We've already discussed how to prevent mice from getting into your RV. Now, here's how to get rid of mice in a camper if the furry fiends have already made their way inside…
No one likes a pest. Especially small, furry ones that can carry disease and cause serious damage to your RV. That is why if you find yourself with an RV mouse problem, you will want to get rid of those unwanted creatures as quickly as you can!
Recently, I wrote an article about how to prevent mice from getting into your RV. Prevention is, of course, the best way to avoid a mouse problem in the first place! Blocking entry points with a little steel wool, or getting rid of a coveted food source, can go a long way.
But what should you do if your prevention methods don't work? How do you get rid of mice in a camper that has already been invaded?
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How to Identify a Mouse Problem
If you have never had a mouse problem, then you might not know what to look for to identify that you do. The most telltale sign of mice, aside from seeing them in the trailer, is the occurrence of mouse droppings.
You might also notice strong smells coming from a cabinet, most likely arising from mice urine.
Another sign of a rodent problem is finding chewed-up food, fabric, or paper items. These are also signs that the mouse is making a nest. So, you really need to act quickly before your problem is multiplied!
How to Get Rid of Mice in a Camper
Mice can fit through a small hole the size of a dime. Mouse deterrents, like closing off potential entry points with spray foam, are the best solution to prevent mice from entering your rig.
But it may already be too late. So what do you do when mouse repellent has not worked, and you already have a pest issue? Here are five things you can do…
1. Store Food Items in Sealed Containers
If you notice a critter issue in your rig, the first step you will want to take is to properly store your vulnerable food items. These are food items that are not kept in sealed glass or metal containers.
Things to consider storing in sealed glass or metal containers are as follows:
- Uncooked pasta
- Baking ingredients like flour and sugar
- Coffee creamers
- Nutrition bars
- Dried fruit or trail mix
- Pet food
Mice will not be able to smell these items as easily if stored in sealed containers. Even if they can smell them, they won't be able to access them. So, they'll likely move on to an easier food source.
2. Use Mouse Traps
Trapping mice is the traditional method of getting rid of mice. There are both catch-and-release and humane kill traps available to choose from.
I've only included mouse traps that are considered humane.
One popular type of trap is called a mouse box trap. It is a live catch-and-release trap, meaning the mouse will not get killed by the unit. Many people like these because they are considered humane traps.
These traps are boxes that contain bait inside, like peanut butter. The mouse enters the box to eat the bait but cannot exit it once it is inside.
You can then take the box with the contained critter to release it somewhere else outdoors.
Other folks take the entire box and throw it away, with the mouse still living inside. That is not humane! While I despise pests, I don't like the idea of torturing any sort of wildlife. I hope that if you use these traps, you will release the rodent somewhere or dispatch it in a humane way.
Also keep in mind that you do not want to use this kind of trap unless you're checking it daily! These humane traps become inhumane if you leave the animal trapped inside for a prolonged period.
The other main type of mouse trap is the classic spring trap. You open the trap, setting a spring arm, and place bait on the trap. When the mouse eats the bait, its weight releases the spring, and the mouse is killed.
Once the mouse is caught in the trap, you pick up the entire thing and place it in the trash.
While it is not particularly enjoyable to have a dead mouse on your hands, these traps are instantaneously effective. They are designed so the mouse won't suffer.
Another more humane type of trap on the market is an electronic mouse trap. It looks like a small, hollow box with openings on both sides. You place bait in the center, and when the mouse enters the trap and places two feet on it, it gets electrocuted. Another one with good reviews from our RV Lifestyle Team is this one.
I know this sounds rather gruesome. However, like the spring trap, the mouse dies almost instantaneously. It will not suffer like it would on tape or glue traps (which I don't recommend). This type of trap is considered a more human way of killing a mouse.
3. Utilize Poisons
Many people kill mice using rat poison. These essentially poison the pest, killing it later.
While poison can be an effective way to rid yourself of unwanted critters, there are two major drawbacks to poison.
First, the rat or mouse can succumb to the poison before escaping your RV. If that happens, it may die inside your rig and the smell is horrific. In most cases, they will die in a hidden compartment or inside walls, making getting rid of them and their smell very difficult.
The other issue is that poison is a dangerous hazard if you're traveling with pets or children. You must be extremely careful when using poison if you have vulnerable pets or children camping with you. This is especially true if you forget where you placed the poison when you take your RV out of storage.
4. Try a Natural Approach
Many people like the idea of getting rid of rodents by using a natural method. Essentially, this approach repels the critters once they are in the RV, but in a way that does not harm them.
Many folks swear by using essential oils to get rid of pests. Many different oils are said to repel creatures, such as peppermint oil, lavender, mint, geranium, and pyrethrum. Small rodents don't like the smell of peppermint and other natural essential oils, so they will leave the rig on their own.
Pine needle spray is supposed to have the same odorous effect, too.
In our article about preventing mice infestation, I talked about how Irish Spring soap bars and dryer sheets are often touted as deterrents. I was skeptical of this, so I asked RVers to weigh-in in the comments and in our RV Lifestyle Facebook group.
The overwhelming consensus was that Irish Spring soap and dryer sheets do not work. The mice happily chew on the soap and use the dryer sheets for their nests.
5. Ultrasonic Devices
There is one other solution to pests that I have not yet mentioned. It is called an ultrasonic mouse deterrent, which are sometimes called electronic repellants.
An ultrasonic device is an electronic device that uses high-pitched sound to cause discomfort to rodents. Thus, the rodents will retreat in the opposite direction.
Some people love these devices because they meld technology and non-invasive pest repellent. They do not have an odor or an annoying sound (that humans can hear).
Ultrasonic repellents claim to be able to repel numerous pests, including:
- Bed Bugs
- Fleas and Ticks
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