Who is Responsible for Pest Control?

Pest control is a tricky subject so let’s break it down into individual situations for clarity.  Keep in mind, if the tenants move into a property and within the first two weeks of living there, they have a pest problem, it makes sense that they should not be responsible for that.

  1. Termites are the Owners Responsibility. This subterranean pest will eat you out of house and home.  They are by and far the biggest challenge to the integrity of the home.  Because they are usually in the crawl space of the property this is something that a tenant will NOT DETECT as they are asked not to venture into the crawl space for all the right reasons.
  2. Spiders are kind of tricky. General garden spiders and other harmless spiders are typically treated externally with household products found at any retailer.  That said, for the most part, the tenant would be responsible and we offer them the services of Robards Pest Control to come out and do a treatment for about $35.  HOWEVER, Tennessee is home to both Brown Recluse and Black Widow spiders which are poisonous and can cause some serious health issues if a tenant were to be bitten.  With that said, if the tenants report either Black Widows or Brown Recluse spiders, we will send Robards to treat for that which would be the responsibility of the owner to alleviate the possible liability to the owner and our company.
  3. Snakes- When it comes to snakes, its just a big ol’ NOPE for most folks.  If there is an infestation of snakes, the bill will go to the owner again because of the liability.
  4. Skunks- Skunks stink.  Trapping a skunk takes a special individual and because of this, we know a few at Robards.  They will make Pepe a new home away from your property and the tenants will be happy.  Sorry, but the owner has to pay for the perfume.
  5. Squirrels and Racoons. Cute but Jerks.  These things make their way into attics sometimes and have parties that result in new little ones to terrorize the property.  Getting them caught and rehomed can take some time and will cost the owner some money.  Moreover, getting the entry to the home sealed is also part of the journey.  Hopefully, your property is without an entry way.
  6. Wasps- Because some people are allergic to wasps, it would be wrong for us to have the tenant attempt to eradicate them.  If a tenant were to get stung and have a reaction, again, liability is our issue.  Sorry, but that one is on the owner.
  7. Wood Bees- In April and May, they love to play and frolic and bore holes into decks and storage building for their nurseries….rent free. They generally are gentle and will not sting but they still freak people out.  If there is a wood bee situation, we have been advised to simply have the tenant set a couple of nifty traps that will help make them go far far away.
  8. Bumble Bees. On just a few occasions, we have had work orders for a large quantity of drone bees that WILL NOT LEAVE THE YARD. They are a loyal bunch and they are there to protect the queen who has decided to take a break in her journey to a new home on your lawn.  A call to one of our local bee keepers will result in them going to the property, doing some cool bee-keeper stuff and getting them into one of those boxes usually in a day or two.  This service is FREE.
  9. Ants- Ants- Ants-. We have been doing this for almost 10 years now and this is still one of those situations that seems to make no one happy.  Who should pay?  Our lease says that the tenants are responsible and we advise them to use a household product if the ants are entering through the main level.  If the ants are making their way into the home from the crawl space (coming through vents or electrical outlets, etc…this is an owner expense due to the treatment area is in the crawl.
  10. Bed bugs….KNOCK ON WOOD…We have had 1 case of bedbugs in over 780+ transactions in almost 10 years of business. This is a tenant expense 99% of the time.
  11. Similar to bedbugs…we have only had 2 situations with them.  Both were tenant expenses. YUCK.

IN all, this is obviously a lengthy subject and it does have situations that require a compromise on who pays.  Our goal is to be fair to all parties and we hope you can understand this sometimes can be complex.

We still don’t like Snakes.