Dealing with pests in your own home can be a troubling experience, but dealing with infestation problems in a rental property can be uniquely frustrating. Not only do you need to worry about the safety of your tenants, but you must also consider your legal obligations and future revenue. Unfortunately, calling in an exterminator may be only the first step in your journey.
Many pests leave dangerous waste in their wake. Cleaning infested areas on your own might temporarily cover up the problem, but you’re likely to miss many hazardous pathogens. Properly sanitizing your property after an infestation will usually require expert help. These four questions will help you assess if you need the services of a professional sanitation company.
1. Was the Infestation Widespread?
There’s a significant difference between discovering one mouse and learning that your property has a severe rat infestation. If you own a multifamily home or a large commercial apartment complex, then you’ll need to assess the extent of your pest problem. After the pest control company finishes their work, they should be able to provide you with a rough estimate of the scope of the problem.
In general, you shouldn’t attempt to clean and sanitize any infestation that extends across multiple floors or separate tenant units. Infestations this large may include numerous nests, and the potential for contamination is severe. Droppings or other potentially hazardous material may be present in hard-to-reach or unexpected areas, and you’re more likely to miss many potential disease vectors.
2. Did the Pests Enter Your HVAC System?
Pests in your HVAC system are a challenging and dangerous problem. Rodents and other small animals can make nests in ductwork or even in air handler units. Once present in these areas, they can leave behind droppings that aerosolize and spread throughout the building. This effect can lead to contamination far from the actual site of the nest.
Sanitizing your property will require sealing and cleaning the ductwork and determining where hazardous particles may have settled. If you don’t have experience in this type of work, you may fail to sanitize all affected areas. Even worse, leaving anything behind in your HVAC system can mean a continued reduction of air quality and potential health hazards for your tenants.
3. Did the Infestation Include Raccoons or Birds?
Raccoons might look cute when you see them in the wild, but they’re a potential vector for several dangerous pathogens. Likewise, the fecal matter of birds can contain many diseases. Infestations including either of these animals can pose a real threat to your tenants and any amateurs that try to clean up the mess.
In both cases, you face a significant danger of pathogens entering the air as the feces dry out and small particles catch currents from the HVAC system or people passing by. Raccoon waste can be particularly hazardous since it may carry eggs that can lead to often fatal roundworm infections. When dealing with either of these pests, always rely on professional sanitation services to safely address the mess.
4. Are You Concerned About Legal Liability?
As a landlord in Florida, your responsibility to tenants includes maintaining “the clean and safe condition of common areas,” as well as complying with all applicable health codes. Pest infestations can lead to unsanitary conditions and may even place you in violation of local or state indoor air quality standards. Cleaning these problems yourself may leave you vulnerable to tenant complaints in the future.
By working with a professional sanitation company, you’re fulfilling your legal duties to maintain a safe and healthy property. Should you face complaints in the future, you’ll have evidence to demonstrate that you took the necessary steps to remedy the problem and protect your tenants. You’ll also protect yourself by preventing a costly pest problem from becoming an even more expensive legal issue.
If you want to ensure that your sanitation job gets done right, then American Family BioClean is here to help. We can deal with the aftermath of even the messiest pest infestations, so give us a call today to safely restore your rental property.