Keeping Bugs and Critters Out of Your Unit

Published on 3/11/2021

When packing things to store in a self-storage unit, bugs and mice might not cross your mind. There are things you may unintentionally do while packing items into a storage unit that can attract unwanted pests. Before you know it, an infestation can occur and reoccur. Before you purchase a bunch of traps and poison, there are some other methods you can try to keep unwanted guests out. In most cases, a little preparation will go a long way in keeping your items in your storage unit safe and clean. The best ways to keep mice and other bugs out of your storage unit is by making sure you follow the tips we are going to tell you about below.


Pack Items In Plastic Totes With Tight Lids

The best way to keep pests out of your belongings is the pack them in boxes that have airtight lids. Plastics boxes are typically the best choice and are especially good to use for liners, fabrics, blankets, and clothing.

If you choose to use cardboard boxes, we recommend buying new boxes. This will ensure the boxes are stronger and are less likely to have any punctures or gaps that pests could enter. If you are using cardboard boxes in your storage unit, we recommend making sure the tops and bottoms are taped securely, rather than folding the box flaps to close them. This will keep the bottom of the box strong, and give a little bit of extra protection against pests.

If you choose to use moving boxes that you can get for free, be sure to avoid using cardboard boxes from grocery stores or restaurants. These boxes are known to attract unwanted pests. When choosing what to pack your items in, keep in mind what you are packing, and how much protection you want your items to have.


Do Not Store Food

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people make the mistake of storing food inside their storage unit. If you’re moving in a hurry, one thing you should not pack up and put in your storage unit is your pantry. Even canned or dried goods will get rodents attention. Some people have traces of food in their storage unit, and they don’t even realize it.

Before you move items such as furniture, or kitchen items, look for food. Vacuum or clean furniture between and under cushions. Check your kitchen items such as storage containers or pots and pans for any crumbs or food residue on the surfaces.

This goes beyond the obvious tip of not storing food in your storage unit. You should also make sure that the surrounding area is swept and no crumbs are left behind from a previous tenant or from a quick bite to eat you had there on moving day.


Keep Your Items Raised Off The Ground

While bugs and rodents can crawl, it is helpful to keep your items elevated off the ground. An easy way to do this is by using open shelving or placing pallets on the ground. Be sure that your shelving or pallets are clean before you place them in your storage unit. Not only will this step help keep pests from getting into your belongings, but it will also protect your belongings from moisture.


Cover Mattresses and Furniture

Do you know the most common way bed bugs get in storage units? We’ll give you one guess… BEDS! Make sure any mattress you keep in your storage unit is free of insects before places it in storage. In order to prevent them from coming in be sure to use a plastic mattress cover, specifically designed for keeping pests out.

Next is your furniture. Bugs can burrow into upholstered furniture, and rodents will chew through it. Make sure anything that has fabric is covered, and not just covered, but covered correctly. Use plastic for items such as mattresses or non-upholstered furniture, and breathable material for couches and fabric-covered chairs.

Remember that you want to keep pests out, but you also want your items to stay the way they are when you put them in your storage unit. Wrapping furniture too tightly in plastic or cloth can cause moisture build-up underneath and ruin your furniture.


Use Natural Repellents

This goes back to the fact that you don’t need to put a bunch of traps and poison in your storage unit, there are a few natural ways to deter pests. Depending on your storage unit facility you are using, they may be taking care of pest control already.  Reputable storage facilities employ routine professional pest control services. Their methods are most likely the most effective. Check with your storage unit facility first to see if routine pest control services are something they conduct before spraying any type of bug spray or chemical. If your storage unit facility does not offer pest control, or you would just like some extra reassurance that mice and pests are steering clear of your storage unit, there are a few natural things you can implement.

Natural Pest Remedies:

  1. Keep the area clean, and broom swept.

  2. Eliminate unwanted odors using DampRid.

  3. Put cedar blocks in a bowl on a shelf.

  4. Drop lavender or peppermint essential oil on cotton balls and place them in your storage unit.