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Effective Methods to Keep Mice Out of Your Camper

This post was updated on July 18th, 2023

Discovering mouse droppings in your camper is a sight no one relishes – I can attest to that! After years of blissful, mouse-free RVing, I was suddenly faced with the challenge of evicting these uninvited guests. And let me tell you, it was no picnic!

I’ve found the best ways to keep mice out of your camper through trial and error. If you’re grappling with this pesky problem, I’m here to share my tried-and-true strategies with you.

The Three-Pronged Approach to Mouse-Proofing Your Camper

Deter

The first line of defense in our battle against these furry intruders is deterrence. It’s all about making your camper as unappealing as possible to a mouse.

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However, this can be a bit tricky. You see, campers are like Swiss cheese to mice – full of potential entry points. And these critters are crafty. They can squeeze through the tiniest of holes!

When I began my mouse-proofing mission, I was astounded by the number of potential mouse doorways in my camper. But fear not, with the right tools, you can start sealing these entry points and deter mice from your camper:

Spray Foam

Spray foam is a fantastic tool for mouse-proofing your camper. Spray foam is great for quickly sealing large openings, like those under your rig or where pipes or wires enter storage compartments.

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However, spray foam isn’t exactly a beauty queen, so it’s best used in hidden areas. Also, remember that the foam takes time to expand and harden fully, so there’s no need to overdo it.

Steel or Copper Wool

Mice have a strong dislike for chewing on steel or copper wool, making it an excellent deterrent.

Use a butter knife or flat-head screwdriver to tightly pack the wool into gaps or holes. This ensures it won’t shake loose during your travels. Opt for copper wool or mesh if you want to avoid the rust and staining that can occur with steel wool.

Wire Mesh

Use wire mesh screening in places where you need air to flow but don’t want to invite critters. Opt for metal screening with a mesh tight enough to prevent even baby mice from squeezing through.

Inspect areas like propane doors and other external doors with vent holes to ensure the wire mesh is securely in place. Eternabond or similar tape is a great way to secure any added mesh without resorting to screws.

Don’t forget to check your roof vents, such as the one above your fridge compartment. The mesh in vents can wear out over time, like in my camper, making it easy for mice and other critters to get in.

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Discourage

The second prong in our mouse-proofing strategy is discouragement. This involves making your camper as inhospitable as possible by securing food and eliminating potential nesting materials.

Contain the Food

Mouse eating crumbs off an RV floor.

It goes without saying that food should be removed from a camper that’s going into storage. But what about when you’re actively camping?

During camping trips, store food in hard plastic containers or in the fridge. And don’t forget about your pet’s food – mice aren’t picky eaters!

The microwave serves as a great mouse-proof storage spot for bread. Just remember to remove it before you hit the ‘start’ button!

Avoid storing food in ovens. They’re not sealed, and mice find them to be cozy hideaways.

Remember, Ziploc bags and cardboard packaging are no match for a determined mouse. Be diligent about cleaning up crumbs and spills from counters and floors.

Dispose of trash nightly or store it in a sealed plastic bin outside.

Control the Paper

Materials like newspapers and batting are like a five-star hotel for a mouse looking to nest. Remove excess papers daily and store all others in a lidded plastic bin.

Don’t overlook items like toilet tissue, cotton balls, or paper towels. Store these extras in a bin as well to discourage mice from your camper.

Repel

The third and final prong in our mouse-proofing strategy is repelling. This involves using various methods to make your camper a no-go zone for mice. Some of these are commercial products, while others are home remedies. What works wonders for one camper might not be as effective for another.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil has a long-standing reputation for repelling rodents. However, it’s important to use pure essential oil, not just a scented spray. Peppermint oil can also repel other pests, but it might be irritating or even harmful to pets. So, if you have furry friends, do some research before launching a peppermint oil campaign.

Does Mint Oil Actually Repel Mice? Let’s Test It Out With Real Mice.

To use peppermint oil, place several drops onto fabric scraps and position them in areas where you’ve noticed mouse activity. But be warned! Cotton balls can turn into nesting material when the scent fades and you forget about them, so use fabric scraps instead.

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For hard-to-reach areas, create a peppermint oil spray by mixing two teaspoons of oil, three drops of dish detergent, and one cup of water. Reapply the spray once the scent starts to fade after a week or so.

Commercial Botanical Mixes

There are commercial botanical mix products that work well to repel mice and are safe for humans and pets. These are more expensive than homemade treatments, but many brands, either in granule or spray form, receive high marks from customers.

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Granules

Granules usually come in small pouches or packs that are easy to place around your camper and replace when needed. Fresh Cab is a product that contains small pouches of botanical material and essential oil that smell pleasant to humans but are disliked by mice. These convenient pouches can be placed throughout your camper, both inside and out, and are very effective at repelling mice.

Sprays

Sprays come in bottles or cans. Some have a dispenser nozzle/sprayer attached, while others may require additional equipment to disperse the product. Mouse Free is a botanical spray that you apply to the undercarriage of your RV. It keeps mice away for up to two years and also works as a lubricant, making it difficult for mice and other critters to walk across.

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Light

Mice aren’t fans of light. Many fellow campers have found that placing a string of lights underneath their camper is very effective at keeping mice at bay. This method is easy to implement and also creates a cool-looking effect at night.

Traps

Traps may be necessary to catch any mice that have already made their way inside your camper. Traditional sticky or snap traps are cheap and effective, but they can be messy and difficult to place in the tight quarters of a camper. There are also humane traps that don’t kill the mouse, but many people have found these to be less effective.

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Poison

While we mention poisons here, as RVers who appreciate nature, we encourage you not to use them. The downsides are often worse than the problem and can negatively and fatally affect wildlife.

Wall Plugs

Plug-in mouse deterrents are widely sold online and in camping stores. These devices plug into an electrical socket and generate ultrasonic waves that mice find annoying and stay away from. Some people swear by these devices, but there are enough videos showing these just don’t work so well that while we mention them, we can’t really recommend them. They get mixed reviews and will take up a valuable outlet in your camper.

The Hodgepodge

The hodgepodge is the last group of repellents that everyone has heard of: dryer sheets, Irish Spring soap, and cinnamon. All of these work to some degree.

Cinnamon can be messy and is best sprinkled around the outside perimeter of your camper. Dryer sheets and soap are easy to tuck into small areas but lose their scent after a couple of weeks.

These are effective for shorter trips but not recommended for long trips or storage.

How My Mouse Story Ends

After implementing these methods, I’ve been mouse-free for over a month now and plan to maintain my three-prong approach as part of my regular camper maintenance routine.

Share the Knowledge

If you found this guide on how to repel mice from your camper helpful, why not share it with your fellow campers? Click the buttons below to share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Let’s help everyone enjoy a mouse-free camping experience!

Product data was last updated on 2024-04-17 at 20:04.

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