8 Tips to Pest-Proof Your Storage Unit
Although storage facilities take steps to protect your belongings from pests, you might inadvertently attract them with improper packing or by storing things not allowed in storage units. As a result, pests can still present a risk.
In this article, we will share nine tips to help pest-proof your storage units in Thornhill and explain why it is so important.
1. Use airtight, sturdy storage bins
Although plastic bags and cardboard boxes might seem like the most cost-effective way to store your belongings, they can cost you in the long run. Bugs and rodents can make their way into bags and boxes, leading to damaged goods.
Instead, you should invest in airtight plastic bins, which are sturdy enough to deter pests. If this isn’t an option, you should at least use new cardboard boxes, as they’ll have fewer entry points.
2. Never store food in your storage unit
Although most storage facilities prohibit food storage, you might be tempted to do it anyway. This only works against you, attracting pests and putting the rest of your belongings at risk. Never store food items in your storage unit. In fact, we’d advise taking it one step further by ensuring items you store are free of food debris.
For example, if you’re storing a toaster, thoroughly clean the crumb tray and shake out all the crumbs. Don’t even bring food into your storage unit to eat while you are there, as this can leave behind food odours and crumbs that attract pests.
3. Use wood pallets
This helps to keep boxes elevated above the ground to avoid issues with moisture, which can damage your belongings and weaken your storage boxes. At Abacus Self Storage, we provide free wood pallets to add elevation to protect your items from dampness and pests.
4. Cover soft furnishings
Nothing is more inviting than a nice, soft mattress or sofa as the ideal nest for rodents. As awful as this sounds, you can help prevent rodents and bugs from crawling into your soft furniture by covering them with a breathable material that deters pests.
It’s important to avoid wrapping your furniture too tightly in plastic, as this creates condensation. Additionally, even if the rodents are just “passing through,” they leave a trail of urine and feces in their tracks, damaging furniture and spreading diseases that cling to soft materials.
5. Check in on your storage unit
While rental storage feels like a “set it and forget it” storage solution, it helps to check in on your unit occasionally to look for signs of damage. You can also look for sgns of rodent infestation, such as chewed boxes, holes in soft furniture, bugs, or rodent droppings. As soon as you notice possible pest issues, report them to management so they can take immediate steps to fix the issue.
6. Use pest deterrents
Your storage facility should take steps to prevent pests from entering the facility. However, as mentioned, if tenants don’t follow the rules, they put the entire facility at risk. You can help add extra roadblocks for pests by using deterrents that keep pests away.
Although most facilities will not allow you to use chemicals to kill pests, you can use natural solutions such as cedar blocks or balls, lavender, and peppermint essential oils and prevent moisture damage that can also attract pests.
7. Ask your storage facility about pest control
Before renting a storage unit, ask the facility about pest control. They should have a comprehensive process to prevent pests from entering your unit. However, if they don’t, move on to a different facility. Recognize pest infestation red flags before renting
You can also tour the storage facility and inspect the storage units in Thornhill to look for pest infestation red flags. This would include:
- Unkempt landscaping
- Degraded seals on storage unit doors
- Gaps around doors or between the door and floor
- Trash not contained in sturdy bins
- Visibly seeing bugs or rodents
- Rodent droppings
- Musty smells indicating moisture issues
8. Follow the rules
Storage facilities have rules to protect the belongings entrusted to their care. If you ignore certain rules, you increase the risk of damage to your goods and those stored at the entire facility. Although it might seem harmless to store unopened packages of food items, for example, you are putting your unit at risk for pest infestation.
That infestation will eventually impact the entire facility unless the management is diligent with ongoing pest-monitoring protocols. So, while you might think it’s worth the risk or don’t believe it’s an actual risk at all, the rules exist to protect you and your fellow tenants from potential damage.
These rules are not mere suggestions but part of the agreement of renting the unit, which means you also could be at risk of eviction from the unit. Therefore, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and follow all the rules to a tee.
Why Rodent Prevention Is Important for Storage Units
Pests present several risks for your stored belongings, including the following:
- Rodents are notorious chewers that can damage just about anything in a storage unit (short of metal).
- Rodents and some insects leave behind diseases in fecal matter that can make you sick when you come in contact with it.
- Insect infestations can be brought back to your home, including bed bugs, ants, roaches, etc.
- Even small holes provide access to rodents that can squeeze through an opening as small as the circumference of the average pencil.
- Most people rarely visit their storage units, meaning they sit undisturbed for months or years, providing the perfect living space for pests.
As you can see, pests are quite persistent and will find ways to infiltrate even the cleanest and most well-managed storage facilities. Following the rules and using these tips will help keep your storage unit pest-free.
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