One common problem with maintaining an RV is the unwanted entry of mice into it. Even if you have cleaned up the crumbs and food scraps from the last camping trip, mice and rodents still want to make their home in an RV. It could be the cozy warmth and dimness or the choice of wooden cabinets and electrical wirings to chew on. Whatever, mice are pests you’d rather do without, especially in a huge investment like an RV.
Getting rid of mice is not easy. But that shouldn’t be a deterrent. There are many techniques for keeping mice away from and nesting in your RV while it’s not in use and frustrated owners are willing to try anything until they find the most effective one. A combination of the methods mentioned below should do the trick. Some are weird and others are seemingly practical. Contributors of these ideas swear by their effectiveness but it’s up to you to find out for yourself.
1. Mothballs, dryer sheets and other mice repellent – it’s the odor these things give out that keep the mice away. Some repellents have scents that are tolerable and even nice for humans but offensive to mice.
2. Peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, lavender stalks and cloves - mice hate the smell of these herbs. Soak cotton balls in them and place in areas of the RV that mice like, such as in corners, under beds and in cabinets and drawers.
3. Antifreeze – this green liquid is used in cars. Leave small caps of it inside the RV. Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, a very toxic chemical that causes death. Make sure children and pets don’t have access to the RV if you use antifreeze.
4. When your RV is in storage, remove all mouse attractions like food and nesting material. If you’re storing it in a self-storage unit, you might want one that is nearby and easily accessible so you can check for mice from time to time. US Storage Centers says there are affordable units at sizes that are right for your RV.
5. Plug all openings in your RV. Check the sides and undersides for holes and gaps, furnace and air-conditioning vents and entries for plumbing and wiring. Check cabinets and closets for crevices and make sure their doors are securely closed.
There are many ideas for plugging openings where mice can enter.
- Steel wool – mice don’t like the taste of steel and won’t chew through it. Steel wool, or wire sponge, is cheap and can be cut to fit different hole sizes. Buy the kind without soap.
- Caulk – made especially for RVs and motorhomes, they fill gaps effectively.
- Silicone or expanding foam – fill the gaps with silicone or expanding foam but try the foam on something else first if you don’t have much experience with it. It could expand more than you expected and cause damage to the RV.
6. Rat traps – these contraptions come in many types. Some promise bloody death for rats while others cage them in until you can check on the traps. Either way, it’s not a pleasant sight. But rat traps are very effective, especially when there’s cheese or peanut butter on or in it. The advantages of rat traps are immediate results, safer than poison baits and no odors of decomposing dead rats are left. Disposing of a brutally murdered rat or an alive and frisky one is its biggest turn off.
Marie Miller is a safety specialist. She includes the storage of RVs in her safety list since RVs are like second homes for families during summers.