Landlords, Have You Tried Natural Pest Control?

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on March 26, 2011 under Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment, tenant screeningPest control in rental properties is a continual issue in some areas—and not such a big deal in others. Unfortunately, mice (and rats) live almost everywhere, while scorpions, cockroaches and certain other multi-legged intruders are more bothersome to landlords in warmer climates.

In years past, landlords often kept bugs under control with regular spraying of chemical pesticides. A greater awareness of the toxicity associated with these pest control treatments is prompting many rental property owners to revisit their standard control methods in favor of healthier alternatives for their tenants.

Fortunately, landlords now have more options when it comes to controlling cockroaches, ants, mice, rats, fleas, centipedes and even bed bugs in their rental properties. Cedar  and other essential oils, along with enzymes are safe to use around pets, kids and food, and are used by increasing numbers of professional pest control companies.

One example is the use of microscopic animals called nematodes to control termites. Nematodes are added to water and then poured into termite nests, where they kill either the queen or enough worker termites that the queen eventually starves. Check with your pest control company to see if they offer natural and non-toxic alternatives.

Don’t forget that you can take control of certain pest problems without chemicals on your own. Peppermint oil is said to deter rats from entering an area, but it requires regular application. Keeping garbage secure and sealed tightly is another effective rat deterrent—so instruct tenants on proper garbage procedures. It’s never a good idea to put rat poison out where any other animal or child could ingest it!

Boric acid, which is very low in toxicity to people and pets, is often used to control carpenter ants and cockroaches. However, it is not always advised for use around food, where cockroaches tend to be. The best cockroach prevention is cleanliness. Frequent vacuuming, eliminating standing water and leaks, and keeping grocery bags and boxes outside are all methods that can help keep cockroaches under control.

If you’re trying to improve your green living score, take a look at one of the most toxic areas of managing rental properties: pest control. A little extra effort can keep your tenants safer and help them live healthier lives.

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