If you are storing your possessions in a storage unit, remember that it’s really no different than storing in your garage. Because of that, you are at risk for unwanted pests entering your storage unit. We have some DIY tips to help prevent those pesky critters from coming in and potentially causing damage.
First of all, you should check on your stored items as frequently as possible. We recommend at least every month or two, or as the seasons change at a minimum. Ensure there is no water damage from the dampness that may occur from heat and humidity. You can use products like DampRid® and place it in the unit to act as a dehumidifier. You can even use an open box of unscented kitty litter to do the same. If you have damaged boxes or items, be sure to remove them to prevent further issues. Dampness often attracts bugs and spiders. An inexpensive way to prevent them is using unwrapped peppermint tea bags. Simply place a couple in the corners of your unit to deter bugs, spiders and even mice. Remember to replace them when you visit to keep the effectiveness at full capacity.
You should also make sure to properly store items, by placing them in sealed totes or boxes. Also wrap cloth and wooden furniture in plastic dust covers and secure with tape to keep out those unwanted visitors. Make sure any clothes and fabrics are fully cleaned and thoroughly dried before placing them in storage.
Make sure you don’t store anything in your unit that may attract pests, such as food, certain spices and even items like food scented candles. Not only are perishables a bad idea, they are against our rules and regulations per the rental agreement you signed upon rental.
Here are some examples of inexpensive DIY solutions to help keep your storage unit or garage pest free, and without using any harmful chemicals:
- Sprinkle Cayenne Pepper in the corners, it has a very potent smell that mice don’t like. Wipe it up with a damp cloth every month and sprinkle fresh. To prevent having to clean this up each month, you can sprinkle the pepper in a small cup or plastic bowl. Then simply dump into a trash bag and take with you, then add fresh to the container.
- If you have mint growing in your yard, you can chop up some of the leaves and place along the base of the walls and in the corners. It smells great to us and will make your unit smell fresh, but mice and other pests don’t like the smell. You can even use a little bit of mint toothpaste, peppermint or spearmint, spread onto a paper towel. Any peppermint oils will also work, although they can get a bit pricey to purchase.
- Mix 1 cup ammonia with 1 cup vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it on cotton balls. Place a few cotton balls in your unit along the walls and in the corners. These items are pretty much in every household or very inexpensive to purchase. Periodically, respray the cotton balls to bring back the effectiveness. Then make sure to replace them with new ones from time to time as well.
- Cut a small hole in a box of baking soda, or use a fridge and freezer pack, and set the box in a corner, if mice do get into your unit and eat the powder, it acts as a poison. They will also pull moisture out of the air as well. Replace these every three months.
- You can even use a few moth balls in each corner of the unit. However, as most of us know, those do not smell very pleasant, and you can smell them from rather far away.
Hopefully these tips along with our suggested DIY ideas will give you some insight on how to prevent pests from entering your unit and prevent damage to your valuables. We hope following these tips will help make your storage experience a more positive one, as we all know that moving is stressful enough on its own. If you’re ready to start storing, you can rent online and move right in!