Keeping Rodents Out of Your Storage

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Keeping Rodents Out of Your Storage

Rodents often invade storage as it gets colder, looking for warm places to nest. If you want to keep pests out of your storage, here's what you should know.

Winter is Coming, and So Are The Rodents!

We’re moving into fall and that means winter is just around the corner. That means that rodents – rats and mice – are going to be looking for places to shelter. Rodents have been a problem for people for as long as we’ve had agriculture. While most of us don’t have a grain silo anymore, we do still have attics, basements, sheds, and storage units to attract them. They invade our living spaces and spread diseases and that’s bad.

How do you deal with rodents, though? The folks at Vernon Storage in Summit County, Utah have this advice.

No Poison

rat poinson crossed out

Poisoning rodents is a terrible idea. For one, it’s a hazard for pets and children. Cats and dogs will eat dead mice they find and if those mice are stuffed full of poison, your pet is getting a dose of death it does not want. Young kids may also play with dead bodies they find, putting them in contact with the poison.

While this can be a major problem around the home, it’s not that much of a problem for a storage shed, unless you bring your kids along. Nevertheless, poison is still a terrible idea. The poison can spread: the rodents don’t always die instantly, but go out into the wild and get caught by predators, who are subsequently poisoned by the tainted meal. Even then, some hardier specimens survive the poison. Those who survive go on to breed more hardy rats who are also resistant to the poison. They then might spread the poison by being eaten by predators, or through their waste.

No Food

If you want to reduce the chance of rats and mice getting into your storage, don’t bring food to it. You already shouldn’t be storing food in a storage shed, as it just goes bad. Some people try to store dog food or other dried foods in their sheds, though, thinking dried food is preserved. It might not spoil, but it attracts the pests. You should also avoid taking food that you’re eating into your storage. You’ll drop crumbs on the ground. Keeping it clean of food is the first step to keeping pests out of your storage unit.

No Nesting Material

If there’s no food, the pests will be looking for nesting materials next. Anything made of paper will be a fine target because they can easily shred it. Cardboard can also be nesting material. Instead, try plastic containers for storage. Make sure they’re sealable, too, in order to keep rats and mice from getting in. If they have less access to nesting materials, they’ll be less likely to stay somewhere.

Traps

rat trap

Traps are the best way to deal with pests like mice and rats. You have a variety of options. Snap traps are design to kill rats that step on the trigger. Make sure you get the larger traps labeled for rat killing. Smaller traps are unlikely to kill them, instead just injuring them. Live traps exploit rodents’ curious desire to explore holes. Once the animal goes into the hole, a trigger seals the cage, leaving them caught inside.

Glue traps should be avoided and not just because they’re cruel. They work well enough on mice, but rats are often strong enough to pull themselves loose.

Whatever you choose to use, it’s important that you check on the traps. The corpses of rats and mice will attract other pests, usually insects that come to feed on the body. That can be very unpleasant.

Repel Them With Vinegar

Vinegar is another option. The smell of vinegar is noxious to most animals, especially smaller ones. Rats and mice loathe the smell and won’t approach it. A good way to go about it is to soak some rags in vinegar for a few minutes. Remove the rags one at a time, squeezing the excess out, and stuff them into window frames, cracks or holes in the walls, near doors, or anywhere a mouse might seek refuge. This should drive any pests away from your storage. You may have to replace the rags with fresh ones every couple of weeks to keep them out. This can also work great against insects.

Keep Your Storage Rodent Free

Rodents are a bothersome pests for how they destroy property and spread disease. They invite other pests with them, like fleas and roaches, making them a health hazard. Keeping them from getting into your storage is important, but you want to be careful how you do it. Make sure you avoid methods that put yourself and the environment at greater risk; do not use poison. Fortunately, there are many other methods that work without putting your health at risk. With a bit of work, you can make your storage rodent free.