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Moving is stressful enough. Don’t raise your blood pressure even higher by letting bugs creep into your moving boxes!

Nobody wants to open a box in their new home and find critters crawling around inside. Follow these ten tips to keep bugs out of moving boxes and make your move a little easier.

Tip 1: Check and Pre-Treat Old Boxes

If you decide to go ahead and use old boxes, inspect them thoroughly before you start packing. You can also ask what was stored in the boxes beforehand so you don’t take ones that held food or may have been exposed to pests.

Once you get the boxes, pre-treat them with bug spray to increase the chances that they’ll stay pest-free. If you don’t want to use bug spray, add a few drops of peppermint oil or lavender oil to cotton balls instead. These oils naturally deter insects and will give your belongings a pleasant, fresh scent.

Tip 2: Do Laundry Before Packing

Resist the urge to toss clothing and fabrics straight from the closet into the moving boxes.

Remember, though, that bugs like moths, cockroaches, and silverfish love nibbling on clothing and other organic fibers. They might also lay eggs on these items or leave droppings behind without you realizing it.

Wash your clothing, linens, mattress cover, and other fabric items to destroy eggs that might be lingering in the clothing fibers. 

Do Laundry Before Packing

Tip 3: Inspect Books Carefully

Roaches, termites, and other insects also love to chow down on the pages and covers of your beloved books.

Before packing books, dust them thoroughly and give each one a careful inspection. Open books and flip through the pages to shake creatures out of the crevices and avoid taking them with you to your new home. 

If you notice signs of bugs in your books, don’t panic. Place them in plastic bags, then leave them in the freezer for a few days to kill insects and prevent an infestation from spreading.

Tip 4: Wrap Items in Plastic

When you pack for a move, use plastic bags, plastic wrap, or bubble wrap for extra protection. 

Sealable bags help you protect clothing, linens, towels, blankets, and other fabric items you want to protect from bugs.

Wrapping rugs and carpets in plastic before putting them in storage boxes will also help you avoid a pest infestation when you arrive at your new house or apartment.

Tip 5: Double-Tape Boxes 

If you’re going to keep some boxes in your storage unit, double-tape them before dropping them off at the storage facility.

Double-taping provides an extra layer of protection from insects and other pests. It also reduces the risk of weather-related damage if you’re not keeping your belongings in a climate-controlled self-storage facility. 

Double Tap Moving Boxes

Tip 6: Use Durable Storage Containers

Cardboard boxes are the standard for moving. However, consider using more durable options like plastic bins, plastic containers, and totes when you can.

These items can be especially helpful when moving food items or other belongings that you want to keep extra safe. As long as the lids seal tightly, you can store food without worrying about bugs or pests crawling in. 

Tip 7. Treat Belongings with Bug Repellent 

In addition to treating plastic boxes with bug repellent, you might also want to consider treating your belongings before you pack them.

Spray upholstered furniture, rugs, and other large items with bug spray to keep insects at bay. You can also use cedar blocks or essential oils if you prefer a more natural option.

Tip 8: Inspect Mattresses

If you don’t scrutinize mattresses before packing, you could end up transferring bed bugs to your new home.

Common signs of bed bugs include reddish-brown stains, dark spots, and tiny eggs or eggshells. As you prepare for your move, pay special attention to mattresses that you don’t see very often, such as guest room mattresses. 

Tip 9: Buy New Boxes

If you can afford it, consider buying moving boxes instead of relying on used cardboard boxes from friends, family, or local businesses.

It’s tempting to use old boxes to cut down on moving costs. However, by accepting these boxes, you may accidentally be introducing a pest problem into your new home.

Think about it. You don’t know what was stored in those boxes previously or where they were kept. They could have bugs crawling around without you realizing — until you start unpacking.


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