spraying for pests

Question:

I have a IP (townhouse in a complex of about 50) that has new tennants of about 8 weeks. First month they moved in there was about $400 of maintenance requests which I was OK with. This month they have requested another 3 things, 2 of which I am OK with as they are security issues but they want us to spray for cockroaches.

Im in two minds about agreeing to this as I spent 3 full days there painting and didnt see 1 cockroach and wonder if it is just a case of "oh my god there is a cockroach we have an infestation". The last tenant never had a complaint about this. As there are lots of townhouses in this complex and it is next to the bush, is it a waste of money getting it sprayed? How long does it last?

I'm begining to think our new tennants are going to be serial complainers, maybe I'm being too harsh. :confused:

Am I obliged to do a pest spray?
 
You are obliged to provide something in tenantable condition, which includes being clean from pests.

What you should do before a new tenant moves in, spray the townhouse to remove pests, anything after that point is their problem, as you provided it clean when they moved in.
 
You are obliged to provide something in tenantable condition, which includes being clean from pests.

What you should do before a new tenant moves in, spray the townhouse to remove pests, anything after that point is their problem, as you provided it clean when they moved in.

is it possible to do this yourself? like get some good pest spray from bunnings and spray yourself. its much cheaper.
 
I just had a long coonversation with a pest control guy he said if they are German cockroaches, theres not alot he can do as they generally come in in peoples fridges and any boxes they have had in storage. Also if next door has sprayed, they just move on to the next available house.

He then told me that if the external doors dont have weather strips, the ones with the little hairs hanging down, that spraying is a waste of time because they will only come back and soon.

I told him how there was no evidence of cockroaches before the people moved in and he told me that when someone moves in, cockroaches see the light under the door, the place is warm and once you start cooking, they smell the food and decide they are moving in. He advised me to fit weather strips and then set off some cockroach bombs and the problem should be solved. If it isn't he said to give him another call and he'll spray at a cost of $180.

So have to speak to hubbie, but I think I'll be trying the weather strips first.


Yes, so I will try doing it myself. I dont like tenants knowing who I am but for the sake of $180 I think I'll have to change that.
 
Yes, so I will try doing it myself. I dont like tenants knowing who I am but for the sake of $180 I think I'll have to change that.

Don't even think about it. We get it done for those cockies for $110.00 a house and they'll come back and do it a second time witin 6 months for free if it needs doing again.

They may have come in the tenants belongings but also the recent hot & humid weather hatches them out if there were already eggs around.

Have a read of this thread, same theme but mice instead of cockies:
http://www.somersoft.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45025
 
Yes, so I will try doing it myself. I dont like tenants knowing who I am but for the sake of $180 I think I'll have to change that.

Just say they must vacate to have the place sprayed, they'll never know who you are...

But the doors are probably the best option to start with, especially if there wasn't a problem when they originally moved in.
 
Don't even think about it. We get it done for those cockies for $110.00 a house and they'll come back and do it a second time witin 6 months for free if it needs doing again.

They may have come in the tenants belongings but also the recent hot & humid weather hatches them out if there were already eggs around.

Have a read of this thread, same theme but mice instead of cockies:
http://www.somersoft.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45025

Ok, I know you are in the newcastle area :D so are these $110 pest controlers in the newcastle area and if so what is their number?

Thanks
 
Ok, I know you are in the newcastle area :D so are these $110 pest controlers in the newcastle area and if so what is their number?Thanks

I've been using on the Central Coast:
Bees Knees Pest Management Services
18 Banks Cl Bateau Bay NSW 2261
ph: 0403 086 243

They have been really great. Give them a call and if they don't do up as far a Newy maybe ask them for a recommendation - they'll know others up there.
 
"Spraying for Pests"

I didn't know you were allowed to spray tenants ...

May be just the solution I have been looking for, thats for the idea.

I know that insect sprays generally don't harm humans and animals ... is there an anti tenant spray that just kills the Bogans and late payers?
 
I just had a long coonversation with a pest control guy he said if they are German cockroaches, theres not alot he can do as they generally come in in peoples fridges and any boxes they have had in storage. Also if next door has sprayed, they just move on to the next available house.

He then told me that if the external doors dont have weather strips, the ones with the little hairs hanging down, that spraying is a waste of time because they will only come back and soon.

I told him how there was no evidence of cockroaches before the people moved in and he told me that when someone moves in, cockroaches see the light under the door, the place is warm and once you start cooking, they smell the food and decide they are moving in. He advised me to fit weather strips and then set off some cockroach bombs and the problem should be solved. If it isn't he said to give him another call and he'll spray at a cost of $180.

So have to speak to hubbie, but I think I'll be trying the weather strips first.


Yes, so I will try doing it myself. I dont like tenants knowing who I am but for the sake of $180 I think I'll have to change that.

That's good advice, the problem with sprays is that they do not last long, we banned those chemicals a while back for other good reasons, so preventing the buggers coming in is great.
 
I know that insect sprays generally don't harm humans and animals ... is there an anti tenant spray that just kills the Bogans and late payers?

One of my ex's was studying biochemical science a few years ago. One of her assignments was to work out just how much flyspray it would take to kill an average sized human male.

Dangerous girl, that one.
 
thanks for the replies. I have to be careful with the sprays as the tenant is 6 months pregnant

That's also one of the reasons I had in my mind when I suggested that you do NOT do it yourself. As a non-qualified applicator of pest poisons you will potentially open yourself up to a claim. Pest companies have PI insurance for doing so, you don't.
 
I would also not do it yourself. How we manage our IPs is that as each tenant leaves, we have a clause that they must have pest treatment done and provide a receipt. We suggest our trusted pest man, but cannot insist they use him.

When we have done up a house, or for some reason the outgoing tenant's pest treatment has been less than satisfactory, we get our pest man in to do a treatment and we note it on the lease that it has just been done, and the usual clause about having it done at the end of the lease.

Generally, this means the outgoing tenant pays for a treatment on their way out, so it is not often we have to pay for one.

Our pest man knows that I hate dangerous chemicals and he uses little gel drops in cupboards that (he tells me) are the safest thing that works. When I think back to what was sprayed, bombed and floating around when I was growing up, just to get rid of a few cockroaches, I can feel a second head growing :eek:.
 
I'm struggling to have a reason why I should pay for pest treatment when the place was clean when they moved in and there were no signs of cockroaches then. I provided a freshly cleaned premises for them to move into, how do I know the problem hasn't been caused by them or just the hot weather or whatever, but out of my control? I have been thinking about the issue of using chemical sprays with the liability for it, especially when there is a pregnancy involved.

I know its a price of being a landlord having these sort of expenses, but it just seems that every 2nd week there is something else wrong that the tenants want fixed. The last tenant didn't ask for anything in 12 months (although she was lax about paying the rent on time). These tenants are not likely to be long term tenants either I dont think from what I know about their personal circumstances.

I wonder if they owned the place if they would pay out for the professional pest control or get the cockroach bombs themselves.

Hubbie has agreed to go there to fit the weather strips to the doors (he is going to pretend he is a contractor not the LL). I was also thinking of giving them a amount of the rent to get the bombs themselves.

Or am I just being a stingy ***** ?

Oh geez, I dont know. Maybe I should just pay up and shut up and wait for the next request from them.:confused:
 
Do you know when it was last sprayed for pests?

If I didn't know when it was last sprayed, then for me as a landlord, I would be happy to pay for spraying so my tenants go into a pest-free house. I can sleep at night.

If it was sprayed recently, then I would call back the pest controller who did the job.

Of course, they could have brought in the pests in their boxes, but who can prove that?

If you do it once, you can sleep at night, and they have no right to complain about pests again for the duration of their tenancy.

As to the other "requests", well that depends on what the requests are, how reasonable they are etc.

I think this issue is a stand alone one and has no bearing on any other issues they bring up.

If you do pay for the spraying, get them to sign an acknowledgement that they will pay for pest treatment on vacating the premises. That way, you should never have to spray for ingoing tenants again.
 
You must be a licensed in pest management to carry out pest control. It is not only unlawful but very dangerous and to be blunt, very stupid of you to try to do this yourself to save a few dollars. The fines are now very high for doing this sort of thing and rightly so as you could kill somebody or make them very ill.

German cockroaches are not easy to get rid of but if you get a company who specialises in this and doesn’t do it on the cheap it can be controlled properly. The problem is a lot of cheapo companies just do a basic treatment. Also better companies use better quality products and these have no smell and don’t cause problems if your tenant is chemically sensitive.

You should be getting the property done yearly and it’s better to do it when it is vacant if you can. I am harping but I have inspected a property that tenants had a severe chemical reaction from a pest treatment done 8 months earlier; it didn’t affect the previous tenants as they were not sensitive. We had to steam clean all surfaces to remove the chemicals, including walls and curtains; it worked out very expensive for the owner.

Tenants do often bring roaches in with them if their previous place wasn’t treated, so if you don’t treat then they move them on to the next place and so on. Bombs are useless so don’t waste your money with them, we often go into properties where people have wasted $100 trying to bomb when that could have nearly paid for a proper pest treatment.

For Gods sake DO NOT treat this yourself, its better to not treat it at all than put yourself at risk of very large fines ($90 000) and others at risk.
 
I just had a long coonversation with a pest control guy he said if they are German cockroaches, theres not alot he can do as they generally come in in peoples fridges and any boxes they have had in storage. Also if next door has sprayed, they just move on to the next available house.

If he is properly trained and uses the correct chemicals and takes the time to the job properly then german cockroaches can be brought under control. He is contradicting himself by saying you can’t get rid of them and then saying that next door can and they will move to your place, next door obviously wouldn’t be using him lol.

He then told me that if the external doors dont have weather strips, the ones with the little hairs hanging down, that spraying is a waste of time because they will only come back and soon.

Yes pests will come under the door if there is no weather strip but the point of treating it is to kill the pests. So when they did come under the door or fly into the property the treatment will quickly kill them.

I really don’t understand this persons way of thinking, it sounds like he doesn’t want to do the job, or maybe he is trying to tell you what you want to hear that you don’t need to get it done.

I told him how there was no evidence of cockroaches before the people moved in and he told me that when someone moves in, cockroaches see the light under the door, the place is warm and once you start cooking, they smell the food and decide they are moving in. He advised me to fit weather strips and then set off some cockroach bombs and the problem should be solved. If it isn't he said to give him another call and he'll spray at a cost of $180.

I am sorry but this person really does not have a clue what he is talking about. You shouldnt be seeing any roaches during the day unless you have a heavy infestation as they feed at night. Do not call this person if you want the job treated properly, call another company who knows something about pest management.
 
Hey seashell, thanks for the input.

I dont doubt what you say about the fines, but are you teling me that if I let off some pest bombs in my own house I can be fined or is it just in a commercial situation? I havn't used a pest bomb for some time so I dont know if you can still buy them from the supermarket/hardware store etc.
 
Of course you can let a pest bomb off in your own residence but you can't go and buy crap from bunnings and treat a tenanted property without a license. If you are managing the property yourself you must know that you are required to send only suitably licensed tradespeople in to do work, same as property managers.

I am capable of installing a light and I might do that in my own home but I wouldnt go to my rental property and do it as I am not qualified or licensed to do so.

Average price for someone decent would be $150 and thats only once per year, if you get a good company you can stretch it longer. A lot of our customers stretch it out to a few years because it is done properly and they wait till they see bugs again.
 
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