Pest control and pest prevention for landlords and rental managers
Being a landlord comes with a range of responsibilities. Under the Residential Tenancies Act, you are legally required to make sure that the house you’re renting out is in good condition and meets health and safety standards. To have a clean, safe rental, you must ensure your property is free of pests and vermin that can spread disease.
Additionally, proactively keeping your rental properties pest-free comes with an array of benefits. You will:
- Save money by not having to treat large infestations
- Save time by not having to deal with complaints about pest problems
- Maintain a good reputation as a landlord
- Minimise pest damage to your valuable asset
- Reduce your ongoing cost of maintenance
- Prevent the stress that comes with a pest infestation
Keeping a tight lid on pests means that if they do get in, you’ll have a good idea of how they got established, where they’re most likely to be in your property, and how to get them under control quickly. You’ll also gain a good understanding of how pests can spread from home to home and how pest control companies can help you to deal with them.
It’s important to note that pests in your property are often not your tenants’ fault. Any home is capable of being infested by pests, regardless of how clean it is. Pests don’t go around looking for dirty homes and will often invade places that appear to be spotless. Just because a house or restaurant is clean, it doesn’t mean it’s pest-free (trust us, we know!).
Below, we’ve compiled a helpful list of insects and other nasties commonly found in New Zealand homes. These are the ones you want to watch out for and preventatively treat to ensure a clean and healthy rental property.
When it comes to pests, your number one enemy is the German cockroach. It only takes a single female carrying eggs to create a population of many thousands over a year. They love warmth and tend to congregate in electronic equipment, curtains, cupboards, couches and beds. German cockroaches prefer to live in groups and can be resistant to some insecticides. Therefore, if you set off an insect bomb in your property, you will likely only succeed in scattering them all over the house rather than killing them all. NEVER use this method of eradication. They are much easier to treat if you keep them contained.
Extremely unhygienic, German cockroaches can spread bacteria, parasitic worms and other pathogens, which they pick up and distribute with the spines on their legs. They can also damage paintwork and electrical equipment (especially modems and routers), and their musty-smelling droppings can stain the carpet and other fabrics. A badly infested home will not only require extensive pest control work but will also need deep cleaning, sanitising, and redecorating. Prevention beats cure whenever dealing with this pest.
To find out more about getting rid of cockroaches, click the button below.
Fleas are probably the second most common household pest in New Zealand. You might jump to the conclusion that the culprit in a flea infestation is your tenant’s pet. But this is not often the case. Most tenants look after their pets responsibly – after all, who wants to pay for additional expensive flea treatments? We regularly treat pet-less homes for fleas and discover areas where animals can get in under the house, or flattened patches where cats sleep in gardens beside the house or path. Another common way fleas get into a home is by hitching a ride on someone’s clothing from a workplace, school, or another house.
Fleas can reproduce at an astounding rate. One female with access to a constant source of food can lay over 2,000 eggs in her lifetime. These eggs get into carpets and bedding, and the larvae can lay dormant for months until the conditions are right for them to hatch. That’s why you can walk into a home that’s been vacant for some time and immediately get bitten. It’s important to be proactive to prevent a flea population from getting out of control. To find out more about dealing with fleas, click here.
Rats and Mice
Rodents are seasonal pests that usually start arriving from autumn onwards and will stay cosy in your property until summer returns. They are experts at finding their way into or under houses and particularly enjoy snuggling into the ceiling and floor insulation. Rats and mice are determined and inventive, always looking for any gap to wiggle through. The best way to keep them out is to proactively rodent-proof your property – something that is a large part of our business. We are more than happy to help you in any way, even if it is just to advise. To find out more about rodent control, click here. (add hyperlink to shop for Extermarat products)
Auckland has the perfect environment, weather, and temperature for ants to thrive, so it’s no surprise that they are a common pest here. Aside from normal black ants, we also have growing populations of invasive Argentine and white-footed house ants. These two species are difficult to manage and almost impossible to control without the right products or know-how. Unfortunately, once a tenant reports an ant trail in your property, it usually means they are already living inside the walls, and the population is on the verge of exploding. Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimise ant activity in your rental properties. To find out more about ant control, click here. (add hyperlink to the shop for products to treat ants)
There are two main species of wasps that cause problems in Auckland homes – German wasps and Asian paper wasps. German wasps tend to nest in ceiling voids or holes in the ground, and it’s usually impossible to prevent them from moving in. They are aggressive insects that can sting someone multiple times, and the stings are very painful. Asian paper wasps are the thinner of the two and easily identifiable by their long, dangly back legs. They build grey, papery nests on trees, fences, inside letterboxes, under the eaves – anywhere that provides a little shelter. While they might be a little less aggressive, they are territorial, and if do they sting you, it’s worse than being stung by a German wasp! We would never recommend dealing with wasps yourself unless you have the appropriate equipment and safety gear. To find out more about dealing with wasps, click here. (add hyperlink to the shop for products to treat wasps)
Common House Borer
As the name suggests, this beetle is very common. It’s found in buildings everywhere and is a serious threat to the structural integrity of your biggest investment. If your building is more than 30 years old, it’s at risk from both the common house borer and the larger two-toothed longhorn borer. Borers love to chomp their way through native, untreated, and old treated timber. The only way they differ from termites is that they take longer to cause damage because they don’t live in giant colonies as termites do.
However, over time, the result is much the same, riddling your floorboards, joists, structural timbers and weatherboards with holes, weakening them and making them susceptible to rot. After that, the only remedy is a very expensive renovation, requiring the removal of wall linings and insulation and replacing or strengthening the damaged wood. In turn, this leads to a loss of rental income while the home is uninhabitable. At Smash’d Em, we have seen entire beautiful wooden floors ripped up due to borer damage. If you have an older building, it’s essential to make sure it has been treated for borer. It’s not expensive to have Smash’d E assess your property for borer damage, and if we do need to treat it for you, it comes with a 10-year warranty. To arrange a quote for us to come and take a look, click here. (add hyperlink to borer page to request an inspection and quote)
Looking for help managing pests for rental properties?
We offer excellent solutions and options for pest control for your rental properties, we can offer you a *heavier discounted pricing structure.
- We will provide you with top quality pest control services as soon as realistically possible.
- We will provide you with a 6-month warranty on our work where conditions are met.
- We are available 24/6. Sunday, we are closed.
- Commercial, Industrial or Domestic property management, we have the staff, gear and you covered.
- We are large enough to handle the workload but small enough to be flexible to your requirements.
- Give us a try, you may be surprised with what else we offer that many others do not.
*Dependant on the frequency of service requirements