Roaches in Storage Unit: How to Get Rid of Them
Storage units are meant to keep your belongings safe, but there is a risk of roach infestations in any space where multiple families store items. Unfortunately, you can easily transfer roaches from a storage unit to your home, which increases the importance of being vigilant about checking for and preventing these pests.
Are Roaches Common In Storage Units?
Roaches constantly look for any space that gives them all the necessary elements for survival. Cockroaches aren’t even that picky. They’ll happily live anywhere if they find food, water, and a place that provides shelter.
Storage units might not seem like they provide much food or water, but you could be surprised by how well roaches can thrive in these areas. Many people pack items that can be used as food sources, such as clothing that still has stains from spills.
Facilities without maintenance can also have water leaks that keep roaches hydrated and plenty of cracks that allow the bugs to run in and out as they wish.
In a well-maintained storage facility, you will hopefully not see many pests. However, roaches can arrive anytime as people move their items into the unit.
How Long Can Roaches Live In a Storage Unit?
People often say that roaches can survive an apocalypse, and this saying seems true. Roaches can live for up to a week without their heads, and during this time, the females could still be capable of releasing egg cases that turn into a whole new batch of baby insects.
Starving roaches out also isn’t very easy. They can live for up to a month without food, and most roach species can go for a week or more without water.
Although roaches might not survive well in non-climate-controlled units, they can still manage temperatures up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if the temperature reaches that level, likely, they’ll find a way to escape the unbearable heat.
How Do You Get Rid of Roaches In Storage Units?
Finding roaches in your storage space is unsettling. After all, you put your belongings there to keep them safe, and roaches can create a lot of damage in a short period. Roach droppings can stain your belongings and make them unsafe to use until they are thoroughly cleaned.
In some cases, roaches may eat through the food-stained fabric and other materials, desperately trying to stay nourished. There is also a high likelihood that you could accidentally transfer the roaches to your primary living space if one is hiding in your belongings or has laid their egg cases inside the boxes.
The best method for removing roaches in the unit will depend upon the items you have stored inside. You may also need to check your contract with the facility manager to ensure a method is allowable in the unit.
Use a Fogger Spray
Foggers work well to quickly kill off the main roaches that are living in the unit. However, they don’t tend to have many residual effects that will work to eliminate newly arriving or hatching roaches.
Foggers also have the potential hazard of pesticides landing on your belongings. If you choose to use a fogger, then make sure to follow the directions and take steps to make sure that no one goes inside the unit while the fogging mechanism is active.
Place Roach Powder Around the Perimeter
Various pesticides come in powder form and are effective for killing roaches. Typically, roaches encounter the powder as they crawl along the surface of the unit, which then has a toxic effect on their bodies.
Diatomaceous earth is one type of powder non-toxic to humans in the food-grade form. It contains sharp particles that tear the roach’s exoskeleton and can be effective for other pests.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to place the powder where the roaches are likely crawling. You may also need to avoid using it on your belongings, which might hinder the ability to eliminate a large roach population.
Request Spraying in the Unit
Depending upon the terms of your contract, you might be able to arrange pest control services in your unit on your own. Or, you might need to contact the facility manager to request that they make the arrangements. Either way, spraying is the most effective way to get rid of roaches.
Keeping Roaches Out of Storage Units
Once you’ve removed the roaches, you want to keep them out. To do so, you’ll need to implement strategies that target how roaches tend to invade spaces in the first place.
Choose Storage Units With Regular Pest Maintenance
While you might be hesitant to ask your neighbors if they have roaches, your time touring a storage facility isn’t the moment to be polite. Instead, you’ll want to ask if they conduct frequent pest inspections and sprayings.
If the facility doesn’t have a pest control plan, you might need to move on to one that does. Or, you could inquire about spraying before moving your belongings inside to ensure that you start with a roach-free space.
Avoid Bringing Food Into the Unit
Sure, it might be hard to let go of your grocery stock when moving from one place to another, but nothing good can come out of leaving food in a storage unit. If possible, find somewhere else to store your food supplies, or consider donating them before your move.
You’ll also want to wash all the clothing you bring to the unit. If you plan on storing outdoor equipment such as grills, then take the time to clean off any food residue thoroughly. Roaches only need tiny amounts of food, and grease is one of their favorite sources.
Pack Items In Sealed Plastic Boxes
Roaches can easily chew through cardboard, and their slender bodies can often slide between small cracks in the flaps of a box. Plastic containers are safer, and there is less likelihood of transferring pests from the unit to your home if roaches can’t get inside the boxes.
Keep the Door Closed As Much as Possible
Roaches are opportunists that will run quickly into space as soon as they have easy access. Storage units tend to have large garage-style doors that open up more room for roaches to get inside. Try to open the unit up as little as possible and work quickly when you access the space.
If the thought of catching an infestation from using a storage unit gives you the creeps, then it is helpful to know that you have control over what happens to your belongings. By being proactive, you can not only select a pest-free unit but also keep it that way.
Once you’ve carefully packed and stored your food-free and well-protected belongings, conduct a simple roach inspection anytime you visit the unit. If you see roaches, then take action. Preserving your pest-free home depends on you also focusing on roach control in your storage space.