By ElaineD. from Flanders, NJ
There's nothing like a savvy skilled "barn cat" to keep those pesky mice from chewing through your plastic bins & deciding to set up housekeeping in your books, other paper good or fabrics. I have 4 barn cats who live in the feed room of the barn & patrol the barn & surrounding areas. No self respecting mouse would dare get close, those rascally ground squirrels are gone & even the pigeons no longer roost over the barn aisle to leave their droppings all over tack & other equipment.
I have storage bins in my barn holding grain. The bins are re-cyled industrial plastic barrels, the good thing about them is that they have perfectly fitting lids. They do sell these barrels brand new as well, but not sure where. For me, its all in the lid...but the dogs, the cats and the lids didn't stop a raccoon from getting in once. I also store my winter blankets (horse) in these barrels and have no problem with dampness inside them.
Keep papers/ books/ photos/ cloth in plastic bags inside metal popcorn tins or new metal garbage cans, and weight the lids down with each other and packed dishes. It's cheaper than storage bins/ storage units. Put bleached/ clean dishes into anything plastic. Mice/rats don't eat dishes nor are attracted to clean things. Our things lasted in the attic through two generations until antiques when I was growing up! God bless and good luck. : )
I wouldn't put mothballs in the bins. The smell of them is worse than mice damage. And they are poison to you and the mice.
Elaine, After growing up in Budd Lake and knowing what the temps and humidity levels can be, I suggest moth balls. It will also keep rust from forming on metal objects that you wish to save.
We use plastic bins in our bin and scatter a few mothballs in the bins and around them. We've never had a problem.
Don't know how well it works but I have heard that mice don't like the smell of mint. Obviously nothing food related in the bins. Mice can chew through plastic but probably only if they smell anything good to them. I have heard they are also attracted to perfume-y type smells as well as food so no scented dryer sheets or scented products inside the bins.
We had sunflower seeds for the birds in a very thick plastic bun with a good screw on lid that I thought was impenetrable and they chewed threw that, but it did have food in it, so your memorabilia should be safe. Don't know if mint works for squirrels but they can be quite crafty. They used to unscrew out outdoor Christmas lite bulbs we had up around our door and carted them off.
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