Many homeowners associations vote on and hire pest control vendors to prevent bugs, rodents, and other similar infestations from becoming a serious issue. However, the responsibility for pest control in common areas and in the home differ for the HOA and the residents who reside in the community.
Pest Control In The Home
Residents are oftentimes responsible for any pest issues that arise in their own home. Ants, rodents, and insects that pop up in the kitchen or other private areas need to be taken care of by the homeowner or resident. Residents who lease their home or condo to a renter typically define who pays for pest control services in the lease agreement ahead of time.
If units with shared walls are allowing pests to travel between condos, check with your HOA as areas between units may be considered shared elements. This is particularly relevant if your unit or home is infested with termites. However, it’s important to note that infestations directly caused by people or neighbors (e.g. not properly disposing of garbage, leaving food out for prolonged periods of time) can be difficult to get the HOA to handle.
Residents who need to hire third-parties to prevent or eradicate pests may need to consult with their HOA first. Some HOAs prohibit certain sprays or chemicals, or require written documentation or permission prior to rendering services.
Common Area Pest Control
HOAs usually take ownership of pest control duties in community common areas maintained by HOA vendors. Pools, parks, playgrounds, gyms, lobbies, and other communal areas or shared spaces typically fall under HOA pest control jurisdiction. Residents may submit a request to the HOA for pest control should they notice infestations arise, or groundskeepers may perform monthly or weekly checks to ensure there are no issues.
Creating And Enforcing HOA Pest Control Guidelines
Some state laws dictate which party is responsible for maintaining, preventing, or taking care of pest issues. Most HOA agreements adhere to these state laws in which they’re clearly outlined. If you aren’t sure whether the resident or HOA is responsible for eradicating pests (including termites), it’s smart to consult the local city and state laws first. It’s also possible that the HOAs governing laws don’t include clauses specific to pests, termites, rodents, etc. Governing laws concerning extermination fees and practices can vary greatly from HOA to HOA community.
In general pest infestations are easier to prevent than they are to eradicate. For this reason, many homeowners associations will create and enforce additional guidelines or rules to keep both private residences and common areas pest-free. These may include:
- Using HOA fees or dues to pay for sewage and trash removal or utility bills
- Regularly scheduling visits from exterminators
- Vetting and hiring third-party vendors to inspect common areas or private residences for bugs, insects, etc.
Large-scale infestations can result in hefty fees and pay-outs should residents be forced to evacuate their homes temporarily while the issue is handled (for example, in the event of fumigation tenting for termites). For this reason, HOAs benefit from regularly scheduling pest control services and clearly outlining their governing laws for prevention purposes.
Pest Control Tips For HOA Residents
One of the more common residential infestations is ants. These pesky insects seemingly move in overnight and can take days, weeks, and even months to get the problem under control. Homeowners associations may be able to provide vendor recommendations, however it’s ultimately up to the resident to take care of the issue.
Many homeowners decide to mitigate their ant problem on their own before opting to hire a pest control service. HOA residents may use all-natural solutions to pest infestations, especially ants, including:
- White vinegar mixed with water. Vinegar will deter ants and some other insects wherever it’s sprayed. Bring a bottle along on outdoor trips to keep picnic spots and children’s play areas ant-free
- Lemon juice squirted on windowsills, in cracks, and any other in gaps the ants or insects might be coming in from. If you’re out of lemons, an orange that’s been placed in a blender can sometimes do the trick
- Cayenne pepper spread along baseboards, countertops, and windowsills. This type of pepper will sometimes work to deter insects. You can also pour some straight into an anthill if you’re able to find it
Whether you’re a resident in an HOA community, or on the board of a homeowners association, it’s best practice to clearly outline pest control responsibilities for each party to avoid conflict and infestations. Work with Slatter Management to prevent pest infestations before they arise to protect the entire community.