How to Control Common Vacation Rental Pests

Vacation rentals are often unoccupied for several months a year, especially during the off-peak season. Unfortunately, the lengthy inoccupancy can allow uninvited guests, such as bugs and wild animals, to invade your home. Sadly, vacation rental pests can sour your guests’ experience and earn your property a bad reputation. Fortunately, with the correct bug control tips, such as hiring household pest control services, you can get your rental home in shape before guests arrive. Below is a look at some common pests in vacation rentals and essential information on how to contain or eradicate them.


Cockroaches are one of the most common vacation rental pests you can encounter. They’re often attracted to vacation homes due to the availability of food (from garbage) and shelter. Unfortunately, they’re very frustrating to eliminate once they enter your property, as they multiply quickly and are very resilient.

For most people, cockroaches are the creepiest bugs on the planet, so you can be sure your guests won’t like coming across one. But creepiness factor aside, these bugs can also threaten your guests’ health. According to the CDC, they carry many bacteria and viruses that they can spread, and their foul odor can cause emotional distress and even trigger allergic reactions. Therefore, it’s in your best interests — and those of your guests — to deal with any cockroach infestations in your vacation rental property.

One of the most effective ways of dealing with these pesky bugs is to hire roach control services. These professionals employ several treatment techniques, like insecticide sprays, gel poison bait, and glue traps, to catch and kill cockroaches. Depending on the level of infestation, your property may need two or more treatment sessions to eradicate the pests.

Besides professional services, you can also prevent a roach infestation in your vacation rental property through preventative measures. For example, you should keep your home clean all year round, even when not in use. You should also store foodstuffs in secure containers and avoid leaving dirty dishes around for extended periods.


Mice are other common vacation rental pests that could infest your property. Unfortunately, they’re very creepy, primarily because of their crawling at night and repulsive droppings that you can find everywhere. In addition, according to, mice carry (and can spread) several severe diseases and viruses like Bubonic plague, Hantavirus, Rat-bite fever, and Salmonellosis. Therefore, it’s essential to control them before your guests arrive, lest they have a terrible experience.

Like with most pests, the best way to get rid of mice is to hire a professional, in this case, an exterminator. They can then employ various techniques, including mouse traps, poison, and fumigation, thus eradicating your property’s mice population. When hiring these services, you should also apply them to your vacation home’s outdoor living areas. After all, mice can hide and survive outdoors, from where they can repopulate again.

Besides professional pest control services, you can prevent a mouse problem in the first place by being proactive. For example, according to the EPA, you can keep rodents like mice out of your property by keeping it clean, removing food and water sources, and eradicating potential rodent nesting sites in your home’s exterior. Lastly, you can prevent them from entering your home by sealing any gaps they can use to crawl through.


According to Health Research Funding, an estimated 3.5% to 6.5% of the world’s population suffer from arachnophobia, the fear of spiders. However, many people are also scared or uncomfortable around these pesky bugs. So, you can be sure that none of your guests will love coming across a spider, leave alone several. Furthermore, some spiders have venomous bites, thus making it vital to eradicate these vacation rental pests.

The best way to eliminate spiders in your vacation rental property is by calling professional exterminators. However, you can also kill them yourself by cleaning your home with thorough vacuuming around spiders’ nests. Additionally, you can set traps inside your house to catch and kill these bugs or spray them (and their hiding spots) with store-bought pesticides.

Another excellent way of controlling spiders in your vacation rental home is through preventative measures. This includes sealing up any gaps that bugs can crawl through, for example, front and back doors, windows, garage doors, and foundation cracks. Other helpful tips include regular cleaning and vacuuming, storing food in airtight containers, and controlling insects that spiders feed on (like flies and mosquitoes). In addition, you can consider keeping pets like cats around your property, which can hunt and kill bugs.

Stink Bugs

According to, stink bugs aren’t dangerous and are unlikely to cause any damage to your home. However, they are also very invasive, often hiding in crawl spaces where they breed and multiply, thus making it hard to eradicate them. On top of that, they release a nasty smell if crushed, making them one of the most annoying vacation rental pests.

Since stink bugs aren’t dangerous, you can attempt to eradicate them from your rental property using DIY techniques. The most effective is to vacuum a swamp of bugs, thus trapping and killing them. However, according to Michigan State University, you should avoid using aerosol insecticides as they can’t penetrate the crawl space where these pests hide. Instead, you’re better off hiring an exterminator to fumigate your home.

Besides eradication, you can also prevent stink bug infestation in your vacation rental through preventative techniques. For example, you should seal off gaps in your home, such as through doors, windows, cracks in the foundation, AC units, and vents. You can hire window and door installers to upgrade your home with bug-resistant doors and windows. Lastly, you should keep your home clean and remove nesting areas, food, and moisture sources from indoor and outdoor spaces.


Rats are very similar to mice; they are both rodents. However, the former can be potentially more troublesome vacation rental pests as they are aggressive and thus very prone to biting. This, combined with the fact that they carry several disease-causing organisms in their body, makes them a nightmare for your vacation rental guests.

But there’s an even more disturbing fact about rats. According to a study published by Science Direct, rats are becoming increasingly resistant to conventional poisons. Therefore, getting rid of them once they have infested your property can be an uphill task.

Still, you can eradicate rats from your vacation rental property by hiring a professional exterminator. Depending on the problem in your home, they can use various techniques such as rat traps and fumigation. However, given the rodents’ resistance to pesticides, your exterminator might have to apply several chemical treatments for them to be effective.

Lastly, you can control rats in your vacation rental property through proactive measures. First, you should start by sealing any access points the rodents can use to access your home. For example, gutter guards can deter rats from entering your roof and attic. Another helpful tip is regularly cleaning your rental property and removing food, water, and nesting areas that may attract these pests.


Fleas are other common vacation rental pests you may have to deal with. They can be brought to your property by pets or wild animals like raccoons, squirrels, opossums, and feral cats and dogs. On top of this, once in your home, fleas will rapidly multiply, then hide in surfaces like beddings, carpets, floor cracks, furniture, etc.

Several other things can make fleas very nasty bugs to deal with — both for you and your guests. For example, their bites are annoying and often cause skin irritation but can also spread severe diseases. On top of that, according to Washington State University, the bug’s pupae can stay inactive in vacant homes for months before coming alive once they find human hosts. As a result, you may be unaware you have a problem until your guests are faced with a sudden pest outbreak.

Fortunately, there are several ways of controlling these pests should they infest your home. First, you can hire pest control services to fumigate your house, thus getting rid of any adult fleas. Secondly, you should clean your property thoroughly, which can help eradicate any remaining eggs. For the best results, you can hire professionals, such as home air duct cleaners, who can clean every nook and cranny containing hidden eggs.

Bed Bugs

According to the CDC, bed bugs have nasty bites that can interrupt sleep and cause itching and skin irritation that can develop into a secondary infection. But perhaps the most terrifying thought is that they can hitch a ride in your guests’ clothing and suitcases, causing outbreaks in their homes when they leave. Therefore, bed bugs are one of the most annoying and scary vacation rental pests you can encounter on your property.

Given how quickly and quickly they spread, it’s vital to start dealing with a bed bug infestation as soon as you notice it. And one of the best solutions is to hire a pest control professional to fumigate your home. However, according to the EPA, some bed bug strains can resist chemicals used during fumigation. Therefore, you may need several treatments to keep their population under control.

Besides fumigation, you can also use other techniques to eradicate bed bugs from your rental vacation home. For example, you can remove and steam clean the infected items, apply chemical treatment, or discard them. Additionally, you can hire professional home cleaners who can deep clean your home, thus getting rid of remaining bedbugs. Furthermore, their steam cleaning services can kill adult bed bugs, while vacuuming can suck and remove hidden eggs from various surfaces.


Termites are not the most prominent health hazard where bugs are concerned, but they’re likely the most annoying vacation rental pests you can find on your property. First, they are very creepy and cause your guests to experience emotional turmoil by flying around or making weird noises inside the walls at night. Secondly, according to a study by the NIH, dust particles from these bugs’ droppings often end up in the air, where they can be circulated by HVAC systems, leading to asthma attacks.

Given how annoying termites are, starting control measures as soon as you notice them in your vacation rental is vital. According to Forbes, the best solution for a termite infestation is to apply a chemical treatment on the wooden surfaces in your home and the soil outside the house. To ensure the best results, you should hire professional pest control services to apply the treatment.

On top of eradicating termites from your vacation rental property, you’ll also need to devise a plan to fix any damage they may have caused. Some of the top areas that can be affected by these bugs include the walls, roof, attic, crawl spaces, garage, basement, foundation, closets, etc. So, to avoid structural damage, you should hire the necessary home repair contractors to fix and restore your home.


Wasps are some of the most dangerous vacation rental pests you can deal with. These bugs are fiercely territorial and, thus, will likely sting your guests if they’re threatened. In most cases, these stings will be uneventful but still very painful. However, according to the National Institute of Health, wasp stings can result in severe skin irritation, anaphylactic shock, respiratory failure, organ damage, and death.

Given the risk they pose, it’s essential that you immediately eradicate any wasp nests on your property. The best way to do this is to hire professional exterminators who can safely remove the nests and treat the affected areas. Consequently, this will kill the infestation and prevent a recurrence of the problem.

You can also control wasps on your vacation rental property by taking preventive measures. For example, you can start by sealing off any gaps in your home, which wasps can use to access the indoors. In addition, keep your home’s exterior clean by removing garbage, trash, debris, compost, and other substances that can attract nests and create a breeding ground.

Lastly, you can repair and protect the areas already affected by wasp infestations. For example, you can install home siding on damaged exterior walls, thus restoring them. The siding can also cover up any openings used by wasps to build their nests, protecting your home from more outbreaks.

Vacation rental pests can lead to a poor and frustrating guest experience. On top of that, some bugs are dangerous and can harm your clients, while others are destructive and can cause extensive damage to your home. Fortunately, with the tips above, you can control infestations and pest-proof your home against future outbreaks.

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