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Protect your possessions from pests

Protect your possessions from pests
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Are you worried about pests damaging your stuff?

Opening a box of stored possessions and discovering that the contents has been damaged by pests is heartbreaking. But this is not an uncommon experience for people who box up their possessions and keep them in their house attic. You can gain a degree of protection from pests by using a climate-controlled storage facility run by a member of the Self-Storage Association or British Association of Removers. But you do need to make sure that your possessions are free from pests before you store!

Does my insurance cover damage by pests?

If the pests came from a source outside your possessions, then yes, your insurance will cover this. However – if the pests came into the storage unit with your possessions, you are not covered. So you are covered if your books are gnawed by rats and it turns out that your storage unit had a rodent problem. But if you stored a suitcase of clothing that was already infested with moth, then you would not be covered.

How can I protect my stored possessions from pests?

We ran a blogpost not long ago about keeping at bay one type of pest, moth. But here are some other tips.

Protect from pests before you store

The first step would be to check through your stuff carefully before you store. You will need to do this anyway so you can make an inventory. As you go through, look for signs of damage, droppings, egg cases, larvae etc. Then, take appropriate steps to clear out the infestation before you put your things into storage. You may need to call in the professionals to deal with some pests. The British Pest Control Association can help you find a trustworthy practitioner.

Then you need to make sure your chosen storage location is free from pests. We’ve chosen to only work with storage companies who are members of certain professional organisations, because we know that they have high standards in terms of pest control. You can expect members to take stringent precautions against, for example, rats, mice and squirrels. When you select your storage company, though, look around. If you spot pests – or their droppings – store your stuff elsewhere.

Packing your items into sturdy plastic boxes, rather than cardboard cartons, can offer a degree of protection against pests, but it is no guarantee.

Protect from pests while you store

Whether you are storing at home or in a unit, keep your storage space tidy so that there are no hidey holes for pests.

Inspect the space regularly and act hard and fast on any signs of pests.

If you spot signs of pest damage to your possessions in storage, let the facility know. They will have procedures for dealing with infestations and will help you to eliminate the pests.

Does my home contents insurance cover pest damage to my stored possessions?

Your contents insurance will probably not cover possessions stored outside your home – but you should check with your contents insurer. If not, get a quote from Store and Insure: our insurance products are tailored to the unique needs of self-storage users. And we charge a daily rate, too, with no premiums or minimum times.