, the owner has no control over what tenants do in their apartments. This is why it is important to educate tenants on the best ways to keep the home free of pests. Also, the landlord should include a clause in the lease agreement explaining the tenant's role in preventing pest invasion. The lease should outline the consequences of failing to abide by the lease terms.
Exterminate on a schedule
Rental property owners should not wait until their property is invaded by pests before they exterminate. In this case, half-an-ounce of prevention is worth more than ten pounds of cure. Rental property owners should eradicate on a schedule, whether they see signs of pests or not. Regularly exterminating the building will stop budding invasions from becoming full-blown.