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  • She says "I have an infestation !"

    Last night after the office closed there was a message on the machine from a college student saying that she has a problem & has damage to her items. There is mold on her items and an infestation of bugs. I hate these kind of calls because I will have to go out there and tell her that she should have defrosted her refrigerator before she moved in the unit like I told her and 3 dead bugs is not an infestation. Now, I haven't seen her unit however I have been through 17 summers of college kids so I have a good idea what it is going to be.

    I returned her call and she said she will be in at 2:30pm today to show me the items. This same girl, when she moved in May 2019, came to the office to tell me that we have a problem. There were roaches outside the hallway door & probably someone with a roll up door near her has food in their unit attracting the bugs so we should get pest control. I told her that we do have pest control and I asked her if the bugs were dead or alive and she told me dead. I explained that our pest control is doing their job and I would go sweep them up. It took me a long while to find 2 dead palmetto bugs in the middle of the driveway. The way she was talking it sounded she got attacked by bugs last night and made it out of there with her life.
    The future depends on what you do in the present.

  • #2
    Tenants like that, have their own agenda, and live for the drama. I typically remind them that storing in a storage unit is no different than storing in a garage. If they want pristine they have to find a hermetically sealed unit and pay 10 times what they are paying here and if still cannot satisfy her/him, then is time to cut bait and get them out. "I will never be able to satisfy you so it is best we part ways now".
    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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    • #3
      Oh, yes. The college students can be fun! I can't wait to hear the truth of her "infestation."
      MamaDuke

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      • #4
        Actually you can get one look at the inside of her car and likely get an idea of just how clean she keeps everything. When you can't see the floor mats for the trash covering them, you will have your answer.
        "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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        • #5
          Well, she came in. She has been a customer here for a couple summers. Super nice girl & her mom.

          They showed me the unit and although there are no ceiling/roof leaks her boxes were damp and you can tell they were wet. She is at a college that provides the students with dorm fridges so they don't need one of their own and therefore none was put in the unit. She said that the box that her laptop was in was damp and that they took it to Staples for them to look at it and see if it can be fixed. I didn't see it so I don't know how much moisture was in there and if it was in a box how damp it could have been. Her shoes in box had a bit of mold on them.

          There was no infestation. A couple little bugs that weren't palmetto bugs or roaches. Just little fast moving things. I will bug bomb later.

          The unit looks fine and is dry. I can't account for moisture and the bugs were Florida bugs. For a kid / college student I understand that there is a problem. I know insurance is not going to pay for it and even though I don't see anything that we did wrong I still feel badly for her.
          The future depends on what you do in the present.

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          • #6
            Something I see at some sites depending on the construction in multiple states now is if you see what looks like white powder on the ground in units it's due to moisture seeping up through the concrete as it was not sealed properly and as it dries it leaves that white residue. I've seen boxes ontop of that type of concrete absorb the moisture and cause problems like what you're describing. But it's an obvious sign if that's the cause as you will have the white powder regularly on the floors in your units.

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            • #7
              Thank you Orkocean no white residue. The floors are painted and sealed and we had the outside of the property walls re-sealed 1.5 years ago because it was time to do it. She just moved in May 2019 so there shouldn't have been any breakthrough water and/or moisture. Some things I can tell what did or could have happened but this one stumped me. The "damage" to her stuff really isn't bad - except for the laptop computer which I haven't seen so I don't know. Still, customers expect their items to be worry free and I hate when they aren't.
              The future depends on what you do in the present.

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              • #8
                The worry free part is not only part of the facilities job but the tenant needs to listen when they move in and hear what we say about insurance to help protect their items. If they choose not to have insurance then that is on them.
                "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                • #9
                  We tell tenants that even though we routinely take measures to eliminate pests, we cannot control for tenants who store belongings already infested with pests, and the best way to shield themselves from other tenants' uncleanliness is to wrap wrap wrap in plastic and box box box! The more layers of plastic and dry cardboard between your stuff and the outside world, the better. Then we show them our lovely selection of packing materials for sale.
                  You can tell a lot about a tenant from his padlock.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Iamkathleenj View Post
                    Thank you Orkocean no white residue. The floors are painted and sealed and we had the outside of the property walls re-sealed 1.5 years ago because it was time to do it. She just moved in May 2019 so there shouldn't have been any breakthrough water and/or moisture. Some things I can tell what did or could have happened but this one stumped me. The "damage" to her stuff really isn't bad - except for the laptop computer which I haven't seen so I don't know. Still, customers expect their items to be worry free and I hate when they aren't.
                    Were you there when she moved in? Was it raining? You merely supply the space and if it's dry then it was something from an outside source before she moved in.
                    When I had all of my ducks in a row-I realized that most of them were not even mine!

                    WA State

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                    • #11
                      I was also going to suggest to go to https://www.wunderground.com/history/ and run a search for the day that you know she moved in.
                      Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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                      • #12
                        KrisinNC it wasn't raining when she moved in but who knows what could have happened. College students aren't always so careful when moving things so her items could have been damp when she moved them in. Florida has bugs and we have pest control. Chameleons eat the palmetto bugs and ants and sometimes they don't get them all.

                        pacnwstorage the insurance won't pay for mold or mildew or bugs and the pay out on rodents (which she didn't have) is $250 after the $100 deductible.

                        lady5563 WOW mind blown. Thank you for that website. We make a note in Sitelink when we see someone moving in or out when it is raining but we can't always catch nights, weekends or holidays so this website is amazing.
                        The future depends on what you do in the present.

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                        • #13
                          Iamkathleenj, I had a similar situation a few months ago. A tenant brought in the contents of an old woodshed on her fathers property, it had mice. It took me over a month of emptying mouse traps and having our pest control re-bait the stations to get it under control. She OF COURSE insisted it wasn't her fault.
                          You Laugh, I laugh. You cry, I cry. You take my coffee...may God have mercy on your soul....

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                          • #14
                            Stories like this remind me that words matter. This is a wonderful opportunity to spread awareness and education. Thank you for sharing this, now I have some material for the monthly newsletter

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