Pest Prevention: How to Keep Mice Out of Your RV

RVs add an extra level of comfort to camping and travel, often providing a home while still allowing you to enjoy the outdoors. However, there's one part of nature that most of us would like to keep away from, and that's the pests. Mice, in particular, can be an issue, especially when you put your RV away for storage.

Part of what makes mice such an issue is how little space they actually need to get inside your RV—a gap about the size of a dime leaves plenty of space for a mouse to slip inside. Aside from entrances like doors and windows, mice can also move into your RV through:

●  Gaps around wiring or plumbing

●  Corners and cracks where walls meet

●  Cracks around doors

●  Holes in the floor

●  Electrical and plumbing access panels

●  Weak seals around pull-out sections

Even the smallest areas of damage can make way for rodents to slip in, which is why it's so essential to know where they can get in so you can keep them out.

Dangers of Mice in RVs

Rodents tend to chew through almost anything they can, usually to use the leftover bits to make their nests. That means that having a mouse inside your RV can easily lead to all sorts of damage, whether it be to your furniture, belongings, wires, and rubber lines. In the cases of the latter, damage to electrical systems can mean your RV will go out of commission until you can get repairs.

Aside from technical issues, mice and other rodents are potential health hazards. These animals can carry parasites, along with over thirty-five different diseases. Since no one wants to fall sick while on a trip, keeping rodents out of the picture gives you one less health issue to worry about during the process.

Tips for Keeping Your RV Rodent Free

When it comes to figuring out how to keep mice out of RVs, there are thankfully many different strategies available. Here are some of our top tips.

Close Up Any Entryways

We've covered just some of the possible entryways for mice into your RV, and just about any crack large enough can present an issue. One of the best ways to keep rodents away is to block their way in, so it's best to conduct a regular once-over of your travel trailer to keep an eye out for potential entry points.

Spray foam is probably one of the most effective approaches you can use when it comes to blocking off entry points, but you can also use:

●  Mesh screens

●  Steel wool

●  Power cord holes

The more difficult you make it for mice to slip inside, the easier time you'll have keeping your RV clean.

Don't Leave Food Out

If you've ever looked at a winterizing guide, you'll see that one of the essential steps is clearing out whatever food you have stored in your RV. While part of this step is so that cans and bottles don't freeze, burst, and create a mess during the cold weather, but the other reasons are that leftover good is the perfect attractor for rodents and other pests.

What may be a few days' worth of snacks for you is practically a buffet for a mouse, and they can survive off a bit of food for quite a while. During winter, you want to clear out any food from your RV as possible.

During your active camping months, it may seem a bit impractical to clearing out all the cabinets (especially if your trips are close together), but it can be worth it to take out anything that can't reseal or is easy for mice to chew through. The fewer goodies you have lying out, the less likely rodents will find a reason to try and slip inside your RV.

Clean Up Any Messes

Food isn't the only thing that can attract a mouse to live in your RV; most rodents like to nest in safe places. Everyday messes like paper, clothes, and fabric scraps seem like appealing nests to mice, so cleaning these up and keeping things tidy in general should keep them at bay. The bonus is that your RV will be a more excellent place for you to use!

Shine Some Light

Mice tend to be nocturnal, and they enjoy the dark, so you can use small nightlights to keep them from wanting to nest in your RV. Even having intense lighting on the outside can prevent rodents from coming near your rig in the first place. Some mice might brave it anyway, but it's better than the alternative.

Using Mouse Deterrents

Mouse deterrents are solutions meant to keep mice at bay, usually by making an unattractive smell to rodents. If you want to go this route, then you have two main ways to consider: professional products or homemade solutions.

Commercial mouse deterrents come in different types. For example, Mouse Free is a spray, while Fresh Cab's product is small pouches that you can set up outside of camping trailers. Both make mice turn away from your RV, which is the goal, after all.

Alternatively, you can choose to go with home remedies. RVers have been combating mice for decades, after all, so they've come up with some ingenious methods to keep the mice at bay. Options among many RVers are fabric softener sheets, mothballs, peppermint oil, and Irish Spring soap. Though the use of these doesn't carry the same guarantee as professional products, many people swear by them!

When to Mouse Proof Your RV

In a perfect world, RV manufacturers would have already learned the secrets to keeping pests out, but that's unfortunately not the case. That means it's up to you to stay alert for the signs.

You can't always be on the lookout, but you should at least make a habit of checking your RV between trips, cleaning out any food when getting ready for winter, and regularly walking through your RV even when it's not in use. Take measures to seal up cracks as soon as possible, and do a thorough inspection before buying or selling an RV.

What to Do If Mice Get Inside Your RV

Even when you go through all the possible preventative measures, sometimes a mouse will make it inside, anyway. Because of the dangers of damage and disease, you want to evict your tiny squatters as soon as possible.

One of the simplest ways to handle the problem is by setting up mouse traps. While they're an old piece of technology, they're effective at what they do, plus they're also inexpensive to purchase. Once it has sprung, you will need to handle a dead mouse for a bit, but for only as long as it takes to get it out of your RV.

Alternatively, you can also purchase mouse poisons, though this may not be the best option if you also have a pet that joins you in your RVing.

And, when in doubt, hire a professional exterminator. It's entirely possible for mice to live in your RV's walls (or even the ceiling!) and those aren't the most accessible place to set up traps and chase the little creatures out. Getting a professional to handle the job will be a bit more expensive than setting up a few mousetraps, but it's worth it to keep your RV clean.