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Top 7 tips on how to prevent pests in self-storage units

Prevent pests in self-storage

Have you ever wondered how to prevent pests from entering your self-storage space? You may be unsure about where to start. If you are choosing to store furniture or other items in a storage unit, you can take steps to protect them from possible pest damage.

Self-storage can be highly susceptible to many types of pest infestations. Unfortunately, many self-storage providers fail to pay attention to the dangers of pest infestation within their premises. Fortunately, there are many things that we can do to avoid our self-storage spaces from getting infested with pests. 

In this article, we’re going to share our top 7 tips on how to prevent pests. We give tips on how to keep them out of your storage unit for good! Read on for all the information you could need.

Why should you care about pest infestation?

Preventing pest infestations begins with having the necessary knowledge of why they are so dangerous to us. Without the proper care, contact with pests can have serious detrimental health effects. Especially when talking about poisonous spiders, cockroaches, and rodents like mice and rats. These types of pest infestations are the most common reasons why diseases get spread so quickly. 

Unlike homes and business spaces, self-storage containers are usually overlooked. Most of the time people put their items in a unit and rarely check them, if ever. When a renter completely forgets to check their storage spaces, it gives pests a free run of the place. Self-storage units are the ideal pest infestation targets. They typically contain cluttered items and large volumes of boxes, a pest’s dream place. The most common issue with pests is that whilst homeowners pack and prepare their belongings for storage, pests tend to find their way into the boxes. They are brought into storage units so they can quickly reproduce, leading to a significant issue in a concise amount of time. This is why it’s important to know what not to store in a storage unit and why. Items such as food, live plants, and bags or boxes of paper are highly attractive to pests. 

When considering how to get rid of a pest, the best solution is to seek professional pest management services. It can involve much more than just treating a pest infestation. Proper pest control requires training, knowledge, and an excellent understanding of pest biology. Even though professional pest control can be pretty costly, the damages from pest infestations are even costlier.   

You can take the following steps to give you the best chance of not allowing pests in self-storage to become an issue in the first place. However, if you do find evidence of a pest infestation, the professionals in pest control will know the best way to deal with it. A professional pest control company will also have the tools to ensure pests don’t become a problem in the future.

Top 7 tips on how to prevent pests in self-storage

Pest infestations can damage storage units, ruining all the belongings that you have carefully stored inside. You want to keep these items for a reason, so it makes sense to take precautions to protect them . Not only do pests damage your items, they also tarnish the self-storage facility’s reputation. Rodents such as mice can chew through wires, causing major electrical fires, whilst cockroaches can ruin stored personal property in many ways. 

A properly managed storage facility will take measures to minimise the risk of pests. However, it’s up to you to do as much as possible to mitigate the risks of pests in your unit. The facility will not enter into your unit, so you must do what you can to protect your items.

To avoid all that and much more, let’s have a look at our top tips on how to prevent pests like a pro!

1. Pack belongings in plastic totes with airtight lids

The best tip on how to reduce pest infestation is to pack your belongings in boxes with airtight lids. Usually, the best choices are plastic boxes, which are great for fabrics, clothing, and blankets. We have a great article on how to store clothes long-term in self-storage that you should check out for some useful tips!

However, if you choose to use cardboard boxes, we highly recommend buying new ones to make sure they are strong enough and less likely to have any gaps or holes in them. Why? Because this will prevent pests from getting in! Ensure all tops and bottoms are adequately taped instead of folding the box flaps to close them.

You want to make your storage boxes as secure and strong as possible whilst giving them a little bit of extra protection against pests. Another top tip is to altogether avoid storing your belongings in free boxes that you took from restaurants or supermarkets, as most likely they will have some sort of food leftovers in them that will only make your boxes more appealing to pests. 

Storge unit providers may also offer some storage boxes for sale. Alternatively, many DIY stores and other household shops sell storage containers. Find boxes and containers that include lids with clips built-in. It always you to place the lid on and secure it properly. The type of secure lid containers such as these, will make sure the lids stay on and critters won’t be able to find a gap to get inside.

2. Pest proof the self-storage unit ahead

Once you’ve finished your self-storage inventory list and decided on how to store your items, you can start thinking about how to prevent pests from getting inside your storage space. 

Make sure that your self-storage unit has water-and air-tight seal, as some pests can easily squeeze through cracks as thin as a credit card. Seal all cracks and holes on the outside of your self-storage space to reduce any entry points. To do so, you can use silicone caulk to seal all over utilities and pipes whilst filling in any holes. Additionally, clean all your items before placing them in your unit, and thoroughly inspect every one of them to ensure pests aren’t hiding in any boxes or items. They love doing that! In case you find anything suspicious, that’s the best time to get rid of pests before storing them in a pleasant and long holiday retreat within your storage space!

To go even a step further, you can spray the storage walls, floors and ceiling with bug spray whilst placing mouse bait or traps inside the unit, especially near the door. If you choose to use this easy method, make sure to check your self-storage unit regularly by inspecting all mice traps. Additionally, to make your routine checkups even easier, make sure to organise your storage unit for frequent access.  

3. Don’t store food

Whilst this tip might be obvious, it’s impressive how many people completely forget about it! It’s the main attractant, so it’s essential to take this step to prevent pests in self-storage units.

If you are moving home in a hurry, make sure you won’t just store all your food items and pantry inside storage units with the expectation of rodents not noticing them. Food can make its way into the nooks and crannies of furniture. So make sure you vacuum and clean everything before storing it. 

Also, try not to consume any food when you are inside your self-storage yard, as the smell of food will only attract unwanted creatures to lurk all over your items when you won’t be around. 

4. Raise items off the ground

Even though bugs and rodents can crawl, it’s always a good idea to keep your belongings elevated off the ground as much as possible. You can simply use open shelving or place clean pallets on the floor. 

By doing so, you will not only protect your items and prevent pests in self-storage containers, but you’ll also protect them from any unwanted moisture. 

5. Cover your furniture

Wrap up all your sofas, chairs, and mattresses in plastic covers, so that in case any unwanted little animals do decide to visit your storage unit, they will be walking on plastic and not all over your beloved vintage furniture pieces.

The most common way that bed bugs get into self-storage units is through mattresses, so make sure you keep them free of insects way before storing them. You can use a plastic mattress cover that is specifically made to keep pests out. Along with bed bugs, many other types of pests love to get into any upholstered furniture, whilst rodents will have the time of their life chewing it. This is why covering anything that is made out of fabric is crucial. For couches and fabric-covered chairs, our recommendation is to use breathable material. Wrapping furniture too tight in plastic or cloth covers can cause a lot of unwanted moisture, which will only ruin your furniture in the long term. We have a great blog on how to pack furniture for long-term storage, loaded with great tips and tricks for you to read!

6. Use natural repellents

Before using any type of chemical or commercial deterrent, make sure to always check with your self-storage facility. 

Reputable self-storage companies have routine professional pest control services, and their methods are highly efficient whilst always considering people’s safety. You will be able to see if a self-storage yard is taking the right steps to control these critters. Look out for evidence of mice or other pests when you visit these places.

The management will ensure that a pest control company visits regularly and controls any risks of pests in the storage yard. However, there are many deterrents that can damage furniture and clothes, especially mothball deterrents. A simple way to keep mice and pests out of your storage unit is to put cedar blocks in a bowl. It’s a better choice than using mothballs, you don’t want all your items smelling like the distinctive odour of mothballs.

Use lavender or peppermint essential oils on cotton balls scattered around the self-storage space. Peppermint essential oil is a natural deterrent for mice and spiders. It will make your storage unit smell much nicer than mothballs. For maximum efficiency, make sure to place infused cotton balls right next to the door. It may sound simple, but it’s a highly effective natural pest solution for storage units.

Mice and spiders will definitely stay away from your belongings, as they don’t like the smell of peppermint essential oil. You can simply repeat this process as many times as you want. However, it is most important to do so as the seasons change. 

7. Regularly clean & check your storage 

Pest infestations can be easily dealt with if you catch them as soon as possible. If they are caught and addressed in time, it’s a simple process to tackle the problem. The best way is to catch problems early, so make sure to check your self-storage space regularly. 

We recommend visiting your storage unit monthly, or if possible, even weekly. A local self-storage unit will make this a lot simpler. Find a location that is near your work or home, so you can visit is often as possible. Make sure to inspect any potential signs of rodent or pest damage, such as:

  • New holes
  • Rodent droppings and urine marks
  • Presence of bugs
  • Evidence of nesting
  • Damaged items
  • Grease tracks

If you notice any of the signs above or any other suspicious things, contact self-storage management immediately. Make sure your self-storage unit and the property get a proper inspection. Any repairs or everything that needs to get fixed is promptly taken care of for everyone’s safety. 

To make sure that pest infestations stay away at all times when choosing your self-storage company, consider the following: 

  • Make sure the self-storage spaces have well-kept landscaping
  • Ask if the storage company engages in pest control services monthly or quarterly
  • Inspect all borders of the storage facility to check if it’s completely free of trash
  • Check all doors and access areas, and make sure they are kept in good conditions
  • Inspect all garbage areas and make sure everything is kept well 


As you can see, there are many easy and cheap ways in which you can prevent pests in self-storage units. At BoxdpodSpace, we offer clean and secure self-storage solutions on highly secure sites that can meet your needs. Additionally, all our gated compounds have 24/7 monitoring via CCTV cameras. They are only accessible with a code for an extra layer of security. Whether you store household items, furniture, or other things in a unit with us, you get peace of mind. As a leading provider of self-storage units in the UK, Boxpod Space has extensive experience in providing an excellent storage solution.

Whether you want to store your furniture, clothing, or any other items, for both the long and short term, we can help! Affordable self-storage services across various locations are available. Make sure to fill in our application form, or simply get in touch with us. One of our experienced and friendly staff will be happy to assist you. Also, did you know that self-storage can help you run your business from home? Read our article to find out how to utilise self-storage for business use, another great benefit of choosing self-storage with us!