how to keep mice out of your rv

How to Keep Mice and Other Pests Out of Your RV

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how to keep mice out of your rv

Nothing is worse than a mice, ant or wasp problem in your RV – here are some tips for how to keep mice and other pests out of your RV.

When we purchased our first RV several years ago, my biggest concern was how we would keep mice and other critters out of our trailer.

I also had a few concerns about ants and other common pests getting in when our camper was not in use.

The last thing I wanted was mice or ants or any other type of creepy crawly critters deciding they would make our camper their home!

So I researched A LOT on ways to keep our rv pest free. We have not had any problems with pests in our RV…though we have had wasps and mice decide to invade other parts of our property.

The Best Way to Keep Mice Out of an RV

#1. Eradicate the Mice Before Trying to Prevent Them

You cannot prevent mice from coming in if you are infested with them. Mice and other rodents tend to have very large litter sizes – two mice can quickly turn into hundreds of them if left unchecked with no natural predators around.

There are many ways to get rid of mice, but sadly it typically requires killing them. If you are very keen on being environmentally & animal friendly, the best way to kill them is to introduce a predator to the environment. This could be a cat, a pet snake, or other similar type of creature.

However, snakes can be just as much of a pest in an RV and if you have hundreds of mice in a place, even the most dedicated team of cats is going to have a lot of bodies you have to deal with and dispose of.

If you do not want to deal with the cleaning up of dead mice, you can explore hiring a local exterminator. Be sure you make sure the person is licensed, bonded and insured – you do not want them to damage your camper or cause any problems on your property.

If you don’t mind doing some of the clean-up and removal work yourself, you can consider purchasing traps. There are many traps available which are effective, but be prepared you will likely need to check them on a daily basis.

Once eradication is complete, you can then move onto the ways to keep the mice out for good.

#2. Do Not Keep Food or Soap/Cosmetics in the RV

Mice will be attracted to any sort of foods. While there are some soaps or scents the mice don’t particularly like, such as peppermint oil, if a mouse is desperate or immune to that sort of thing it’s not going to be 100% effective.

Some cosmetics have ingredients in them that will attract mice, such as oils, tallow, or even grains. An oatmeal based bath soap is not much different to a mouse than an actual container of oatmeal you would eat for breakfast.

While I previously recommended Irish Spring Original Soap as a method to repel mice away, sadly I have learned this is NOT a solution for everyone.

It also recently came to my attention that different stores and retailers actually sell different formulations of soaps.

I had no idea this happened, but after buying one bar of soap at one store and another “identical” brand at another store, I compared the ingredients labels and noticed they were different ingredients. Obviously, if you cannot control the sourcing or ingredients, your results may vary.

So…my current recommendation is to remove anything from the RV that would attract these pests, typically items that have a scent or are foods.

You may also want to consider removing items such as scented candles, bug spray, first aid items when your RV is not in use. They will chew through anything, and even cardboard and plastic can sometimes be used by them for building their nests.

#3. Get a Cat

We have found that our cats are very effective in keeping away the mice.

If you already have a mice problem, you will likely need to get rid of the mice before a cat will become effective in keeping them away. Mice reproduce so quickly that cats simply can’t keep up. Using traps or working with an exterminator may be necessary.

You also need to have a cat who likes to hunt. A lot of well-fed indoor cats are not motivated to this. It really comes down to the individual temperament, age and personality of the type of cat you have.

Most of our cats are rescued from feral litters, so they have a lot of the “wildness” in them, even though they are all vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and friendly to snuggle with. These cats LOVE a good hunt.

The good news is once you are mice free, the presence of a cat itself is typically enough for most mice to find a better place to call home.

How to Keep Ants Out of Your RV

Ants are another common pest that can get into your RV. I’ll never forget the horrors of seeing what seemed like millions of ants in my parent’s pop-up camper one year they opened it out. Talk about creepy and crawly!

Fortunately, we have since learned to prevent these types of ant infestations from happening in an RV or pop-up camper. I am a huge fan of Terro brand ant traps and have found them very effective in keeping ants out of our RV.

You can order Terro traps on Amazon or you can find them in most pest prevention sections of your local home improvement or retail stores.

Do you have any tips for keeping your RV pest free? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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    1. With using any sort of deterrent, you really need to exterminate/get rid of them first. Then you can try the different deterrents.

  1. I cut up 6 bars & put in small bowls all over my camper. The mice eat most of it. There was droppings & I mean a lot of dropping’s all over my camper. I ser 20 traps thinking the camper was over run. I never caught one. We found 2 large nest with nothing in it. I found 1 baby dead mouse it came out of my gray water tank. I don’t know if the soap killed them but I have yet to find mice.

  2. I found this year that the mice loved the Irish spring most of the bars i put around the inside of the motorhome had got eaten at least in half and the only place there was any sign of mice was where ever there was a bad of Irish spring I am looking for more ideas tho keep them out.

    1. Yes, unfortunately I’ve learned that the different stores sell different versions of soap…{even if they appear identical…} – making it impossible to know which one is actually effective. The only way I know to keep them away for sure that is least maintenance is with a good outdoor cat.

  3. I have been using a product called Fresh Cab for the past several years. Even though we have had plenty of mice on the property, sheds,basement etc. they never seemed to bother with the camper. It also has a side benefit in that it smells great. I also use it in my vehicles that I store over the Winter and place a packet under the seats of all our vehicles as a deoderizer. I swear by this stuff. Fresh Cab Botanical Rodent Repellent 4 Scent Pouches – EPA Registered, Keeps Mice Out) is available on Amazon.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation Bob! I’ve never tried Fresh Cab, but I will order some and give it a test this summer for our RV and if it works I will definitely add it to our post!

  4. I,ve had my share of mice,Hate them they get into everything. The only thing I found that works is Decon,yes it truly works.they eat it and never come back.I,ve found a few dead ones. I,ve tried everything I rid of 28 mice.they don’t give up easy.I,m an animal lover,but enough is enough.they will literally take over.So get Decon if all else fails.

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