You love Rving, but you are not so fond of the little creatures that scurry around you and can make your RV living miserable. Your RV has that onboard kitchen, stocked with goodies that mice just love to camp out for. This is especially true if you ever leave your camper stocked for the next outing while it is in storage.
I’ve been boondocking with friends in Arizona and in Colorado and mice kept me up all night. I travelled all over Michigan, Minnesota and the mid-West and it seems like mice always find my rig. My bay is right under my bed and mice love partying there at night. I was really annoyed and needed a good solution.
The good news is that there are ways to get rid of mice and other critters. There are also ways to prevent them from coming back.
Don’t Let Them In
Ideally, you want to keep mice from even getting in your RV in the first place. There are a few steps to take to make your RV a mouse-free zone. The first step is to make it less hospitable for mice. Keep the rig clean and free of food, especially during storage. You have to remember that your RV has easy access through doors, seams, and windows.
You can try plugging in all holes but it is almost impossible.
All food should be removed from the RV between trips. Canned goods and other sealed items can remain. Remove foods that have easy to nibble bags or cartons. They might have a long shelf life, but they can be quick snacks for a mouse. Easy targets for mice include:
- Packaged, powdered coffee creamer
- Sugar, flour, and other baking ingredients
- Uncooked pasta
- Dried fruit, nuts, and trail mix
- Granola bars
- After food is removed, thoroughly clean the RV. Clean inside cabinets, drawers, and other storage areas where you had food.
While you are camping, adding traps and other deterrents in addition to cleaning can also help. I would not advise traps while your RV in storage since, dead mice will be smelly.
There are certain scents known to keep mice away and you do not have to resort to toxins in your living space. Peppermint, pine needles, mothballs, and dryer sheets will do the job nicely but only temporarily. Just place these wherever mice have been hanging out and they won’t come back.
Solutions to Getting Rid of Mice
The scents mentioned above will deter a few mice, but if you have a serious mouse problem, you may need a more permanent solution. These scents are great to keep around once you get rid of the pests, but in the meantime, traps and poisons will get the job done quickly.
Poisons: Commercial rodent poisons work by imitating foods that mice like. When they are hungry, they eat the food, then return to their hiding spot where they will die. Many people do not like using poisons in their RV and you shouldn’t do this while in storage.
Traps are not free of cruelty either but they allow you to control mice without bringing toxins into your living space. There are a few different types of traps available.
Box traps These work by luring the mouse in with bait. The mouse gets trapped inside the box with no way to exit. This is the most humane way to capture the little creatures. You can collect box traps with still-living mice inside them and release them outdoors, or dispose of the boxes once they’re full.
I personally used a Box Trap when I had a mouse problem. The only problem with it that mice will be still alive while cathing them and you will have to release them and clean the trap. I would suggest to use rubber gloves and wash your hands well after you get this done. Mice can transmit diseases that you want to avoid catching.
Glue traps: These traps are simple but effective. You place these sticky sheets in areas where mice are likely to travel, and when the mouse steps on the trap, its feet get stuck and it can’t move. Glue traps are affordable, easy to use, and great for small places. The problem with this that mice will be still alive. It might not be something you want to deal with.
Old-fashioned spring traps: You’ll remember these from Saturday morning cartoons. Although some users may see them as barbaric, they can be a really effective way to kill off the mice you have.
Keeping Mice Off of Your RV
Prevention is a great step to take when mice are a problem. Once they move in, it can be a trouble to get them out. This is especially true when your RV is in storage. These tips below will help you keep the rodents out and away from your RV.
Lights: using string lights around your RV tires and anywhere they can climb into it could be great prevention. I do have motion detection lights as well, which helps to deter them. I use these while dry camping and it really works.
Vinegar: I found a simple and cheap solution, the only problem with this that you have to do it almost every night. I put vinegar in a spray bottle and each night I go and spray it on and around the tires and the bottom of the cab area. The places where I know they come in. The strong smell of vinegar helps to keep them away.
Rodent Repellents: there are scented rodent repellents that can keep them away for a while. They have a strong smell that mice don’t like so they won’t go close. There are also ultrasonic rodent repellents that emit different sound waves. The sound waves from the mice repellent will stimulate the mouse’s auditory system and brain.
RV Cover: An RV cover is a great way to keep mice out during the winter and when in storage. Your RV looks appealing to a rodent out in the cold, especially if there are foods inside. An RV cover will keep them out and protect your RV if it is stored outside. This only will work if you don’t have holes on the bottom where they can come in.
Inspections: Whether in storage or not, you need to perform regular inspections of the RV. Check all the small and enclosed spaces that critters might like to live in. Don’t forget to check the underside of the RV, electrical lines, and sewer too.
Why Do I Need to Keep Mice Out?
Mice make terrible house guests. They eat your food, they create messes, and they leave droppings behind. Rodents are also known to carry diseases, so they are unsanitary and dangerous to your health. Mice are also prolific breeders which means you will have more than you expected very soon. They can also wreak havoc on wires and chew through boards and wood.
Most people end up with mice in their RVs when they are in storage. When the rig is left untouched for weeks, mice assume ownership. It is important to keep the RV clean, shut down, and clear of food to keep mice away. If you find yourself with mice that moved in, you now have the tips to dispose of them and keep them away in the future.