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As a landlord, the last thing you want is trouble renting out your property, or for your phone to ring alerting you of damage to your property. However, if you notice signs of a pest infestation and leave it untreated, it’s probable both of these things will happen. That’s why it’s important to take pest control seriously and handle it quickly to help keep your property in tip-top shape.

In this post, we’ll review some of the common problems rodents and insects can cause, plus some tips for controlling pests on your property.

Problems pests can cause

It can be tempting to just ignore a pest problem and hope it will go away. But it won’t. Once a pest has found a safe, comfortable home for itself, it isn’t likely to leave. As a landlord in the Portland or Vancouver area, it’s your responsibility to control naturally occurring pest infestations and keep them away from the property.

As pests settle into your property, they are more likely to cause property damage, safety issues, or spread illness. Let’s take a closer look below.

 

Property damage

It’s not hard to find examples of pests causing property damage. Rats can cause electrical problems. Bees can burrow around your property to hatch larvae or start their hives around the exterior of your property. Ants or Beetles can chew through wood until they cause structural damage. Even the best tenants can leave Bedbugs behind — infestations following travel are particularly common.

It’s important to be both diligent and proactive in your pest control approach. 

Tenant turnover

No one wants to live in a home with a pest problem. Consistent problems in a home or apartment complex due to improper pest solutions will likely cause your tenants to look for somewhere else to live and make it harder for you to fill the space once it is empty again.

 

Health and safety concerns

Many pests can be harmful to people and other animals. Did you know that Rats and Mice can be carriers to over 35 different diseases? Not only that, but Fleas and Ticks carried into your home from rodents can spread illnesses like Lyme disease and even the plague.

Signs your property has a pest infestation

If you’re worried about your property developing a pest problem, there are a few signs you can look for: 

  • Electrical problems 
  • Structural damage to the roof, gutters, or siding 
  • Holes or cracks around the exterior of the house
  • Rodent footprints or droppings 
  • Scratching sounds inside the walls
  • Grease marks or buildup along walls or on the floor
  • Bad smells
  • Damage to fabric on clothes, drapes, or furniture

The attic, basement, and crawlspace are all very common places for a pest infestation, so make sure to check these regularly. 

Most common pests in the Portland metro area

If you’ve noticed signs of an infestation on your property, or your tenants have reported signs to you, it’s important to first identify what kind of pest you are dealing with. A few of the pests common to the Portland/Southwest Washington area include: 

  • Ants
  • Spiders
  • Rats
  • Mice
  • Bees
  • Ticks
  • Fleas 
  • Boxelder bugs 
  • Mosquitos 

If you’re not able to identify the pest on your own, you can: 

  1. Take a picture and then check out our pest library to help you compare
  2. Make a note of the time and location when you see the pest(s), as well as any additional notes or conditions that might help you quickly identify the species
  3. Contact us! Our team has seen it all and can help identify what you’re dealing with

Tips to prevent pests

The best piece of advice you will ever receive for controlling pests is to do everything you can to prevent them in the first place. A few ways you can do this for your property include:  

Keep common areas clean

If you’re the landlord or property manager of an apartment complex, ensure that all common areas like lobbies, hallways, utility rooms, community kitchens, game rooms, etc., remain clean and clutter-free. Pests are really just seeking food and shelter — not trying to be pests — so the more you can limit the option for them to choose your property, the better. 

Ensure you have sturdy and sealable trash and recycling bins 

It’s true — pests love trash. It might be gross to us, but there is a ton of food and other waste that is still appetizing to pests even after we discard it. That’s why it’s important to invest in rodent-proof garbage, recycling, and yard waste containers. Additionally, it’s good practice to keep these containers clean and set away from the property. 

Remove clutter from around the property 

In an effort to eliminate more opportunities for pests to take shelter, eliminate as many possible nesting sites on the exterior of your property as possible. This includes: 

  • Wood piles (or keep them at least 100 feet from the structure) 
  • Old cars or tires 
  • Hay piles
  • Shrubbery 

Keep grass cut short to remove hiding places for pests, and make sure all garbage, compost, and recycling is secured. 

Eliminate standing water around the property 

Especially in our rainy climate, this one can be a challenge. But, when left unattended, standing water attracts all sorts of pests — especially insects, who thrive in moisture-rich environments. 

Educate your tenants

You aren’t going to be able to monitor the property for pests all the time, especially when you’ve rented it out. That’s why it’s a good idea to send your tenants seasonal reminders about common pest infestations so they themselves can take preventive measures and watch out for warning signs. Additionally, you could include a pest history for the property upon move-in, so the tenant knows what to look out for.

Tips to control pests

Once they’re there, they can be difficult to get rid of. If you do find signs of a pest infestation, make sure to: 

  1. Identify the source 
  2. Seal off entry points 
  3. Contact your tenants to alert them of the problem and what you’re doing about it
  4. Call an exterminator 
  5. Consider setting up regular pest inspections or trying a maintenance program 

Here at EcoCare Pest Control, we offer a Pest Insurance Program with 4 seasonal inspections and treatments a year, providing protection from nearly 40 different common pests. Learn more about the program here.

Need help controlling pests at your property? Contact us today!

The continuous inspection and maintenance required to keep pests out of your home or from damaging your property gets overwhelming quickly. Save yourself time and stress by working with a local exterminator! 

Here at EcoCare Pest Control, we’ve been helping Portland and Vancouver-area landlords and property managers safely remove pests for years. Our clients love our eco-friendly, non-toxic pest control, preventative treatments, and friendly service.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment!