You might worry about someone breaking into your storage unit, but sometimes, the real criminals are pests. Since you have countless people storing items, there is no guarantee someone did not bring pests along with their items. There are ways you can minimize the chance of attracting more pests and keeping your items safe.
1. Do Laundry
If you will store many clothing items in your storage unit, it is best to wash and dry them first for several reasons. Of course, the longer you leave dirty clothes sitting, the harder it will be to clean them when you finally do laundry. Food stains, odor, and even the fabric of your clothes can be attractive to pests. Once you clean your clothes and make sure they are completely dry before storing, seal them away in a container. The best containers to use are vacuum storage bags since they will take up little space once the air is vacuumed out. This can also keep some pests from chewing on your clothes because they like the fabric.
2. Vacuum Furniture
Some furniture is easier to clean than others. For hard or non-porous surfaces, you can wipe them down with sanitizing wipes. This helps remove any food residue that might exist on tables or under couch cushions. For surfaces that are difficult to clean, make sure to vacuum the cracks and crevices thoroughly to catch any food crumbs that might be attractive to pests.
If you will not store items for a long period, it may be safe to wrap items in plastic for additional protection. When you store items for many months, especially if your storage unit is not temperature and humidity control, wrapping items in plastic could potentially trap moisture that could lead to mold growth. In this case, adding a couple of vent holes might help while minimizing the amount of surface area that comes into contact with pests.
3. Use Traps And Pest Control
There are numerous types of traps that are made with sticky paper or are designed purely to trap pests, not lure them. Some include fly paper, roach motels, or sticky sheets to trap mice. This is a better idea for trapping any pests that might enter your storage unit. You do not want to leave a bait station or any other material that will only attract pests. Since there is no guarantee the bait will be effective in killing the pests, it is possible you might lure pests to your storage unit that would have passed by. Other useful products are discs that contain insect growth regulator (IGR). This can prevent some pests from reproducing. Since each storage unit may have its own pest control routine or policies regarding what you can use to control pests, using an IGR disc should be fine since you are not spraying chemicals.
When storing items, it is best to err on the side of caution and try to prevent pests from destroying your items or taking a pest problem to a new residence.