Life can hold many unpleasant surprises. Among them is the discovery of insects or rodents in the personal items you’ve placed in a storage unit.

There are a couple of ways this can happen, and some simple methods of prevention. No one wants to return to carefully-packed boxes of valuables, papers or clothing to find them covered in filth or chewed up.

First, let’s examine where these pests might have come from.

  1. Sorry, but if you are putting boxes in storage without looking through them, you may be the cause of your problem. Boxes stored in your garage or basement or attic may be infested without your knowledge. If you simply move those containers to a storage unit, you have brought your problem with you. Solution: Always use new boxes to store items in a storage unit, and always go through the old ones to make sure no pests have made themselves a home. You can also weed out items you no longer want to keep, reducing your storage load.
  2. Other people who did not do what we just suggested above. Bed bugs are among the most persistent and hardy critters, and a mattress stored without being sealed in a plastic container can unleash this nasty plague. Mattresses and clothing should always be sealed in plastic to keep bugs out – and in, where they will eventually die. Bed bugs can live 18 months without feeding.
  3. Perishable foods. These are, of course, a major attraction for ants, mice and rats. Never, never, never store perishable foods in a storage unit.

The point of a secure, dry storage unit is to keep your possessions in excellent condition until you retrieve them. As neither you, nor your storage container neighbors or proprietor want to deal with insects and vermin, the following are recommended.

  1. Seal boxes (those new boxes!) well with a heavy-duty strapping tape or packing tape. Clean those items before packing. Keep the storage unit neat and sweep up after any visits in case anything hitch-hiked in.
  2. Give clothing and shoes a good shake before putting them in boxes. Get the dust and dirt out. Anything lurking inside or on a shoe can be dislodged in this way.
  3. Use insecticide along the walls and near the door of the storage unit. Do not wait for the early signs of infestation – be proactive. An insecticide-laced bait will kill roaches, as will boric acid (which is not harmful to humans). Ant traps usually contain boric acid as well and can be scattered around the storage unit.

Put it away clean, keep it clean, take it home clean and it will be safe and secure in a UNITS Moving & Portable Storage location. Need help with portable storage solutions for your next move, remodel or construction project? Contact a UNITS franchise near you today!

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