If you are the owner of an investment property, you need to be aware of when mold may become a huge problem. You are most likely to experience mold in your investment property because of water damage or an increase in moisture levels.
What Exactly is Mold?
Molds are simple, microscopic living organisms and are types of fungi. Fungi serve an important purpose as decomposers in natural systems. If mold has invaded your investment property, you will find it in the basement, in walls and ceilings, and in the attic. Mold likes to grow on household surfaces with a high cellulose content such as wood, fiberboard, and gypsum board.
Investment Properties Near Water
Many people like to live close to the ocean or on a lake. Unfortunately, mold loves moisture and close proximity to water, especially if combined with a humid climate, can expose your investment property to mold and your tenants to major health problems. Mold can not only affect your tenants’ health but in a worst case scenario can cause your investment property to be bulldozed down to the ground.
If you have detected mold in your investment property, it’s vital to take action as quickly as possible to remove the mold and keep damage to a minimum. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can assist investment property owners with mold risk concerns. To learn more read their Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home.
The combination of water and mold can rapidly destroy your investment property. If your investment property is situated in a location subject to flooding, you are well advised to obtain flood insurance from the government’s National Flood Insurance Program. Bear in mind that a high percentage of homeowner’s insurance policies exclude coverage for water damage and mold.
Financing for Your Investment Property
Whether it’s your first investment property or an addition to your existing portfolio, ………………………………. is here to help you with financing. Please get in touch with us to see how we can assist you.
Ant control sometimes means dealing with the aptly named odorous ant. Known to science as Tapinoma sessile, it is also called the coconut ant and the stink ant.
Why is this Ant Odorous?
When this species is crushed, it leaves a pungent smell behind which has been variously likened to rotting coconuts, turpentine, rancid butter, blue cheese, cleaning solution, or piña coladas gone bad – your choice!
How do they Live?
Like most other ants, odorous ants are highly social. They live in seasonal polydomous, polygynous colonies. Translated – a single colony consists of many nests (polydomous) and many reproducing queens (polygynous). Colonies can be made up of tens of thousands of individuals, and these multiple nests will combine into one nest with the onset of winter when food becomes scarce.
What do they Eat?
The odorous ant has a “sweet tooth” and enjoys feeding on honeydew from scale insects, aphids, and mealybugs, floral nectar, and other sugary foods. Once inside a home, they will eat and contaminate every kind of food.
Where do they Nest?
Inside a home they are very opportunistic – they can be found in insulation, close to heat sources, and in plants. In gardens, their colonies can be found beneath rocks or exposed soil.
How to Control Them?
- Keep an eye out for odorous ants towards the close of winter and in early spring (particularly following rain).
- Make sure there is no standing water that can attract ants or other insects.
- Trim plants back from house walls so that ants can’t use them as platforms to move inside.
- Seal or caulk joints, cracks, and holes, especially if they are close to the ground.
- Move any rocks, firewood or other materials away from house walls.
- Talk to an ant control expert. A professional pest control company has the know-how to get rid of odorous ants and other insect infestation problems.
What is a Kissing Bug?
A kissing bug is an insect that originated in Latin America and then spread to the southern half of the US, where it is now flourishing in twenty-eight states. Its scientific name is the triatomine bug, and there are eleven different species. Its moniker makes it sound like a loving insect, but the opposite is true – it’s a blood-sucking parasite that bites the lip and eye areas of the mammals on which it feeds. Humans and pets are not exempt.
And, You Thought Bed Bugs Were a Problem!
Inside your home, the bugs like to spend the day lurking in cracks or mattresses and under beds. They come out at night just like vampires. Kissing bugs are nocturnal, so, like more harmless insects, they are attracted to light at night. So turn off outdoor night lights. Also clear away rocks and brush from the exterior of your home and seal all gaps and cracks.
Triatominae can be infected with a parasite called trypanosoma cruzi. When an infected bug bites someone, the bug can swell to the size of a grape. This gives it indigestion and causes it to defecate in the wound. The deposited parasite is then free to wend its way into the host’s bloodstream. The infected person can become ill with chagas, which is named after the Brazilian physician who discovered it back in 1909. Symptoms of chagas include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and fatigue. More seriously, the infection can lead to intestinal damage, heart failure, and death.
Treatment of Chagas
Among vector-borne illnesses, chagas is slower to respond to treatment than malaria or dengue fever, so it has been easier to ignore. Scientists working on the disease receive little recognition and insufficient funding. Benznidazole is the primary drug used in treatment. It was developed over forty years ago, and another, nifurtimox, is even older. Both are effective in killing the parasite, although a recent clinical trial found that benznidazole could not stop or reverse heart deterioration already in progress. If you think you may have chagas – one early sign is swelling around the eye or mouth – don’t hesitate to seek immediate medical attention.