With the cooler weather coming on, you may start finding some tell-tale signs of a pest problem in your home or apartment. Mouse droppings, shredded paper, or even holes chewed through boxes of food make it apparent some uninvited guests are looking for a place to wait out the cold weather.

These invasions aren’t just limited to the four-legged buggers. All throughout the year, homeowners and renters alike deal with flies, spiders, ants, and other creepy crawlies. A few insects can be expected to come into the home on occasion when we leave the door open to bring in groceries or heading out for some grand Pacific Northwest adventure.

However, are you finding the number of bugs in your apartment increasing? If you catch a mouse, do you find that two more seem to take its place? If you’re a homeowner, it’s on you to investigate the issue and be responsible for pest control. If you are a renter or a landlord, the pest issue is a little murkier.

No matter if it’s the tenant responsibility or if it’s up to the property owners to handle the situation, getting rid of the pests should be the first priority. If left unabated, the nest will grow and may even affect other renters in the complex. If it’s a rental house, pest infestation could lead to structural damage if unaddressed.

Obviously, no one wants this to be a protracted matter. Of course, most tenants and landlords don’t want to claim responsibility, either. So who’s on the hook when a nest of nasties has taken up residence in a rental property? The answer isn’t always so clear.

Responsibility of the Landlord

In most cases, it is the responsibility of the landlord to maintain the liveability of the residence. In many rental or lease agreements, keeping the rental pest-free falls on the landlord or property manager. In many cases, apartment buildings hire a professional pest control service to keep insects and vermin at bay.

Especially if the rentals are located near green spaces. You can bet an open field will have more than a few mice looking for shelter when the ground begins to frost over. Apartments located next to marshes or streams can expect all kinds of winged critters during the spring and summer. Taking steps to prevent these intruders is in the best interests of a landlord.

But what if the landlord has already taken these steps? It may be time to examine tenant behavior.

Tenant Behavior

There are times when a tenant literally has to clean up their act. If there are piles of garbage stacked up, dirty dishes in the sink, and food left out on the counter, chances are they’ll end up with a pest problem.

In order to make a case against a tenant, the landlord must document a history of malfeasance. If the same infestations show up time and again – when there have been no cases of pest problems before or in other units – this could be up to the tenant to remedy.

In Washington, if the rental is a single-family residence, state law indicates it is up to the renter to take care of the pest problem. In Oregon, the landlord is required to provide a pest-free environment at the start. From there, it’s up to the tenant to keep it that way.

Regardless of who ends up paying the final bill, though, it’s important to get rid of the pest problem as soon as possible. In fact, a professional pest control company may be able to determine the cause of the infestation in the first place. If there is a pest problem in your apartment – whether you are the renter or the landlord – contact The Bug Man today.

We aren’t there to pick sides, just to make sure the mice, ants, or other insects are controlled. The Bug Man technicians approach multifamily housing pest control using what’s known as an “integrated pest management” strategy that focuses on the long-term prevention and eradication of pests while using products that are least harmful to the environment.

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