Yellowjackets in rental. Who is responsible?

21 Replies

Hello, just wanted to get some feedback from the forum on this issue. A tenant contacted me and said she has two Yellow Jacket nests beneath the roof of a carport on the premise. First off, I'd like to know if I'm responsible/obligated for the removal of the nests. And if I do the removal i.e get an exterminator, who is to say that they won't be back a day later. Not sure what the solution is. Thanks for your responses!! 

@CJ B.   Buy a can of wasp spray and do it yourself.  You can get spray that shoots 20+ feet, so you are not close to the nest (or on a ladder). Make sure windows and doors are closed and you have an escape route (ie can run around a corner and pop into the side door of the garage.  Do it early in the morning or when it is cold as the wasps will be less active.  I know others have simply taken a garden hose and sprayed the nest, but the sprays have chemicals that will reduce the chance of them rebuilding the nest in the same spot.

Buy a can of brake cleaner (any auto store and most stores with an auto department have it). 

It works much better than any hornet spray. In my experience, wasp spray simply pisses yellow jackets and wasps off while brake cleaner kills them INSTANTLY. 

The brake cleaner often comes with a straw to attach to the nozzle on the can - use the straw and you'll be able to spray from afar.

Hey Guys- Thanks for the suggestions. To be clear, not really looking for suggestions of how to get rid of them (although these are GREAT, thanks!). The main focus of my question has to do with obligation/responsibility. The property in question, is in a different state, and I manage from afar. If it was local, I could just pop in and take care of it myself, but if I need to make the decision to hire someone to do it, obviously this can get costly. So, I'm kind of looking for answers as to who is obligated to take care of this (tenant vs. landlord). This is a new one for me. There is nothing in the lease, that specifically addresses this either way. Thanks again!! 

Well since you're in another state it's ridiculous for them to ask you to come do something that they can do themselves. Pay for the spray cans if you'd like, or call an exterminator (which you shouldn't need to) to take care of it 

I don't hesitate to hire someone to remove the insect ASAP before the issue gets blown out of proportion. You have already been contacted about some potential threat on your property.

A tenant is usually only responsible for pests/rodents if they did something to cause it. Since it is unlikely that they caused Yellowjackets it's best to just hire an exterminator and get this taken care of immediately. 

Awesome. Thanks guys. Ultimately, I made the decision to get an exterminator on the scene. I have a good tenant in that unit, and it's well worth the $90 to keep everyone happy. I appreciate everyone's input on this. 

Make sure before you add that clause that you look into what your state laws have to say about this. I'm pretty certain in Oregon it is a legal responsibility of the owner if it is not tenant caused. Just be careful!

Originally posted by @Catherine Emert :

A tenant is usually only responsible for pests/rodents if they did something to cause it. Since it is unlikely that they caused Yellowjackets it's best to just hire an exterminator and get this taken care of immediately. 

Once again, I have to agree with Catherine. Your tenants obviously did not cause the problem. An act of God caused the problem. As George Carlin used to say, God is obviously terrible with money, because his followers are always soliciting donations -- God is all-seeing, all-wise, all-powerful, sure, but, well, he's really just no good with money.

You can't pass this expense on to your tenants in the hopes of making your spreadsheet's projected expenses for the property work out for the year. You've got to pay up for God's shortcomings.

 

This is a small issue. Just take care of your tenant with the smaller issues so they will be more likely to be cooperative when you get to the larger ones. My two cents.

Yikes, this is one of those situations that absolutely makes me cringe (several family members are deathly allergic - and this is not something to play around with). I'm not sure as far as California Law or even what the local laws say about this in SD but I'd hire a true professional to come out and do it (just to play it on the safe side) -- when in doubt, have a professional do it. 

Most have suggested having the tenants do it and to just send them the money since you're managing from afar; but, you're still probably technically responsible, so, just giving them the money to do it themselves could possibly open you up to other legal troubles, no? ie. If one of them gets stung and is hospitalized, now what? I'd let a professional come in and do it asap, and communicate to the tenants that this is happening. @CJ B.  

Originally posted by @Jim K. :
Originally posted by @Catherine Emert:

A tenant is usually only responsible for pests/rodents if they did something to cause it. Since it is unlikely that they caused Yellowjackets it's best to just hire an exterminator and get this taken care of immediately. 

Once again, I have to agree with Catherine. Your tenants obviously did not cause the problem. An act of God caused the problem. As George Carlin used to say, God is obviously terrible with money, because his followers are always soliciting donations -- God is all-seeing, all-wise, all-powerful, sure, but, well, he's really just no good with money.

You can't pass this expense on to your tenants in the hopes of making your spreadsheet's projected expenses for the property work out for the year. You've got to pay up for God's shortcomings.

For me I cant believe anyone would think they are not responsible .. having worked in the woods a good portion of my career here in Oregon CA and southern WA.. hornets/yellowjacks  are lethal..  you really professionals to handle this..  on top of that more than a few forest fires have been started by those trying to burn yellow jacket nest from the eaves. 

Yellow jackets and bald face hornets are the only thing feared by loggers.. and its why they cary Epi pens..  and if you ever see a true timber Faller you will see their pants cut off at the boot top and duck taped and their long sleeves duck taped and a netted helmet.. 

many times when angered these buggers go after people etc..  

and this whole discussion over 90 dollar fee holy cow.. LOL

 

@CJ B.

If you have a monthly pest control that comes out i think this should be their responsibility. They are supost to go around the outside as well as the inside. So you should be able to call them and have them take care of it as part of your service with the company.

This is on you to take care of and since it is such a low dollar amount problem I would not overthink it and just put a plan into motion to get rid of the issue. 

@CJ B. Good morning, I’m a professional exterminator, do this: The EPA recently approved Termidor for targeting yellow jackets. ... To prevent Yellowjackets from getting established on you property, ask your property manager to apply 2 times every 6 months and problem solved for 2 years.

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