Bugs and rodents; who are the 11 most likely rental suspects?
There are over 2.13 million apartment-based households across Canada. This unfortunately makes the reality of bugs and rodents in multi-family units almost inevitable.
Adding insult to injury, once they find your building provides them with rent-free food, water, and shelter, they want to stay!
This article explains:
- Why infestations are common in rental units
- 11 of the most common pests to watch out for
- How to prevent/eliminate the problem
Believe it or not, ants are the most common pests in apartments. Ants come in search of food and love anything sugary or greasy. Once they’ve found a food source, they invite the rest of the colony to line up for dinner at your expense.
Moths are food stowaways and can lay hundreds of eggs inside cereal or rice boxes.
Moths wreak havoc because they contaminate food sources and fit into small spaces while finding their way into walls and cabinets.
Luckily termites don’t like cold, and with Canada’s mostly frigid climates, they’re not a huge problem. In warm, humid climates, termites seek out any type of wood, and left unchecked, can cause significant structural damage.
4 HOUSE FLIES
Flying insects are a common nuisance everywhere. Spending the night with even one household fly can drive a person crazy. Trash and standing water are the biggest attractions for mosquitoes, black flies, and gnats.
Mice and rats are not only horrifying ,but they’re also harmful. They carry filth and disease and can chew through just about anything, including walls and furniture. Because mice are much smaller than rats, they can easily sneak into your home in cracks as small as a quarter of an inch! They’ve been known to chew through electrical wiring, which has caused fires.
Although spiders can reduce your insect population, having an infestation in your property is definitely something anyone wants. Most garden variety spiders are harmless; others, such as black widows, which may be lurking in the basement, attic, or other dark area can be dangerous. Spiders build a web that survives longer in places that are not often cleaned and are unlikely to be disturbed by larger animals (including people). Spiders look for spots such as holes, cracks, plumbing, pipes, and cables to make new nests.
Cockroaches like to travel. Groceries, boxes, luggage, and sewage water pipes provide excellent transportation for these resilient critters. They spread disease through contact with their droppings, saliva, or feces and cause breathing issues for asthmatics. Cockroaches multiply quickly and spread disease, so eliminating them is critical as soon as you spot your first sighting.
While it’s true that beetles don’t cause diseases or structural damage, no one likes to have a house full of creepy crawlers. Beetles come in all shapes and sizes; it doesn’t take long before just a handful turns into a full-on infestation. They can crawl out of the soil and appear after a spring thaw or flood. They’re highly adaptable and can live just about anywhere.
You can hear them at night, but you can’t see them. Crickets can destroy luxury materials such as silk and wool. Outdoor crickets survive by eating the roots and shoots of newly planted crops. Crickets are prolific breeders and can easily become a problem if not controlled quickly.
10 BED BUGS
Bedbugs are every landlord’s fear and every tenant’s nightmare. Bedbugs can live in any type of furniture, such as couches, chairs in a lobby, or beds. These little vampires travel quickly on luggage, clothing, used furniture, or pets, and replicate even faster, taking over entire buildings if left unattended.
Although bed bugs don’t transmit disease, bites cause red skin soars that can become infected.
If a previous tenant had pets with fleas, they might have happily taken up permanent residence waiting for their next victim.
Fleas make comfortable homes from just about any fabric, including carpets, stuffed toys, clothing, and bedding.
Why do rodents and bugs love rentals?
Pests love Dirty Dishes
One or two tenants who leave crumbs, half-full glasses, unfinished dinners, dirty dishes, or garbage lying around can attract an army of vermin.
Regular maintenance inspections help you keep on top of pest control at all times.
Pests love Clutter
It’s so easy to put off organization, but letting clutter collect attracts beetles and spiders while creating excellent hiding places for rodents.
Who Doesn’t Love a Good Drink?
A body can survive for 8 to 21 days without food, but we can only live without water for 3 days. Water is more essential than food for humans and pests.
Leaving a sink full of water or leaking faucets unchecked is an open invitation for insects.
Many things can be done to prevent bug/rodent infestation in a rental building.
- Keep all surfaces clean, especially the kitchen
- Keep damp items clean and dry. Fix leaky faucets or pipes
- Seal and remove garbage and composting often
- Seal electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures between apartments to prevent bedbugs, moths, and cockroaches from traveling between units
- Fill cracks and baseboards with caulking.
- Place rodent traps in crawl spaces and ground areas close to windows and doors
- Find a good exterminator and schedule regular visits
- Schedule regular property maintenance inspections
- Educate tenants on how to prevent bugs and rodents from entering and spreading
- Educate tenants to contact management at the first sightings of bugs or rodents
Is your skin crawling yet?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Knowing what the most common pests and rodents in rental buildings are and how to prevent them from freeloading will go a long way towards prevention.
Do you have a pest or rodent story or tips you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear about it [email protected]
To take advantage of helpful tips, tools, and educational resources for DIY landlords, sign up for a membership for Landlord Fundamentals 101. To save even more time and money, combine Landlord Fundamentals 101 with one-on-one coaching to qualify for the Canada Alberta Job Grant. Contact me today to find out how [email protected]
Would you like to receive articles, tips, and events? My news blast will help!