An important concern for all landlords is to make sure your properties are free from any kind of pest.  However, not every pest is as overt as fruit flies buzzing over a bowl of old bananas.  There are a lot of straightforward places to check: first, look around for any signs of rodents or other pests, such as mosquitos. Check carefully in the corners of cabinets, closets and storage spaces. Check behind appliances such as your fridge or washer and dryer if they are in the kitchen or laundry room. While you’re looking, here are some of the pests to watch out for.


  1. Cockroaches


Cockroaches can be a major problem in rental units. They love warm, dark places and can easily thrive in any kind of rental unit. After they have found their way into a rental unit, a roach infestation can be difficult to control since cockroach species breed quickly and produce more offspring consistently. Roaches also leave behind the fecal matter, which attracts other pests such as ants, mice and fleas. When they leave their feces behind, they also leave behind chemical traces that can cause rashes, asthma attacks and respiratory issues. Cockroaches also prefer to hide in your rental unit’s dark and damp places. If you see them anywhere on your property it is important that you act immediately to avoid having them spread to other areas in your rental unit.  While surprisingly friendly bugs in the right circumstances, you should never let them stay unsupervised and uncontrolled in your rental. 


  1. Ants


Ants can be difficult to spot because they are so small. You’ll need to act immediately when you see ants in your rental unit. Ants can be very harmful to humans and pets, as their bites can cause itching and redness. An ant bite can also cause pain or disease in people with allergies, which may result in a trip to the emergency room. If you have children in your rental unit, ants can be especially complicated because children can sometimes think of ants as things to play with. While ants aren’t likely to cause any lasting property damage, they can be very inconvenient to live with, and, like all pests, tend to show up in places you never want to see them. To prevent any harmful effects, hiring a home pest control professional and doing your best to remove the nests of ants in your rental unit can help keep your rental safe.


  1. Fleas


Fleas are no laughing matter and are a problem in many rentals. Fleas require blood to survive, so they are often found in warm places and pet-friendly areas, so be careful especially with rental units that have allowed pets in the past. In addition to blood, fleas also rely on a host for reproduction. Fleas also breed quickly, and can quickly find a new home in your rental unit. Some of the bites from fleas will go through your skin and cause itchy red bumps that may become infected. Fleas can transmit diseases to humans and pets if you don’t get rid of them in time, so it is important to do whatever you can to prevent them from returning.  Look for any food that has been left in storage for too long, particularly anything meat-based or with lots of water; more than most pests, fleas require some kind of rotting protein to reproduce, and often can be found in a fridge that lost power with meat left to rot. If you find any such infestation, it might be time to call in professional help.


  1. Rodents


Rats and mice can sometimes be found in rental units that have been improperly cared for, since they are attracted to the food and garbage left behind by previous tenants. In addition, if you leave a rental vacant for an extended period of time, especially during the winter, you may find rodents inside trying to hide from the cold weather. As well as being generally dirty, rodents also carry bacteria and other diseases that can harm humans, such as salmonella, typhus, leptospirosis, hantavirus and bubonic plague. They can also spread these diseases by carrying them in their fur on things. Rats and mice can become very dangerous to renters, so it’s very important to keep a rental unit clean. As they are likely the largest pest you’ll find in your home, they can be more dangerous to remove.  Rat poison and most pesticides used to remove rodents are harmful to humans as well, so take caution if you plan to take care of them yourself.


To keep your rental safe and healthy, you should take action quickly to get rid of pests that are causing harm in your home. It might be necessary to hire a professional exterminator, so you should also educate yourself on what steps need to be taken by you and the exterminator. If you are renting a property, it’s important to keep it clean to avoid being involved in an eviction lawsuit or being charged with property damage. While the above are general pests you might run into, it can also be beneficial to investigate what local wildlife might try to find refuge in your home.  Being informed of the potential hazards can help you be prepared for any kind of animal you don’t want to let into your home. Like any home, your rental should be a place of safety for those who live there, and it’s your responsibility to keep it safe for them. Take these tips in hand and keep your home clean and safe.