Most leases place the responsibility of routine pest control on the tenant. When a tenant moves into a property it should be free of roaches, fleas and ants. After 30 days of occupancy, routine control of these pests becomes a tenant issue.
Some owners of rental property include pest control as part of the lease which places the control on the pest control company, however, a tenant neglecting to help prevent pest can put the liability back on themselves. Lawn pest control is often included by an owner of rental property as it is not considered routine in this area. The complexity of controlling the various bugs that can affect and kill lawns and vegetation is best left to professionals. Tenants with lawns not under a professional contract can be held liable if their lawns become infested and die and they do not notify their landlord of an issue with the lawn.
Termite protection is the homeowner’s responsibility. Most property on the Emerald Coast is covered by a termite contract and treatments and inspections are done professionally. Tenants should again report any signs of termite activity or swarming to their landlord. Water leaks, wood rot and sprinklers hitting the foundation contribute to termite activity and should be reported or repaired. Don’t be alarmed by swarming termites. They are harmless, die quickly and can be vacuumed or swept up easily.
Unfortunately, roaches are a common problem in the South but can usually be controlled by spraying your rental with a routine pest control found in any grocery or home improvement store. Make sure areas under sinks and tubs are kept dry and food items are sealed and stored properly. Usually spraying the exterior foundation making sure to cover all outside openings (doors and windows) will keep pests from entering your home. Interior sprays can be used along baseboards and cabinets to control inside bug activity.
Fleas are another common problem in this area. Those with pets increase the odds of acquiring fleas but they can also be picked up and brought inside on clothing and shoes. There are numerous flea prevention products available for pets at your vet or pet store. If a home becomes infested with fleas it is best to have a professional treat the problem.
Mosquitoes have made the news lately with the spread of the Zika virus. The Okaloosa County Mosquito Control has been spraying but it takes everyone to help control the problem. Make sure there is nothing holding stagnant water outside your home. Open windows should have screens and protect yourself when outside with mosquito repellent or clothing.
If you are a tenant, your responsibilities for pest control should be clearly understood and written as a part of your lease agreement. Any questions should be addressed with your landlord prior to taking possession of the property. Keep the rental clean and dry and always notify the landlord of any pest issues.
Professional assistance is always available on the internet or through a local pest management company.