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Ant issue - how to avoid a poor review?

You’ve done all you can as a host. You’ve offered cake and a discounted/free weekend on future stay. Unofficially, just keep going with that mentality. Most guests will understand home ownership, especially in certain areas, come with bug problems and won’t complain about it on review. Do NOT mention reviews to them personally prior to the review posting. If they call in to support, that conversation can/most likely will be twisted into extortion and can negatively impact you as a host.

Official response you’ll get from support: Thanks for proactively being a great host, rest assured we support you and thank you for letting us know about the ant issue. We will make note of it in case your guest calls in to us as well but for now just continue showing the guests it is your priority and you’re on top of the situation. In order to show our support for you, send me a receipt for the pest control company coming out and I’ll reimburse you up to $100 as a thank you and help to minimize this cost to you.


I had guests ask if a cockroach they saw was dangerous. Was tempted to say "only if they nest their baby’s in your ear " lol


So this guest knocked on my door to show me the photograph of the cockroach she’s seen in the rental. “Oh look” I said “A palmetto bug. Lucky you, I haven’t seen one for ages”.


Had something similar, long period of really wet weather and a large rodent moved in.
Complaint from a guest say they saw a rat. My quick response was - what sort of tail did it have, bare or furry? If it was furry you were very lucky to see a native animal and they are protected by Australian law. They then sat up to see the native bush rat…it was humanely trapped and moved on after they left.


Thanks. Did they mention it in review, or did it hurt review?

Not mentioned at all. Insects are very evident in Australia, but they appear to be an episode in a horror movie for many of our overseas guests. We ask them not to leave food out, but that is of little avail.


Yep. I’ve been to Australia and I remember the attitude towards insects was much more serene. I guess it’s what you’re used to, and folks have varying degrees of familiarity with different critters in different cities and towns all over. These folks seem never to have seen ants before, and I feel like I keep having to assure them that they are not dangerous or biting or whatever. Thank goodness it’s not a bad year for stink bugs. Those are harder to get rid of, and they really do stink - not to mention they’re much scarier looking than ants! Only saving grace is that they’re slow as turtles.

You’re going to post the guest’s review, right? The suspense is killing me.


I can only feel sorry for people who live in such urbane, sterile and toxic environments that they never see insects, one of the most wonderful of nature’s creations. Except wasps. Those MF’s have to die.


We’ve got another 2.5 weeks to go. I’ve arranged for another (different) exterminator to come out on Wednesday. I doubt the new company can do anything new or different, but the guests seem to appreciate that I’m trying “everything” I can. Yesterday I think they sent me 13 photos of the ants. Sigh. I fear there’s no convincing them that nature takes its own course sometimes. Trust me. The suspence is killing me too! And I had to turn down another 30 day rental today for April because I’m determined not to rent again until this is over and done with! Really stinks to give up that income, which would’ve covered the mortgage!

I was going to disagree and bring up the rather dangerous bugs we have here, such as Bark Scorpions and Brown Recluse spiders, but then I realized they’re not technically insects.

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I read the Bill Bryson book “Down Under” some years ago and vowed I’d never go to Australia (Sorry, cobber hosts …) In fact I wondered how on earth humans had managed to settle there at all seeing as Nature seems to have created so may things to throw at you that could kill you. It sounded as if the whole continent was screaming “Humans, out!”

Hooray! I got a 5-Star glowing review from the guests! No mention of the ants at all. She sort of alluded to it by mentioning that I was responsive to anything that came up, but there was no direct mention of it.
It just goes to show that being a Host is to be in the hospitality business, and to ensure that our Guests feel cared for and genuinely welcomed in our spaces.
Thanks for all the advice and Input.


FYI. Cornmeal kills ants. Dirt cheap and nontoxic.


That’s awesome. I wanted mention that you might call different exterminators next time. We had a sugar ant infestation and they told us it would take 48 hours after treatment (not 3 weeks). And, indeed, it was about 48 hours until we had no ants at all. I was really alarmed by the idea that it would take 3 weeks! FWIW

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