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Eek! There’s a mouse in the house! What’s an RVer to do? We’ve all read woeful tales, with some of us in disbelief, about RVers who have found a mouse, or mice, in their home on wheels. The problem is more common than you think. Thousands of insurance claims are made on RVs every year for rodent damage.
Do dryer sheets keep mice away from RVs and campers? While dryer sheets may help for a while, they certainly can not be considered a suitable long-term decision. Keeping dryer sheets lying around your RV to repel mice is not necessarily the best solution. The good news is there are some relatively easy fixes for these unwanted rodents.
How to Mouse Proof Your Camper and Keep Mice Away
How did the mouse find its way into your RV? They are intelligent and curious creatures and can squeeze through some pretty small crevices like nobody’s business. A good plan is to wait until dark, turn on all your interior lights, go outside and check the roof, siding, door openings and underside of the RV for any light that may be seeping through. Mice, like squirrels, have been known to chew through wiring, hoses, rubber, and shred or gnaw insulation to use for building their nests.
If you have any gaps or openings, fill them with steel wool, then cover them with duck tape. You’ll then want to caulk around the edges of the duck tape to ensure the opening is totally sealed. Mice will not chew through steel wool. If a hole is larger than 1 inch, seal it with a mixture of steel wool and expanding foam or another appropriate material.
Be proactive inside your RV as well to deter mice or any other unwanted pests. Wipe down counters, sweep, use a hand or standard vacuum for carpets, seal foods properly, and never leave pet food down longer than necessary. An RV sitting for a length of time and left unchecked is also more likely to incur potential damage and infestation from unwanted guests.
Can Bounce Dryer Sheets Keep Mice Away?
Research has shown that Bounce dryer sheets are the best ones to use that have an effect on mice. It is true, they hate the smell of them. However, dryer sheets will lose their scent, thereby, needing to be replaced at least every week or so to keep a strong enough aroma in your RV to repel a mouse.
Counters, sink tops, and cabinets should be wiped down using a Bounce dryer sheet. You may need to stuff some in cabinets, closets, bathrooms or corners of the floor. Mice scurry along the floor, finding the appropriate place to climb when they need to. There seems to be more work involved using dryer sheets than other methods found to repel mice.
Don’t expect Bounce dryer sheets to work miracles. You don’t want a so-so product that requires frequent trips to the RV. You want a product that provides the answer. While Bounce dryer sheets certainly may help initially rid you of a mouse, they will not solve an infestation or be a reliable long-term solution.
The Best Scents That Repel Mice
Mice are repelled by smells. This makes logical sense. One smell, cat urine, seems to be high on their “keep away from” list. While the majority of RVers do not travel with cats nor would deal with that odor themselves, we will cross that one right off the list.
Mothballs are known to keep mice away. However, they have an offensive stench and are not safe for children or pets. Fortunately, there are several other smells that mice hate.
Essential oils have made big news as natural health products these days, and they can add one more tag on the bottle as Mouse Repellent. That’s right! Something that smells so good is on the “no-no” list for mice. One such oil is peppermint. Mice cannot tolerate its strong aroma. Simply apply 20 to 30 drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball and leave in various spots in your RV. Again, the peppermint smell will not last forever, but depending on the oil, you may get a month’s worth of aroma. Be sure to place the cotton balls in cabinets, closets, bathrooms, and along baseboards. You can even leave some peppermint tea bags out to add to your arsenal against mice.
Cinnamon oil also acts to repel mice. This is often used along with peppermint oil as a deterrent. Try 15 drops of cinnamon oil and 15 drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball. Use your own judgment in determining just how “smelly” the cotton balls need to be to keep those pesky mice away.
Mint is another essential oil or plant that will discourage mice. Similar to peppermint, but possibly more pleasant smelling for humans, place 20 to 30 drops of mint oil on a cotton ball. Place in various locations of the RV, and you’ll have mice checking out other RVs but not yours. Think about keeping a few mint plants around the exterior of your RV too.
Lastly, clove oil has also been known to have mice running the other way. Use this oil as you would the mint oil.
Will Irish Spring Soap Keep Mice Away From My RV?
Irish Spring soap bars do help to keep mice away from your RV or camper. We use Irish Spring in our own RV to keep mice out over the winter, and we had no mice at all. Irish Spring will keep mice away, but it does not work on insects. But I think it works really well.
For some good information about how to get rid of ants and other insects in your RV check out our article called 7 Incredibly Effective Home Remedies To Rid Your RV of Ants.
What is the Best Mouse Repellent?
There are many products on the market specifically designed to ward off mice from entering your RV. Here’s a few we found to help mouse afflicted RVers.
Mouse Magic Natural Repellant – This combines those sweet-smelling essential oils with a granulated absorbent material. This repellant is packaged in “scent packs” which you place anywhere that mice may enter, eat or nest. The scent packs can be used indoors or outdoors, and when used as directed, are safe around children and pets. Mouse Magic also comes in a shaker for external use under and around your RV. It is biodegradable and completely safe to use.
Grandpa Gus’s Natural Mouse Rodent Repellant – This natural product also contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. This chemical can be found in many hygiene products, such as toothpaste, and is intended to improve the effectiveness of the product. You can spray Grandpa Gus’s in any area of the RV without worrying about damage to finishes, furniture, children or pets.
Home Sentinel Ultrasonic Mouse Control – I have used these ultrasonic devices in my home and RV and I have to say they work great. They rid your RV of mice, as well as other unacceptable pests such as spiders, cockroaches, and crickets, to name a few. Ultrasonic devices plug into an outlet on the wall and emit a powerful sound at high frequency.
The sound is inaudible to humans and pets, but rodents and insects can hear it. It’s an eco-friendly and low-cost alternative to poisons, traps or other sprays. One device covers 260 square feet. A device should be plugged into each room separated by walls as the device is unable to penetrate walls or solid objects.
Mouse-Free Repelling Undercarriage Lubricant – This non-drip lubricant can be applied to the entire undercarriage of your RV. The scent and slippery nature of the product makes it impossible for mice, squirrels, or insects to find a way of entering your RV.
Once You Get Mice Away – Keep Them Away
Mice are determined and tenacious critters. They can fit into the tiniest of spaces and gaps causing havoc for many RVers. Don’t wait until you see mice. Be sure to check for droppings, ripped insulation, gnaw marks and under the hood of motorhomes.
Any opening like cracks and holes in a water hose, access panel or gaps in a door frame or slide out are potential opportunities to invite a mouse and her family to take up residency in your RV. It’s best to seal any openings, pack up leftover food items, and ensure crumbs and sticky residue are cleaned up. Check your RV on a regular basis if at all possible, and determine the best form of discouraging mice from making your RV their home.
Do you have a great way to repel mice away from your RV, or camper trailer? Please share your idea by leaving a comment below!