Many of us have experienced the disappointment to find that the goods we have stored for a long while have been damaged over time. Whether they have been stored in a basement, attic or cupboard, something went wrong that has caused the problem. It could have been mould or water, or even from a pest that has gained access to the storeroom. When it happens, it means that insufficient care has been taken in storage methods, and this could have been avoided.
Our philosophy at Stop & Store Lowestoft is that the safety and protection of our clients’ goods in storage is our highest priority. The valuable possessions that clients store with us are in our safekeeping. This means that the security controls must be of the highest standard and there are pest control measures put in place are to safeguard stored goods from pests.
As we know, dark places like attics, basements, and cupboards where one would normally choose to store things are known to be attractive to pests. Some of these also are liable to be damp as well. Because the pests are undisturbed for extended periods of time, they can do a lot of damage without you even being aware of them. When you unpack your goods, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise.
At Stop & Store Lowestoft we use modern pest control methods, and we provide a secure, dry storage facility for our clients.
We have observed that there are times when the risk of infestation comes from outside of a storage unit. This is because the pests have the potential to come in with the goods being stored. As we know that this could happen at any time, and because goods are being stored and removed by many clients daily, we like to warn clients of this danger.
Protect Damage from Pests
As we are aware of the danger of clients bringing in pests and have little control over it, we feel it’s particularly important to point out the consequences of this happening so that it can be avoided. The second threat is the physical security of the unit, as any small hole, crack or gap could be exploited by a pest. Although we can’t prevent anyone from storing anything in self-storage, we would like to highlight which items are more susceptible to carrying pests.
Pests are attracted not only to warm dark places but thrive where there is food, paper or cardboard, bags, or even plants.
At Stop & Store Lowestoft we have a program of continuous maintenance to ensure that every unit is completely sealed so that it is impervious to any sort of infestation.
The risk we carry is that the owner may have brought goods in for storage in packaging that already contains the pest. As we have little control of what is brought into the unit, we thought it important to explain the ramifications of this and how to prevent this from happening. Even when plants, food, or the paper is brought into a storage unit, there is a chance they contain a pest threat to the stored products.
Specific Threats during Self-Storage
Let’s look at the kinds of pests most likely to cause damage to your stored items.
- Mice and other rodents: These pesky creatures can do a lot of damage in a short time. Not only are they prolific breeders, their poops and chewing results in a lot of mess.
- Gypsy moths which originate outdoors in the surrounding vegetation, especially trees, are known to lay their eggs in spring and their larvae often find their way indoors through cracks. They could cause a great deal of mess in a storage environment.
- The frayed edges of books and photos that are found in storage situations is likely to be from fish moths. They just love dark places and are a real pest in the storage environment.
- Ants are also messy and known to chew wood and nest in dark places
- Mattresses and clothes also could contain bed bugs which could breed in storage and become a real problem. It could just be a few to start and end up an infestation as they need little to survive and breed.
The physical structure of the self-storage units is equally important to maintain. Our self-storage units are cool and dry. We know the danger moisture and heat poses to stored goods and provide our clients with a sound environment for self-storage of their possessions.
Importance of Packaging
The way goods are prepared for storage and packed is key to successful storage.
Prior to packing in any container or bringing it into storage, the following must be considered.
- All appliances should be clean and clear of food particles, while furniture and clothes dusted well.
- It’s recommended that a hot wash of clothing or linen materials should be done before being stored to ensure no live pests are in the items.
- Pack the goods you intend to store into an inner plastic bag or wrap before putting them in a box or plastic crate.
- Mothballs, cinnamon sticks, or citrus peels are a good deterrent for pests such as fish moths.
Stop & Store Lowestoft recommends the following packaging supplies you should use. Consider the option of renting packaging from us to be returned when the move is finished. Used boxes such as the ones from the grocery store could be too weak for successful long-term storage as they could collapse or even have pests in them without you noticing. Buy support packagings such as bubble wrap and good quality sealing tape and take care to pack clothes in plastic covers while mattresses are best stored in covers designed for the purpose. Plastic bins on trolleys or wheels could be a good bet if you are not wanting the back-breaking job of picking up your packed goods when transporting them.
For secure storage, if you want to use cardboard boxes, we recommend new double-walled corrugated boxes. For storage of documents, clothes, photographs, or paintings, use archival boxes that are protected from leaching and are a secure way of storing these items.
If you need any further advice about packaging, you are welcome to call us or visit us during working hours.
Please contact us on 01502 580005 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you.