How To Keep Bees & Wasps Out Of Your RV
It’s finally spring, the weather is warming up, and wildflowers are starting to bloom. While part-time RVers are beginning to kick off their camping season, it’s also the time of year when bees and wasps become more active.
These are some of the ways you can prevent them from buzzing around your campsite, or worse, nesting in places like your RV’s furnace vent.
Cover your RV’s exterior openings
The best way to keep bees and other insects from getting inside in the first place is by covering up all exterior openings where they could enter.
Mesh covers are available in stores and online for your RV furnace vent, fridge vent, water heater, and rear bumper. Installation can easily be done in ten minutes or less with the included tools.
Make sure your window screens are intact as well, so you can let in the breeze without all the bugs. Check out this article for a step-by-step guide on replacing the screens.
Spray WD-40 around your vents
Most people already have a can of this stuff lying around for its many other purposes. WD-40 is also effective in killing and preventing wasps around the home and RV. Spray some WD-40 around all of your RV’s vents to help keep wasps from nesting.
Inspect your gas appliances
Bees are attracted to the smell of propane, and your RV’s gas appliances can emit just enough of the odor to draw the bugs in. Regularly inspect all of the gas appliances in your RV, including the furnace, water heater, and fridge.
Remove nests ASAP
If you do spot a nest, search online to find a beekeeper in your area. Some beekeepers charge a fee, but others will remove the nest for free, especially since honey bees are going extinct. It’s less work to worry about, and you’ll save yourself from getting stung.
If you plan on taking care of the problem yourself, use a long stick to carefully remove the nest at night. Wear long-sleeved clothing with heavy fabric and secure the ankles of your pants with string or tape.
Avoid having sugary food/drinks outside
Bees love nectar for its sweetness, so it’s only natural they’re going to buzz around your picnic if you have sugary sodas, fruits like pineapple or watermelon, and other desserts sitting outside. Open beer and wine can also lure bees to your campsite.
Keep your RV insect and rodent-free:
- The Secret To Keeping Mice Out Of Your RV
- 15 Natural Ways To Keep Spiders Out Of Your Home & RV
- The Best Way To Get Rid Of Ants In Your RV
- Read More About Mud Daubers
Sherol Roy says
We just left for a trip from Colorado to Texas. Our furnace will not work. I have been troubleshooting and the Suburban people told me to remove these covers because they restrict air flow and will void my warrantee . So I put them on last fall, removing them now.
These screens are not the cause…
You’ve got something else going on.
And someone from Suburban is telling you fish stories!
Kosmic Lighthouse says
Today I picked up my RV from Arlington Supercenter after having some for some warranty work completed. They removed the cover from my furnace intake/exhaust port and told me it would void the Suburban warranty. Arlington was the parts place that sold them to me. I contacted Suburban and they verified this. I have been using them for 20 or more years with no problem so I feel confident there was never an issue with restricted air flow. Also, never had a rodent in any of my campers = ever. I’ll just have to remove the cover before bringing it in for service.
Johnny lightning says
What he said. Those screens block some double digit percentage of the air going into or out of your furnace.
Bob Parish says
Those engineers are smarter then I, they designed these without smaller vent holes for a reason, these things need to breathe properly. As an RV Tech I can attest that over time they can cause issues.
John Johnson says
I’ve got a better idea. Buy a can of wasp spray and spray the nests. $2.98.
NOT A GOOD IDEA, YOU WANT THEM TO BE STOPPED BEFORE THEY GET IN THERE AND A BUILD A NEST.
Stephen Monteith Albers says
The appliance manufacturer must be consulted before fitting anything to a vent. Most manufacturers will not approve of their use. In that case, temporary covers should be considered.
Kelly Porter says
It a open wire mesh, with no filter restriction… I’ve been using mine for years… I’ve had no issues, with air flow…
Dave Planitzer says
A sink drain filter can be used on the furnace vents. From Walmart and a lot less expensive.
I’ve heard you just hang a pet flea collar in each compartment and it keeps spiders and bees away…. no covers necessary.
JIM WILSON says
Having been a RV Tech for 4 1/2 decades, I have heard many variations of this debate. Suburban and Dometic both feel it is an air restriction for their furnaces, so I did the air flow testing. It does restrict the intake and exhaust on both, with the Atwood/Dometic being effected the most. But the screens are a good idea. So when you take your camper out in spring, put screens on the furnace. In the winter, if you are using the furnace, take them off.
Refrigerators are a totally different story. If you have a Norcold refrigerator, in a slide out, the screens will destroy the cooling unit. With the screens installed out test machine ran 20-25* warmer, inside, with the screens. Without them, the freezer would get down to temperature overnight and the lower box was within minimums. If the fans were running. Don’t press your luck with the refrigeration in your unit.
The screen Mfg has all there screens listed on a chart for loss and restriction that screen restriction is 65%, leave it alone and figure out another way to get rid of your pest.. I am talking about the Mfg of the screen not the Mfg of the part
Edward Cunningham says
I use mothballs, in spice containers in the refer and water heater compartments to repel bees. Dryer sheets inside for mice.
As a beekeeper, I can tell you that trying to remove the bees at night (which sadly dozens of articles I have read tell you to do) is a really bad idea. Bees can’t fly at night because they can’t see the sun, and they use the sun to navigate. But we can’t see at night either, so whatever light you are using will attract the bees and they will fly towards it. If they land on you, they won’t fly away like they will in the daytime, they will stay on you and keep trying to sting you. Ask any beekeeper, we NEVER work our bees at night. If you want to safely remove the bees, I would instead advise you to call your local beekeeping club (just about every area has one) and ask. And yes, beekeepers do charge. It’s not just about their time, but also removing the bees means putting them in a box – and that equipment is also an expense. Beekeepers that remove bees have to then keep them, and that adds more work. It’s not like they can then release them into the wild somewhere else! If you do decide you want to try doing this yourself, at least get a veil or face netting of some kind that attaches to your hat and can be secured to your clothing, wear long sleeved heavy clothes, and tuck your pants legs into heavy socks. Wearing gloves is also a really good idea. Watch some YouTube videos of people removing bees (and getting stung) and you’ll get the idea of what to do and what not to do! If you live in the South where there is a degree of Africanization in the local bee populations, then I would not advise you trying to do it yourself. And also, on another note, if you remove the bees by insecticide (not judging here, sometimes that’s the only way) you also have to be sure to remove any comb that is left behind. That comb is a call to other bees to move in – and they will. Personally, I think the best cure is prevention, and we use the WD-40 method. Bees are very sensitive to odors and they don’t like that one. There are also sprays, such as “Bee gone” that you can buy, if you have had issues with bees in the past and want to be sure they won’t be attracted in the future. These do have to be applied regularly as the odor diminishes over time, see the can for instructions. Our camper is located right next to our bee yard, and we’ve never had any bees or wasps move in. Happy camping!
The flea color hack works! We had them building nests in the end caps of our awning (Roadtrek 1992) and we put about an inch-sized piece in each end. No nests. We also put a small piece under our propane tank lid because they were building them there. They never came back. We’ve been doing this for several years now and have had no issues with bees/wasps. Anywhere around your camper or house, an inch piece should do the trick!