Simple steps landlords and lettings agents can take to reduce the chance of pests…
LIKE most problems, issues with pests tend to get bigger the longer that they are left to fester. And once pests – be it rodents or insects - have got a foothold in a property, they can be incredibly difficult to get rid of. For this reason, it’s important that landlords act quickly to stamp them out. While the presence of pests may depend largely on hygiene in the home (which is the responsibility of the tenant not the landlord) there are several simple steps a landlord can take to reduce the likelihood of an infestation in their property.
Fill in the cracks
Sealing all cracks and crevices in a property is the best way to prevent insects or rodents from getting in. Landlords with houses rather than flats should check the building’s foundations, as well as filling in any gaps around pipes, vents, windows and doors. Don’t neglect the inside of the property – gaps in skirting boards and picture rails provide the perfect mouse hole.
Fix any leaks
As well as damaging a property, leaks can result in standing water, which is the perfect breeding ground for the legionella bacteria that cause Legionnaire’s disease. Although Legionella is rare in this country, making sure all leaks are attended to promptly is the best way to keep your water – and your tenants – safe.
Reduce rotted wood
Wooden roof shingles should be regularly replaced to prevent insects from setting in. To minimize creating environments for pests to thrive in, landlords should consider replacing any garden areas that feature wood chips with a less pest-friendly materials.
Trim trees back
Keeping trees and shrubbery around the property trimmed back will cut off any insect or rodent routes into the house. Keeping a clean perimeter will also reduce the number of places that rodents or insects might be able to hide. It might also make the property look more attractive, which is an added bonus.
Educate your tenants
Poor hygiene is one of the main reasons pests infest a house and this is something tenants should be warned about. Landlords should consider including advice about keeping a house clean and pest-free in the property’s welcome pack. The main points to touch on are removing all food waste from the property, taking the bins out regularly and vacuuming the carpet to sweep up any insect or insect eggs. Tenants with pets should be asked to regularly treat them for ticks, fleas and other ailments.
For more advice on how to reduce the risk of pets in your property, why not download our FREE e-book ‘How to Prevent Pest Infestations in Your Property’.