How to Keep Mice and Bugs Out of a Storage Unit

So you’re renting a storage unit. I bet you’re planning on getting all of your stuff back when you unload it one day too. But if you’re not prepared for the biggest threat to you’re belongings, the odds are stacked against you.

I lost hundreds of dollars in clothes and a mattress last summer in a storage unit. It wasn’t from flooding, or from theft.


Mice used most of my clothes to build a luxury condo in my mattress. Mice and bugs are masters of infestation, and they take advantage of you every chance they get.

There’s probably some mice living in the unit besides yours…

This forced me to learn some great tricks for fighting off these pests. It all starts with packing your belongings right. And of course, there are more offensive tactics to use at the unit.

There are organic and humane techniques you can apply as well.

Avoid common moving practices is the first step to protecting your belongings. You need to prepare everything for storage, rather than transportation alone. Combined with more aggressive defenses in the unit, you can guarantee it’s safety.

There may be a lot more food going into your unit than you realize!

Books, leather, cardboard, wood, electric wiring, skin cells in dust, hair, and even trace amounts of oil from your skin all attract pests. So before anything gets packed it needs to be cleaned extremely well. Even your clean clothes out of the closet are loaded with a microscopic buffet.

Cardboard boxes are literally a “gateway food”. Invest in a set of plastic storage containers, and seal the lids with duct tape – a cockroach can fit through gaps as thin as a quarter! If they can’t get to your stuff, they can’t eat it.

Vacuum and clean all furniture and mattresses. If you can manage it, wrap it all in plastic as you’re storing it. There are storage bags for mattresses, but a roll of plastic from the hardware store works just as well.

The best way to keep storage units pest free is with traps and deterrents. If you try to avoid harsh chemicals or violent traps there are effective alternatives to choose from.

The three best natural-alternatives to mothballs keep your clothes smelling great, some countries have outright banned the classic! Cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil, dried lavender flowers, and cedar wood are all proven moth repellents. You can buy sachets or balls of cedar made just for storage.

Lay down a barrier along the walls and door on the floor of powder insecticides or repellent. Diatomaceous Earth is extremely effective and all natural, but borax, or just about any powder insecticide will work too.

You have to have mice traps. If you just can’t break one’s neck, make a 5-gallon bucket trap. Cut a large hole in the lid and put a hinge on it, some bait in the middle, and a ramp. The mice will fall in the bucket!

Use this strategy and ensure your storage locker will be safe and pest free. Open the unit every few weeks and check your defenses. Letting the light and fresh air in will help keep them out too.

Don’t be a victim to pests.

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