With the weather changing, I have been asked by a few tenants what they can use in their storage unit to repel bugs, spiders and other pests. There are a few tried and true techniques that, if used properly, will help keep all the pests and creepy crawlers away.
First and Foremost, No Food Allowed!
Clean kitchen items thoroughly, such as appliances that have food residue on them, before placing them in your unit. Make sure to dry them thoroughly as well. Never store food in your unit. Even the smallest crumbs left behind can lead to pest problems. Along with food, you shouldn’t store anything that has a smell, such as candles, wax melts, soap, lotions, and so on. Many of these can be confused by pests as a food source (think of all the yummy scents like pumpkin spice and sugar cookies) and they will come right in looking for it.
Consider Your Storage Containers and Boxes.
Avoid using cheap, free cardboard boxes you picked up at the grocery store. These can easily be infested and used by nesting rodents, as they are designed for one time use and often have smells and residue that can attract pests. If you want to use cardboard, you can purchase boxes which we offer for sale in our retail shop that are specially treated and crush tested. These boxes are designed specifically for the self storage industry and will stand the test of time. You can also use sealed plastic containers and tubs. Not only do stackable plastic bins seal tightly and are easy to move, they’re much more difficult for pests to invade. Many are clear or frosted so you can see what’s inside. And the ones that aren’t, you can easily write directly on the outside with a marker to state what’s inside.
Raise Your Stored Items Off the Concrete Floor.
Try to store everything, boxes included, on raised pallets to prevent smaller pests from hiding underneath. This will also help prevent anything in the unit from drawing moisture from the concrete floor. And, the air flow underneath is helpful as well for your belongings.
Wrap and Cover Furniture.
Wrap or fully cover with plastic your upholstered furniture and soft items like pillows or curtains that don’t fit into boxes. This will prevent any pests from finding a cozy place to hang out. Wrap table and chair legs, and use plastic covers on desks, dressers, mattresses and so on.
Use Pest Deterrents.
Moth balls are the age-old repellent that can be used and that works well. However, those have a very unpleasant and strong smell to people; and the odor will attach to your belongings over time. There are more pleasant smelling deterrents that can be used instead, and still be effective. Mint and peppermint are two scents that mice and creepy crawlers don’t seem to like at all.
Follow these quick tips:
- Take a large metal bowl and fill the bottom with peppermint oil. Then add cedar wood chips.
- You also can take cotton balls and emerge them in peppermint oil. Then place them in a sash and hang in your unit. You can hang one in each corner for larger units to get better coverage. You can also place them in the corners along the floor for an added barrier. Simply add more peppermint oil to the cotton balls each month.
- You can also use bay leaves. Take the bay leaves and put two bay leaves in each corner of the unit. Again, replace them monthly.
- Dry lavender also works well. Sprinkle dry lavender on the floor of your unit and in the corners. This can often last longer than a month, but check it monthly and replace as you notice the smell fading.
Be sure to sweep up and remove all pest deterrents when you move out of your storage unit; especially if you sprinkle things on the floor and in the corners. It is important that you leave your storage unit clean and swept like it was when you moved in.
Stay on Top of Pest Control.
Check on your unit regularly and look for signs of infestation. It is a good idea to visit your storage unit at least when the seasons change, which gets you there every three months. However, monthly checks are recommended.
Following these simple steps will help prevent pests from entering your storage unit. 140 Mini Storage also has pest control services visit the entire property regularly to treat the exterior of the buildings and interior hallways to help control them. It is important that if you notice any evidence of a pest problem inside your storage unit or anywhere on the property, that you notify the property manager immediately so additional steps can be taken.
If you have any questions about repelling pests, you can reach out to our property manager at any time. You can also leave your tips below in the comments to share with others. And if you are in need of a storage unit, you can rent online now and get organized!