Storage facility operators don’t want you to know one little secret: insects can get into your unit.

Just like no house is completely bug-free, no matter how much you spend with the exterminator, storage companies can’t keep all the insects out of your storage unit, especially a drive up unit. But we do know some tricks to keep your storage unit relatively bug-free.

Watch What You Store

It might seem obvious, but several times a year when we clean out storage units we find that some tenants forget: Do NOT store food in a storage unit.

Sealed cans or MREs are okay, but if it’s in a box or a bag, don’t bring it to your storage unit. The scent of food will attract insects, and in some cases, rodents. Since nothing is more frustrating than opening the stuff you’ve had stored and finding it covered in bugs, keep the food out of your storage unit.

The harder part of this lesson concerns things that people don’t necessarily think of as food. The binding on books, for example, can attract silverfish and other insects. The roots of your houseplant still in the planter can provide meals for any number of crawling critters.  Cardboard can attract a variety of bugs as well.

The best bet for storing anything long term is to make sure it is clean and dry. Then pack it in plastic to help keep the bugs out.

Add Cedar

We’ve all read something or maybe heard our grandparents talk about storing clothing with mothballs. Mothballs are a nasty-smelling toxic chemical designed to discourage insects from invading your winter clothing when it’s stored for the summer and vice versa. At best, they make your clothes smell horrible. At worst, they get a little warm in the Phoenixville summer sunshine and leave a waxy residue on your clothing.

Cedar balls or cedar planks can provide insect protection that works just as well as mothballs, but smells a lot better. Cedar naturally repels insects and helps keep moths, spiders and more away from your stored items.

Visit Monthly or So

One of the easiest things you can do help keep your storage unit insect free is provide it with fresh air and sunshine. Many bugs prefer dark spaces, so simply opening the door and shedding some light on your unit can he;p keep pesky bugs away.

Of course, you should expect your storage facility to help with the process. Make sure they regularly use a home-safe pesticide in and around the storage units and that the property is kept dry, with no standing water. Ultimately, the care of your stored items is your responsibility, so planning ahead to avoid pitfalls like insects just saves you time and money.

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