Your RV provides you with all of the comforts of home no matter where you go. Unfortunately, there is someone else who enjoys making themselves a home in your RV, whether you want them there or not: mice. In this blog post, we will share 7 ways to get rid of mice in your camper or RV.
Seal up all entry points with chew-proof materials
There are a lot of blogs and articles on the internet that offer advice on how to seal up the entry points that mice use to enter your RV. The problem with many of them is that mice and other rodents are professional chewers. In fact, mice have to constantly chew in order to keep their teeth from growing too large, and your RV often ends up paying the price. In fact, according to Orkin, “A mouse can chew through wood, plastic, soft vinyl, rubber and even low gauge aluminum or fiberglass-based screening.”
Instead of caulk or spray foam, try materials like steel wool, copper mesh, and wire rodent screens to block all of the entry points into your RV that you can find. There are a variety of options at hardware stores, Amazon, and other retailers. Be sure to check both inside and outside the RV to identify all of the places rodents can enter.
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Use sheet metal to deter climbing
Not only are mice expert chewers, but they are also agile climbers. Many RV owners suggest sheet metal prevents mice from climbing up tires, jack stands, and the underside of your camper. Sheet metal is slippery without any texture for the mice to use for climbing, so they cannot get up into your RV from the ground. According to Love Your RV, “Fashion metal rigs out of sheet metal and place on the ground around tires and jacks. Make them tall enough so mice can’t get over usually around 8 inches will do the trick.”
Keep your RV clean
Keeping your RV clean is extremely important in getting rid of mice in your camper. Keep all surfaces clean of food spills, crumbs, pieces of pet food that your pets may have missed, and standing water. Store all of your food in heavy plastic storage boxes, including pet food and treats, and take the trash out frequently.
After each RV trip, remove all food items, even pantry staples that you might otherwise leave in the camper between trips. Also remove paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, and all clothing, towels, and bedding, as mice and other rodents love to use them for nests. Clean all of your cabinets and inside your fridge after each and every trip. The less appealing your RV is to mice, the better, even if it means a little more work after each camping trip.
Install lighting under your RV
While this is not a proven deterrent, many RVers believe that installing lighting under the RV will help deter rodents. Flashing lights are a bigger deterrent than lights that remain on, so rope lights and LED strips are good options.
Use natural mouse repellants
When actively using your RV, place fabric softener dryer sheets, peppermint oil, and Irish Spring soap throughout the camper. MedicineNet also suggests natural repellents like cinnamon, vinegar, clove oil, tea bags (after brewing), and cedar wood oil. Mice dislike the smell of these items but they are not harmful to humans.
When using anything scented to deter mice, remember that cats and dogs have a substantially more powerful sense of smell, so these odors may bother your pets. Do a trial run with a small amount and watch your dog’s behavior, while also making sure your pets cannot eat any of the repellants.
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When your RV is in storage, you can use these scents in greater quantities as well as more powerful odors like mothballs. There are also quite a few spray mouse repellents available that combine essential oils like peppermint and cinnamon to deter mice.
Use mouse traps
Sometimes the only way to handle a mouse infestation is with mouse traps. A live trap is of course the most humane type of trap so that you can catch the mice and then relocate them far away from your camper.
Although glue traps are considered inhumane when the mice are left to die, they can also be used for catch and release. According to Victor Pest, “glue traps can be used for humane catch and release. When it’s time to release your captive, just add a bit of olive oil to the glue. This will cause it to lose its stickiness and the mouse should be able to free itself.” Of course, traps used for trap and release must be checked frequently, once or twice a day.
Store your RV on concrete with a BoxKat
Parking your RV on concrete instead of grass means that your camper is not a mouse’s natural habit. According to outdoorsy.com, “Mice love grassy areas because it keeps them hidden and offers them a handy point from which to climb into your rig. By parking your camper on concrete or gravel and not letting grass touch it on any side, you’ll help keep mice out of your camper by denying them their preferred ground.”
Adding a new invention called the BoxKat can add additional protection. The BoxKat is a 14” tall border that mice cannot go under or over. It has flexible sections to allow setup on uneven surfaces and can be anchored in a variety of ways to prevent being moved by the wind.
By using a variety of methods to block entry points, and make the RV an unappealing place to be, RVers can enjoy their campers without sharing them with rodents.
Regardless of the specific methods you use, it is important to point out that poison should never be used to control rodents. When mice consume poison, it may take several days before they die. If the mouse is eaten by another animal, like birds of prey, coyotes, wolves, or domestic dogs and cats, the larger animal can also become extremely ill or die from the poison.