As a vacation rental investor, the last thing you want to hear is that there are pests on your property. It doesn’t matter what kind of pest — bedbugs, roaches, bees and wasps, ants, or anything in-between – can all ruin your guest’s trip and cost you a lot of money, both in lost reservations and pest control.
The best thing you can do is prevent these pests from turning your rental properties into their home-away-from-home. Here are some pest control strategies for vacation rental investors to keep those bugs outside where they belong.
Strategies for Roaches
Roaches, especially small German cockroaches, are among the most insidious pests, and the hardest to get rid of once they turn your rental property into their home. If you have a roach infestation, you will likely need to seek out the assistance of a professional pest control company, so the best thing you can do is take steps to keep them out of your property in the first place.
Start by ensuring your property remains clean and tidy, since roaches will eat nearly anything — up to and including wallpaper paste. Keep food contained, sweep and vacuum the floors regularly and move the furniture around to prevent them from forming nests behind a bed or sofa that never gets moved.
Strategies for Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are probably the most difficult pest to get rid of. If roaches are insidious, bedbugs are downright evil. They can tag along from hotels or travelers’ homes in their luggage, and once they get inside, they’re nearly impossible to get rid of. They feed on blood and will turn your clients into snacks if they make it into your rental properties.
In addition to the gross factor, having bed bugs in your property is one of the cardinal sins of home-sharing. If you list your property on Airbnb or HomeAway, bed bugs will result in a temporary ban until you can prove that you’ve had a professional pest control company come in to take care of the problem.
You can’t always prevent bed bugs from making their way into your properties, since potential visitors can pick them up nearly anywhere. You should, however, make a point to regularly inspect your home for any signs of them. If you find a signal of bed bugs, take your property listings offline until you can address the issue.
Strategies for Bees/Wasps
This is a two-part strategy. Honeybees and other similar insects are pollinators that are always welcome in fields and gardens, while wasps are aggressive and can cause problems for your tenants if they decide to nest on your property.
If a honeybee or other beehive starts to grow on your property, take the time to call a local beekeeper and have the hive relocated. There aren’t enough bees left in the world — they’re currently endangered — so it’s important to preserve them wherever we find them.
If you have wasps, yellow jackets or hornets on your property, call an exterminator. These insects are aggressive and can potentially harm your guests, especially if they happen to be allergic.
Strategies for Ants
There are dozens of different types of ants that might make their way into your rental property, depending on its location. The first thing you need to do is identify the ant and figure out what it might be eating. Carpenter ants, for example, prefer wood and cellulose, while sugar ants will seek out sweet food options.
As with roaches, the best thing you can do to prevent ants from making their way into your properties is to keep everything as clean as possible. Taking away the ant’s food source will discourage them from seeking out refuge in your vacation home.
Pest Control Matters for Vacation Rentals
Pay close attention to any pest complaints that you receive. If there are one or two sightings, you may discourage them from returning with a thorough cleaning of the property, but if they’ve already started to nest, you may need to take more drastic action such as seeking out the assistance of a pest control professional.
About the Author
Holly Welles is a home improvement writer interested in making the most of any space. Besides writing around the web, she also runs her own blog, The Estate Update.