I am using plastic storage bins in my Dad's barn for things (my daughters memories, dishes etc.). How do I keep the animals (mice/squirrels) from destroying what's inside the storage bins? We switched to the plastic bins from boxes.
By Elaine Dukin from Flanders, NJ
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.
We use plastic bins in our bin and scatter a few mothballs in the bins and around them. We've never had a problem.
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.
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.
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.
I would transfer most things into metal boxes. For items that absolutely can not get into a metal box, I would put moth balls all around it , then some poison bait blocks and place items on the thickest plastic bin. Place poison bait blocks around storage Barn where boxes are to deter mice getting to your items.
We store our Christmas tree in 1 plastic bin and decorations in another and both in our metal shed. We have 4 cats that go in and out and mice got into both bins and died in a sealed plastic bag which stored strings of beads for the tree.
Its true that mice dont like peppermint, but it has to be pure peppermint essential oil.
When we used to have a camping trailer I would put cheap dryer sheets in it. We never had a mouse.
Peppermint and dryer sheets smell a lot better than moth balls. Dont use moth balls, the smell is horrific
Thanks for the suggestions
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.
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.
Our storage shed has a lot of Christmas decorations stored in cardboard boxes. When I discovered the damage they had caused I moved everything that was remaining and scattered moth balls around my shed. No problem this year.
Mice even got into my freezer they love chocolate ice cream I can't find anything they hate my friends said plaster of Paris and sugar.