As the temperature starts to rise, bugs and pests come out of hiding and can easily find their way into your home on wheels. Nothing is more unsettling than opening your RV closet to find ants running for their lives. Or opening a kitchen cabinet door to find a spider has made a new home. To protect your RV from these unwanted guests, here are some do-it-yourself pest control tactics you can try.
- Leave dryer sheets inside your pantries, cupboards, drawers and closets. Insects, mice and other critters generally won’t like the smell, and will stay away.
- Don’t leave exposed food out for long periods. Invest in air-tight plastic bags or containers, and tightly seal your food. Also be sure to keep surfaces clean and remove garbage regularly.
- Use mothballs to discourage both moths and rodents. Don’t overdo it, though, or your RV will smell like mothballs; you only need a small amount to scare off pests. You can use disposable bowls with lids and pour the mothballs into these containers. Then poke holes in the containers – sufficient for air flow, but small enough to keep the smell to a minimum as they diminish in size over time. Place these containers through out the RV. You can even use mothballs outside, in outdoor storage containers, to keep away spiders, snakes and other pests.
- Sprinkle talcum powder, borax, or powdered sink cleanser around the tires, leveling jacks, and any other items on the RV that contact the ground to keep ants from entering. You can also spread a one-inch band of petroleum jelly around the electrical cord, water hose and sewer hose to discourage ants from becoming RV pests.
- To keep pests from entering your RV to begin with, first inspect the underside of your RV for any gaps or holes. Then fill any gaps using silicone or expanding foam. It’s important to remember that expanding foam can expand a lot more than you might expect – so experiment first on something other than your RV. Guard against using so much foam that you damage something when it expands.
- Peppermint oil can be an excellent natural repellent. Mice hate the smell. Moisten cotton balls with peppermint, and spread them throughout your RV. You will need to repeat this process when the smell goes away. Peppermint plants will also work.
- Some pests are attracted to the odorant that is added to propane. Wasps may build nests in and around your gas appliances and vents. Be sure to check vents for nests as a regular part of your “walk around” routine, and include checks and cleaning of these appliance systems as part of your regular annual maintenance. Wasp killer sprays near furnace vents are not recommended due to the potential for flammability so simply knock off the wasp nests at night.
Pests in your RV can definitely put a damper on your camping fun. If you have any other tips for keeping pests away, please share with us in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!