Most RV owners want to take the best care of their RV as possible, both inside and out. You’ve likely spent a considerable amount of money on your RV and also probably spend much time in it, so it is only common sense that you want it as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, pests and critters can do real damage to your RV, and are often down right unpleasant for many folks. Mice and other rodents can chew through and ruin wiring, upholstery, and plumbing. You definitely do not want these pests inside your RV or in its storage areas. So, what steps are recommended to keep these pests at bay?
Mice are often the number one pest to RVs and most times cause the most damage. Mice will most often attempt to get in your RV during the winter months when it is cold and they are looking for a warm place. It is recommended that when parked for longer periods of time, that you don’t have anything stacked around the RV such as wood, bales of hay, etc. These are great nesting grounds for mice. Obviously, whether parked or when in use, you’ll also want to keep all food put away, and most importantly, sealed. Simply keeping your RV clean will not only make it a more enjoyable place to stay, but it will keep the pests out.
According to: RV Lifestyle, here are other tips to keep mice and other pests out of your RV:
RV Pest deterrent – Mothballs: Some people suggest using mothballs while an RV is stored. Others are concerned about poisoning pets or small children, or say that it near to impossible to get rid of the odor. We have also heard that mothballs will work for a while but eventually rodents will get used to the smell and it will no longer deter them.
One suggestion claims that the trick to using the mothballs while storing your rig is NOT to scatter them, but instead to purchase some inexpensive disposable bowls with lids and pour the mothballs into these containers. Then poke holes in the containers – sufficient for air flow, but small enough to keep the mothballs “contained” as they diminish in size over time. Place these containers throughout the RV, including basement storage compartments. The containers can just be collected when you take the RV out of storage.
RV Pest deterrent – Fabric softener dryer sheets: Place these inside drawers and cabinets and other compartments. These are supposed to be good mice deterrents. We have read mixed reviews. Some claim they work and avoid the unpleasant odor of mothballs. On the other hand, we have read cautions that the sheets may not be effective once they dry out, and one report that the targeted mice built nests with the sheets.
RV Pests – Prevent entry: Probably the best bet is to try to prevent mice and other rodents from getting access into your RV in the first place. This can be difficult because even the very smallest of spaces are big enough for entry by a small rodent.
Inspect the underside of your RV for any gaps or holes. One way to do this is to wait until dark, open and illuminate all interior closets and cabinets next to the floor, and then look for places where light is coming through. Or do the opposite and light up the outside of the RV and see if you can see light coming through into a darkened RV interior.
Fill any gaps using silicone or expanding foam. Important: expanding foam can expand a lot more than you might expect – so experiment first on something other than your RV. Guard against using so much foam that you damage something when it expands. One advantage to this foam is that it can be easily removed if the plumbing or wiring has to be worked on. A related idea is to use stainless-steel wool into the openings AND then spray expandable foam into the steel wool. Using duct tape to secure the stainless-steel wool (not regular steel wool) has also been suggested to block openings.
If possible, store your RV on a solid surface like pavement or concrete instead of on grass, fields or wooded areas. This may minimize the likelihood of critters gaining entry to your rig.
If you are storing a motorized RV, starting it every week may help run off rodents that are using the engine compartment and causing chewing damage.
Protection for LP areas: Insects are attracted to the odorant that is added to LP gas, and we have read that mud daubers and wasps may build nests in and around your gas appliances and vents. We have not had any problems with this.
We suggest that you check vents for nests as a regular part of your “walk around” routine, and include checks and cleaning of these appliance systems as part of your regular annual maintenance.
We don’t recommend using wasp killer sprays near furnace vents, due to potential for flammability. Knock off the wasp nests at night.
Some suggest covering the furnace vent, water heater vent and refrigerator vent with mud dauber screens. We suggest a lot of caution should you decide to do this. Check with your manufacturer and make sure that you do not cause obstruction that could lead to dangerous carbon monoxide fumes or other problems. RV furnaces and water heaters systems are designed with proper ventilation. Obstructions may cause problems, so the screens may cause more harm than good.
If you are storing the RV with all appliances off, another suggestion is to cover the vents with tape AND, very important, post a note over the furnace thermostat or water heater switch warning the user to remove the tape before firing up the appliance.
We have also read a suggestion to minimize spiders’ attraction to the smell of propane – by placing a few pieces of flea collar in refrigerator and water heater outside access compartments when storing the RV.
RV pests – Ants: If you camped in an area with a lot of ant activity, spread a small amount of borax powder or kitchen cleanser containing bleach around the tires, leveling jacks and any other items on the RV that contact the ground. Another tip is to spread a one-inch band of petroleum jelly around the electrical cord, water hose and sewer hose to discourage ants from becoming RV pests.
I think the biggest key, is finding a product which will keep insects and rodents out of your RV, without making such a foul smell where you can’t enjoy the RV. Peppermint can be one trick which smells good, yet keeps mice out. Traps also obviously, don’t have an odor and can be quite effective.
The best way to enjoy your RV is to have it to yourself and your friends and family. If you want to keep pests and insects out, first off don’t invite them in, but if they do intrude, work to find an effective way to remove them so you can have a clean and enjoyable RV. For all of your RV accessories and to help you keep the bugs and rodents out, stop by any ExploreUSA RV Supercenter today!