Ants …

You’re going to have them. Virtually impossible to get rid of them. You can’t control how clean your guests keep the kitchen. You can’t control whether they leave food out. You can’t make them empty the trash regularly.

I recently stayed in a luxury apartment on the 46th floor in a brand new building in Ho Chi Minh City. Beautiful apartment. It had ants. On the 46th floor! Ants!

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/24809625

So, what can you do?

  1. Drench the unit in pesticide.
  2. Buy ant granules at Home Depot and sprinkle them around outside of the building once a month.
  3. Cut back any trees whose branches touch the roof. The tree can be a bridge that the ants use to get over the ant granules.
  4. Leave a can of ant spray in the unit. Is that an admission that you have ants? Yes, but guests who don’t see the ants won’t think anything of it. They’ll just mentally classify it as “cleaning supplies” and move on. Guests who see ants will appreciate it. Most of them won’t mention it in the review.
  5. Respond quickly when guests mention ants. “There is ant spray in the cabinet above the stove. You can use it, or I can ask my property manager to send someone in the morning to spray the apartment.” Almost all guests will be happy with the first option. If you respond quickly and they feel like they are in control, they will rarely mention the problem in their review.
  6. Be ready with the exterminator. In Florida we get a lot of palmetto bugs. These are giant (3-4cm!) and they look like cockroaches. At the first mention of a “cockroach”, I respond with, “I can have the exterminator there in the morning. He can spray the apartment thoroughly.” Many guests say they prefer not to have the chemicals, and the discussion ends there.

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