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How to Keep Mice Out of Your RV

How to Keep Mice Out of Your RV


The best way to keep mice out of your RV is to camp in places where people don’t normally camp. Otherwise, mice are smart critters and they’ll remember a camper the next time they see one. How to keep mice out of your RV is to be prepared for them.

how to keep mice out of your rv
We trapped this mouse inside our RV’s pantry

How to Keep Mice Out of Your RV

The fact is that you cannot keep mice out of your RV.

Mice are smart enough, stealth enough, and hungry enough to get past any obstacle you put in their way. Think of it this way… mice today have endured centuries of ingenious traps, poisons, and predators, that they’ve become more skilled, more tuned, and more aggressive than in any previous generation of mice.

The Best Way to Keep Mice Out of Your RV

Camp in places where people rarely camp.

Mice tend to frequent places where people also frequent. By contrast, we almost never see them when we boondock in rarely-camped areas.

But this is not to suggest that mice are constantly hanging around popular campsites. We’ve camped in many popular boondocking areas and have not seen mice. But, we’ve still had our share of rodent guests in other places we’ve camped and have learned a thing or two about them.

  • Try to avoid boondocking in places with tall grass, dense shrub, or with lots of big rocks and boulders. This is because mice use these to hide from birds and snakes. By contrast, camping in deserts with light scrub, no boulders, where hawks and owls can see everything clearly, generally have no problems with mice.
  • If you cannot avoid boondocking in dense areas, then we recommend keeping several snap traps on hand. Mice will enter your RV guaranteed, one way or another, and you will just have to be prepared for them.

What About Using Peppermint or Irish Spring?

We’ve tried them, they don’t work.

Yes, mice hate the smell of peppermint and Irish Spring. But they will simply walk around them. These critters are hungry enough and determined enough that no soap or essential oil is going to stop them from getting the protein they need for their babies. All you will end up with is Irish Spring all over your doors and windows, or a pantry that makes your eyes water.

What About Stuffing All Holes and Cracks with Steel Wool?

That helps, certainly. We recommend sealing up any holes and cracks you can find. But in our experience with mice, they will always find a way in no matter how hard you try to stop them.

How Are Mice Getting Inside my RV?

  1. They will often drop from tree branches, land on your roof, and find a way in through your air conditioning unit.
  2. Mice are incredible jumpers. A small field mouse can jump a few feet high, enough to land on the ramp door of your toy hauler, or jump right into the entrance as soon as you open your door.
  3. We’ve heard of mice entering the furnace vent, crawling into the furnace itself, and then through the ducting.
  4. They crawl up your tires and find the tiniest sliver of opening underneath your rig.
  5. Many mice can crawl up the outside of your RV. Their claws are small enough, and sharp enough, to hang on to the tiniest ridges and bumps on your exterior paneling. They simply wait for a door or window to open.
  6. They hitch a ride in your stuff. They will crawl into boots, backpacks, blankets, jackets, and then you bring them into your RV.
  7. Mice can chew through paneling, rubber, plastic, and wood. If they can’t find a way inside, they’ll make their own entrance.

What’s the Best Way to Get Rid of Mice in an RV?

  1. The “snap trap” is hands down the most effective way to trap mice. It’s oldest mouse trap around, yet still works the best. We’ve trapped more mice with the snap trap than any other type of trap. It’s very inexpensive and very compact. We recommend getting the traps made by Victor. But, make sure to get the traps dubbed, “Easy Set” (See it on Amazon). These have a yellow plastic bait platform instead of the traditional metal bait platform. The Easy Set is far more sensitive and will trap the stealthiest mice. Use peanut butter, it’s also the most effective bait.
  2. The “glue trap” is also pretty effective. (See it on Amazon). It’s best used with a dab of peanut butter in the middle. However, we’ve had a couple of mice pull themselves right off of these traps and get away. It’s better to use “rat sized” traps to trap mice because they will get themselves more completely glued down.
  3. The “bucket trap” is a newcomer to the field of mouse traps, but is very effective. It’s designed to be fitted on top of a 5-gallon bucket. You’ll have to watch a video to understand it. But, you fill the bucket about 1/4 full of water, and all the mice drown. It’s a better choice if you have an infestation of mice. (See it on Amazon).

Which Mouse Traps Are the Worst?

  1. Any kind of “No see, no touch” mouse trap. There are many different varieties of these. These look like black plastic boxes or cylinders where a mouse walks in but cannot walk out. Deep inside is a poison bait. We’ve tried a couple of these and found that mice simply don’t go inside. They seem to be smart enough to know that it’s dangerous. (See an example on Amazon).
  2. Humane mouse traps are a bad idea. If you were to trap one, and then let it go somewhere far from your camp, it can actually follow you back from the scent you leave behind, or from the smell of food cooking on your grill. You would never trap a mosquito and let it go. So why do it with a mouse? (See an example on Amazon).
  3. Ultrasonic Repellers – Believe it or not, we’ve tried these too. This is an electronic box that emits an ultrasonic frequency that human beings cannot hear. However, mice are said to hear it and it drives them away from your camp. It seems to work on some mice, but not on others. Larger rodents like rats, squirrels, raccoons, don’t seem to be affected by it. (See an example on Amazon)

Can I Just Remove All Food From my RV and Wait for Mice to Go Away?

No. Mice will simply crawl outside of your RV to find food, then crawl back in to go to sleep.

Mice love to nest where it’s safe from predators, and that’s what your RV offers them… safety. If you allow mice to continue living in your RV, they will multiply and you will have 30-40 of them in no time. They will chew up your electrical wiring, chew holes in your water lines, and start a fire in your refrigerator.

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