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A property manager demonstrates a vastly understated versatility, unlike other individuals employed in residential or commercial real estate. Your primary responsibility is to the owner or agency of your employment. The second, to the occupants of your properties. Successful property managers build strong relationships between tenants and landlords and understand that these relationships are crucial in forming the expectations of both parties to the lease. Since both parties will seek and expect certain rights and benefits out of the agreement, a wide range of management responsibilities are critical to your performance on and off the job.
The job description for a property manager these days is beginning to look a lot like an umbrella policy—it includes anything and everything. In your world the only constant you can count on is change. Your varied day-to-day responsibilities are demanding and challenging. In-depth knowledge of budget planning, landlord-tenant law, state ordinances and taxes, as well as repairs, maintenance schedules, employees and renters keep you continually on your toes. The list goes on and on.
As a property manager you take the challenges of your job head on, with the adaptability and drive like no other type of manager. When a renter doesn't pay, it's off to small claims court. When property is damaged, a detailed itemization of repairs must be presented to the renter and maintenance must resolve issues before the property can be rented again. When an employee gets sick another employee must be scheduled to take his or her place, oftentimes at the last minute. And when pests invade your properties they can present a wide range of issues and threaten the health and well-being of your tenants and colleagues.
When it comes to pest-related health threats, mosquitoes and ticks are on the top of the list. Each has the potential to infect humans with extremely dangerous pathogens. It’s because of this inherent risk that mosquitoes and ticks continue to make headlines across the country.
Blacklegged (deer) ticks are the number one vector of Lyme disease in both humans and pets. The prevalence of these ticks in urban and peri-urban areas in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia is on the rise. This—combined with an increase in incidence rates of diagnosed Lyme disease cases—remains a troubling concern among area health officials. Although the risk of fatality from Lyme disease is understudied, statistics surrounding the disease illustrate an outcry of debilitating and lifelong health complications.
Babesiosis, also spread by infected blacklegged (deer) ticks, is caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells. Babesia infection can range in severity from asymptomatic to life threatening. The risk of contracting one of many tickborne viruses is at its greatest during the months that ticks are most active: June through August.
Mosquitoes are known vectors for West Nile virus, dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever, chikungunya virus, and several forms of encephalitis. In recent years, Zika virus has made its way to the U.S., and it presents a serious threat to unborn children at all stages of development.
While awareness of mosquito and tick illness erupts in our community forums, on social media, and in the news, more and more people are becoming increasingly concerned. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 640,000 cases of mosquito and tick diseases were reported to health care professionals and nine new pathogens spread by tick and mosquito bites were discovered or introduced to the U.S. between 2004 and 2016.
Property managers and owners are also becoming increasingly aware of the legitimate risk and liability presented when mosquitoes and ticks invade the green spaces used by your tenants. So, what can you do? Follow these 5 tips that every property manager should know:
Mosquitoes and ticks are moisture-thriving pests. They need high humidity and moisture to survive. When you control moisture on your property, you reduce the incidence of breeding in existing populations as well as aid in prevention. Here are a few moisture control measures you can introduce to your properties.
Understanding how to eliminate or modify the environment conducive to mosquitoes and ticks is your first defense in prevention.
When mosquitoes are unable to breed, mosquito populations around your property will be limited. Ticks generally breed on their host animal, so this tip is targeted at mosquitoes alone.
There isn't a whole lot you can do to exclude mosquitoes from visiting your property, but you can have an impact on tick development by honing in on the wildlife that support them.
It is always best to partner with a trusted pest management professional (PMP). Your PMP has treatment options that can significantly reduce ticks and mosquitoes on your property as well rodent control options to prevent mice and rats from bringing ticks inside.
For industry-leading control of mosquitoes, ticks, and other pests in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, get started right here.