Guest Blog #231, Entry #729, October 28, 2011
For many of us, our homes simply do not have enough storage space. If you are lucky enough to have a shed or exterior storage space, the last thing you want is to find your stored items over run by bugs and spiders or ruined by mice or rats.
This can happen in storage areas outside of the home and with storage areas in the attic, crawl space, or basement. The goal is to store it safely so that when you go to use the item it is there and undamaged.
Image via: My Home Ideas
No matter how well protected your storage area appears, rodents and insects seem to have no problem infiltrating these areas. At times, these pests can invade your home itself.
However, with a few simple precautions, you can safely store your items away.
Use Common Sense When Storing Items
The first thing to do is make sure that you do not store anything that will attract bugs and rodents. Make sure that any opened bags of grain, seeds, or other similar items are stored in airtight, plastic containers or not stored in this area at all.
Keep in mind that pests are attracted to items that have an odor. Either do not store these items or protect them from infiltration by placing them in airtight, plastic containers. Make sure to properly close the containers before leaving the storage area. What they cannot smell cannot attract them.
Consider Using Bait Traps & Insecticides Pro-Actively
Be prepared. Just because there are no pests when you placed your items in the area doesn’t mean that none will ever enter the space. Therefore, you should go on the offensive and place contained insecticides such as ant baits or roach traps to catch these pests. You should also consider placing mousetraps as well. There are mousetraps that do not require that you place any food in the trap as bait.
Image via: My Shed Plans
When storing kitchen appliances, make sure that you have thoroughly cleaned them first. Small kitchen appliances are notorious for hiding small food particles that are sure to attract ants, roaches, and mice. A thorough cleaning of these appliances will also rid them of any lingering food smells as well.
You should wash any clothing, curtain, blankets, etc., before storing them. If you do not have any airtight storage bags or containers for these items, be sure to store them with mothballs to protect them from pests. Be sure to read the instructions before using.
Natural Pest Repellents
Herbs such as lavender, tansy, and mint repel many pests. If the thought of using commercial products because of potential side effects, then these herbs are a natural and safe way to protect your belongings.
Finally, yet importantly, no not forget that you have items in storage. Even the best system is not foolproof. You should periodically check on your stored items to be sure that they are still safe. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To further protect yourself, be sure to have an inventory of what you have in storage. Doing so will add an additional layer of protection for your belongings and you won’t forget what you have stored away.
- By Evan-Amos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Aaron Garcia is a DIY expert who has completed numerous home improvement projects. He has experience in remodeling home interiors, landscaping front and back yards, as well as building and installing aluminum sheds and storage space.
For more pest control ideas on Stagetecture, click here.