When you need to keep your valuable belongings in long-term storage, it’s important to mitigate various risk factors like mold, moisture, and pests. If you don’t prevent these problems, these items can become ruined. This is why it’s important to prepare your belongings carefully and to choose a storage unit that takes precautions against these risks.
At Storage Units of America, we spray all of our properties for pests regularly to provide our customers with an extra layer of extra protection. We value your business and want to make sure that all your items are secure and kept in the best conditions. While we do our job, it’s important for our clients to also take preventative measures. The key to keep an infestation at bay is to create no incentive for pests to stay. This means eliminating enticing elements that lure pests. Here are 5 ways to keep rodents and bugs out of your storage unit.
1. Don’t Store Food — Ever
Sure, pasta can last up to 2 years past its expiration date, but please don’t keep it in your storage unit. Food is the main attractor to pests, which invade homes and storage units to find food and shelter. In fact, many storage unit contracts prohibit food items to prevent this problem from occurring. Wash any kitchen utensils that you store to make sure that there is no food residue and store them in sealed containers. This rule also applies to pet food and bird seeds, which also attract bugs and rodents. It only takes a little bit of food to draw in pests, which have a keen sense of smell.
2. Pack Everything Sealed Containers
Pests can find even the smallest breaches to create a nest. For the best results, select air-tight containers made out of hard materials like plastic. While cardboard boxes are convenient, mice and bugs can chew through them over time. If cardboard boxes are your only option, be sure to tightly seal the box with packing tape and to store the boxes on shelves or pallets. Get chew-proof containers that don’t allow breaches of any sort to maximize your chances of allowing pests in your belongings.
3. Keep Items Above the Ground
Mice and insects love to nest and hide in dark, covered spaces. In particular, mice can create nesting material from fabric and rugs. Mice can even chew up paper products like cardboard and thin plastic to create nests, so limiting their access to these materials can reduce your risk of an infestation.
To prevent them from getting cozy, get as many items off the floor as possible. If your unit has shelves, take advantage of every elevated surface. Hang items like seasonal tools and tote bags on walls as well to keep them from cluttering the floor and providing inviting homes. For large boxes, small pallets can elevate them slightly from the floor and make less cover for rodents and bugs.
4. Cover Your Furniture & Mattresses
Any item that contains fabric or upholstery will need to be protected from dust, moisture, mold, and pests. Since furniture contains padding and other enticing nesting materials, mice are naturally drawn to them. Wrap your furniture in heavy-duty plastic that is designed to protect large items during a move. Make sure that the edges of the plastic are sealed against each other to eliminate breaches. You can use this method with a mattress too, but it can be hard to make a good fit. That’s why our office also sells mattress covers that fit the unique shape of your mattress so that protecting it is a quick and easy process. For the best results keep these items off the floor on pallets to deter pests even more.
5. Use Natural Pest Control Methods
When you take the proper precautions against pests, natural pest control tactics can tip the odds further in your favor. Scents such as lavender, cloves, cayenne, and peppermint are repulsive to bugs and mice. Apply a few drops of these essential oils to cotton balls and place them around the unit. Cedar blocks also emit a scent that pests dislike and can be used in conjunction with the cotton balls. For an added layer of defense, place humane mice traps against the wall to catch any intruders. Check on your unit regularly to make sure there are no pests and to free any mice you find caught in traps in a different location.
How Useful Are Mothballs?
Mothballs have a lot of folklore surrounding their usefulness in deterring pests. While it has enough naphthalene to repel moths and insects, mice aren’t bothered by the chemical. However, its smell can stick to all your belongings, especially your furniture and mattress. If you’re truly concerned about needing something stronger than a natural repellent, check out your local hardware store and place extra mice, ant, and roach traps around your unit. This will do a better job of keeping pests away without filling your whole unit with the distinctive and stubborn smell of mothballs.
Pick a Company That is Active and Responsive for Pest Control
Taking all the necessary precautions against pests can protect your possessions from unwanted damage from insects and mice. Just like climate-controlled units can reduce humidity to protect precious musical instruments and antiques, active and responsive pest control units offer additional protective benefits. Pest control units give you the peace of mind that your belongings are in good hands.
We’re Your Storage Solution!
Storage Rentals of America is your convenient self-storage solution. So come into our office or give our storage experts a call at 1-800-457-5678. Our call center is available 7 days a week and can help determine which storage unit size best fits your storage needs.