Tag Archives: insects

THEM!

We’ve already covered bed bugs here at the Hometown Rant, but as spring rolls into summer, a whole new family of insect crawls into houses, apartments, lofts, duplexes and condos across the country… ANTS! GIANT RADIOACTIVE ANTS! Ok, maybe not, but depending on the type of ants, you could in for anything from bugs in your food to major structural damage in your rental property. Luckily, Hometown Rant has the answers.
One good thing about ants is that they tend to be pretty obvious. They won’t come alone, and you can usually follow the trail of them from where they’re coming from to where they’re going. As a landlord, this means it might be tough to conceal an ant problem from potential tenants, but you wouldn’t do something like that, would you? In any case don’t worry, the little buggers are at least predictable.

The first step to getting rid of ants is to identify the type of ant you’re dealing with. Bayer provides a nice illustrated guide for figuring out which species is invading your rental property. Ants not on the Bayer list include Henry Pym, Ant Man of the avengers, and DJ Ant of Atmosphere. Once you know which type of ant you have, you’ll know what you’re up against. Most ants are just hungry for the food in your kitchen, so that’s where you’ll want to start. If your cabinets have crumbs and open containers, wipe up the crumbs and close the containers! The more airtight, the better. Simple, right?

Then, get yourself some ant bait and leave it where the ants will find it. It’s designed to be delicious and deadly, and to take long enough to kick in that they’ll bring it back to their nest and let everybody get a piece. You can kill individual ants all day, but if you don’t hit em at the source you, you’ll never see the last of them. Baits are better than straight up pesticides too, because even if you spray them right at the nest, chances are some of the ants will escape and start a new nest somewhere else in your house or apartment, and then you’re just going to have the same problem in a few weeks.

What you really need to worry about as a renter or landlord is the ants that aren’t out for food, at least people food. Carpenter ants nest in wood, and can cause major damage to your rental property if left unchecked. Wikihow has a good guide for how to deal with carpenter ants, but the gist is the same: find the nest and destroy it with sneaky poison. It’s the American way! Also, if you’ve identified a crack or crevice where the ants were getting in, plug it up with some caulk so future ant colonies can’t come back in the same spot. Now you renters and landlords can get back to whatever it was you were doing, minus the ants! Isn’t that better?

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Send it on over: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Sleep Tight!

Hey all you homeowners, renters, landlords and ladies, Here at Hometown Rent Rant, we’re trying not to bug out, and you should be too, unless you like spending your hard-earned cash waging war against insect kind on your own home turf. Bedbugs are a huge problem for everyone involved, and if you’re smart you’ll make sure that your house or apartment stays totally uninfested.

Anyone who is renting out a dwelling, be it house, apartment, loft, condo, duplex, house-boat, tree-fort, castle or bungalow has a responsibility to make sure it is bug-free before renting it out. Fortunately, bedbugs only really like living in beds, and furniture, and other soft things like luggage. As long as you or your last tenants didn’t leave a bunch of stuff in the house, you should be fine. Just make sure any couches or mattresses are bug-free by giving them a visual inspection.  if you want to be sure, steam clean or heat treat those babies. That way if your house or apartment does end up with bugs, you’ll know it wasn’t you. If you can get your tenants to attest to this when they move in, that could cover you later.

Renters: you’re the ones who live in the rental property, so you’re the most likely to bring in new bugs, and the most affected by their presences. Side effects of bed bug infestation can include nasty itchy rashes and even psychological damage. The last part might sound a little extreme, but try going to bed imagining that there are tiny bugs drinking your blood in microscopic amounts. You might just end up like this guy.

If the house or apartment you’re renting is bedbug free in the first place, (which it most definitely should be,) then your only job is to not bring any bedbugs home with you. Sounds easy enough right? All you need to do is be careful what you bring home. I know that sofa sitting out on the fraternity lawn looks like it could use a good home, but so do the thousands of tiny bloodsuckers living in it. Same goes for that incredibly cheap armchair from goodwill and the free box of trendy clothes left on the curb down the street. Think about it–there’s probably a reason someone’s trying to get rid of all that stuff. Don’t be the poor sucker who’s going to give those bedbugs a home in your rental property, and don’t expect your landlord to pay for exterminators. If the house was bug-free when you moved in, then it’s on you to keep it that way.

Some of you may be thinking  well this advice is all fine and dandy, but I already have bedbugs chewing on my unmentionables! What do I do now?  Well first you probably want to take a hot shower. Then you want to treat your house, apartment, condo or loft, including mattresses, furniture, clothes, and whatever else you think the bedbugs might be living in. Remember, they like soft, dark folds in things. Hit ‘em where it hurts before they hit you where it itches.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Holla at us, we’ll holla back:  Hometownrant@hometownrent.com