How To Deal With A Roach Infestation In An RV
Nobody wants pests in their RV, especially when those pests are notoriously difficult to kill. Roaches are famous for their ability to survive almost anything, so you definitely don’t want these insects scurrying around your vehicle. If you’re wondering how to get rid of roaches in a camper, you’ve come to the right place!Below we’ll cover some preventative methods you can try, as well as the best ways to remove roaches once they’ve found a home in your RV. Even though these bugs may seem like they’re invincible, there are ways to get rid of them!
Ways to prevent roaches
There are some things you can do to prevent roach infestations from occurring in the first place. These insects can be tough to get rid of, so it’s ideal if you can avoid this situation altogether.
Seal/remove food containers
Roaches, like many pests, are attracted to the smell of food. If you leave food out in the open or don’t empty the garbage frequently, roaches will be drawn to your camper. Make sure you seal away all your food in airtight storage containers and put it behind closed doors.
Keep a clean living space as well! If there are any food spills, crumbs, or debris from outside, roaches may be attracted to that environment. Clean up messes as soon as possible, and use disinfectants/sprays to get rid of any lingering smells.
Close off RV entrances
The next thing you can do is make sure there is no easy entrance into your RV. Roaches are quite small, and they can slip through holes, cracks, and vents. Carefully examine your RV exterior and look for any flaws or weaknesses in the surface.
Place steel wool behind vents if you’re worried about pests entering through these. Adding an extra layer of caulk around windows, doors, and interior seams is also a good idea.
Use off-putting scents
Another way to prevent roaches is to attack their sense of smell. Roaches are sensitive to a variety of smells and substances. You can use this to your advantage because many of these scents aren’t dangerous to humans.
Spread substances like baking soda near possible entrances. You can also use oils and fragrances like peppermint, cypress, and citrus. Roaches don’t care for lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruit, so you can use the peels or even whole fruits as a form of RV defense.
Getting rid of roaches
Despite our best efforts, these bugs sometimes still find their way inside. Once this happens, it’s up to you to get them out! So, now that we’ve covered some preventative methods to try, let’s discuss how to get rid of roaches in a camper.
Kill or physically remove them
Most roaches are fairly large, so they can easily be seen and picked up. If you’re like most people and don’t want to touch these bugs, you don’t have to! Try using a vacuum to suck them up. With this method, you’ll have the benefit of a sealed container and the extra reach of a vacuum hose to help you.
Make sure you empty the vacuum container/bag in a trash bin outside of the RV so that no pests get a free ride back into your rig.
You can also try to physically sweep them away with a broom or other broad object. This might not remove every roach in the RV, but it will help you make a dent in their numbers and get an idea of where they tend to hang out.
Steam clean and sanitize
Once you’ve dealt with the adults you can find, you need to turn your attention toward the possible stragglers and eggs that were left behind. Even though it will be nearly impossible to destroy the eggs, you can still remove them from the environment.
Do a thorough cleaning of your RV if you’re trying to clean up after a roach infestation. Remove all furniture and cargo and sanitize it. If possible, use a steam cleaner on your carpets, fixed furniture items, and other exposed surfaces.
Wipe everything down with sanitizing wipes and sprays and keep the RV empty for the next few days. Keep a close eye out for any new roaches to see if you missed a spot. Set out a container of roach bait to see if any stragglers are attracted to it.
Use aggressive roach killers
Finally, you can resort to using aggressive roach killers. This usually isn’t the best first step to take for RVs because it is a small living space that can trap scents and chemicals for long periods of time. Some roach killers can also be dangerous to pets and children.
Only use these treatments as a last resort because overusing them can damage your RV and your personal health. You can also set out roach traps, but these will need to be emptied frequently.
Some common roach killers to use include:
- Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade: This powdery substance breaks down the exoskeleton of insects and kills via dehydration.
- Hot Shot Ant, Roach And Spider Killer: This spray is designed to kill on contact and is effective for up to three months when applied to nonporous surfaces.
- Rockwell Labs – Invict Gold – Cockroach Gel: This gel is a bait for roaches. It smells appealing to them but kills them soon after they ingest it.
- OrthoHome Defense MAX Insect Killer Spray: This spray can be applied as a protective perimeter around your camper because roaches won’t want to cross it.
- Spectracide HG-67759 Bug Stop Indoor Fogger: This fogger is designed to kill insect infestations. It leaves no residue and kills a variety of insects.
Contact an exterminator
If nothing else is working, consider calling a professional exterminator. These are trained professionals that know how to get rid of roaches in a camper.
The remedies detailed above work fairly well, but roaches are often breeding and hatching new generations that aren’t affected by some of the adult roach treatments. Roach eggs are very hardy and won’t be harmed by most chemical assaults, so even if you kill all the adults, you’ll soon be dealing with more freshly-hatched insects.
If you continue to have roach problems after multiple months, it’s best to call professional help.
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