Sun 11 Jun 2017
We regularly receive calls from tenants relating to issues with ants, wasp and bees. The mid tenancy control of this kind of pest is the tenant’s responsibility to resolve and we will offer the contact details for their local council or pest control contractor.
However, if the access point to a nest can be related back to a poor state of repair in the property e.g. missing cement in the eaves or brickwork, the responsibility may fall back to the landlord. There are a number of preventative measures which can be put in place to reduce the risk of such infestations, like filling external holes or gaps in the brickwork, fascias, soffits etc.
Here are some of the ideas we have researched below to ensure it is only your tenants living in your property!
Ants tend to invade homes, garages and gardens looking for food and a place to build a nest. They generally tend to enter buildings through air vents and windows and are particularly drawn to areas such as the kitchen where they are most likely to find food.
To prevent them entering your property you could install airbrick ventilation covers on your air vents, keep windows shut where possible especially during swarming periods and also encourage your tenants to empty any bins as often as possible, keep work surfaces clean, store any food in airtight containers and not to leave pet food out, especially when temperatures are high.
Cockroaches are extremely resilient and can cause risks to health; they are known carriers of diseases such as salmonella, dysentery, and gastroenteritis so it is of the utmost importance that help is sought as soon as possible if it is suspected cockroaches have taken up residence within your property.
Indications of a possible infestation include an unpleasant and lingering smell under sinks, behind appliances or in store cupboards. There are some simple prevention methods such as ensuring there are no leaks in the property. Cockroaches must have a source of water so if their supply is cut off they are more likely to be drawn to gel based baits that can be set out.
Keeping the property cleaned regularly by mopping floors routinely and wiping down surfaces to clean up any crumbs or sticky spots, taking out rubbish regularly, using a bin with a lid and making sure food is stored away in air tight containers will all help.
If there seems be high numbers of wasps in the property or garden then it is very likely that there is a nest nearby, either on the property, in the garden or within close proximity. A mature wasp nest can contain thousands of wasps which is why it is important that a wasp’s nest is treated as soon as possible. It is unadvisable to try and tackle a wasp nest yourself as this can cause the wasps to attack in numbers which can result in some very painful stings which can be quite dangerous if you are allergic.
You can actively prevent a wasp infestation within your home by making sure that any outside bins have tightly fitted lids and are kept a clear distance away from any windows or doors; where possible try and keep windows and doors shut to give the wasps less chance of entering the property and make sure that in early spring the property and garden is checked for nests which, at that time of the year, will only be small in size. Smaller nests are easier to treat.
There are over 12,000 species of flies in the world and they are considered a pest due to the fact they can carry a wide selection of diseases such as salmonella and E.coli. Flies can also cause food poisoning as they infest meat and other food products. If you find that the property has become home to a lot of flies there are many methods of dealing with them.
Fly paper strips, light traps and electric swatters are popular, as well as plastic bags filled with water as the reflection of the water can prove disorientating to a fly. Homemade or shop bought insect repellent, certain herbs such as basil, bay leaf, rosemary and lavender can also be an effective deterrent.
Food and food waste should be cleared up immediately as this can be a breeding ground for flies. Food should be stored in the fridge or tightly sealed containers; dishes should be washed immediately after they have been used.
If there are cats living in the property the cat litter should be changed often. If there is a baby in the house nappies should be disposed of as quickly as possible.
At every property inspection, we will automatically look for signs of any infestations and if we have any concerns, we take them up with the tenant or the landlord, depending on the liability to resolve the matter.
If you have any concerns about infestations or want specific advice on how to reduce the risk of them occurring, contact us and we can arrange a property inspection for you.
"Howland Jones has been a huge help and support, pointing us in the right direction and offering advice along the way. A few weeks in and we are about to let our first property, I'm not sure we would have been in the same position without the support of the team at Howland Jones. 5 stars fully deserved."