As the old Christmas song goes, “Baby, it’s cold outside.” That’s great for all of us fortunate enough to live in heated homes. But what about all that stuff you have packed away in your storage unit? It doesn’t necessarily need heat, but have you thought about all the mice and other rodents out there that might see your storage unit (and perhaps the clothing, blankets, etc. stored inside) as a wonderful place to nest for the winter? With that possibility in mind, let’s take a look at some strategies for rodent-proofing your storage unit this cold-weather season.
Part of keeping those critters out is to discourage them from entering in the first place. Start by inspecting your unit (or if you’re in the process of renting one, follow this step before you move everything in). Look for any existing droppings, animal footprints or holes in the wall, all of which are sure signs that things that aren’t supposed to be there have been finding their way into your unit. If you see any of these signs, contact management and see if you can’t move into a different unit from the get-go.
Next, utilize as many plastic, air-tight storage containers as possible. Cardboard boxes are fine, but that’s just nesting material for a sharp-toothed mousey. Plastic bins with air-tight lids will keep out the unwanted visitors and protect whatever items you’re planning to store inside them. Plastic bins are also easier to carry and stack than cardboard boxes.
This should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway. Try not to store food items in your unit. Doing so is practically laying out the red carpet for mice and other animals as well. And if you’re storing any kinds of tools, appliances or containers used in cooking, make sure they’re all clean and crumb-free.
Next, you’ll want to wrap any of your upholstered furniture and mattresses in plastic. That kind of furniture is winter heaven for mice. That layer of plastic wrap (you might need to use several layers) will definitely thwart any invaders and make your love seat not worth the effort.
There are also some natural deterrents that might ward off rodents and other critters. Mice, for example, don’t like the smell of oils like lavender and peppermint. Soak some cotton balls in those oils and place them around the unit, especially in corners and near your most vulnerable items. We hear mice also don’t like the smell of Irish Spring soap. Placing these items will not only protect your stuff, it will make your unit smell nice.
Finally, you might want to visit your unit every week or so during winter just to make sure everything’s okay. And if there are signs of intrusion, at least you’ll be able to take action before the situation gets out of hand.