Battling unwelcome insects and rodents in your living space is one thing—you are there to wage war on a daily basis. However, preventing rodent and pest infestations in your storage unit takes special care and consideration. The most popular type of items people put into storage is furniture. Think overstuffed sofas, plush recliners, mattresses, and grandmas antique kitchen table. So it is a little creepy to think the things we take out of our homes and put into storage can then become home to pesky little creatures such as mice, cockroaches, ants, and spiders.
Just in case you doubt the importance of finding a clean, pest-free storage facility, did you know that mice leave a trail of urine wherever they walk? Not only are they prolific breeders but they produce thousands of fecal pellets that may contain millions of bacteria or viruses. Grossed out yet?
Me too. So let’s look at this from another vantage point. Pretend a superhero bug is attempting to invade your storage unit: Here are some pest prevention tips to stop those pesky vermin from infesting your stored belongings.
Is Spiderman Hiding in Your Unit?
If you are like me, and Ron Weasley in Harry Potter, then you have an inherent fear of spiders. However, Toby McGuire helped alleviate arachnophobia for girls everywhere when he starred in the 2002 Spiderman movie.
Nevertheless, spiders are more of a nuisance than they are a threat to your stored items. Unless of course the air-breathing arthropod happens to be one of the most feared spiders in the country – a Black Widow or a Brown Recluse. These are the two most dangerous types of spiders to people in the U.S., so when unpacking stored belongings be alert if they live in your region. A common way to keep spiders out of your storage unit is to spray a solution of white vinegar or peppermint oil around all the cracks and crevices.
Newsflash: Ant-Man Eats Halloween Candy
Part of Marvel Comics pantheon of heroes, Ant-Man can shrink himself to the stature of an ant and then transform into a 12-foot-tall giant. While ants may or may not be a terrible subject for a superhero film, an army of ants in your storage unit is a particular nuisance. Because ants are attracted to the same types of food you and I eat, you can keep them out of your unit by not storing food there.
Most ant species have a sweet tooth, yes, ants have teeth and are attracted to sweet and sticky substances. As tempting as it might throw in that bag of extra Halloween candy when you return your seasonal decorations to your unit, don’t do it.
Students who are planning to use storage for the contents of their dorm rooms or apartments should take special care to make sure all kitchen-related items are cleaned properly before placing them in storage. All storage facility operators have policies on what can and cannot be stored at their locations, which includes not allowing perishable food products in individual units to discourage pest infestations of all types.
Further steps you can take to prevent ants from coming into your unit is to place ant bait traps around the inside perimeter of your space. Another popular pest-control method is to make a concoction of borax and sugar. Mix equal parts in a jar then punch holes in the lid of the jar and sprinkle around the inside perimeter of your space. However, before using this method, check with your storage manager to see if this is an acceptable practice.
Mighty Mouse Lives in Storage Unit
It turns out that Mrs. Mighty Mouse is a prolific breeder otherwise she would be at her husband’s side out saving the world. More seriously though, and a real threat to your upholstered furniture and mattresses is the intrepid House Mouse. This species is active all year round, which means they could invade your home, business, or storage unit at any time.
House mice are one of the most common storage facility rodent invaders, and female mice can give birth to up to a dozen baby mice every three weeks!
The White-Footed Mouse can be found in eastern and western parts of the country. If you have a storage unit in one of these geographic regions: Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, Montana, Colorado, and Arizona, you only need to worry about these critters if you are storing near a forest, brushlands, or bordering agriculture lands.
Mice can squeeze through spaces as small as a dime and rats can fit through holes the size of a quarter. The surest solution to get rid of mice is to set traps in your storage unit but for obvious reasons, mousetraps need to be regularly checked.
A Natural pest prevention strategies recommended option is to use botanic oils such as peppermint oil. Place saturated cotton balls around the perimeter of your unit but especially near the door.
Be sure to ask your storage manager about their facility’s policy on pest prevention. If the building is newer it is less likely to have cracks and small openings due to wear and tear. Reputable storage companies employ pest management servicers who have specific knowledge and understanding about the types of pests that live in your city and state. This gives exterminators targeted methods to discourage bugs, mice, and other pests from entering a facility in the first place. Finding a reliable storage operator that practices routine pest control is going to be your best bet in keeping your personal belongings free from harm while they are being stored.