How to Keep Mice Out of a Storage Unit: A Step-By-Step Guide

How To Keep Mice Out of a Storage Unit

It’s that time of the month to go check on your stuff in your rented storage unit. All seems well so far, except for that corner of a cardboard box where a nosy rodent had chewed out a generous chunk. Not cool.

Well, maybe it’s time to learn how to keep mice out of a storage unit for good. So, are you ready to dive into our step-by-step guide?

Table of Contents

Step 1: Bar Any Potential Entrances

First of all, you must block any path a mouse might take to enter your storage unit. As easy as it sounds, this might actually take you a while. See, mice only need a ¼-inch of space to get inside your unit, so you have to inspect every inch of the space with a sharp eye.

Of course, it’s always recommended that you do this the first day that you move your items to the storage unit. This way, you can rest assured that your storage space won’t have unwanted visitors.

Step 2: Make Your Storage Unit As Unattractive As Possible

The second thing you should do is to see if you’ve been accidentally inviting mice over on a regular basis! Things like food scraps, unclean environments, and unsealed trash attract mice quite easily. So what can you do to make your storage unit boring to a rat?

Don’t Leave Any Food Inside the Storage Unit

Mouse Eating Food Lying on Ground

More than anything else, food will draw the attention of mice to your storage unit almost instantly. Therefore, you should make sure that there aren’t any food items on the ground of the storage space.

If you must store your pet food inside the unit, at least ensure that it’s kept in a tightly sealed container. Also, it’s a good idea to place that container on a high shelf instead of on the floor.

Limit Your Use of Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes and paper items are favorites to mice because these little creatures love to chew on them. For this reason, you shouldn’t leave your belongings in cardboard boxes if possible. As for paper items, your best bet is to store them inside sealed containers.

If you must use a cardboard box, try to lift it off the ground and put it on a shelf.

Keep Your Storage Unit Clean

Mice thrive in dirty environments and messy places, which is why you should ensure that your storage unit is always clean. Pay special attention to corners and nooks to make sure that your unit is thoroughly cleaned.

If there are any trash cans, they might attract mice easily if they’re not properly sealed.

Wrap Any Upholstered Furniture in Plastic

Besides paper and cardboard, mice like to munch on furniture upholstery and all sorts of fabric. To prevent these nosy beings from ruining your favorite armchair, simply wrap it in multiple layers of plastic.

That way, a mouse won’t have access to the upholstery and it will soon lose interest in the whole storage unit entirely.

Step 3: Set Up Mouse Traps

This can both be a preventive measure and an action to take if you suspect that a mouse has entered your storage unit. Just set up those traps all over the storage unit floor, spacing them out evenly.

When we say traps, we are referring to the quick kill snap traps or even a catch and release style trap (if you check your unit often enough!). Please refrain from using glue traps as they are a very inhumane way to kill any animal.

For an effective mouse trap, consider pairing it with one or more of the following baits:

  • Cheese cubes
  • Nuts
  • Maple syrup
  • Beef jerky
  • Buttered crackers
  • Gum drops
  • Pet food
  • Marshmallows

Step 4: Use Natural Mice Repellents

Cayenne Pepper

Natural repellents can stop both rodents and bugs in their tracks and make them reconsider entering your storage unit. Of course, a lot of people suggest using mothballs for this purpose. Yet, we don’t recommend them because they can produce a bad smell that’ll stick to your stuff.

Instead, you may want to use cayenne pepper, which mice really hate because of its powerful smell. You can also try cloves and cedar blocks. Just spread these repellents throughout the entire storage space and let them do their job.

Some people swear by lavender and peppermint essential oils, too. To make the best use of them, simply soak cotton balls in either one of these two oils and place them anywhere you don’t mind mice to be.

Other people suggest using ammonia as a natural mice deterrent. Because it smells pretty much like the urine of their predators, the mice will probably do their best to stay away from ammonia.

Step 5: Check Your Storage Unit Periodically

Mice tend to feel safe enough to nest in places that people leave unattended for a long time. For that reason, you should dedicate part of your monthly schedule to visiting your storage unit and ensuring it’s free from pests and rodents.

Look for early signs of trouble to prevent unwanted scenarios such as an all-out infestation. Just inspect the storage unit for droppings, cracks, chewing marks, and the like.

If you find evidence of a mouse’s visit, you should contact the management at once to let them know about this issue. They’ll know how to act to get rid of the pests immediately.

To Wrap It Up

Learning how to keep mice out of a storage unit is essential information if you’re looking to rent one to store your items. Hopefully, after reading our guide, you now know all the steps to follow to ensure all your belongings are safe inside your unit.

Just ensure that the place is clean, free of food, and not crowded with paper items or cardboard boxes. Also, using mouse traps or natural repellents should be effective in discouraging mice from entering your storage space.

Are you now ready to say goodbye to those annoying chew marks?


I've been a college coach for going on 20 years now and that career has led Jen and I on quite the journey. We've lived in 7 different states and have moved a dozen different times. We've learned A LOT over the course of all those moves and we want to pass on our knowledge to help others going through the moving process.

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