How To Protect Your Storage Unit From Pests

Even the most well-maintained storage facilities can be faced with pests, which are not only a nuisance, but can be a serious concern for the safety of your belongings. 

However, there are several ways to prevent bugs or rodents from entering a storage unit. Once you know how to keep pests out of your storage unit, you can store your belongings with even greater confidence. 

We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips so that you may never have to deal with pests in a storage unit. Our advice includes preparing your unit before you move in, keeping food out of the storage unit, and wrapping upholstered furniture. Follow these steps for a better chance of maintaining a pest-free storage unit. 

How To Keep Pests Out of Storage Units

To ensure your belongings are in good shape when you later retrieve them, it’s essential to give them the best storage space, which includes one that’s free of pests. With this guide, finding bugs in your storage unit will be the least of your worries.

Prepare Your Unit Before You Move In

Preparing the unit before you move in can drastically decrease the chances of pests entering your storage unit. The first step is to spray the unit with a bug barrier. Alternatively, if you don’t want potentially harmful chemicals in your storage unit, several essential oils repel pests, including: 

  • Peppermint essential oil
  • Lemongrass essential oil
  • Cedarwood essential oil
  • Tea tree essential oil 

Putting cloth pieces or cotton balls soaked with these essential oils around the unit could deter bugs or rodents from entering. Look around for places where pests could potentially gain entry to the storage unit, such as the doorway. These are key spots to apply bug spray or place the essential oil cloths or cotton balls.

If you’re especially worried about rodents getting into your unit and tearing things apart, you can also place mouse traps along the floor. If you take this approach, make sure to visit your storage unit regularly to check the traps.

Do Not Keep Food in Your Storage Unit

While canned food is typically safe in storage, many foods can attract pests. Even sealed, packaged foods, such as dog kibble, can motivate pests to enter the storage unit. Therefore, it is essential to keep food items out of the unit altogether. 

When storing kitchen items, such as pots, pans, or other cookware, ensure they’re clean and don’t have any traces of food left on them. Even small bits of dried food or crumbs can attract hungry pests. 

Wrap Upholstered Furniture

Upholstered furniture is a breeding ground for pests, especially bedbugs. Bedbugs in a storage unit can impact not only your unit, but the units around yours, as well. While you may be confident that you’re not bringing any bedbugs into the facility, you never know who might be unknowingly storing an item that is infested. 

Wrapping your upholstered furniture with plastic wrap or furniture covers can stave off bedbugs or other pests that are looking for a cozy home. You should always clean and completely dry any furniture before you begin wrapping it to prevent mold and mildew.

a gloved hand uses a handheld vacuum to clean an upholstered cushion.

How To Get Rid of Bugs in a Storage Unit

If you’ve discovered a pest infestation within your storage unit, first you should do what you can from the steps above. The same techniques that keep pests out of your storage unit can also be how you get rid of them.

Assess the Situation

Search through your stored belongings to locate what’s been attracting pests. To be extra thorough, we recommend pulling all items out of the unit and inspecting them in broad daylight. 

This will also give you the space to set aside items that need to be thrown away due to damage or infestation. If it’s an item you hope to salvage, isolate it from your other belongings.

Remove Any Food

Eliminate any possible sources of food, including any crumbs that might have traveled into your unit from between couch cushions or in desk drawers. Before putting items back into your unit, sweep the floor thoroughly and look at all of your items for traces of food, or anything else that may attract pests.

A person wearing blue jeans and boots uses a push broom to sweep the floor.

Prevent Reentry

Once you know there are no pests in your unit, spray the perimeter with a bug barrier or leave the essential oils. A material such as steel wool can plug any gaps in the walls or doorway of your unit. You can also place insect or rodent traps near any possible entry points for added protection.

Contact Your Insurance and Storage Facility

If you do have items damaged by pests, contact your homeowners or renters insurance company to see what’s covered. Alert your storage facility of any discovered pest problems, as neighboring units could also be experiencing problems. This is especially important if you have bedbugs in the storage unit. Your storage facility’s staff may be able to recommend additional pest prevention tips, as well.

Need a Storage Unit Near You? Contact The Storage Manager

Self storage can be the easiest, most convenient solution for a cluttered home or business. Not only does a facility powered by The Storage Manager offer affordable storage solutions in many accessible locations, but our storage rentals always remain flexible to keep up with your unique lifestyle.

Contact us to locate a self storage facility near you today! A friendly member of our team will be more than happy to help you find the right storage unit for your needs. Once you find the right storage facility for you, ask the team for any local tips on how to keep pests out of your storage unit.

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