Keep Your Self Storage Unit Free of Pests

Nobody wants a self storage unit full of pests. No, I don’t mean the two-legged variety that follows you around the house all day asking for snacks. They’re annoying but not destructive. I’m talking about the creepy, crawly critters with four or more legs that invade your space and damage your stored belongings.

Self storage pest control is a team effort. Yes, your facility should be well-maintained and cleaned regularly as they are here at Universal Storage. Nevertheless, you should play a proactive role in keeping your unit free of unwanted inhabitants.

The following tips will help you keep your self storage unit a pest-free zone and your belongings in perfect condition.
Most facilities are diligent about cleaning their units prior to a move-in. Check to be sure that the walls and ceiling are free of dust and cobwebs and that the floor has been swept and mopped. The entire unit should be completely dry and disinfected. Your facility manager will be happy to answer any questions.

How Can You Keep Pests Out of Your Storage Unit?

Clean Your Items Before You Store Them

Don’t think that because your items are packed away in boxes that they can’t attract pests. Take the time to clean everything before you pack. It’s easy to accidentally leave food crumbs and debris on furniture and in kitchen containers. Wash all of your kitchen items and vacuum your furniture thoroughly and clean it with an appropriate upholstery leather, or wood, product.

Never Store Food in Your Unit

This includes any items that contain food-based ingredients. Be wary of scented candles that smell like sweets or meat products (yes bacon and barbecue scented candles are a thing). Mice and ants aren’t smart enough to differentiate between these scents and will happily invade your space looking for goodies. In contrast, unpleasant odors in dirty clothes and furniture will also attract unwanted guests. If you absolutely can’t avoid storing items that have strong odors, use airtight plastic bags and place the bags in plastic bins.

Securely Cover Mattresses and Upholstered Furniture

Before you even consider bringing mattresses or upholstered furniture to your storage unit, ensure that they are free of insects and rodents. These creatures will burrow into or chew through these items. As mentioned above, be sure that upholstery and mattresses have been scrupulously cleaned. Store mattresses in plastic covers and use coverings designed to protect your furniture while allowing the fabric to breathe.

Have Wool Rugs Professionally Cleaned

To eliminate moths and moth larvae have your wool rugs professionally cleaned and placed in plastic bags for storage.

Use Plastic Containers with Air-Tight Lids

Plastic bins with air-tight lids will keep your fabrics, linens, and clothing free from damage and deterioration caused by rodents and insects, should they make their way into your unit. If you do prefer to use cardboard boxes, it’s advisable to purchase them new. Used boxes may be free, but they will have gaps and punctures that are an invitation to unwanted bugs and rodents that enjoy chewing through cardboard to destroy your belongings.

Use Pest Deterrents

One of the easiest and most effective pest deterrents is diatomaceous earth, which you can find in most home improvement stores. If you sprinkle a little of this inside your unit, it will repel dust mites, ants, cockroaches, and more. Another option is to set up an ultrasonic pest repellent device in your self storage unit. It will let out a high-frequency sound wave that may deter pests. However, there is some research that indicates these devices are not consistently effective.

If you prefer a more natural strategy, consider placing cedar blocks or drops of lavender or peppermint essential oils on cotton balls in your storage unit.

Rent From a High-Quality Self Storage Facility

One of the best ways to keep your self storage unit free of pests is to rent from a clean, well-maintained facility. At Universal Storage, we have maintenance measures in place to keep our properties as clean and pest-free as possible.


Storage unit cleanliness and pest control is a team effort. Most high-quality properties strive to keep their units clean and free of unwanted vermin. Tenants need to avoid keeping food and any other items that would attract pests in their units. If you’re visiting your unit and detect the presence of unwanted creatures, contact your facility manager immediately so that you can work together to eliminate the problem.