It is not uncommon for RVers to find that their rig has been invaded by unwanted four-legged guests … mice. That’s never any fun, so today’s post deals with how to keep mice out of an RV.
Rodents, in general, are attracted to the RVing lifestyle for much the same reasons you are. An RV is a cozy place with all of the comforts and amenities … mostly food.
Food is the lure that draws rodents in. Even if you have removed foodstuffs or have them stored in plastic containers, there will always be residuals in both crumbs and odors. Their keen sense of smell hones in on that aroma and that motivates them to find a way to get to it.
They’ll also seek places to nest, especially when they are getting ready to breed or when weather outside isn’t hospitable … like the cold and wet times of the year.
Rodents are smart and adaptable. They scout for avenues of approach, exploring each possibility until they find the access they seek. Mice don’t need much space. They can squeeze through openings a fraction of the size of their body. How much space do they need?
Typical access points on an RV are power cord, LP lines, water and sewer portals. They will climb up these connections and into the rig using anything that acts as a bridge to the RV. We recently discovered we had a mouse in the house. Our first, in six years of full-timing. Since we are not hooked up to water and sewer, only power, that was the first place to check. Nope, can’t access the inside of the coach from that compartment. It is completely sealed tight except of the cord hole out the bottom.
One mouse, one very smart mouse, found a way into our rig, but how did it get in? Looking around the outside, I realized we had been in the habit of stowing our lawn chairs under the slide to protect them from rain and dew. We determined that the mouse climbed the chairs which gave it access to the ledge underneath and the gaskets. All it had to do was walk along the ledge until it found a spot somewhere in a corner where the side and bottom gaskets overlapped. It crawled in and under the slide, into the motorhome.
How to Get Rid of Mice in an RV
We were fortunate that we discovered it quickly after its moving in. Ironically, we heard it walking on the slide roof, which was another indication of how it got in. That day we purchased a pack of Victor classic mouse traps and baited three with peanut butter. We placed them in strategic locations where the mouse would probably travel.
TIP: Be sure to tie a length of strong fish line or wire to the trap. Otherwise an injured rodent could drag the trap into a spot you can’t access, only to die there, and … well, leave an unpleasant odor reminding you that it’s still there. Anchor the end of the wire to something. I wrapped it around an adjustment bolt on the slide roller. I tied a heavy putty knife to another one. And the one on the kitchen counter, tied to the kitchen faucet.
We didn’t have to wait long. In fact, within a couple of hours after setting the trap while eating dinner … SNAP! We ended the stay of our unwanted guest. Now I make sure to no longer put lawn chairs under the slide or place anything there that could be used as a ladder to the grand hotel for mice … our motorhome.
How do you keep mice out of an RV?
Deter their interest by making sure foodstuffs are removed and the inside is thoroughly clean. Make sure all portals of entry are closed and sealed … access points where power cords, water, sewer and LP enter your rig. Place bait traps under your rig and check them weekly.
Lighting also can be effective. We ran white Christmas lights along the perimeter underneath our coach while in Arizona last winter … it seemed to be effective. NO mice.
We also made sure the area around the coach was sanitized. Nothing that attracted rodents … trash cans were tightly closed. Bird feeders kept far away from the coach. Keep the vegetation under and around your RV cut close to the ground. A mouse can also use the woody stock of a weed as a ladder to gain entrance to the underside of your RV.
Have you had a ‘mouse in the house?’ How did yours find its way in? Please share your experience in the comments below.