How to Keep Pests Out of Your Storage Facility

Jon Fesmire | Feb 08, 2017 @ 02:09 PM

Nothing can spoil a tenant’s view of a self storage facility quite like entering one’s unit and finding a pest infestation. In short, it’s worth the cost to protect your facility and each unit from the various rodents and bugs that can damage property and spread disease.

Getting rid of and protecting against pests is specialized work, and to do it right, hire an exterminator. You can do it yourself, but your mistakes could end up costing extra money. That being said, this article will cover the basics, so that if you choose to do the work yourself you’ll have a starting point, and if you choose to hire an exterminator, you’ll have some idea of what they’ll do.

Hiring an Exterminator

What’s the climate like in your area? What sort of pests lurk among the plants and within the walls? These factors will determine not only what the exterminator needs to do to protect your self storage facility, but also how often they’ll need to come out. So, contact an exterminator and have them take a look around the site and write an estimate.

Make sure they inform you of what they plan to do. This may include spraying around the property, setting rat and mouse traps in certain areas, sealing up cracks, and more.

Facility Preparation

There are several things a facility can do to discourage pests.

First, there’s the design of the self storage facility itself. Make sure that landscaping—meaning trees and other plants—are near the office for curb appeal, but away from the storage units. This will help prevent various bugs from migrating from the plants to the units.

Even small cracks can let in pests like ants, cockroaches, and spiders. So, if possible, make sure that all units are air and water tight. Seal spaces around pikes and in the walls with silicone-based caulk.

Dispose of garbage regularly. The longer it’s left out, the more pests will find it and breed in it.

Pests get thirsty, so water is highly attractive to them. As much as possible, keep water out of and flowing away from units. That means ensuring that roof gutter systems carry water away from the buildings and into drains.

Advise Your Tenants

Make sure your tenants know what they can do to prevent pest infestations. Here are a few important steps.

  1. When possible, use plastic boxes/bins instead of cardboard boxes, as some pests eat cardboard.

  2. Definitely avoid using cardboard boxes from grocery stores. These may have food residue.

  3. Do not store perishable foods.

  4. Consider leaving some moth balls or cotton balls dipped in peppermint oil around the inside of your unit, as these can ward off rodents.

  5. Consider spreading a light layer of roach powder (borax) where the walls meet the floor in your unit. This helps kill roaches and ants.

  6. Do not store mattresses or bedding that have bed bugs. If unsure, spray affected bedding with insecticide and vacuum it. Wash blankets, pillow cases, and sheets before storing them.

Partnering with a professional exterminator and following the rest of these guidelines should significantly cut down on any pest problem and make tenants happy to store with your facility.