12:49 PM PDT, October 1, 2021
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans packed up their belongings and moved away, and many of them rented storage units thinking their belongings would be safe.
But some customers we spoke with say, while they were gone, some unwelcome guests moved in.
Geneieve Yue says her storage unit in Rhode Island was infested with mice, and many of her belongings were destroyed.
“I had to throw out a kind of expensive couch,” Yue said.
Another woman says the vermin problem in her unit was so bad, she set up a trap and actually caught a rat.
“They had a fun time in my unit,” she said. “I carried my gloves and grabbed the sticky and walked right into the office.”
So just how big of a problem are storage rats and rodents? Inside Edition rented storage units from two of the biggest names in the business — U-Haul and Public Storage.
At one Public Storage, we found rodent traps in almost every corner of the building.
Several weeks after we rented a storage unit, we returned. There were no rats or rodents in traps we left and no visible droppings anywhere in the unit, including near our boxes.
Then we packed up a bunch of boxes and loaded them into a U-Haul storage unit in New York City.
A couple weeks later, we returned and found a dead rodent on a sticky trap. Upon closer inspection, there were also maggots present — all right next to our boxes.
U-Haul tells us they proactively guard against pests at all their facilities and take preemptive measures, including hiring pest control companies and sanitizing the storage units every day.