Landlords and property managers need to know what draws pests to rental homes and adopt simple pest preventive maintenance steps to protect properties and tenants.
7 Types of Pest Preventive Maintenance Steps
1) To avoid any and all infestations, it is fundamental to regularly inspect properties for cracks. Crevices and any kind of openings can allow unwanted critters to access indoor spaces. This includes checking open vents and drainage pipes.
2) Pests need a source of moisture to survive. Minimize the presence of standing water. Regularly check whether pipes, AC units, gutters or downspouts leak or allow water to accumulate. Scheduling seasonal maintenance and timely repairs for those systems is ideal.
3) Clogged and debris-filled gutters can make for a cozy hiding spot. Make sure that gutters are regularly cleaned avoids this issue.
4) Regular trimming of trees and plants located next to windows and entryways can prevent branches from allowing pests to gain access to them.
5) All pests are naturally drawn to food, both inside of homes and as found outside in trash cans and disposal areas. Investing in trash cans and bins made of heavy, tough materials that have tight, sealable lids works best for keeping pests from identifying a property as an attractive, food-secure nesting place. Heavy-duty containers also make it difficult for raccoons and possums to force their way into garbage storage areas.
6) Some pests can utilize chimneys as access points and nest in attics and roofs. Having a professional install wiring or screens on chimney gaps can block access.
7) It is fundamental to encourage tenants to be mindful about safe food storage and disposal of organic material. Inside the home, food should be properly stored inside tight containers and fridges. Garbage should be disposed of in a timely manner.
The lineup of unwanted potential pests
Ants are drawn to foods that most humans tend to consume fairly regularly: meat, starches and sweets. While most types of ants nest and live outside, they can easily detect nearby food sources and once found, they return regularly. In fact, ants release a chemical designed to guide them back to the newly found food source, which also indicates this to other ants in the colony. Infestations can easily get out of once the thousands of specimens from a certain colony learn where to go for food, which also increases the likelihood of indoor nesting.
Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, which makes them much more difficult to spot. Experts warn that in most instances, spotting a first cockroach is likely an indication of an entire colony having nested within the property. Aside from their unpleasant appearance, cockroach activity can severely affect the health of tenants as their droppings and cast-off skins are known to aggravate asthma, allergies and other breathing conditions.
Just as for ants and cockroaches, food is the main culprit for attracting mice to human homes. Mice represent a serious threat for the safety of tenants as they can carry fleas and diseases that can be severely harmful to humans, such as meningitis. Tenants can be easily exposed to these harms as mice contaminate spaces with their fur and droppings. Mice can take over properties quickly because of their year-round, rapid breeding. Their presence can be quite destructive due to their chewing abilities, which can damage furniture, wiring, and even walls.
Raccoons and Possums
Due to their considerably larger size, those pests are better able to defend themselves. Once they encounter humans and they feel trapped and threatened. For this same reason, they can can endanger pets, especially cats and smaller dogs. Raccoons and possums can also carry Rabies, which makes them that much more pressing to invest in proper preventive measures.
Keepe is an on-demand maintenance solution for property managers and independent landlords. Keepe makes hundreds of independent contractors and handymen available for maintenance projects at rental properties. The service is available in the Greater Seattle area, Greater Phoenix area, San Francisco Bay area. Learn more about Keepe at http://www.keepe.com