People keep things in a storage unit because they want their things to remain safe and protected. Nobody wants to open up their storage unit and find holes gnawed in their wedding dress or see bed bugs infesting the couch and cockroaches roaming through the boxes. Storage units that are filled with cracks, cardboard, crevices, and upholstery eventually become a home for pests and rodents.
These units are very vulnerable to infestations of pests, and if not taken care of, they can spread like wildfire and harm all the things stored in them. This infestation has the ability to grow undetected and can spread easily.
In order to practice precaution and avoid having such issues in the future, it is important that you follow the following tips. These tips will allow you to protect your unit from these insects and rodents and keep your items safe and secure.
1. Use air-tight lids and plastic totes when packing
The most effective technique for keeping pests away from your belongings is by keeping your important items in well-sealed containers. Plastic containers are the best for fabrics, linens, and clothing. It is recommended that you buy new cardboard boxes for storing your things. These new boxes will be stronger and will not have punctures and gaps in them, allowing pests to enter.
Also, since they are created with extra strength, they can be used for withstanding heavy items and even be stacked for long time periods. If you are using moving boxes for free, then avoid the free boxes present at grocery stores and restaurants as they can attract unwanted pests.
2. Do not store food items
This tip might seem very obvious, but you’d be surprised to know how many people make this error and end up keeping food products inside a storage unit. If you are in a hurry, then make sure that you do not end up leaving your entire pantry in the unit because if you do leave some crumbs behind, pests will enter and they will find it.
So, before packing your things, make sure you dust them off properly and look for food where you can leave it by mistake. Also, clean the cushions and vacuum the furniture before storing it in the unit. If you are storing kitchen items, then make sure that you double-check the pans, pots and other containers for any residual food left on their surface.
This step goes beyond storing food items; it is important that you make sure that the unit is broom swept before moving it. Also, clear away any crumbs and leftovers left from the previous tenants or the lunch that you ate inside the unit on moving day. Try not to eat inside your storage unit at all costs because the smell can attract unwanted pests and insects.
3. Keep your items off the ground
Bugs and rodents can easily crawl, and it is advised that you keep your items a few inches above the ground, elevated. One easy way of this is by making use of open shelving or putting clean pallets on the floor. Not only will this keep the vermin away from making your storage boxes their home, but it will also protect your belongings from humidity and moisture accumulation.
4. Cover your furniture and mattresses
The most common way for bugs to enter the storage unit is via your mattresses. It is important that any mattress that you keep in the storage unit is free from insects. To make sure that your unit is free from pests, you should prevent them from entering in, and this can be easily done by making use of a plastic mattress cover that is designed to keep pests outside.
Bugs can burrow in any upholstered furniture item, and rodents have the ability to chew through it. Make sure that any item with fabric on it must be covered in a proper way. Spend some time covering your furniture properly before storing it in. Also, make use of a breathable item for chairs covered with fabric and couches.
When wrapping furniture, keep in mind that you want to keep the pests away and also want it to be breathable. Wrapping furniture tightly in a cloth or plastic can accumulate moisture and ruin it.
5. Use pest deterrents
Before investing in any spray, make sure that you check the storage facility you are using and find out if using a chemical spray, bug infestation medicines, or commercial deterrent is allowed. Many reputable storage units make use of professional pest control services with more effective techniques and methods and take care of the safety of their people.
Some deterrents such as mothballs can look harmless, but their smell can ruin your furniture and clothing. These mothballs also spread the smell to your neighboring units, so other natural methods are considered a much better option.
These natural methods are:
- Keep your area clean and swept with a broom properly.
- Eliminate any unwanted odor that you can get rid of easily.
- Place cedar blocks on a bowl and keep this bowl elevated from the ground or on a shelf.
- Drop peppermint essential oil or lavender oil on cotton balls.
6. visit your unit on a regular basis
Pests and rodent infestations can be eliminated easily if they are addressed and caught beforehand. It is recommended that you visit the unit every other week or month if you have a hectic schedule. Every time you visit the unit, carry out an inspection and look for pest damage or signs of a rodent. Search for new holes in your furniture or boxes, presence of small insects and bugs and rodent droppings. If you notice these things, then first contact the management immediately for their remedy. If the management is not prompt, then deal with it using natural pest deterrents and other home remedies.
With the above tips, you will be able to keep pests and insects away from your storage unit easily.