How to Keep Pests Out of Your Storage

Posted on October 13, 2020


Use an insect repellent when packing clothing for storage

It’s your worst nightmare. You unpack a box to find your favourite sweaters chewed to shreds by moths. Pest infestations are common when you store items inside dark, damp, and unsealed spaces such as an attic or basement in your home. However, pests can also affect your belongings inside storage spaces outside the home if you don’t take precautions.

Insects and rodents can sometimes inadvertently invade your space if you pack belongings that have been infested with eggs and larvae. Use these tips to prevent pests at the source:


Inspect Mattresses, Furniture, and Books

Pests such as beetles, cockroaches, termites, bedbugs, moths, and even some small rodents are known to burrow inside of items made of wood, paper, and fabric, so it is important to inspect all items for signs of infestation before you move them into your storage space. Look for holes, gnaw marks, stains, and droppings. Dispose of all items that have signs of infestation.


Clean All Clothing and Textiles

When packing clothes, it’s essential to clean them first. Remove all food or oil stains and place clothing and textiles through the hot water cycle in your washing machine and then dry in the dryer.


Add a Repellent

Add a natural repellant when packing boxes with items susceptible to bug infestations. Some non-toxic insect repellants include:

  • Cedar: Place cedar blocks, strips, or chips in containers and, wardrobe boxes to deter moths.
  • Lavender: Use dried lavender sachets to place between folded clothing, sheets, linens, and towels.
  • Cloves: Wrap whole cloves in tissue paper and place amongst wooden items, books, and other paper items.
  • Neem oil: Spray a mixture of need oil and water on houseplants 


Use Clean, Air-tight Containers 

Do not use moving boxes that have been used to pack organic materials such as fruit and vegetables. Instead, look for new moving boxes and supplies. Pack items in clear plastic and clean cardboard storage containers and boxes that properly seal. For objects that do not fit in a storage box, such as upholstered furniture, use stretch wrap to seal and protect them completely. 


Never Store Food in Your Unit

Prevent extensive damage from mice and rats by keeping all food items away from your stored items. 


Store Items in Pest-Controlled Warehousing Facilities

Look for climate-controlled and well-sealed storage units in a facility that is regularly inspected.


Thinking about using storage bags to pack your items? Read our storage tips on What Bags are Best for Long-Term Storage.


As a 100% concrete and steel facility, Space Centre Storage regularly inspects its storage units and uses measures to ensure all units are pest-free. Contact us for safe and secure storage in Kelowna and the Central Okanagan.

Share This: