Tricks to Keep Mice and Other Rodents Out of Your RV
October 19, 2018
Other than water damage from a leak or poor drain system, a rodent infestation can be one of the most damaging and nasty things that can happen to your RV. Rodents just love to chew on wires (any plastic actually!) and leave their droppings in every possible crack and crevice. Some electrical damage they cause can be extremely hard to repair based on the location or the amount of damage – and we all know those repairs don’t come cheap! As you’ve probably invested funds when initially purchasing your RV, its worth a few dollars and the time spent to make sure you keep the pesky critters outside.
As in all situations involving animals (or people or anything life for that matter!) there is no 100% guaranteed, sure-fire way to get rid of rodents, but in an effort to help RVers out, here is a list of tips and tricks in their battle against the furry little stinkers taking over the
No Entry Here!
To keep the critters from doing damage inside, keep them outside by blocking their entrance to your RV. Many RVs have access points for something as small as a mouse – spaces that seem harmless at first glance! A good rule of thumbs is, if they can get their head through an opening the rest of the body can follow. For a small mouse, this may only be the size of a dime. There are lots of ways to block or deter small rodents from creeping in where they don’t belong:
- Screens– Use fine mesh screens on any larger openings like vents, access ports, and piping. Basically, the areas that still require air/the ability to get inside. You can secure with a simple ring clamp.
- Steel Wool– Some mice are more aggressive mice and may actually try to chew through foam! Add an extra layer of protection by putting some steel wool on the other side of those entrances. Chewing on the sharp steel fibers should deter them.
- Spray Foam– Expanding foam in a spray can be used to fill in cracks and tiny holes and it can be removed if need be. (No really – here’s a link how to remove and clean up any “oopsies”) Be sure to check underside/undercarriage of the RV, inside the storage compartments (closets and cupboards) and around holes where the plumbing runs.
- Power Cord Hole – You know you need a solution for rodent repellant when you have an area on your rig referred to as a “Mouse Hole!” If your rig uses a feed through for the power cord, consider doing what I did and install a fixed receptacle There are lots of different options out there, kits you can purchase or individual pieces you can buy. Regardless, it’s one less pest access hole in your home on wheels!
- Metal Rings – Create metal rigs out of sheet metal and place on the ground around tires and jacks. Make them tall enough so mice can’t stretch to get over the top – usually around 8 inches should work just fine!
- Xcluder– Commercial grade stainless steel non-rusting mesh used by professionals to block openings. This product line offers several options and lots of ideas – not only for your RV, but your home rodent protection as well.
Don’t Invite Rodent Guests to Dinner
- Food Storage – Probably goes without saying but don’t leave any sort of food where a mouse could access it. Your bottom storage is awesome, but not for storing potatoes. And don’t forget – pet food is still food to mice! Keep everything sealed up in plastic containers or tins.
- Be Mindful of Food that Isn’t Really Food – Rodents will eat the strangest things to survive. I once found I had a mouse in the front storage bay of the trailer, living the life, gnawing on a fire log made of recycled coffee grounds!
- Remove Any Nesting Materials – When mice move in they will want to build a nest, and well start making those baby mice! Don’t leave things like towels, clothes, or paper products (napkins, toilet paper, newspaper, notepads, magazines, etc) in your RV – those are prime nest creation materials my friends!
Mouse Deterrents from the Experts
By no means am I endorsing any product over another, but here are a couple products I found quickly online:
- Stay Away – Little pouches of plant based material that mice hate. You place a few around the RV and the mice stay away. They need to be renewed once in a while as the scent diminishes.
- Mouse Free– This is a spray that is applied on the undercarriage of the trailer or motorhome keeping the mice from entering. They claim to be a “No Mess, No Drip, Non-Toxic” solution…and hey, they ship for free!
Some commercial mouse deterrents may seem a little more expensive than what your budget will allow. Here are a few common household products people have had success with that may work with your wallet too:
- Fabric Softener Sheets – Spread dryer sheets all over the RV when it’s in storage to keep mice away. Then when you take it out put the sheets in a plastic bag and use them for laundry.
- Irish Spring Soap – Same idea as the dry sheets. Supposedly mice hate the smell.
- Moth Balls – Some folks use these at the entry points to dissuade mice. Keep in mind though they are toxic and may harm a child or pet.
- Peppermint Oil– Soak cotton balls with it and leave in the mice infested area. Must be refreshed often.
- Trapping the Mice – There are so many options for mice traps that I won’t bother listing alternatives here! It all depends on your budget, your feelings about human vs. lethal, and in the end disposal/removal. (Don’t forget, if you’re all about humane, you have to be all about the “release” part in “catch and release!” I honestly have had the best luck with the ol’ peanut butter on a wire snap trap.
Good luck to all you RV’ers out there – here’s hoping this article helps! May your home on wheels be free of unwanted critters!