Whether they have four legs and fur or six legs and antennae, it’s nearly inevitable that at some point pests will make their selves welcome in your rental property. And although warm weather is a release for increased animal and insect activity, knowing how to prevent and eradicate unwanted pests is necessary in combating infestations. Below are 3 common pests and tips on how to find and deal with them at your rental property.
Ants: Often seen as harmless, these creatures are the ultimate foragers. The large, black Carpenter Ants are easy to spot and leave tell-tale signs with their nests, which are small sawdust piles, referred to as “frass”. Nests found in a home are typically satellite colonies and are extensions of larger colonies found outside, so finding one nest is just a first step to removing the pests. Because of this, Carpenter Ant infestations can be hard to treat.
Other ants are similar to carpenter ants in their foraging and creating interlinked nests. However, they do not cause structure damage, and instead can stray hundreds of feet from the nest to find food.
Prevention: seal small cracks to keep ants outside and maintain a clean house free of food debris
Rats: Carriers of diseases, bacteria and even parasites, rats are the elusive, fast-moving critters that are a familiar fixture in neighborhoods across the country. Due to this, rat problems are often found out based on knaw marks, droppings, burrows and track marks.
Prevention: Keep food garbage sealed up in containers and put to the curb weekly. Some cities require rat walls to be installed at sheds and garages. Keep brush piles limited.
Bed Bugs: These small, flat, reddish-brown pests are known for hiding out in beds, but they can also take refuge in furniture, floor coverings and even in cracks in the walls. Bed bugs may go unnoticed for a while since their bites cause similar skin reactions to that of other pests like fleas. Not all people react to bed bug bites either, so finding their empty skins, eggs or fecal stains is necessary in determining their presence. Verify a bed bug infestation by locating an actual live or dead bug, and look for them within 15-20 feet from the bed, where they are most likely to be found.
Prevention: Keep used furniture that can harbor unseen bugs out of the property.
Treatment: While small infestations like that of ants can sometimes be handled with small store-bought baits, others- like bed bug infestations should only be handled by licensed professionals. Tenants should always notify the property management company of any infestation whether inside or outside, and never attempt to handle wild animals on their own. Keep in mind that hiring a good, licensed pest control company is the best way to evict unwanted pests from the property. They can determine the best plan of attack in compliance with EPA standards, and they are trained to use live traps for removing unwanted animals safely and humanely- releasing them into the wild where they won’t be pests anymore.