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Jan. 18, 2013

Preventing Pests Before the Spring Renting Season

By Luis Pabon, Catseye Pest Control

When the weather warms and snow melts, many people will take the opportunity to relocate to new apartments and houses. Unfortunately, just as apartment seekers slow their activity during the winter months, so too do mice and rats, and these rodents and other pests can become a major nuisance as your renting season heats up in early spring.

Below are a few tips on the steps you can take to minimize pest problems ahead of spring weather and the season’s first tours of your properties to new potential residents.

Inspect the exterior of your property for rodent and insect entry points. These spots can be found at openings near cable, electrical and plumbing lines, around windowsills and door jams, near loose siding, in unscreened attic vents and uncapped chimney stacks.

Install low-sodium exterior lighting. This type of lighting attracts fewer flying insects than regular lighting. If you have a parking lot, light it with stand-alone lights rather than lights attached to the building to draw fewer insects to your property’s walls.

Make sure your garage doors are properly sealed, and that all windows and doors, including sliding doors, have screens. Ensure baseboards and chair rails are sealed without cracks or crevices.

Check to see that your door sweeps are a brush design rather than a rubber strip. The brush design deters rodents from squeezing under the door because the fibers are uncomfortable for rodents to stick their snout through.

Remove all landscaping less than 3′-4′ away from the house. Ideally, your property should have at least 18″ between the house and plants filled with gravel or stone to deter rodents from getting near your building.

Clean out your gutters so no backed-up water can seep into the roof. As well, ensure water drains away from the house, as sitting water can provide a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Finally, whenever you are leasing apartments, make sure to find out any information you can about the residences that potential renters are moving from. Renters can bring ticks, bed bugs, roaches and more with them that will infest your own property and be very costly to resolve. Make sure to understand the condition of where your residents, their furniture, clothing and other belongings, previously resided.

We hope these tips will help prevent pest issues when you are renting or selling properties this spring.

Luis Pabon is branch manager at Catseye Pest Control, a family-owned business servicing residential and commercial institutions. Catseye has received the Quality Pro Badge, the Mark of Excellence in Pest Management for meeting and exceeding superior industry standards. For more information, visit www.catseyepest.com.

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