Storage units are great places to keep things out of the way, whether temporarily or for an extended period. People often think their items are safe, especially if the unit is climate-controlled.
However, roaches are known to find their way to places they are not welcome. So, how do you keep them out of your storage unit? Let’s settle that now!
The secret behind good roach control is keeping the storage unit and the stored items clean and dry. In a nutshell, here are ways to scare roaches away from your storage unit:
- Always keep the unit clean and clean your items before storage.
- Check for moisture.
- Avoid storing items with scents.
Besides frequent cleaning, you can also use natural deterrents to scare roaches away.
We have also included a FAQ section to answer other common questions about roach infestations, what methods work in deterring them and what does not.
Ways To Keep Roaches Out of Storage Units
Roaches are not what you want to see when searching through your storage unit. Below are nine simple steps to keep these unwanted visitors out of your storage unit.
1. Keep the Storage Unit Clean
Whether you’ve held your storage unit for a while or just moved it into your house, it is important to keep it clean always. Like many insects, roaches enjoy staying in messy environments. If they see your storage unit untidy with trash, they will make it a home.
So, don’t just throw things in your storage unit and forget about them. Even if you do not need them anytime soon, ensure you conduct routine checks.
With this, you can identify trash and dispose of any debris in good time, long before roaches find their way into the storage.
Always remember, the cleaner your storage is, the less the chances of roaches infestation in your storage unit. So, to keep these unwanted visitors away from your storage unit, ensure you clean it from time to time.
2. Keep Food Out of the Storage Unit
Apart from frequent cleaning, another way to keep your storage roaches-proof is to keep food out of the unit. Roaches are always happy to stay where there are food crumbs. The easiest way to attract these bugs is to keep a food-littered storage unit.
So, to deter these unwanted creatures from your storage space, do not eat or store food there. If you must store food there, ensure it is canned and secured tightly. You can also store food in tightly-covered containers.
Apart from these, ditch the idea of storing food in your storage unit entirely. Also, always inspect other stored items like clothes and shoes to ensure no food crumbs are on them.
3. Store Your Items Properly
To keeps bugs like roaches out of your storage unit, it is essential to store your items properly. Many people do not know they should store their items in sealed boxes. They dump items in their store and forget about them – only to find roaches creeping around after a while.
Understandably, not all items will fit in a box. However, you can always cover such items with layers of plastic sheets. Furniture is an excellent example of items you can store in this manner.
Instead of just dumping them, you can wrap furniture items in plastic sheets and wrappings.
If you can, place other goods in airtight, waterproof boxes and keep them off the ground. Roaches have an easier time entering boxes on the floor than elevated ones. You can use cinder blocks or wood pallets to keep your property off the floor.
To store other non-edible household items like clothes, place them inside vacuum storage bags. As long as the bags are properly closed, roaches can not find their way inside.
4. Use Natural Deterrents
Another sure way to keep roaches away from your storage unit is to use natural deterrents. Although there are several effective chemical-based alternatives in the form of sprays, most of these sprays are not always safe.
When inhaled, they can be dangerous to the health. Plus, they leave a harsh, distinct odor that other stored items like furniture and clothes can easily absorb. So, it is best to use natural deterrents instead.
Below are three natural bug deterrents and how you can use them to scare roaches away:
I. Peppermint Oil
Roaches and other bugs are irritated by peppermint oil’s sharp, minty odor, making it a common natural repellent. To use, dab some peppermint oil on cotton wool and place it near cracks through which roaches may enter into your storage area.
Alternatively, you can mix peppermint oil and water in a spray bottle and nebulize the storage unit.
II. Cedar Blocks
Here’s another bug-proofing material that roaches can’t stand. Simply place a few cedar blocks in a bowl and leave them at all possible access points for roaches. If you position the blocks correctly, they should help you remove roaches and other bugs from your storage unit.
III. Cloves, Cayenne, Lavender, and Sage Oil
To use, dab any of them on cotton wool and place them at strategic points in your storage unit.
5. Avoid Storing Items With a Scent
Do not store items with a scent in your storage unit as much as possible. Like us humans, bugs enjoy items that have fragrances. They will be happy to stay in your storage area if the environment smells nice.
These can include lotions, candles, shampoos, mouthwashes, etc. Roaches will try to find these items, leading to an infestation. If you must keep these items in your storage unit, first seal them in an airtight container.
6. Check for Moisture
One important thing to consider when bug-proofing your storage unit is moisture. Roaches and other pests gravitate towards wet environments mostly to quench their test. So, ensure there is no moisture inside your storage unit.
First, inspect your home’s water management system, as a faulty system can cause leaks and flooding. When this happens, it is only a matter of time before roaches begin to troop in to infest your storage unit.
So, inspect your rainwater disposal system if you have one in your building. If you notice any wear in the piped connections, invite a plumber to fix it immediately. You can also check other piped connections and faucets to be sure there are no leakages.
If there has been previous water damage in your house, you can dry out your unit with a dehumidifier.
7. Scan New Storage Units for Cracks and Holes Before Use
Scanning new storage units for openings before packing your items is another way to avoid roach infestation. Roaches are crafty and can creep into the smallest of spaces.
So, carefully check for potential entry points that may attract roaches and other pests. If you spot any, seal it off with caulk or spackle.
However, when the storage is riddled with cracks and holes, you may want to ask for a refund and move your items to a better-managed facility.
8. Clean Your Items Before Storage
Before moving your belongings into the storage unit, ensure that you have cleaned everything. Thoroughly wipe out your plastic storage containers before loading items inside.
Also, launder clothes before wrapping them for storage. For your furniture, steam them before wrapping them in plastic sheets. Clear out appliances with food crumbs inside, like blenders and toasters.
Ensure that whatever you bring into the storage unit is completely dry, as moisture attracts roaches.
9. Clear Out the Storage Unit Before Use
Storage units are open to the public, so you may not be the first to use that particular facility. If you just moved in, there is a chance that the previous occupant did not clean up the space before packing out.
So, before storing any item, clear out the storage facility and remove all trash and debris. Go over the unit again to make sure there are no spills or crumbs on the floor.
If the storage unit is known to be unsanitary, it is better not to keep your properties there at all.
Since storage units hold many items, they are susceptible to roach infestations. These insects can hide in boxes and other items, destroying your valuables. The storage facility can grow an unpleasant odor when roaches become too many.
Follow the tips in this article to keep these unwanted visitors out of your storage facility.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Bug-Bomb a Storage Facility?
Bug bombs are effective against a wide variety of bugs but are not effective against roaches. To keep roaches away from your storage facility, you must try alternative methods like those listed above.
Also, bug bombs are dangerous and leave a residue. So, not every storage facility will allow you to use them.
What Chemicals Keep Roaches Away?
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is an effective natural insecticide that can help fight roaches. You can also use other accessible ingredients like baking soda, boric acid, citrus, or borax.
Can Foggers Keep Roaches Out of Storage Units?
While foggers effectively kill roaches, they may not work in storage facilities. The reason is that foggers only kill roaches they come in contact with. Storage units have many places for roaches to hide, making it challenging to keep them away.
You can expect that most roaches will not come in contact with foggers. Plus, storage units hold sensitive items like food and medicine, which can get contaminated.