Landlords are responsible for keeping their rental properties in a fit and habitable condition, meaning free from any pest infestations. It’s estimated that termites alone cost American homes over $5 million in damages every year. These damages not only cost you money, but can also cause health and safety concerns, as well as unhappy tenants. If these issues persist, it’s unlikely your tenants will want to renew their lease the following year, costing you even more money. The easiest way to avoid this situation is by following a few easy steps to prevent pests from being attracted to your property.

1. Seal up Entry Points

Mice can squeeze through holes the size of a pencil, so it’s important to inspect your property and make sure even the smallest entry points are covered up. On the exterior of the property, check buildings’ foundation, and gaps around pipes, vents, windows, and doors. On the interior, check basements, tenant’s apartments, attics, crawl spaces, and common areas. Seal any cracks you find with steel wool, caulk, cement, or caps as needed. Holes in the siding or roof are also great entry points for birds or squirrels, so be sure to check those areas as well.

2. Have Proper Trash Bins

Open bins release the smell of the trash out into the world, inviting any nearby pests to come check things out. Because of this, it’s important to have sturdy bins with lids and inspect them regularly to make sure they’re free of cracks or holes. Also, be sure to keep the bins away from the actual property and have bins big enough to hold all trash consumed. Make sure the bins aren’t overflowing as well.

3. Eliminate Standing Water Around Property

Standing water is a breeding ground for insects and can attract cockroaches and rodents. Check the property for any leaking pipes or faucets and be sure any sprinklers or hoses are turned off when not in use.

4. Exterminate Regularly

Even if you’ve never seen pests around your property, it’s important to take preventative measures and set up a regular extermination schedule. Be sure to check the labels on all of the pesticides used, as each one will only account for a certain kind of pest. It’s also a good idea to only use pesticides with an EPA registration number as this ensures that they have been registered and tested to be used in a public space. 

5. Contact Tenants if There’s a Problem

The best way to find out what’s happening around your property is to talk to the people that live there. Ask them if they’ve noticed anything out of the ordinary or if they’ve had any problems with pests. Also be sure to educate them on everyday things they can do to prevent these such as securing their food in sealed containers, regularly taking out the trash, and using screens in their doors and windows to keep out bugs.