How To Get Rid Of Mice In RV Campers
At some point or another, every RVer will need to know how to get rid of mice in RV life. Mice are destructive and can chew through wires in your rig and desecrate your food storage, not to mention 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, so while you might only see one mouse, 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. It’s likely if you store your RV for a season, you will have to be even more careful.
In general, keeping your full-time home free of mice and other rodents will require staying ahead of the things that mice like – food being number one.
Staying alert for possible places that mice can enter is also important. Inspect seams along your slide-out, the outer casings of your air conditioner, door, and window gaskets, and gaps 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, and chew holes in the backs of cabinets.
It also might not be a bad 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, and 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 and remove all food from the camper and give the place a good cleaning. Quality RV storage is another option that will add another layer of protection from mice as well.
How to get rid of mice inside your RV
Once you find you have a mouse problem, make sure you get everything cleaned and 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.
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?
Maybe 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 two years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and currently reside in South Texas on the Gulf Coast. They hope to head west for the summer season. Writing is Terri’s passion but she also loves hiking, kayaking and anything she can do outside.