For landlords, the responsibility of keeping ants and other pests out of tenants' apartments goes far beyond a legal requirement - it's a simple way to show people that you care about them and the complex. As professional pest control businesses know, ants can negatively impact the quality of life of tenants by infesting their living space and contaminating food. But in addition to the impacts ants can have on tenants, carpenter ants can also cause structural issues for your entire housing development.
The University of Minnesota Extension School called carpenter ants' damage to wood "severe," noting that they can hollow out large sections of wooden beams and planks. The structural dangers that carpenter ants pose underscore the importance of ant control for landlords and property managers when it comes to large housing areas and apartment complexes. But before you enlist the help of a commercial pest control business to rescue your complex and tenants, here are a few things you can do to prevent ants from ever becoming an issue.
Seal up cracks and leaks quickly
A major responsibility of landlords and property managers is to see to the upkeep of the buildings. Some issues, like a leaking roof or electrical problem, require immediate attention for safety or comfort reasons, while others, like small cracks and dripping gutters, may seem as if they can be put off slightly longer. But, as Oregon's Rent Right program reminded landlords, sealing cracks can be a major way to prevent pest infestations. Ants can fit through very small spaces and will quickly find water and food sources, so the longer any cracks that can access a residency are left unattended, the more likely it is that you'll be dealing with an ant infestation soon.
Plumbing leaks and dripping gutters can cause similar issues by providing ants and other pests with new water sources.
Work with your tenants to discover issues early on
Tenants and landlords may disagree about things from time to time, but everyone can agree that insects are unwanted in their residences. Landlords should listen to tenant complaints about insects in order to get a jump on potential infestation issues. If you're able to find a single nest near one unit, call in a pest control service to eliminate it before it can spread to the rest of the building. Proactivity and an open ear to tenants can end up saving landlords and property managers a lot of headaches in the future.