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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!

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Comments for Keep Mice Out

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Keeping Mice Out
by: Sally

Dryer sheets do not work to keep mice out. Mothballs do, but the odor lingers.

Moth Balls
by: John

I put moth balls on the landing gear feet where it contacts the ground. It seems to keep out the critters. They last for a month or more. A mouse can enter the coach through a hole the size of a standard lead pencil.

Mouse Problem
by: Dale C

I had a friend that ran a recycling business, he sold car parts and had to protect the vehicles sitting outside. His wife would take a hand shredder for coleslaw and shred a bunch of cakes of the old yellow "Sunlight" bar soap and throw the shreds into the vehicles and says she never had a mouse problem in any upholstery.

Dryer Sheets and Mothballs to Keep Out Mice
by: Barb

We've used dryer sheets (Bounce) the last two winters and have not had any unwanted visitors. Our motorhome is stored outside, and my husband also puts mothballs around the wheels. Of course, we've also tried to make sure everything is sealed up. We had tried mothballs previously, and they were pretty effective too, but we did have at least a little evidence of mice with them.

Antifreeze To Get Rid of Mice in RVs
by: Anonymous

The 5 gallon pail with antifreeze works great, especially if you can't check it for months. The little buggers drown and get pickled. Just dump them out in spring. No smell or mess!

Mothballs and a Cat to Keep Mice Out of the RV

We are brand new to the RV world and have stored our 36' Fleetwood for this winter. We used the mothballs all around the base outside. Once we get our RV out of storage, we are retiring this year and going fulltime. Hopefully we will have the oldest deterrent idea - our cat sissy!

Moth balls Do Not work
by: Anonymous

Moth balls do not work. Have tried repeatedly, we put bowls of moth balls throughout the camper. Some of the bowls even had mouse poop in them. Will try the dryer sheets next year.

Dryer sheets work but not forever
by: Snookmic

I bought my 5th wheel new in 2013 and the service guy setting it up kept a trailer in the woods all year and swore the dryer sheets work. I tried it and it worked great the first year but even though they are still fragrant they need to be replaced every year. I didn't last winter and I just finished reaping my reward. My wife is scared to death of any mice and tried to talk me into just trading it in. So a few dryer sheets are a lot cheaper than a new trailer, if your wife is a lunatic about mice like mine is!

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