Here’s a question from a reader of RVtravel.com about boondocking.
I’m a newbie RVer and I’ve read about problems with ants and mice in RVs. I haven’t had any such invasions and it’s not an experience I would look forward to. Is there anything I can do now to head off future incursions? I don’t know where to start. —Craig
You can go along for weeks and months without finding so much as a solitary ant or mouse taking up residence in your RV. But every once in a while it seems the environment goes kerflooey and some odd and unusual events occur, like monumental hatches of crickets or locusts. Events that could raise havoc with RVers are infestations of ants and mice that all of a sudden become an overnight problem.
Both have happened to me (13 mice trapped in one night) and I couldn’t stop them from entering my vehicle or eradicating them fast enough, until I discovered this preventive self-defense. Wherever any part of your rig touches the ground – tires, leveling jacks, barbecue hooked up to your propane tank – sprinkle the powdered household cleanser Borax in a circle around the touch point. Make the circle complete so critters can’t get to the tire or jack without going through the powder, which they won’t. Coarse ground black pepper and diatomaceous earth (garden section of home supply stores) work also.
Then look at every place that there is a pass-through from the outside to the inside that mice could enter. Look in your outside refrigerator, water heater, outside shower compartments, and any other place where a wire or hose enters your vehicle. Stuff these pass-throughs with steel wool. Spray foam works for a while but if there are mice in your area they could eventually chew through. Mice can pass through a hole the size of a dime, so plug every hole you find.
To keep critters out of your engine compartment, sprinkle moth balls or drip peppermint oil about. They don’t like the smell and will avoid the area.
None of these preventive measures are completely 100% effective all the time, so continue to inspect your pass-throughs and correct when necessary.
Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .