Got Mice in the RV? Here’s How to Get Rid of These Pests.
At some point or another, every RVer will need to know how to get rid of mice in RV life. Mice are destructive. They can chew through wires in your rig. In the process, they desecrate your food storage, and leave a trail of droppings behind.
It is estimated that a mouse produces around 75 droppings per day. Some can even carry diseases. Yuck! Mice are also prolific breeders. Uou might only see one mouse, but there are probably more.
Mice can get in your RV through a hole as small as a dime. Any opening where pipes enter the RV or a small gap on the underside of the unit can be a potential entry point. Be sure to button up any part of your RV that could potentially be an opening. If you store your RV for a season, you will have to be even more careful.
Mice prevention in the RV
In general, keeping your full-time home free of mice and other rodents requires staying ahead of the things that mice like. Food is their number one attraction.
Also stay alert for possible places that mice can enter. Inspect seams along your slide-out. Check out the outer casings of your air conditioner, door, and window gaskets. Watch forgaps along the underside of your RV by the sewer, water, and electrical lines.
Even if you don’t see a rodent, it doesn’t mean that they might not be lurking behind walls and cabinets. That tell-tale poo is probably the first thing you will notice. Also, look for holes in the floor, cracks in connection points. They may also chew holes in the backs of cabinets.
It’s a good idea to set out a few traps.
Scents such as peppermint oil, mothballs, pine needle spray, dryer sheets, WD-40, and Irish Spring bar soap are said to be good deterrents. Put these in your cabinets and any place you can think of where mice might be attracted.
Some RVers swear that the use of rope lights keep the mice away. Another tried-and-true method is the use of steel wool.
Taking all the food out of your camper is not likely an option if you live in your RV full time. Take some time to do a thorough cleaning of any crumbs that would entice a hungry mouse. Keep items such as crackers, cookies, or cereal in sealed containers. Even crumbs on your stove could be enough to entice a mouse.
If you store your rig for a season, try all these suggestions. Then remove all food from the camper and give the place a good cleaning. Quality RV storage is another option. You pay more but in return get another layer of protection from mice.
Once you find you have a mouse problem, make sure you get everything cleaned. Throw away any food items that may have been contaminated. Crackers, chips, powered coffee creamer, pasta, and dried fruits can all be vulnerable to mouse pillage.
How to get rid of mice inside your RV
Those natural solutions mentioned earlier such as moth balls and peppermint oil might deter mice. But once rodents get in, it’s time to get out the heavy artillery.
- Commercial rat poison attracts hungry mice. They take the pellets back to their nests, eat the pellets and then die. The problem with these is they can also be poisonous to pets and children.
- Box traps work by luring the mouse in with bait and then trapping the mouse inside the box. You can release the mouse outside once it’s trapped, but they will often return unless you take them for a very long drive.
- Glue traps are sticky sheets placed where mice travel. When the mouse steps on the trap, its feet get stuck. However, these are inhumane and can take anywhere from 3-24+ hours before the mouse finally dies of exhaustion and starvation.
- Spring traps are just what they sound like. Place your bait on the trap such as cheese or peanut butter. When the mouse zones in for the food, the trap springs and kills the rodent.
Getting mice in your RV is an unpleasant experience. But getting ahead of an infestation is key to keeping your sanity. Consider where you are parked and in what season. Are rodents going to try and get in for the warmth and food? Do you have your rig stored properly?
Check your RV once a month to make sure mice aren’t nesting inside it. Also, make sure you keep your rig as uninviting to pests as possible. Keep it both clean and free of holes and gaps.
RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.
Terri and her husband, Todd, are full time RVers and work campers. They have been living full time in their RV for nearly three years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Mini Aussie puppy Remi. They are currently wintering in Arizona with plans to continue their travels next summer. Writing is Terri’s passion but she also loves hiking, kayaking and anything she can do outside.
Karen Fleck says
Simple sachet bags from Amazon with any amount of: Star Anise, Cinnamon Stick, Red Pepper Flake and Whole Cloves. Put them in every drawer and storage bay. We have not seen a one since!
Fred from Johnstown, PA. says
Red squirrels are my issue. They nest in my RV ceiling. Rat traps on the outside of the RV is the only thing that keeps them.away. killed so many I lost count. 450 K for an RV is worth killing for……sorry.
Warren Gress says
Mothballs, dryer sheets and Irish Spring are basically myth. Google the video (maybe on RV Travel) where a guy does a pretty extensive test of supposed remedies.
Chaplain Ed says
I read about this in “Good Mousekeeping!”
Gary Baxter says
In regards to commercial rat poison……if they injest it and die inside your rig, the smell is disgusting.
Mombo S says
And if your cat or dog happen upon a rodent killed by poison and eat it, they will die too. Just don’t use poison. They’re are other ways of dealing with them. Make sure you don’t have junk piles or garbage near your RV. Keeping the parking area spotless helps immensely.
Took me 14 days one time to catch a mouse after I seen some droppings. I consider myself to me a great mouse catcher. The thing about poison is that they can die in the walls ect. and smell becomes an issue. Glue traps, if you are concerned about being humane. Then just let them live there. The one I chased for 14 days , could get out of the glue traps. I would see hair every day. I started gluing glue traps together. Leaving them flat. Which is how I ultimately caught this mouse. I had about a 20 x 24 inch big glue trap put together. In the center every kind of treat you would think a mouse would want. This mouse was eating well I found out after it was caught. Top Ramen seemed to be a favorite. Though seemed it would eat just about anything. And climb, this mouse was on the floor and all the way to the top cabinets. Both sides of the RV. When I finally did catch it on day 14. I really had to take a close look. Biggest mouse I had ever seen. At first thought was a small rat. The mouse got caught up in the giant glue trap. It jumped the wrong way I could see by the hair on the trap. If would have jumped back instead of forward. Would have been out. Forward was just more glue. It was struggling to get out of the trap. Maybe harder than I struggled the previous 14 days to catch it. In the trash can it went. You see he visit was done but the cleanup was just starting. Every drawer, the refridgerator, the couch under the dash, everywhere I could remove something had to be vacuumed and then sprayed. So my two cents is this. Unless you want to have a mouse living in your RV. Kill it anyway possible with the exception of poison just due to the smell. Humane? Like I said, your choice.
There was a bad bear situation at the dump so it was burned down.
Mice vacated in throngs to the nearest campground.
I had a hole somewhere under my 28ft RV….mice were running amuck up and down walls, across my bed!
A deep pail with a peanut buttered plastic bottle spinner on a stick or dowel across the top of the pail and close to a dinette seat. Caught a dozen each night.
Started kindly relocating but ended up with water in the pail and watched to make sure there was not much suffering….20 seconds to sinking and death.
Won’t work with rats…they swim.
Dana C. Woods says
I have had a mouse problem in the past while my RV was stored. A friend recommended Fresh Carb. It comes in a box with 4 small bags of natural ingredients. Just place the bags around (on the inside) of your RV. The mice DO NOT like the smell and will stay out. HOWEVER, when you first start using the product you must use some form of trap to catch the little pests. I used sticky pads. It didn’t take long before the mice were gone and haven’t returned. The only down side to this is it works best when the RV is stored because opening and closing the door let’s the smell out. It does leave a woodzy order, doesn’t bother me but some might be like the mice and not like it. My RV is at my deer camp and stays in the woods under an RV cover for 51 weeks a year. I bring it home just before hunting season for a good cleaning (inside & out). I add new bags every 30-45 days during the off season and don’t add any during the 2 months of heavy use during hunting season. I order it off Amazon for about $15 a box. IT WORKS as long as you catch all the mice at the beginning. Have been using it for probably 5 years now. Hope this helps.
Dennis Babcock says
I went thru and where ever there was an opening, usually where some sort of a drain/vent pipe came thru, I foamed around it. If it was to big for foam, I made filler sheets out of Luan plywood to fit around the pipes then foamed it.
I think you mean Fresh Cab and you are right. It helps keep them out.
Linda Venable says
You don’t mention rat zapper. That is what we use.
Irish spring soap does not work. I tried that a few year ago and the mice loved it They ate up the bars and still destroyed cushions.
Gaye Schaum says
So true, we think it brought more in to our camper.
Jim Maves says
rat zapper for me
Tracy M. O’Brien says
MIce- do not like cheese- first off.
Peanut butter totally!
Mix Borax and peanut butter for ants.
Cockroaches are a beast to get rid of…diatomous earth and gel are the best bets. Gel the kitchen cupboard hardware- in the hinges and at the back corners- a little bit goes a long way.
Diatomous earth also can take care of lots of crawlers.
Professional rodent services I’ve used in business/industry use bait boxes that you’ve all seen around commercial operations. Bait dehydrates the rodent, they go out craving water, quickly die. Not posionous to pets/predators eating dead. Boxes have small holes preventing larger animals entering. The bait is similar to TomCat sold at many rural supply, hardware stores. I got boxes at a local DIY extermination outlet, bait much cheaper at Rural King, et el. Quickly eliminated the problem on our 3800 acre playground…..nothing, nada, zip, zilch rodents in the lodge or out buildings.