Tenant Inspections and Pests

Author: Kurt Treftz, Cascade Pest Control

When inspecting a property with tenants there is a lot to look out for and sometimes it involves pest problems that require pest control.  Pest issues—rodents or insects—can occur regardless of tenants and their habits.

rental property pest controlSometimes it’s unavoidable such as when rodents have gnawed their way in, or they take advantage of a construction anomaly that left a gap where they could enter an attic or crawlspace.  But sanitation can do much to attract rodents to begin with.  If there are any pets they should either be fed indoors, or certainly only given what they will immediately eat if fed outdoors.  Otherwise, the pet food will attract and sustain rats or mice.  If and when barbecues are allowed on a deck or porch they must be kept clean, the grease pan emptied or they too will attract rodents.

Other items to consider looking for are clean garbage areas—a food source for rats and breeding site for flies.  There should be no spilt garbage, overfilled cans, and be sure lids are on tight.  Also, look along the exterior perimeter and check for crawlspace vents—that they are all intact—so rodents can’t come in.  Garage doors are often left open allowing rats and/or mice entry so looking for droppings is important.

Tenant’s hygiene can make a huge difference around insect pests.  Cockroaches are usually found in multi-family units in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area and hygiene will largely determine which units have the worse infestations.  Keeping a kitchen clean is critical to limiting or aiding the control of cockroaches as mere crumbs or the film from spilt soda is enough for them to thrive.

Ants are another insect pest found throughout Seattle, Bellevue and other areas of the Puget Sound.  The most prevalent and troublesome ant is tiny and black, called the Odorous House Ant.  This ant gets its name from a slight odor they produce.  Though you may not notice any smell, a persistent stream of them in the kitchen or bathroom is normal.  Odorous House Ants may occur regardless of a renter’s sanitation habits, but unkempt kitchens will allow them to get completely out of control.

Checking up on tenants to insure they are taking great care of the place is an important part of property management. Make sure your rental property is managed properly with mid-tenancy check-ups to avoid a multitude of problems, including pest infestations. ShowDigs helps insure these inspections get done on time by professional real estate agents.


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