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There’s a mouse in the house!

posted in: Fulltime RV, Tips | 0

While life is mostly good in the RV, there’s a downside to everything, right? Well, we found a downside. Mice!

While I know mice can be annoying even in a sticks and bricks home, I feel like it is worse in an RV. They can set up shop in your home and chew through wires, insulation and do more damage. Plus, they carry disease and it’s gross to find their droppings on the limited counter space and in your pantry.

Our first mice experience

We were parked in a provincial park in British Columbia for our first experience with these little critters, eh. I first noticed evidence of their tiny droppings near the stovetop, eh. Then I found a bag of flour, a juice box and a bag of rice bitten into. Oh no!

Then I cleaned everything! I put any and all food into sealed plastic containers including our extra bag of dog food. I scrubbed the counters and the stove top.

Then I went food shopping and I slacked off a bit on putting the new food away. I left out some fruit on the counter in a bowl. My mistake. The mice had a party that night with my fruit.

Once again I scrubbed the counter top. But this time I threw out our trash and put ALL food in the fridge or a sealed plastic container. There was NOTHING left out at all for them.

In the meantime we had befriended another woman in the park and she told me mice got into her truck overnight to have a feast on her peanuts and marshmallows. Sounds like this park might have a mouse problem. The little mice get fed by all the camping humans. What a deal, right?!?!

Mouse Trapping

Anyways, we head to bed to relax before sleep. Not long afterwards I hear a strange noise. What the heck could it be? We went straight to the source (under the kitchen sink area).

Guess what we found?!?!

Two little mice trapped in our empty trash can. It was actually quite hilarious. They were jumping up trying to get out of the trash, which was making the strange thud noise.

Keep in mind neither one of our dogs registered anything odd. I guess they’re used to different noises in the RV and thankfully, don’t react.

All I wanted was to remove all food for them, so they would leave our home alone. I had no idea I would actually trap them! Needless to say we learned a lesson and will take a few precautions to prevent them from entering our home in the future.

Here’s what we learned:

I cannot attest to any of these since I didn’t do anything prior to getting the mice in the provincial park. Try what you want and see if it works. If you do try something, I’d love to hear any feedback on whether or not it works for you.

Prevention

  • Use dryer sheets or steel wool to plug up all the holes you can find in your RV. You can also spray foam in the holes to plug them up. Personally, we are afraid to use steel wool because it is too flammable. Google it. It is dangerous.
  • Use Irish Spring soap placed around your RV in undercarriage, etc. as a deterrent. Others have found that the mice will eat the bars of soap. Who to believe?
  • Peppermint oil mixed with dawn soap & water. Soak cotton balls and place throughout the RV. This should help deter them from entering your RV in the first place. I have tried this and don’t find that it makes a difference. Plus the cotton balls need re-soaking every day!
  • Lights on the underside – solar light or LED lights around the RV outside will deter critters from entering.
  • Electronic pest repellers such as this one. This sounds interesting to me except it draws power. Unless you have a reliable power source, this might not be the best option. However, I do like that it’s chemical free. There are quite a few options for ultrasonic pest controllers. I even found an option or two at Home Depot.
  • There are natural pest deterrents such as Sniff’n’StopFresh Cab, and Mouse Magic. We have tried Fresh Cab and I honestly can’t say if it working or we are simply lucky to not get any more mice. I’ll take it either way.
  • Spray a product call Mouse Free on the undercarriage of your RV to prevent them from entering.
  • Moth Balls under the trailer or in the basement storage area. No way will I touch moth balls or have them anywhere near my home. They are super poisonous to ALL living things. I will try anything else but this crap. Plus, they smell terrible and linger forever. Ugh. No way.

Removing once they’ve entered

So all of the above are really preventions vs. getting rid of them once they have entered. Basically what we learned is you need to trap them or you can possibly move to a new place leaving them behind. The latter option will only work if they haven’t set up a nest in your RV.

Personally we were fortunate that they didn’t set up a home in our RV and moving out of the park definitely left them behind.

The good ole fashioned traps – sticky, peanut butter or otherwise. Take your pick.

Poison. dCon, bait or other mouse poison found in a hardware store, or large retailers like Target, Walmart, Home Depot, etc. I’d personally hesitate to use poison because the mouse can die in your rig leaving an unpleasant odor behind as they decompose. The poison is also hazardous to pets or kids. I wouldn’t want our dogs to die from ingesting it.

Then again leaving a trap out with peanut butter will attract my dog to it. I can see it now. Snap! The poor dog has a mousetrap on his nose or the sticky trap will be stuck to his fur. No thank you.

I did find these, which would be better suited for houses with kids or pets. Although I suppose your pet could also die or get sick from eating a poisoned mouse. Ugh. No good solution here.

What’s your preferred method for keeping pests out of your RV?