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Discussion Starter #1
As I've mentioned in another thread, I'm having an awful time with mice in the RV since last winter.

We got occasional visits in prior years, but they'd usually go away after we started using the RV in the spring. Not this year, they are insanely persistent...

I've caught about 15-20 with glue traps over the summer. I started using Fresh Cab after Labor Day, and have only caught one since. The Fresh Cab was about a month old at that point (and didn't smell as much as when new), so I figured that the instructions saying to replace it after a month must be accurate.

I think they're getting into the living quarters through the dash. That's where I've focused the glue traps, and haven't seen signs of them anywhere else in the RV since trapping started.

However...

This past weekend, we went camping (3.5 hours away). When I set up the dinette bed, I noticed that something had been using one of the cushions as a seed storage area. I don't know if this happened before the Fresh Cab was in use, because we hadn't used that bed since late August. There are signs of gnawing at the wood under the seat, so I'm pretty sure that's how they got to the cushion.

Also this weekend (late last night, actually), we heard a horrible scratching noise from a mechanical space (runs under the toilet, under the stove, etc. I have no idea how to access this space, as there are no inspection panels in the walls. I believe that the under-dinette space could also be accessed (by a mouse) from this mechanical space.

At this point, I think they've fully established a home somewhere under the RV, but I don't know if they're getting in near the toilet, or coming in somewhere else and just running to that area.

I've looked for openings and haven't found anything.

I'm ready to sell this RV and start over, but I can't guarantee that they won't get into the new one.

Ideas?

Mike
 

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Mike, I had similar problems in the past but for the last 2 years, nothing. Big numbers of mice in the area as well. The only thing different was the smoke/CO detector batteries were on the way out and it started the intermittent beep every few minutes. I made sure I kept old batteries around to keep it beeping throughout the winter for the last 2 years and have not seen any sign of the little buggers since. Coincidence?? Who knows, but I keep my old batteries from the camera, flashlights, etc that take AA's and check to make sure it keeps beeping. Dryer sheets are supposed to work as well and I will be adding some shortly. Good luck. Oh, peanut butter works wonders in the plastic spring traps as well, they can't resist and I keep a trapline in the winter in the garage and out buildings as well.
 

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All right that's it. Time to declare all out war on these bassturds. It has come down to "you or them." Remember: if you find yourself in a fair fight, you haven't planned well enough.

Your local rental shop should have what's called an ozone generator. While most commonly used to kill strong odors, for all intents and purposes, carbon based life within the environment they temporarily create is not possible.

Alt. Control. Delete. Done.
Problem: be prepared for mouse carcass stench that the ozone generator won't help with until they've finished rotting.

By the way that "mechanical compartment" you refer to probably contains plumbing lines or wires. It is most likely paneling stapled into place. It must be pried away carefully to remove, then stapled back into place. Consider an inspection camera snake thing to see if there is any damage or hidden nasties in there if you really don't want to remove it.
 

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I've got squirrels eating the wires and insulation under the hood of my car... Does that count?
 

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A guy I used to work with had mice eating wires under the hood of his car ,to the point it wouldn't start,,some one said try mexican hot sauce ,made with halepenio peppers. ( The stuff that will burn your mouth, and bring tears to your eyes ) It was quite messy under the hood of the car with sauce smeared around ......... mice left his car alone after that ....
 

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and bring tears to your eyes
And herein lies the problem... I need to be able to work on the car too. I mean, if I coated everything with hot sauce, got rid of the rodents and then rubbed my eyes after changing oil or something similar, that wouldn't be so great.

Hot pepper does work for all rodents. Some of the other stuff that works for mice wouldn't necessarily work for squirrels, like Fresh Cab which is Balsam Fir oil. Squirrels live in Fir trees.


Anyways... I wasn't meaning to hijack the thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I really don't want to kill them in place, for exactly the reason you mentioned (disgusting odors).

I guess the ultimate solution is to find all of the openings and seal them, but I'm really having trouble with that. The inspection camera is a really good idea. I think the idea of removing paneling is more of a last resort.

I'd be willing to pay someone to deal with this. I had an exterminator at the house once (to deal with carpenter ants), but he said his company doesn't deal with RVs. I wonder if any of them do? Sure would be nice to have a professional sniff them out for me.

Mike
 

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I’m a dog person but..... I had a problem with mice in my outbuildings until a stray cat showed up. I feed it just enough to keep it around and haven’t seen a mouse or evidence of them in 2 years.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Minding my P's & Q's
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Mikeinri,

You are right, the ultimate solution is to find all of the openings and seal them.
But, they can get through such a small opening. They can be tough to find. Took me several years to seal up an older house I once owned.
May have to spend a lot of time going over every inch of the underside.

If you think they are coming in through the dash area, you may have to look, on the outside, at any little opening on the fire wall and plug it or make the opening too small for them to get through.
Small pieces of cut out aluminum sheet or tin can steel, glued or pop riveted in place around shafts and wire bundles. Steel wool pushed into the hole. Silicone caulk in some places.

Could hang some bags of moth balls under the hood. They do repel mice, but not sure how well in such an open well vented area. Remember to remove them later.

They must be coming out side to feed if you do not leave any food inside. (And I'm sure you don't) Trap them outside?
You could make up four of the 5 gal water filled bucket, wire, and pop can traps and leave one near each tire with peanut butter on the can for bait. And a ramp for them to get up to the top. At least until freeze up.
As long as dogs and cats can access the buckets, do not use anti freeze. (I am sure you knew that) But if you could make a chicken wire or welded wire fence cage around them, well tied down, could then use with anti freeze in freezing weather. I have used those with good results in barns, milk houses, and sheds, but never in the open.
I have also made them from 1 gal ice cream pails, stiff wire, and only one can on the wire. 3" of water in the bottom.
Maybe put 2 or 3 inside the RV? No smell that way, just clean out the dead ones every couple of weeks.
1 gal ice cream pails need to be cleaned all the time. Mice climb up on the floating bodies and can jump to the rim of the pail then climb out.

I wish you luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Has anyone else tried the 5-gallon buckets outdoors?

I have at least 50 areas of open space behind me (was all woods until they cleared for a development last spring, but still have a good 20 acres of woods that abut my rear property line). I'm not sure if I could ever keep up with them all.

Plus, we get a lot of chipmunks, so I'm sure they'll get caught in a bucket?

We've seen an uptick in bunnies and squirrels this year. Not sure if there's a shortage of larger predators (we'd always thought there were coyotes around), or if it's just a coincidence.

Mike
 

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Mike,

Will trapping Chipmunks cause any grief with any other un-named family member?

I am surprised the Chipmunks have not widened any entrance holes the mice use and gotten in there also.
 

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Another thought on the mice problem.

When I pull the boat out and cover it with a tarp for the winter it is in the early fall. Fall is when the mice are actively seeking a new shelter for the winter.
So I first park the boat out in the middle of the front lawn away from the trees and field edged. I also put several boxes of De-Con in it. And a couple bags (old socks) with moth balls under the engine cover.

I have found mice don't like to move through that open mowed grass area to get to the boat. Too dangerous for them being exposed to predators.

Then once the leaves are all picked up and the ground is well frozen, I will move it to the edge of the yard out by my pine tree wind break for the winter. Seems by then they have found/built their shelter and do not move into the boat.

When I use to park it by the trees right away after I put the tarp on, I would have 4 or 5 nests in there. in the spring.
Now I have none or maybe one.

Possible to park the RV out away from anything, this time of year, until freeze up? Then move it to a more appropriate place?
Any mice living in there now would be forced to cross that open area to search for food. May cause them to move out? Or get eaten by something?

Be aware that in some places parking anything in the front yard for more than an hour will cause some people to stop in and ask how much you want for it.
 

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This I found quite disturbing...another reason NOT to buy a newer vehicle!.

Incredible Edible Car

Mikerini needs a few feral cats...ever since I've had at least a few hanging around ,I have not found any mouse damage on my vehicles--yet..even ones parked under trees,and the cats like to sleep under them ,its a safe place where coyotes cant get at them ,and I find dead half eaten mice often near the vehicles...the cats love to lie on the roof the vehicles and sun themselves,so any mice are quickly spotted and disposed of..

I have been finding some small nut shells on the top of my trucks diesel engine lately though,which is my daily driver--since I use the truck at least once a week I suppose the cats are afraid to be under or on it, and the mice know it..

The cats also hide and sleep in a shed in my backyard where I store stuff and no mice evidence has been seen in it,but there is a truck box I use as a shed next to it that has some holes in the aluminum diamond plate floor ,and it REEKS of mouse crap every time I open the door to go inside--and I store quite a few small engines in there ,and have had a few damaged by mice..I'm tempted to make a hole in the floor large enough for the cats to fit thru so they can get in it ,hunt them down and get rid of them..
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We don't ever see cats around here. I always assumed it was because of the coyotes.

Mike
 

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Where are mice entering the RV from? Any hole in anything. How do they get to those holes? By climbing up on Anywhere the coach touches the ground or comes close to it, right? Tires and stabilizer jacks, mostly. Power cord, if the coach is plugged in. Keep the entrance steps folded in. Maybe put traps around the wheels and stabilizer jacks and power cord?
 

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Mike, try some Bounce dryer sheets. Stuff them in every compartment and also leave them out on top of the seats and mattresses. The mice don't like the smell, but at least your camper will smell better than mothballs. I have had mice in the boat. They have chewed through the bimini, which I had to replace, and they like it under one of the seats...so much so that they ate through the back of the seat while it was shrink wrapped at the marina. Last year I made the mistake of re-using the Bounce from the prior year. Apparently it had lost some of its smell. A mouse got under the seat and had babies. I found them dead in there this past spring. Very difficult to get the smell out.
 

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Mike,

Had another thought on finding the places the mice are getting in. Might be grasping at straws here, but it works on houses to find energy leaks.
Negative pressure (vacuum) in the RV, then use smoke to see where air is being drawn in to the RV.

If the RV has an exhaust fan in the bath room, and also one for the cook stove area, you may be able to turn them both on high to get enough exhaust draw to make this work.

If that will not create enough draw, it can be accomplished by also having one of the cheap 20" square floor fans mounted in the door of the RV so that it is blowing air out.
The rest of the doorway sealed with plywood, plastic, and taped (sealed) to door frame. Lots of tape. Tape plastic to fan. No leaks.

When working from the outside, light a stick or 2 of incense for the smoke.
Then both from above, and from below the firewall area, move the smoking incense around the area and see where the smoke is pulled to. More smoke being pulled, larger hole.

Follow the smoke to the holes and mark them with tape so you can come back later and deal with them.
That much vacuum in the RV will pull a lot air in from the outside.

Since you are working outside will have to be done during a calm period with little to no wind.

If you decide to try it, look to see if it is possible in the RV to have the fan/s inside, (mounted some how) and sealed to inside of door way. (Or a window if window is large enough) Then you could start and stop the fans as you have time to do this. And when you don't close the door. Come back again later.

I did the fan and smoke thing a few years ago in this house. I put the fans in two windows, one at each end of the house, and sealed them in.
Very easy to see the smoke affected by air movement.
Did I ever find a lot of places air was being sucked in. It was amazing how much air suction is created.
 

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You just pretty much described a Sealtech test. We used to pressureize the coach, then spray soap solution on all the seams to see if anything bubbled up, thus indicating a potential water leak. It worked pretty good. You're probably right; smoke might make the larger holes more apparent.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks! Wow, I was thinking about one time when I needed to have a smoke test done on my truck to find a vacuum leak. I didn't mention it here, because I really didn't think it would work at this scale, and only thought about blowing the air out, not sucking it in. Good to know that someone tried it, and that it works!

Will definitely have to keep this in mind. I suppose I could run this as a pressure test, maybe with a Halloween fog machine? I'd hate to load up the bed, rug and cushions with anything that will cause a lingering odor.

BTW, I tried mothballs once, they ignored them.

Mike
 
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