A little effort can go a long ways towards protecting your items while they are in storage. Anything worth paying to store is worth protecting it while it’s stored. For the safety of your items, those in neighboring units and in consideration of the owner/management of the storage facility, it pays to pay attention to pest control. Here are 10 Storage Tips to Keep Bugs, Mice, & Ants Out of Your Unit.
1. Before moving furniture into storage clean it and vacuum thoroughly. Get all the crumbs, debris and stains off sofas and chairs including down in the cracks and crevices. Any “extras” left in here is a calling card for bugs and once started it affects not only your stuff but that in other units too.
2. Thoroughly clean appliances, large and small, for the same reason. Those crumbs in the toaster tray, the food stuck on small appliances or pans invites in problems you don’t want. Clean means nothing to attract bugs or mice and without food and shelter they will not stay.
3. Mothballs work well in boxes of clothing. Be careful though and use cause as they can stain clothes. Putting some in the unit, where they won’t stain the contents, is a good idea however. Cedar scented blocks and sachets can be made or purchased to be tucked into boxes of clothing or household goods like towels, blankets and sheets. A good sachet can last three to four months, enough for short term storage.
4. Don’t be afraid to use contained insecticides – roach and ant baits can be an inexpensive thing to put in the corners as you don’t know what others have stored in their storage sheds.
5. Use mouse and rat baits, or traps with peanut butter instead of cheese. Don’t use the traps if you don’t check it regularly – leaving one sit in the trap doesn’t catch others after the trap is sprung.
6. For additional natural deterrents look to herbs. Catnip is said to repel ants, lavender repels moths, sage repels slugs and mint can be effective against many kinds of pests. Mint and tansy are said to repel mice, although tansy can cause allergic reactions in some people.
7. Stick to canned goods and securely sealed (screw on lids) jars packed to prevent breakage if you absolutely must store food . Because it attracts pests, food is highly discouraged.
8. Buckets from bakeries can be used to store rice or grains. It’s strongly suggested this be for a minimal amount of time in a storage unit. There are so many factors that are beyond our control that it pays to use caution. Boxed foods and plastic bags simply offer no resistance to mice and bugs, resulting in an infestation of pests that no one wants.
9. Make sure up around the top there are not holes that birds can get into. Having a bird trapped in a storage unit can be very messy and unpleasant!
10. Avoid storing candles in warm climates and those with liquid like snow globes in cold ones. Some units are not protected from heat and freezing, and not only can the items become damaged but anything under it also. This, in turn, can attract pests due to the oils or dampness. If you must store items like this go for a climate controlled unit, which better protects all of your items.