It all started at our first campfire while working at Silver Glen Springs in the Ocala National Forest. We were hanging out with our co-workers having a few adult beverages and chatting. I kept hearing a noise coming from the vicinity of our RV. I looked around and under it but saw nothing.
The next day was business as usual. We went about the next couple of weeks with no other incidents or noises. Then it happened. As I was sitting around another campfire I started hearing it again. It sounded like something running from front to back underneath the RV. I used our high-powered flashlight to look underneath the RV but saw nothing.
I Am Not Going Crazy
After working the next couple of days we finally had some time off again. I knew I was not going crazy and something was definitely making noise. Since we planned on doing some projects underneath the RV anyway, I decided to take down all the coroplast under the RV.
I Knew It!!!
As I started taking the coroplast off the bottom of the RV, I started to notice large stockpiles of acorns and nesting material in different parts of the RV frame!!! So wait. What were we dealing with? Mice? Squirrels? A rat? Oh boy. Here we go.
After clearing out the coroplast and cleaning away all the acorns and nesting I looked all around the bottom and could find no sign of any animals. Cool, I apparently got to it before there was any entry into the RV and now that I cleared away all the acorns and nesting I should be fine. Yeah, not so much.
We started researching rodents and RVs. A lot of people were saying get blue rope lights as it’s a deterrent. So we did. Spoiler alert. Don’t buy the rope lights unless you just like the way they look. They did nothing as far as pest control. Neither did Irish Spring. Other people suggested mothballs but I did not want to smell that all day. Besides, our neighbors had 2 cats, and mothballs would have been toxic for them.
A couple of days later I was in the shower getting ready for work when I looked up and there it was!!! A giant mouse/rat standing on the dome!!! Holy crap. It was much bigger than the mice we have seen in the Silver Glen Office.
Off To The Store
On our next day off we took a ride to the local hardware store and explained our situation to the clerk. 20 minutes later we were walking out with an arsenal consisting of snap traps, glue strips, decon poison squares, and cage traps. We set them up using cheese and peanut butter as bait and waited. Days went by and not only did we not catch it, but now it was inside!!!
Things were getting worse. Not only was it running along the roof, but it was also now running along the ceiling. At night while we were relaxing, all of a sudden we would hear that stupid thing running along the ceiling above us!!! After a few pounds with our hands on the ceiling, it would stop. It gets worse. During the overnight hours, it would start scratching right above our heads!!! We would have to move into the living room and sleep on the couch and reclining chair it got so bad. At this point we even named it. We called it Scratchy.
We removed the decorative piece of wood above the bed where we had heard the scratching and what do you know. More acorns!!! We started cutting open sections of the walls where we thought we had heard it and started finding droppings…dammit!!!
This Is War!!!
Ok, enough is enough. We ordered 2 cases of “Great Stuff” from Amazon and started sealing all entryways inside the RV. It’s amazing how manufacturers cut massive holes in the floor just to bring in a couple of wires or a 3″ pipe. We screened as many of the openings as possible, stuffed steel wool in the holes, and applied the “Great Stuff” everywhere. We started cleaning up the mouse droppings and placed poison and snap traps wherever we cleaned.
Cut Off By Amazon
We found that at the bottom of our front cap (of the RV) the whole bottom was an entranceway to the inside of the RV. We went to order more “Great Stuff” from Amazon and were denied. Geez, what did they think we were doing with the stuff?…lol. We started hitting the local hardware stores and bought every can of “Great Stuff” off the shelf.
Sealed The Cap
We emptied the front pass-through and cut a hole in the front wall section on each side. We stuffed steel wool down the wall from one side across to the other. We filled the entire bottom with “Great Stuff”. Since “Great Stuff” goes on wet, part of the “Great Stuff” leaked through until it dried. Once it dried we just used a razor to cut along the bottom so you can’t see it looking at the front of the RV.
A New RV?
I think we made it worse. I think at this point we trapped him inside. We were done. We were so desperate at this point we almost traded in the RV for a new one…lol. If the dealership that we were dealing with wasn’t trying to screw us with the interest rate we would be in a new RV…lol.
Time To Step Up Our Game
Ok, so a new RV was out. What now? We decided to talk to the professionals. We found a commercial exterminating supply company and explained everything to the lady inside. She asked us what we were using for bait. When we said swiss cheese and peanut butter she laughed. She explained that the best thing to use for bait was either apples or fruit roll-ups. Yup, those fruit roll-ups, the kids’ candy…lol.
What Else Do We Need?
She told us the cage, and small traps and glue strips we were using were useless. She sold us these little bags that looked like bean bags. She explained that the mouse/rat would nibble on the bags and eat the poison. Something in the poison makes them not feel thirsty (or something like that) and after a day or two their kidneys shut down and they die.
For whatever scientific reason this only works on mice & rats so your pets are safe. After chatting some more we decided to buy a liquid poison and larger rat snap traps as well as the bags.
On the way home, we stopped at Walmart and bought a small apple pie (we wanted the small aluminum pan it comes with) and an apple. I made the supreme sacrifice and ate the apple pie so we could use the small tin…lol. We cut up the apple into a few chunks and soaked the pieces in the liquid poison we put into the tin. We took a poison-soaked apple piece and loaded it up on the snap trap.
Set-Up & Wait
We removed the decorative piece above the bed and carefully placed the poison-soaked tray, the snap trap with the apple loaded on it, and a couple of the bean bag-style poison bags on a small shelf-like area where we originally found the acorns.
Let’s Take A Look
After the first night, we removed the decorative piece above the bed again and looked in. The bags showed signs of nibbling. Were we getting close? We re-installed the decorative wood piece and waited.
On the second night after we set everything up, there was a loud snap in the middle of the night. A great sense of relief fell over us. In the morning we couldn’t tell if it was a dream or not. Well, there is one way to find out. I removed the wooden decorative piece of wood over the bed and there it was. Such a beautiful sight. The Mouse (it turned out to be a rat) we had named “Scratchy” was dead in the trap!!! Woohoo!!! Game Over!!!
We Were Lucky
We learned a lot from this debacle. First of all, we were very lucky that Scratchy did not do more damage than it did. We found a bunch of chewed-up wires in the walls and under the RV but were able to reach and repair them.
Being proactive instead of reactive is your best defense. I have RV’d for many years and never had mice so I guess I was a little lax. Moving forward that will never happen again. I listed a few tips below so you won’t have to go through what we did. If it’s too late and you have mice, remember apples and fruit roll-ups are great for bait.
- Seal up the underbelly of your RV. We had problems with the coroplast in the past and when we replaced it with new stuff we got lazy and did not seal it to the bottom of the RV
- Check the bottom of the front cap (the decorative piece on the front of your RV) because it’s probably wide open leaving a huge opening for any animal to enter. Seal it off completely.
- If you have a breach in your coroplast or have an older model with no bottom covering at all, be sure to find all entry points into the RV and seal them. Mice can make themselves very small and can enter from the tiniest holes. Follow all wiring and plumbing. That is usually where you would find the entry points.
- Check your slide seals. If you have sections of broken or missing seal it makes a great way for critters to enter
- Don’t rely on a cat. We had 2 of them next door to us and they did nothing. As a matter of fact, I think the cats were afraid of this guy!!!
What’s that old saying? “An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure”? Taking some time to seal up your RV will prevent you from going through what we did. If it’s too late and you have critters already don’t panic and don’t ignore them. They will not go away on their own!!! Some snap traps, poison bags, and apples strategically placed should help get rid of them.
Have You Had To Deal With Critters In Your RV? What Did You Do To Get Rid Of Them? Leave A Comment Below And Tell Us What You Did