Don't Make These Pest Mistakes...
There is an adage that if you're a hands-on real estate investor, you're bound to be sued, go through an eviction, and have a pest infestation at one point or another. It's said there's no way to avoid it if you're in the game long enough. I have only been in the game for a little over five years and I've already gone through all of these things several times over. The good thing is, I came out on top each time. One of the most impactful things I learned through each of these is how to deal with pest control.
Fun fact, I was a fully licensed and insured exterminator. It took about 6 months of studying and testing to receive my pest control certification. I launched a pest control company at the age of 20 with my brother, Sean. Our purpose was not to own and grow a pest control company but to learn how to effectively resolve pest control issues for ourselves and other investors. Not to mention, pest control is expensive.
If you've had experience with any household pests, you know that the process is far from cheap and never seems to be effective.
I don't think that's a coincidence...
Through my experience, I have learned a tremendous amount of information about extermination and how to eradicate these pests. I am no longer weary of properties that have pest issues because it's something that can be fixed with the correct knowledge and business plan. A deep understanding of different common apartment pests gives a unique advantage when purchasing distressed properties.
Each pest has slightly different needs to live such as food source, life cycle, climate, etc. The trick to eradicating each and all of these is to keep that in mind. Standard pest control services inadequately spray chemicals without fixing the actual problem which is 99/100 times the living circumstances.
These pests have causes as to why they are present. Either they were introduced (bed bugs and fleas) or poor living conditions attracted them (cockroaches). Once introduced, there must be treatment or else they will get worse. Treatment needs to be constant and very diligent. Everything needs to be treated and there needs to be almost obsessive scrutiny. Specifically in cleanliness.
The most important aspect is keeping the big picture in mind. If the climate is uninhabitable (for the pest) and there is no food, they will disappear. Treating with chemicals in conjunction with this is highly effective as long as BOTH are done, and it is done CONSISTENTLY.
ONE TREATMENT IS NEVER ENOUGH. Often not even two or three treatments are enough.
Basic Treatment Steps:
1. Cut off their food source
2. Make their climate inhabitable
3. Treat surfaces with specialized chemicals (professionals recommended)
4. Pay attention. Is there any activity? If so, record and adjust.
Lastly, it is rare that any pest survives a renovation. The combination of removing old materials (carpeting, cabinets, fixtures), painting, creating dust, lack of residency, and final cleaning all help eradicate pests. The most surefire way to eradicate pests is by removing inhabitants and renovating while simultaneously treating. If renovations are part of the business plan, the pest problem should be fixed along with the unit turns. If this is not, follow the basic steps above. Be patient, unfortunately, it's not a quick process.