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We have written in the past about the importance of having a pest control service for your rental properties. Today we are going to step up the gross factor just a bit and talk about bigger pests…rodents in particular, and especially rats. Rats and mice are the most common form of rodents that may attack a house and in the warm temperate climate of South Florida they are not uncommon. The most important thing you need to know as an investor is that not only are they disgusting and capable of terrifying your tenants, they are also powerful and persistent and capable of destroying parts of your property.
Why They are So Bad
Even the smallest of rats have nasty teeth that they will use to gnaw at just about anything, which includes important parts of your property such as pvc pipes, wood panels and worst of all, a/c duct work! Unless you have ever heard the relentless gnawing of a rat who has fallen in love with a piece of drywall or duct work you probably aren’t aware of how tenacious they can be. They will literally chew on something for hours. The real problem here is that if they chew out pieces of duct work then A/C will be constantly leaking out in the attic which will make the A/C work harder. This will increase the electric bill for your tenants which will of course make them unhappy and give them less money to pay rent. It will also significantly decrease the lifespan of your A/C which is something that you as the landlord are responsible for.
What Can you Do?
Kill them! OK maybe we shouldn’t be so dramatic but yes you definitely want to get rid of them. If you want to do it in a humane way, then hire a rat catcher who will places cages with bait around the property then they can collect the cages and you can have the released around the property of your a rival real estate investors property…OK no that’s a joke, never do that, besides being illegal it is definitely bad property investor karma. They can be released into the Everglades where they will either survive or become food for other wildlife. Or you can just have them trapped with regular old rat traps. The downside here is that they are nasty to clean up and can start to stink if they not cleaned up quickly, so make sure you hire a reliable company that will return regularly to clean the traps. The final option is to put rat poison, but we would advise against this because if children or pets get ahold of the poison they could get very sick and even die. So be sure whatever you decided you make sure to work with a respectable licensed company.
This may have been the most disgusting post we have ever written, but we hoped you learned something from it! If you have any other questions about property management please contact us at 305-517-3900!