Keep Mice Out
(An RVer asks...)
I've heard there is a household spice I can put out to keep mice out of my trailer. Can you tell me what it is? Do you have any other ideas, or better yet, proven ways to keep mice from getting into recreational vehicles?
Coleen, the RVing editor comments:
Peppermint oil or high quality peppermint extract are suppose to work at deterring unwanted critters from making themselves at home. I haven't tried it, so I don't know if it works or not. When shopping for peppermint extract, you'll find it with the baking flavorings, such as vanilla.
Bay leaves, cayenne pepper, and cloves are also supposed to repel or keep out critters. Again, I haven't tried it, so can't say for sure. Somehow, the idea of putting food out for them seems counterproductive to me.
Fabric softener dryer sheets are another thing that is supposed to do the trick. And, again, no personal experience with that here.
Okay, so what does work for sure?
The best way to keep mice out is to block any entry holes. Give your trailer a good going over and look for small holes. Mice can come in from holes much smaller than you might think.
During the daylight, look behind drawers and into the deep dark cabinets and cupboards. Look for light. If you see light coming in, you have a space where critters can enter.
At night, shine around with a flashlight. This works best if you have two people. Have one be outside and shining the light in and around the trailer. Have someone inside, looking for that light. Again, seeing light means seeing a problem area.
We've found various mouse entry points on our RVs. One was in the area that houses the propane tanks. Another was behind a drawer, where the manufacturer didn't have something lined up quite right.
How you cover or plug the holes depends on where they are and how much access you have to them. Aesthetics can also play a part. Metal plate, wood, or another solid surface non-chewable overlay or patch is ideal. Hardware cloth or screen can be a big help. Aluminum foil and steel wool are good for plugging holes because mice don't like to chew on them. Silicone can also do the job. I feel best when we use two barriers.
Prevention -- keeping the mice out -- is obviously the best choice. However, I suggest that you keep a few old fashioned mouse traps set in some of the out of the way cabinets just in case. I'm also a believer in having a box of D-con available for them in an out of the way spot, such as far back corner of the cabinet under the kitchen sink.
Good luck with this project!Go to the RV Life and Travel blog.