One of the most common complaints from vacationers is about bugs: live bugs, dead bugs, bugs that look exactly like cockroaches (but they’re really just wood roaches), how their rental home is “infested” with bugs. I’m always curious to know where these folks live that is completely devoid of insects in the summertime. And what kind of bubble they must live in that does not allow for a single spider or ant to intrude.
Well, being in the office to hear these complaints and the resulting frustration from our homeowners, I got pretty paranoid about possibly being faced with the same complaints from my guests. In addition to being fastidious about cleaning (I often work alongside my professional cleaner), I used to “bug bomb” the house prior to the arrival of our first tenants every summer. And the fogging seemed to work, with the gratifying results of dead bugs around for a few days afterwards.
But despite my efforts, I once had a tenant who was so fanatical about mosquitoes that she went around the house and slapped scotch tape over every perceived hole in my screens. Another tenant complained, I mean to the point of asking for his money back, because there was a dead mosquito smooshed high up on a wall somewhere – evidently escaping the eagle eyes of my cleaners and me.
But then last year I got really serious and hired a professional exterminator. Although it costs more money, it was more reasonable than I expected (around $250, and I’m on the Vineyard), and the benefits make it totally worthwhile. Naturally, it gives me the greatest confidence that a bug problem will not occur in my house the entire summer/fall. But my bug guy also promised to return immediately if a tenant should ever have an issue. I love having this guarantee in case an odd bug or two somehow slips through and is found by a nitpicky tenant.
And my concerns about having to vacate the house during treatment were allayed when he told me I could sit tight right in the house – and my dog was fine, too. So, if there were a problem while my tenants were there, they wouldn’t be inconvenienced much at all, and their kids and/or pets would also be fine.
If hiring a professional exterminator is not an option for you, do consider using the foggers. A 3-pack costs less than $15, and they are pretty effective.
Do you have any bug stories to share? Any recommendations for other homeowners?