Top 7 Signs of Pest Infestation in Rental Properties

What are the signs of pest infestation in rental properties? Are you worried about the strange smells in the corner of your home or the scratching noises that wake you up at night? Is it time to start spraying for fleas?

Pests can be a nuisance to landlords and their tenants, and both parties should be able to effectively recognize, manage, and prevent these unwanted vermin from invading their homes.

Here are the top 7 signs of pest infestation in rental properties.


Top 7 Signs of Pest Infestation in Rental Properties

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1. Droppings

Animal droppings are a telltale sign of a pest infestation. If you spot black streaks and tiny bits of pop around your house, you likely have an unwelcome visitor without proper potty training.

Of course, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Sometimes you have to be intentional in looking for these signs around corners of your home, like inside cabinets, and forgotten spaces like the attic or basement.


2. Nesting

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Critters who enter your house often decide to make themselves cozy by creating a home within a home. Shredded bits of paper, plants, and even wood shavings could signify that rats or other vermin live as your newest roommates.

These makeshift nests are common under floorboards, behind walls, and sometimes in your vents. So take note of these during your next inspection.


3. Property Damage

Property damage could be an early sign that you have unwanted invaders. For example, rodents are known to leave holes in the floors or walls through which they can quickly enter or exit the house when they want.

You could also see scratch marks on your furniture from their claws or teeth. Some pests like termites can even cause structural integrity in your wood, exposing them to more damage. Hire a responsible property manager to ensure routine maintenance is well handled and early signs of property damage are promptly addressed.


4. Scratching Noises

It’s common to hear pests scratching against boards, floors, or walls as they move in and out of the house. These noises are more common at night because many are nocturnal, but you can still hear some during the day.


5. Odd Smells

Pests often leave foul odors from their droppings or skin after crawling through dirty holes and dumpsters. Depending on the animal, you might pick up smells of garbage, rotten food, or a decomposing body.

If you find it hard to locate the exact source of such odors, it could be because the rodent is hiding within your walls in a secluded area.


6. Chewed Wiring

If you notice teeth marks on your wiring, it could be a sign that you have a pest infestation. Besides furniture, rodents also like to gnaw on electrical wiring, causing them to fray at the ends or right in the middle.


7. Itchy Pets

It’s not uncommon for pets to scratch an itch, but if your dog or cat is incessantly itchy, it could be a sign of fleas or ticks. These pests can cause a lot of discomfort for your furry friends by invading their fur coats.

Also, after scratching, your pets can spread these insects to other parts of the house on their paws, so you must take appropriate precautions.


3 Ways to Prevent Pests

1. Keep Your Home Clean and Tidy

Tenants and landlords both have a responsibility for pest control. Tenants should ensure they keep the home clean and tidy by vacuuming frequently, washing pets regularly, and getting rid of clutter pests can use as hiding places. Landlords must keep common areas clean and communicate appropriate garbage disposal instructions to renters.


2. Avoid Creating a Conducive Environment 

Deter pests from living with you by making your home as unconducive as possible. Avoid leaving leftovers, and ensure you store all perishable food properly.

It would help if you also emptied the trash as soon as possible, especially when you’ve prepared food with fresh meats or fish.

Stagnant water is also a big attraction for pests, so avoid letting water collect in the yard, behind bathroom cupboards, or near kitchen sinks.


3. Block Possible Entry Points

Make your home inaccessible to rodents by blocking all possible entry points. Rats, cockroaches, and other vermin can fit through tiny holes in your windows or doors.

Do a quick inspection to identify potential spots where pests might be able to gain entry and seal them off for good. You can use some caulk or place a screen before cracks and crevices.


Home Remedies Renters Could Try

1. Apple Cider Vinegar (tick and mice)

Apple cider vinegar is a popular DIY solution for many issues in the home. If you have some of this handy in your kitchen, you could mix it with a third of the same quantity of water and spray it around your house. This mixture is effective in preventing ticks and mice from festering.


2. Peppermint Oil 

Peppermint essential oil is an excellent home remedy to repel mice. Dabbing the corners of your home with a cotton ball dipped in this oil can help you deter mice in addition to other home-based or professional solutions. For a more effective concoction, throw in a few clove leaves.


3. Garlic

Finely chopped garlic with water is a popular remedy to control garden pests. If you’re unhappy with ants, bugs, and other pests creeping on your greenery, spray this mixture on your plants to keep them away.



Whether you’re a landlord performing routine inspection, or a tenant going about your day, identifying these top 7 signs of pest infestation in rental properties should immediately alert you.

However, you can avoid them with some preventive measures and home remedies we covered. If you need pest control or prevention assistance, contact a local property manager who can help. 

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