Vermin Control for Property Managers
Pigeons, bees, rats, honeycomb or hive removal, squirrels, ants, termites, wasps – a typical San Diego property management firm will sooner or later run into a problem with some form of pest (we are not referring to delinquent renters!) that will need to be removed from a multi-family rental property. The best and most proactive plan is to use the services of a pest control specialist to treat properties before problems show up. For various reasons, this may not always be feasible. Nonetheless, a property manager must take care of vermin problems quickly and efficiently to avoid unwanted consequences – unhappy tenants, visits from the health department, vigilante tenants with squirt cans, liability issues, etc. Here are some tips for developing a pest-management strategy for the rental properties you oversee:
- Encourage tenant involvement: You need to welcome reports of pests and vermin – this is valuable information! Thank tenants for the head-up and encourage them to sign up for periodic pest control treatments. Keep track of all pest sightings in your property database.
- Have you maintenance team take the obvious steps to fight pest invasion. This includes sealing up gaps or cracks in baseboards and walls. Also, any areas in your units that are penetrated by pipes or ducts need to fully sealed. This is especially important for keeping out larger pests, like mammals and birds.
- Don’t ignore warnings. If someone spots a bug or two during the day, you can bet the farm that there are a zillion of its closest relatives who come out at night. Bring in the exterminators early and often.
- Create a “Most Wanted” list and pass it out to tenants. It should contain pictures of the most common pests and describe what attracts each one. For example, show a nice close-up shot of a bedbug along with a warning to tenants to not pick up upholstered furniture from the streets.
- Have a sensible trash-storage strategy. A garbage room should be kept neat and clean, with sufficient pest-proof cans and posted warnings to not leave garbage exposed. Ask tenants to dispose of old food and cooking oil. Incinerators are a terrific solution but you hardly see them anymore due to air-quality issues.
- Encourage owners to outfit apartments with dishwashers, and tenants to use them daily. Leaving dirty dishes lying around is just asking for trouble.
- Set a good example to tenants by keeping hallways and common areas clean and neat. For instance, mop down concrete floors with bleach-based cleaning solutions.
If you stay on top of small pest control issues early on, you’ll avoid big headaches down the road.
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