How much does pest control cost? Let’s break it all down.
Legally speaking, pest control is considered part of providing tenants with a habitable residence, and thus falls under the responsibility of the landlord. That is, unless the tenants somehow brought in the vermin themselves, as is common with the case of bedbugs, for example. Legalities aside, there are a lot of reasons landlords should handle pest control themselves rather than letting renters take matters into their own hands.
There is no way that a tenant armed with an off-the-shelf bug repellant product will take the time to properly read the instructions on the packaging, which is more or less essential for these types of products to be effective. Rather, people in the throes of experiencing a bug problem are often inclined to misuse products, not only rendering them less effective but potentially causing a health risk and damage to the apartment.
In addition, if a tenant notifies the landlord of such an issue and it isn’t properly dealt with, property owners could end up being on the hook for a lawsuit. Regardless of who is technically responsible, taking the time to ensure that a building is fully inspected for vermin before a tenant moves in is absolutely crucial. Investing money to keeping a property bug-free rather than reacting to problems as they arise will almost always pay off in the end.
The amount spent on this issue will depend on the landlord's approach.
The best way to take a proactive stance toward vermin issues is to shell out for on-going pest control maintenance. Scheduling regular visits with a professional service is one of the best ways to ensure those problems are prevented before they have a chance to take root. While it does require a bigger investment, ongoing service will more than pay for itself if even just one bug breakout is avoided or prevented over the years. When it comes to ongoing services, most professionals will offer monthly, semi-monthly, or quarterly visits. Regardless of what option landlords choose to go with, it is important for landlords to write any scheduled or on-going procedures into the terms of the lease contract.
When it comes to the ongoing approach, how much does pest control cost? The average price of on-going service is about $40–$45 a month, $50–$60 semi-monthly, or $100–300 on a quarterly basis. Landlords need to be prepared to pay more for the initial visit, which will cost about $180–$185 for a full assessment.
So for landlords who want to take a riskier approach and deal with vermin issues as they arise, how much does pest control cost? Well, they can expect to pay between $300–500 to deal with the vermin themselves, including fully assessing the problem and finding the lair as well as how the vermin were able to enter in the first place. Keep in mind that this doesn’t account for any damage already done to the property, the cost of putting up tenants while the problem is treated, or for a decline in property value as a result of the issue. As such, the reactionary approach to pest control is generally not recommended.
One of the things most likely to attract bugs to a property is the sight of exposed food. This is why landlords should always take the time to outline the risk of leaving food out to tenants. They need to clearly understand how leaving open food around can easily cause an infestation problem.
It is important for landlords to stay on top of any necessary repairs and to properly seal any exposed cracks or holes in the inner or outer walls of the building. Good landscaping practices will also go a long way in preventing an infestation.
One of the biggest bug problems that it is difficult to rectify is bed bugs. They thrive in rental listings since tenants tend to carry them on their clothing when they move in and move out of a property. It is important to inform tenants of the common signs of bedbugs since these tiny wingless creatures are mostly nocturnal and can be difficult to see.
Common places where bed bugs turn up:
The bottom line is that to make money on a property, landlords need to invest in professional pest control. As an extra precaution, property owners should make sure that the tenant's duty to notify them of any apparent vermin issue is clearly stated in the lease. The sooner a bug problem can be dealt with, the less time the invaders will have to cause serious damage and the less costly the issue will be in the long run.
At Blueground, we understand how regular costs like pest control can add up and end up eating away at a property owner’s bottom line. Therefore, when landlords lease their property to us, we not only take care of decorating and furnishing the listing, but also all maintenance and repairs including pest control and prevention. In addition, we will handle every step of the tenant-landlord relationship so that property owners can enjoy a steady influx of income without the stress and risk that usually comes with standard with property management.