Stashbee's Anti-Infestation Guide: Avoid Unwanted Guests in Your Garage
There, we said it. Infestation. We know it’s a subject that makes some people’s skin crawl, but not to fear! We’re here to put you in the know about how to face a pest problem, or avoid one altogether.
How to Get Rid of Common Pest Infestations
Cluster flies, bed bugs, and Norway rats; Oh my! These pests can pose a real problem if they’ve decided to post up in your garage. A simple ‘no thank you’ won’t be enough to convince these guys to hit the road, unfortunately - though we love your attempt at friendly hosting.
So what do you do when you’re suspicious of an infestation? Let’s dive in.
1. Rat infestations
While they can make great pets for some people, unwanted rats and mice in your rental wouldn’t be a cute addition. So, how do you know if you’ve got a rat problem?
- Damage - rats love to gnaw and chew. The trouble is that this habit of theirs can cause harm to walls, containers, and even electrical wires which, if left unattended, can act as serious fire hazards.
- Tell-tale signs - they smell like ammonia, they leave grease marks along their path, they never clean up after themselves, and they leave poop everywhere! Have we said enough? If you’ve got a rat, it should be relatively obvious if you know what to look for.
- Scampering and scratching - most active at night or when it’s particularly quiet, rats and mice tend to scamper and scratch from the inside of walls. If you hear a noise like that, don’t chalk it up to ghosts - investigate!
Yep, you spotted the signs. Pest droppings and a hole in the wall. You’ve got a rodent infestation, friend. Good thing you stayed vigilant because you caught it early!
Leaving a problem like a pest infestation gone unnoticed for too long could mean an even bigger problem down the road, for your home and your wallet. Now that you know there’s an unwanted guest in your storage space, here are some steps you can take to get rid of rats and back to business:
- Seal the gaps - broken pipes and unsealed exteriors are favoured entryways. Take a close look at your property and promptly seal any gaps you find. If it means preventing an infestation in the first place, you’ll be glad you took swift action.
- Remember the Rule of Thumb: If your thumb can fit in the gap, a rat could, too.
- Clean and clutter freeC - keeping your storage listing clean and tidy is already a good practice when it comes to hosting. When it’s time to organise stuff for storage, try to do it mindfully.
- Store things in a way that makes it easy to check the walls for signs of pests every now and then.
- Secure boxes and bins - no matter what’s being stored at your place, you’ll want to be sure it’s tightly secured. Rats tend to make nests of torn paper in small, dim spaces - like the inside of a box - that could be an ideal breeding site.
- Check that the bins of stuff in your garage or attic are securely sealed shut.
Depending on which area of your home you’re planning on listing, there are different pests that could try to take up space there. As their name suggests, the roof rat, smaller than the Norway rat, prefers to nest in the upper parts of buildings, such as lofts.
If you find signs of an infestation long after the rats have made a home in your home, then you’ll want to consider calling rat control. Pests like rats and mice multiply fast. If there’s a mischief of rats in your walls, it’s best to leave it to the experts.
2. Fly infestations
If that wasn't creepy-crawly enough for you, let’s move on to flies. Now, a single fly on the wall may not be a bother - most of the time they go unnoticed, anyway.
Unfortunately, not all fly species fly solo. Cluster flies, for example, are quite a despicable pest that have a nasty habit of hibernating indoors in large numbers. Adult flies will breed outside in the summer, and prefer to find their way into a nice warm loft in the winter.
Before you call fly control, the same practices that keep mice and rats out of your space will keep flies out, too.
- Prevent flies from settling down where they shouldn’t by keeping windows and doors closed or screened.
- Good housekeeping will not only keep your rental space in tip top shape, it will discourage flies from turning your garage or loft into a breeding site.
- Get keen on different fly species so you know what they’re attracted to and how to avoid instigating a fly problem.
- Light traps are useful in attracting and zapping flies away.
Keeping areas of your home clean and free of entry points are the best methods to preventing a fly infestation. If you do find yourself with a bit of an infestation, a thorough vacuuming can go a long way before applying a DIY insecticide. And, it never hurts to double check that any cracks or holes in your home are sealed to prevent future pests from flying in.
3. Ant infestation
There’s one last pest we should mention that would be happy to settle down in your garage: ants. By now, you could probably guess our tips on getting rid of ants might sound familiar.
- Avoid inviting ants into your space by getting rid of potential food sources and entry points. If you’ve got a crack in your exterior, well, you know what to do.
- Remember, keeping your space clean is a good look for your listing and for your prevention of an ant infestation.
- Familiarise yourself on the different types of ants in your area, so you have a plan of attack ready to go.
While most ants are rather annoying more than anything, carpenter ants are notorious pests that tend to excavate wood where they intend to build their little ant colony - which can turn into a big problem. Imagine you just put up shelves in your garage to make more storage space for your renter, only to find them desolated by ants the next day!
Carpenter ants prefer soggy areas to burrow through. If you have a leaky pipe or a drip in the ceiling, you’ll want to remedy it swiftly, before you discover an ants nest in your walls. If you do end up with these regrettable guests, a combination of vinegar and water may be enough to deter them, but an insecticide is made to stamp them out.
We hope you never have to deal with the annoyance of an infestation. If you do happen to run into any of these unwanted guests, you can feel confident about taking care of business - so you can get back to business. If you’ve got curiosities about getting your garage listed for rent, be sure to give us a ring! We’d be happy to connect with you.
28th Jan 2021