Finally, it’s the end of the day, and you’re sitting comfortably in your favorite lounge chair, with a wine glass in hand and a luscious-looking platter of nibbles on the coffee table. You reach for the remote but then suddenly give a start as you see a little dark ball of coarse fur scurrying sneakily across the floor of your rental. The first thing you do is call the landlord. Then you hesitate, unsure of whether pest control is their responsibility or yours as a tenant. Wonder and worry no more by arming yourself with this quick read for tenants faced with pest infestations:
A rental contract ensures that the landlord’s and the tenant’s rights are both protected. Your rental agreement should adequately include provisions specific to pest infestation, which should be able to safeguard your rights — and your peace of mind.
In general, the landlord should provide pest control in rental units. Because pest infestations fall under the category of “repair concerns,” these are taken care of by the landlord. Pest control, then, would be among the default fixed rental property expenses shouldered by the landlord.
However, in certain states, landlords do not shoulder the cost of pest infestations if these happen in single-family residences or are caused by the tenant. Determine state policy to know what to expect and how to prepare for any eventuality.
Pest control can also fall under the variable rental expense of seasonal maintenance for which your landlord is also responsible. Does your landlord keep a regular maintenance schedule to get rid of dead leaves in the lawn or clean the gutters? Without regular maintenance, your rental unit can become a haven for all sorts of pests, such as ticks, fleas, and more. Do check your rental agreement if seasonal maintenance is covered.
Improve and Repurpose
It is good to know which pest management expenses can be taken care of by your landlord. However, there are cases where you may still need to dig into your pocket. Thus, it would be wise to include pest control measures when setting a budget for home improvement.
Rental upgrades improve living conditions and you not only want to live comfortably but safely as well. Include pest control to ensure your optimum protection. Imagine a termite-riddled tree falling on your car or even an onslaught of allergic reactions brought about by bedbugs or cat fleas. Keeping your place pest-free is one of the apartment safety tips that you must conscientiously apply. Try to remember that as you crunch the numbers for home improvement expenses.
Note, though, that permanent enhancements instead of basic home improvements are not reimbursable by the landlord. Also, consider that regulations in the lease contract may restrict the kind of repurposing or improvements you can do. Before taking on any project, review the agreement and discuss matters with your landlord.
So you have provided for pest control management in your home improvement plans. What then do you do with the pest problem that is facing you right now? Fortunately, several environmentally friendly DIYs can help you with minor pest problems without resorting to chemicals.
Essential oils are valued more than their stress-reducing fragrance. They are also used to deter pests from cohabitating with you in your rental unit. Concoct a spray for cockroaches by mixing 1.5 teaspoons of tea tree oil with a cup of water. Use lemongrass oil to make insect spray. Mix 15 drops of lemongrass oil with 15 drops of citronella oil and 15 drops of peppermint oil and add these to 12 ounces of water to ward off pesky household insects. Other essential oils that can kill household pests, such as dust mites, are eucalyptus and peppermint oils. For each type of insect pest, there is an essential oil that will work to eliminate them.
Not only are these essential oils effective without giving off toxic scents, but they can also help minimize the release of chemical gases from synthetic sprays. Just tweaking what materials we use to combat household pests can help environmental groups achieve net-zero emissions.
Better than the Cure
As cliche as it is, the saying “Prevention is always better than the cure” will always ring true, even today. Keep household pests at bay by keeping your rental clean and neat at all times with these few reminders:
Rodents and cockroaches are attracted to places where they can find food, water, and shelter. Make sure no scraps of food are lying around. Always keep the lid shut on your trash bins. Store food in airtight containers that are pest-proof.
Mosquitoes, on the other hand, thrive in any place with water. Regularly check any receptacles outside where rainwater may have accumulated. These are sure breeding grounds for larvae. Make sure you also dust off clutter and “disturb” the hidden nooks and crannies in your rental that are rarely used or visited. These are places where mosquitoes love to hide in relative safety.
In summary, be forearmed by knowing the details of your lease contract, even the fine print. Set aside a portion of your home improvement budget for pest control. Resort to natural remedies for minor pest concerns. And lastly, remember that cleanliness goes a long way in preventing pest infestation. Secure your safety and sanity, and maintain a peaceful landlord and tenant relationship at all times by applying these pest infestation tips for tenants.
About The Author:
Katreena is a scientist and a life hack specialist. She's authored scientific journals on biotechnology and molecular biology. To take a break from scientific journals, she puts her mind into writing about lifestyle, health, and sustainability. She strongly believes that kindness makes the world go round.