Managers and owners of storage facilities have a long list of maintenance tasks to perform regularly, but pest control is one that often gets put on the back burner. That could be a huge mistake; pest infestations will ruin your property and your customers’ personal belongings and impact your reputation as a business. All of this translates into steep costs that will impact the bottom line.
It’s also a mistake to think that storage facilities don’t need pest control or management. Think about all of the different types of items being stored from countless locations and the amount of time between customer visits — especially in long-term storage facilities. These factors (and others) mean that an infestation can happen under the radar and spread without being mitigated for quite some time.
While there’s no limit to the types of pests that could pose a risk to your storage facility, there are some that are commonly an issue.
While mice and rats can cause serious damage, they can also spread over 35 diseases, like the plague and hantavirus among others. Humans can contract these diseases by handling live or dead rodents, cleaning up droppings, getting bitten, or coming into contact with the urine or saliva of infected pests. Any sign of a rodent problem should be addressed and mitigated as quickly as possible.
Rats and mice can enter your facility through openings as small as a dime. When you think about multi-unit facilities, there could be endless “doors” for rodents to slip through. These units are prime real estate for those rodents who are looking to build a nest — they can do so undisturbed for quite some time, in between customers visiting their units.
Cockroaches are gross, plain and simple. They’re annoying and dirty, and a cockroach infestation can trigger serious health issues like asthma and allergies. Roaches spread countless types of bacteria, parasites, and human pathogens through their legs and onto surfaces.
Roaches are also pretty resilient and have been known to live for up to a week without their heads attached. (Again, gross!) Even when you think the problem has been addressed, they hide and reproduce. A few roaches here and there can turn into a facility-wide infestation without the right pest control plan in place.
This pest has been known to wreak havoc in homes and hotels, but they can be found anywhere — which also means they can be brought in by customers in storage containers or boxes. Additionally, they can survive in a range of conditions and temperatures and live for months without feeding on human blood.
Once bed bugs enter the storage facility, they can travel on clothing or other objects and spread rapidly. Customers can even bring them home with them when they pick up their items from facilities. Imagine getting that review on Google!
Because ants are known to be social, they’ll generally be found in large populations; if there’s one, there are hundreds. Although they don’t pose a health risk for humans like rodents or roaches, they can do some serious damage to the structure of your storage facility. They enter through small cracks and can build colonies consisting of many queens and several homes.
Preventing Pest Infestation in Storage Facilities
Being proactive can help control and prevent pest infestations:
- Make regular inspections of the property, including storage areas, offices, and ventilation to look for signs of pests (like ant colonies, roach droppings, or rodent nests).
- Request that customers use reusable or plastic storage containers instead of cardboard or paper, which pests love to use to make nests.
- Beef up your waste management process — frequently clean dumpsters or other garbage disposal areas as not to attract pests.
- Seal foundations, doors, and windows, and regularly check the roof for leaks.
- Keep vegetation to a minimum around the exterior walls and foundation of your property so that pests don’t set up shop.
- Create a policy that prevents customers from storing items like food in their units.
Beyond those measures, you should also get in touch with a team of pest control professionals like us here at PestShield. We have the tools and experience you need to get peace of mind that your self-storage property is pest-free, and your customers’ items will stay safe and secure from infestation.