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How to keep rodents and pests at bay  RSS feed

 
Holly Jackson
Posts: 2
Location: The Rain Belt of The Pacific Northwest, Washington
dog trees
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I am not sure if the Critter forum is the correct location for this post and I apologize if this has been covered. I am new to navigating the forums here. I am thinking you folks would be good to ask about keeping pests away, so here goes:

My husband and I are moving out of a rental while we look for land to buy. We do not want to get rid of all of our things and so we're looking to store them for an extended period of time. In fact, I have a storage unit that's killing me to throw money away on, so I would like to get rid of it as well. We have a canopy (tarp) style garage thing (like this would fit). We are also considering buying a resin shed to store our upholstered sofas and some clothing and things that need a bit more protection. (Like this: https://www.costco.com/Lifetime-Brighton-8'-x-15'-Storage-Shed.product.11650111.html)

My concern is mice, moths and all the creepy crawlies that can so quickly ruin things. I got the idea to invest in these heavy duty yellow & black 27 gallon storage bins (like these) to protect our things. I didn't think cardboard boxes that can quickly be turned into nesting material would be a great idea. I have seen sofas left in summer cottages turn into stuffing-strewn mice hotels. At the same time, I can think of tons of cardboard boxes that were kept in garages, barns and so on and held up through the years, or even decades. I am now wondering if I'm overthinking this. Granted, there are a few things that we may truly want to protect from ambient humidity here in the rainy Pacific Northwest, so a few of these crates are nice to have on hand. But, to put our entire household into plastic crates, if we really don't need to, is not something I want to pay for or bother with otherwise.

I have heard about Fresh Cab (or peppermint or citrus oil) to repel mice. That still leaves moths and such. Do pheromone moth traps really work? I'd sure love advice on this. If I have to pay what amounts to several months of storage unit costs to protect our household belongings, so be it. But, if I can save myself the money and hassle and be assured that things will be OK, then I'd love to go the cheaper route.

Thank you so much!
 
Todd Parr
pollinator
Posts: 1166
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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55 gal steel drums can often be had for good prices on Craig's list, etc.  Maybe those would work for you?  Much would depend on the length of time you would be storing in them and your climate as far as condensation issues, etc.
 
Regan Dixon
Posts: 133
Location: Zone 4b at 1000m, post glacial soil...British Columbia
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A word of warning on moths.  If moth eggs are already in your woollen goods, no amount of boxing them will protect them after the fact.  Two sessions deep freezing would be necessary to kill any larvae, and their offspring in turn.
 
Holly Jackson
Posts: 2
Location: The Rain Belt of The Pacific Northwest, Washington
dog trees
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Thank you for reminding me about steel drums. I see them on Craigslist for free, but forgot about the option to buy them. Those would work for larger or differently shaped things, for sure!

I have been lucky enough to never have a moth problem, but that doesn't mean I can't develop a month problem, right? Just trying to think of the damage that different pests, other than mice, could do.

I was Googling and saw this guy in his drafty shed saying he's never had mice. Granted, it's an ad, but it got me wondering if I'm overreacting and over-spending!

Keeping Mice Out of Storage Sheds with Team Fitzgerald and Fresh Cab Rodent Repellent - YouTube
 
Todd Parr
pollinator
Posts: 1166
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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I used a similar product and the mice ate it.  I sent an e-mail to the company about it complete with pictures of the mouse-eaten pouch the product came in and they said something to the effect that "yes, if mice are starving they will eat almost anything".  I live in the country and food for them is everywhere, including bags of chicken food about 10 feet away, so I don't think they were starving
 
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