It’s that time of year again. The weather is getting warmer. The days are getting sunnier. And everybody is coming out to enjoy the sweet embrace of spring.

Including the animals we aren’t exactly crazy about.

Pests are an annoying part of life for us. If you’ve ever opened your door to go outside and nearly gotten blindsided by a stray bee or wasp, you know the feeling. For real property owners and managers, pests can be more than just an annoyance – they can be expensive problems that can drive up costs and drive out tenants.

Some of the more common (and more unpleasant) pests are usually of the six-legged variety. They can invade units, contaminate food, attack pets, cause health problems and even damage homes. Which means that, as a property owner or manager, handling them should be at the top of your to-do list.

While you may have a solution in place via an agreement with pest control specialists, a periodic spraying may not be enough to keep the critters away. Insects are well known for their resilience and persistence. The survivors of your last pest control visit will eventually regroup, reproduce and repeat their antics – much to the dismay of your tenants.

This brings up a bit of a concern: while you may provide or arrange pest control services for your real property, there’s still the matter of keeping the pests away between visits. In this matter, a very important piece of the puzzle lies with your tenants. If they are making things easier for pests to continue the fight, then expect a long, annoying and costly battle of attrition.

Fortunately, there are some relatively easy methods for keeping out the little unwanted guests. Here are some helpful techniques for your tenants to use that will put pests in their place.

  • Avoid open, standing water close to units. Some people may use bottles or other containers to collect rainwater, or simply leave containers outside that eventually take on water. Mosquitoes use open, standing water sources to breed – which means that the little bloodsuckers will always be close to home. Advise tenants to keep unnecessary water containers out of the picture, or to at least keep them sealed when not in use.
  • Keep the floors clean. To you, the carpet is just carpet. To insects, the carpet is a big place to hide, feed and breed. Let tenants know that they should keep their floors clean regularly to make the floors less safe for pests.
  • Keep food put away and safe. You’re not the only one with a craving for last night’s pizza – roaches would love to have a bite of it too. Leaving out food is just like putting up a neon sign for pests to come and get it, so close the restaurant by keeping food sealed and stored properly.
  • Keep pets clean. Pests don’t just attack people – they target pets too. Fleas and ticks will make pets’ lives miserable, and if they hitch a ride on pets then they can also get to the people who own them. Ask your tenants to keep their pets cleaned, groomed and treated.

These, and other simple fixes, can do a lot to keep your real property safe from creepy little interlopers.

Keep your tenants informed of how they can minimize the presence of pests, and be ready to help if they need you.

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