If you are traveling overseas or are trying to arrange a difficult long distance move, then you may decide to place all or most of your belongings in a storage unit. This can be extremely helpful to ease your fears about the safety of your most precious things. However, you do need to understand that you will need to make sure that the space is secure against certain types of pests. Ants are one of these pests that can easily invade a storage unit while you are away. Follow the tips below if you want to keep the unit ant free.

Remove All Remnants Of Food

Ants, like other types of pests, have fairly distinctive and unique mechanisms for locating and consuming food. Ant colonies send out scouts in search of food. These scouts detect scents with their antennae. Most commonly, the insects are searching for carbohydrates and sugary substances. Sugars specifically have a unique smell that can be detected by ants. Ants can travel quite far depending on their needs and the size of the ant colony. However, most ants will remain in a fairly small radius around their colonies, unless they are desperate for food. This means that you can avoid most ant activity by simply choosing a storage unit that is as far away from wooden or soft ground areas as possible. Since most ants live in these areas, avoiding them can keep infestations at bay.

When ants find a food source, especially a larger one that can feed all or many members of the colony, the scout ants leave chemical trails as they make their way back to the colony. Other scouts can then follow the same path to find food. This is one reason why it is so difficult to stop an infestation in a storage space once it first begins.

To make sure that the ants are not sniffing out your space, you should remove every trace of food that you can. Clean the floor of the unit itself to remove small candy wrappers or bits of cookies and other food items that may have been left behind by the previous renter. Also, you should thoroughly vacuum and wipe down toasters, ovens, microwaves, toaster ovens, pots, pans, and dishes to make sure that no food remains. 

If you need to store food in your unit, you will need to place food items in airtight containers. While large plastic totes are a good idea, think about purchasing containers with screw-on lids. These are far less likely to release even the hint of a food odor. Place the bins on top of a shelf so they are away from the floor where ants may make their way inside.

Choose An Elevated Unit

If you need to store items in an area of the country that becomes quite dry during the summer months, then it may not rain as much as it should during the hottest months of July and August. Many animals will venture out far from their homes in search of water when it becomes dry. This is true of ants, and they will enter a storage unit if a small bit of water is contained inside of it. 

Water can enter the storage unit, pool on the floor, and remain there well after a rainstorm blows through the region. The ants can then search out the unit for water, since ants can smell fluid. The best way to avoid this is to choose a unit that sits high up on the business property. Also, the unit should be completely sealed, so check for this around the floor and the ceiling.

Another thing you should consider is whether or not the storage units are fitted with gutters and drains or not. If they are not, then water can make its way into the unit from the roof.

If you are fearful that the unit may become wet at some point and draw ants in, place several containers of desiccant around the unit. Containers filled with silica balls can work well for this and so can pre-packaged desiccant gels.

For more information about keeping water and ants out of your storage unit, contact a local facility near you, like I-70 Self Storage.