A Pest Infestation in a Rental: Prevention, Home Remedies & Extermination

Property Management Blog

There is truly nothing worse than a pest infestation, as it creates a nightmare for both, tenants and landlords. Handling a pest infestation is a costly endeavor for a landlord, who must hire a professional exterminator to eliminate the pests. While tenants are plagued with fears and stress of going to bed with creepy crawlies, or finding pests in their food essentials.

Pests are invited by many factors and weaknesses around a rental property. For instance, the cleaning habits of a tenant play an instrumental role, because a cluttered and littered apartment is an open invitation for pests. Surrounding properties and weather conditions can also expose your rental to pests.

If there are more people in an apartment or home, it increases the amount of food stocked in the fridge and the meals prepared at home, thereby extending an invitation to pests and insects. A pest infection can also create conflict and confusion between tenants and landlords over each other’s responsibilities with regards to the pest elimination.

In case of a large-scale infestation, an exterminator will have to be hired, which is often an expensive endeavor. However, as a renter, there are several precautions that can be taken to prevent and eradicate pests. In this article, we will discuss these measures and preventive strategies.

Here, take a look:

Prevention is Key

Prevention is always an easier route than cure, and when it comes to insects and pests, it is best not to allow them to penetrate your living space. It is extremely unpleasant and stressful to share space with pests and insects, but you can deter the influx before a few encounters blow into a massive infestation.

How can you do that? It’s really quite simple. Perform your daily cleaning tasks diligently, be sure to stock and store away your food items and pantry essentials with care. Avoid leaving cooked and uncooked food items and peels on the kitchen counter or elsewhere as they invite pests and insects. Be sure to tidy up your living spaces and store all objects, toys and belongings to avoid cluttering. Cluttering attracts insects and pests by offering a warm habitat.

Explore some Home Remedies

Luckily, there are many home remedies that you can fix up with basic household and pantry items to eliminate all kinds of pests and insects. Essential oils are a great home remedy to deter insects and vermin.

In order to deter cockroaches, just mix up some tea tree oil with water to create a spray that will deter them from entering your kitchen or living space. You can also soak up some cotton balls with peppermint oil to deter all kinds of rodents, who are sensitive to the odor. Ants can be deterred with a solution made with water and peppermint or eucalyptus oil.

Essential oils prove effective because they hinder the chemical signs ants and insects use to communicate. Insects always find their way towards a food item or source using pheromones, and when they pass through an area exposed to essential oils, their communication is disrupted.

Herbs and spices can also be used to create effective pest and insect deterrents. These solutions are much more effective and cheaper than most insect-repellents. For instance, coffee grounds, cayenne pepper and cinnamon can be sprinkled to deter ants from entering your kitchen or pantry.

Pests can also be deterred by adding different plants to your home decor. For instance, you can make your balcony free of all mosquitos by planting some peppermint, rosemary, lavender and citronella plants. Rosemary and sage are also highly effective at keeping mosquitos at bay.

If the problem gets out of hand and grows into a major infestation, it is important to hire a professional instead of sticking to your DIY remedies. Home remedies will not help you prevent a pest infestation as they only work on a few bugs or ants.

Working out the Extermination Responsibilities

If your rental is infested with pests and insects, you need to hire an expert to eliminate the infestation. This brings us to an important question: who will pay for the extermination?

For such questions, you need to turn towards your lease agreement. Rental agreements have explicit stipulations for such situations, and who will be responsible for such costs. However, if your lease agreement does not discuss pest exterminations, the tenant and landlord can always sit down and resolve the issue between them. As the owner of the property, it is advisable for the landlord to avoid such a crucial expense and preserve the value of the property with an immediate extermination.

If the pest infestation is allowed to grow, the rental will not remain legally habitable. However, if the pest infestation has resulted due to the negligence of the tenant or failed to clean adequately, the tenant will be financially responsible for the extermination. Often, pets can also invite a pest infestation into the apartment. In such a situation, the security deposit is often compromised to pay for the services of an exterminator.

Professionals hire for exterminators can determine the cause and nature of the infestation, and provide an analysis into the causes of the infestation. Either way, it is ideal for both, the tenant and the landlord to eliminate the infestation as soon as possible. The two parties can come to an agreement and share the responsibility and costs of an extermination.

At the end of the day, the ideal strategy is to focus on a pest prevention regime. It is important to protect your living space from all kinds of unwanted pests and insects, as they carry diseases and viruses. It is crucial to focus on de-cluttering and tidying up your surroundings, and cleaning away your mess to avoid attracting pests.

More importantly, be sure to discuss pest elimination and policies as part of your lease agreement with your property manager or landlord. This will help provide financial coverage as the landlord will be liable to undertake an extermination. However, if the tenant’s negligence and lack of cleanliness has triggered the problem, it can lead to a challenging situation.

If you’d like to talk more about property management, or you need help with Everest Property Management, please contact us at Everest Realty.

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