Storage units are everyone’s go-to option, especially when looking for a safe and secure unit to keep a few things and belongings. These units provide peace of mind knowing your items will be safe and be in the same condition as you left them when you come back. While this might be possible for short-term storage (3 months or less), keeping them for long periods presents a whole new challenge – pests. Many storage companies struggle to keep pests out of their storage units, especially if they stay locked for long periods. Rat, bugs, and mice can easily find and make a home in your storage unit, damaging everything in their way. While an insurance policy can save the day, taking a few basic precautions can help prevent the same from happening. Outlined below are a few tips and tricks on how to keep your storage unit pest-free.
1. Use The Right Storage Containers
Your choice of storage containers will determine the condition your belongings will be in after several months of storage. Choose the suitable container, and everything will stay intact, with no pest gnawing on your precious items. Your best bet lies with high-quality plastic, sealable crates. These crates are reinforced at the edges, meaning they can be stacked in the storage unit. In addition to this, the reinforced plastic material is tough enough to repel even the most determined of rodents.
While the sealable plastic crates seem handy, you need to ensure all items are free of moisture before tossing them in. It would therefore be advisable to dry everything completely before it can be packed in the storage containers. Humidity and temperature fluctuate a lot in storage units, a reason you need to ensure everything is dry to keep mould and mildew out. If you are looking for container self storage then see here.
2. Make Sure All Textiles Are Clean Before Storage
Dirty textiles are a magnet for bug eggs and mould. This is one of the reasons you should consider cleaning everything from upholstered furniture, soft furnishings, clothes, and toys before they can go in for long-term storage. As mentioned earlier, the textiles too should be completely dry before they can be packed for storage. Any attempt to store dirty or wet textiles will only create the perfect breeding ground for bugs and mildew. Cleaning and drying these items will save you lots of heartaches when you come back. It would also be advisable to put your clothes in a sealable container, especially if looking to store lots of them for an extended period. Sealed containers are less appealing to potential pests.
3. Inspect The Unit First
Always inspect the storage unit first before bringing your items over. Be sure to check for signs of pests within and around the storage unit. Some of the signs to watch out for include droppings, cobwebs, possible access points (gaps and holes), and visible rodent tracks outside. Most storage companies will, however, have pest control boxes installed outdoors to avert a possible pest infestation.
4. Don’t Store Perishables in The Unit
As obvious as it seems, most people still store perishables (foods, plants, etc.) in their storage units. This is despite professional storage facilities advising against it. Among other reasons, perishables attract pests and can be a health hazard if neglected. Mice will smell a rotting apple, banana, or orange from miles away and look for every possible route to get to it. You will be surprised at the space a determined mouse can fit through, all in search of food.
Aside from attracting pests, storing perishables in these units will void any form of insurance you had. It also invalidates your agreement with the storage facility too. This means you will have no grounds to claim for damages if any. You might thus want to keep the perishables elsewhere, donate, or toss them in the rubbish bin. An even better way to handle this, especially for plants, is to ask a friend or family member to take care of them while you are away.