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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Aggravating Mice Munching - How to Stop Rodents from Destroying Your RV!

    While prepping for a trip recently, I found lots of evidence that mice (or some other small critters) were munching on my Vellux blanket. Now, I love that blanket! These annoying creatures had had their evil way with this blanket when I first bought it. I had a 4-inch sort of round threadbare piece in the middle. Looked awful! But then they left it alone. Until now, that is.. Now I have multiple missing bits. Some in the middle, some on the edges. This had to stop! Time to do a bit of research and figure out what was causing the damage and how to stop it! This wasn't the first invasion I had to fend off!

This is STILL My Favorite Blanket!
After looking closely at the damage, it appeared to be rodent based. Could have been Chipmunks or Field Mice. OK, so they are small critters. We should be able to stop them. Likely, there was some access point they found to get inside. I began a thorough search. They can get in through gaps that look ridiculously tiny. Get a good flashlight and look in every cabinet and every drawer. Remove them if you cannot see well behind. I checked under my couch and everywhere I have wiring going in and out through the side, roof and floors of the RV. Looked at the air conditioner vent, fan vent(s) and fridge vent. I made sure all my windows were sealing properly. Then I got to the doors.

My RV has two entry doors. One is on the driver's side (for the Driver!) -- which is great when you want to quickly refuel yourself and the RV -- and the main mid-side door on the passenger side. The driver's door sealed nice and tight against its weather-stripping but the main door had a 1/2" gap at the very bottom. It looks like the weather-stripping finally wore out. This looks like where they got in. I checked the hinges first to see if the gap was because they were out of alignment. Nope. The door was sitting properly in the frame.


The Main Door
Of course, I can't find the original rubber seal that goes all the way around the door. For now, I just found some regular weather-stripping that will fit over the old seal and fill the gap. I couldn't find any other ingress points. Even so, there are some things you can do to make your RV a less hospitable place for rodents and other small mammals. I have read about so many remedies for keeping vermin out of your RV that I am thoroughly baffled. Peppermint Oil, Mothballs, D-con Bait...traps... you name it, I've read about it. Obviously, traps will likely work, but if you store over the winter and don't check on them...you may come inside when Spring is sprung and find a nasty surprise or two!

The so-called "humane" traps work well, but if you don't empty them it's cruel and unusual punishment! So far, I have sealed all the gaps, even REALLY tiny ones. I used the rapid-expanding foam that comes in a spray can, painted peppermint oil on all the spots that have wires or hatches that come through the body and roof (even if I cannot see a hole) and put some mothballs in little cheesecloth "sachets" I made by cutting squares and rubber-banding the ends together with the mothballs inside. Let's hope this actually works! I'll let you know in the next few months and over the next winter. I hope I've managed to locate all the holes, gaps and places where critters can get inside. They really can do a lot of damage to your RV. I've been VERY lucky as far as damage goes. But I won't forgive them messing up my favorite blanket.

Oddly enough, there was plenty of packaged food in the pantry, but NO evidence that any of it was munched on! Maybe I should get a better quality level of snacks?

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"
www.thewanderman.com


4 comments:

  1. don't use rodent bait,ie. decon etc. as the rodents typically crawl into inaccessible places and die. leaving smells you cant get rid of, maggots in walls, desiccated carcasses to haunt you forever.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous,
    Yuck. Point taken!

    Rich "The Wanderman"

    ReplyDelete
  3. Two people can hunt for entry points at night with a flashlight. Simply shine it around at various angles from outside and the person on the (darkened) inside looks for light. Block those entry points with 1/4" hardware cloth and/or the expanding pest prevention foam you can buy from places like Home Depot.

    I would not use mothballs - the naphtha is not particularly good for you and it doesn't smell good either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jack,
      That's sound advice! As soon as I find someone who isn't afraid of rodents jumping out at them, I will try the flashlight trick.

      Thanks,

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete

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