When you put your items in storage, the last thing you want to find when you return to take them out again is that your unit has become home to mice, spiders, ants, or other creepy crawlers. Not only does a pest infestation make for an unpleasant sight and smell, but it’s also likely that the new inhabitants have damaged your belongings. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to keep your self-storage unit pest-free and your valuables in optimal condition!
Deep Clean Your Storage Unit
Before you move anything in, make sure to clean and disinfect the unit thoroughly. You will need a mop, a bucket, soap, and a broom to do the cleaning. Start by using the broom to clean the dust off the ceiling and walls, then sweep the floor. After that, use the mop and soapy water to repeat the process. Ensure that the entire unit is completely dry before you start using it.
Clean the Items You’re Storing
Even packed away in boxes, if your items are covered in dirt, oils, food crumbs, or any other debris, they can attract pests into the unit. Take the time to wipe everything down thoroughly before you pack it. Any furniture should also be treated with the appropriate upholstery, leather, or wood cleaning products.
Use Plastic Storage Boxes
It’s easy for pests, particularly larger ones like mice, to chew through cardboard boxes and get at whatever items are stored inside. Plastic bins will be much more effective at protecting your belongings from pests, should they make their way into your unit. When using plastic storage bins, line the bottom and sides with acid-free paper on the inside to counteract any potential moisture buildup. For items that can’t be packed in boxes, wrap them in plastic (loosely) for the same protective benefits.
Keep Your Unit Free of Food
It is never safe to store food items in your storage unit, even nonperishables! The smell will attract pests, who will cause damage trying to get to the sweet treats they know are in your unit. Similarly, you should not store any items containing food-based ingredients or scents, such as scented candles. Mice and ants won’t be able to tell the difference and will come for your unit anyway.
Do Not Store Items Directly on the Floor
If moisture collects on your storage unit’s floor, pests will soon follow. Store them off the floor using elevated pallets to prevent them from getting to your valuables. Setting up storage shelves is another good way to help keep items off the floor and organize your unit.
Use Pest Repellants
As an extra precaution, some products can help prevent pests from entering your storage unit. One of the easiest and most effective is simple diatomaceous earth, which can be purchased from any home improvement store. Sprinkling a little inside your unit will help repel various pests, including cockroaches, dust mites, ants, and more. You can also get an ultrasonic pest-repellant device to set up in your storage unit, which lets out a high-frequency soundwave that sends common pests fleeing.
Rent From a High-Quality Storage Facility
One of the best ways to keep pests out of your storage unit is to choose a facility that takes good care of their property. Look for a storage facility that appears clean and well-cared for inside and out. A clean facility is far less likely to have pest issues in the first place than one that’s run-down and neglected, but ultimately, it comes down to how well you care for your own unit.
At Sentry Mini-Storage, the safety and condition of your belongings is our number one priority. You can rest assured knowing that all of our standard ventilation and climate-controlled units will be clean, secure, and ready to keep your possessions safe and sound for as long as needed.