Rodent Infestation Advice

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 Note:  Some states have ordinances prohibiting killing certain species of animals.  Be aware of the laws in your state.

 There is nothing like having a nice clean home only to find it infested with rodents.  By the time you see one inside the home it is already too late, the home is infested.  Why?  Because the rodents are living under the home and even between the walls or in the ceiling and they just happen to be expanding their territory inside of your home's living space.  Primarily, I will discuss Recreational Vehicles, but this helpful article can be used for home and businesses.

  Do you need a pest control expert?  Maybe not.  There is much you can yourself without fumigating the home.  Here's what happened to my RV and what I did to solve the problem.

  I bought a new home on an acre of land in the country and parked my RV behind my home.  For the first  year I had no known problem, but the second year I noticed a musty odor inside the home.  It smelled like old mildew.  I also noticed my gray rug was muddy looking in places.  When I looked closely it looked like tiny black rice grains.  Being a novice in such matters, I did not know what was going on, but I kept monitoring the situation.  I sprayed Lysol disinfecting spray, but the odor came back as strong as ever, then I saw the light, a dead mouse in my kitchen sink.  It was a baby mouse.  I now knew I had a problem.  Little did I know how big it really was.

  My first thing was to examine the internet to find articles on this and I had a hard time finding practical advice.  So, I bought a typical wood spring mouse trap, baited it with peanut butter and in just a few hours I had my first dead mouse.  Don't feel sorry for them for they are out to totally destroy your RV so it can not be used or even sold. They will 100% ruin it. They will eat through electrical wire insulation a and burn the thing down if you don't stop them.  Using those humanitarian mouse traps that do not kill is an option, but you got to release the live mice a mile or more away from your home or they will return, and that gets old fast.  I opted to kill the invaders using poison and death traps.  The beginning of the end was in sight, so I thought.

  I then kept catching mice in the trap and finally it stopped and the odor started to diminish, but not as fast as I had hoped.  The mice were living under the floor in the insulation on the underside of the RV.  A mouse here and there was caught in a trap each couple of weeks, so the problem was really not going away, just persisting.  Mice reproduce rapidly at frightening rates of birth.  Thousands can be born in a year's time.  That scared me!

1.  What kind of mouse trap should you use?  Any mouse trap will work, if baited with peanut butter, but there are many traps that can cause you trouble with your house cat.  If you have no pets or children use any trap.  I like to use the totally enclosed mouse trap.  Why?  Because the mouse enters the plastic device, nibbles the bait, triggers the trap and the mouse remains inside the trap.  No bird, cat or child can accidently get caught in the trap.  So, this trap can be used indoor and outdoor safely.  Try these totally enclosed traps.  You will really like them.  I reuse the trap by opening the trap, dispose of the dead mouse, bait it if needed and place it back into service.  So that tells you to buy at least four of these mouse traps.  Two inside the RV and two outside the RV.  Outside, under the RV near the tires is a good place.

2.  Find out where the mice are getting inside the home.  You won't find all of the places right away because these mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a pencil.  That is a very small hole or crack and a typical RV has a lot of those little holes everywhere.  Keep the traps inside the home, baited and ready to control the invasion.  If you do not have a mice problem?  Install mouse poison and traps inside the RV whenever you put it into storage and check on the RV every couple of weeks for a few months to make sure all is well.  The number one place mice get inside the RV is following the power cord into the RV.  Stuff the entry area with steel wool or a few rags.  Mice will not chew through steel.   Soapy steel wool pads work well too.

3.  Get a caulk gun of silicone rubber, get under your RV and look at every electrical wire entry point, the propane gas pipe line entry point, water lines and tears or holes in the insulation under the RV.  Don't forget the black and gray water holding tanks will have a drain entry point that penetrates up into the RV.  Caulk that entry point to the insulating fabric.  This is a major place where mice get inside along with the other spots I have mentioned.

4.  The slide out living room seals could leave a gap, so check along the floor area for any gaps.  You can't seal it with silicone, but you can stuff a rag or steel wool into the gaps.

5.  Inside the RV open all of your lower cabinets and look where wires and water or propane gas pipes and sewer vent lines enter the RV.  Seal up any gaps in these pipes and wires to the floor.  This will keep the mice out of the inside of the RV.  Don't forget the fresh water inlet lines penetrating the outside skin of the RV and running through walls inside the RV.  Seal those entry points where the pipe goes through the walls.

6.  Remove the access panel under the bath tub and caulk the drain and water pipes under that area.  It was a hot spot in my case where mice were entering the RV.  Once sealed, I had no mice on the entire right side of my RV cabinets.  Progress is being made!

7.  If mice are still getting inside?  It can drive you batty trying to figure out how they are getting in.  Be rest assured there is one or two more holes you are missing.  In my case I sealed everything and I did not see any mice for a month, then one day two were caught in my traps in two days.  I looked and looked and I could not find where they were getting in.  I was getting real angry about this mouse problem. 

8.  I noticed I had set about six traps inside the RV.  And the two mice recently caught in the traps were in the bathroom.  They did not make it into the living room or bedroom.  That is a clue.  When a mouse enters the RV it will go to the closest trap with food inside of it.  That told me the mice are entering somewhere in or near the bathroom.  Keep this in mind to use the traps as a way to point out where that last hole is causing the problem.  Here's how I found that hole:  

9.  After checking all the obvious pipes entering the floor of the RV near the bathroom I then got lucky and looked where the toilet was mounted to the floor.  It looked good in front and the sides with a nice tight seal to the floor, but when I looked behind the toilet there was an molded curved indentation in the toilet where the toilet it met the floor and there was a gap, a big three inch long by 1/4" wide gap.  That must be it.  I sealed that hidden gap and the mice was stopped from entering inside the RV.  So look behind your toilet and see if you have the same problem.  Use your finger to feel if there is a gap.  Another problem is the front flush foot pedal mechanism is totally exposed and mice can enter here.  If this is the case you can stuff this hole area with a soft foam, but removing the toilet and sealing up the area underneath with foam sealant will prevent mice from getting under the toilet permanently.

10.  I was very upset at the manufacturer for not sealing up all the holes in the RV at the factory that caused this horrible mouse invasion problem.  Before you buy a new RV, get under it and check if all the holes are truly caulked, including the holding tank drain lines going up into the RV.  If you find holes then tell the dealer you won't buy the RV until all the holes are sealed with silicone rubber sealant.

11.  If you have a mouse problem under a stick-built or manufactured home there is a way to poison the mouse without poisoning a rabbit or squirrel that also takes up residence under your home.  Killing mice will not create a huge odor, but killing a squirrel or rabbit under your home will create a nauseating stench as they slowly decay.  Take a piece of "Just-One-Bite" brand mouse poison and insert it inside a suet bird feeder cage and tie the lid shut and put the device under your home.  Mice will be able to eat the poison, but the larger animals can't get to the poison.  The mice will be gone.  Mouse problem solved. 

12.  To solve the squirrel problem read this the advice below on this page.   


  This will take some time for the smell to go away.

1.  The first thing to do is wear a mask and vacuum out the RV with the windows and doors wide open and the roof fan on.  Hanta virus is a real threat in dried deer mouse feces.  These mice have a white spot on their fur to identify them, but the problem is you don't know if all the mice or just one or two are deer mice, so be careful.  Disinfect the entire inside surface of the RV with Lysol and Mr. Clean disinfectant, mainly the floors and furniture, couch and bed and inside all the cabinets.  This took me a month to do as the entire RV was infested with mouse dropping and urine residue.  A real horrible mess. 

2.  Don't forget to clean the floor heating ducts too.  Normally mice do not enter from the ducts, but they will go inside and travel.  Put the heater fan on with all the windows open and spray disinfectant inside the heater air inlet while the heater fan is running.  Don't let the heater get hot, just start it up, spray the disinfectant and shut it off.  Do this four times in the next week to be sure it is disinfected well.  Then when the disinfectant has evaporated away in a week's time, run the heater normally with windows open for about 20 minutes.

2.  Let the RV air out with open windows.  You can use specialty animal odor deodorizer to help freshen the RV and neutralize odors.  The musty odor will be reduced as each day passes. 

3. Yes, there will be mouse feces under the floor of your RV mixed in with the underside insulation and maybe in the walls too, but you can't remove it.  It will dry up and should not cause you a problem as there is no way it can get inside your RV. Think about that.  It may sound awful to have feces in your RV, but it is all sealed up.  No Hanta virus will get inside for the virus adheres to the feces.  It does not leap off the feces and walk about looking for a way inside your home.


  A mouse can still find a way to get inside your RV if you have not gotten all of the holes in the floor or walls.  That is a very real possibility as there are entry points you can't reach behind build in cabinets.  So, always assume this can happen all over again.  But it won't be as bad as the first time.  Why?  Do this:

1.  Place mouse traps and poison inside the RV.

2.  Place mouse traps outside the RV.

3.  Glue with a dab of silicone rubber mouse poison solid all-weather blocks to the steel underside frame of your RV.  Use the poison that has no visible seeds so birds will not feed on them.  I glue the poison to the frame so the wind will not blow them away.

4.  Check your traps weekly and your glue for signs of being eaten.

5.  When setting traps inside the RV I put the trap on a double folded paper towel to prevent the floor or rug from becoming soiled from the dead mouse.

6.  Use the Rat Zapper

   The mice are living in the fields and may even be coming from the neighbors property invading your home.  By keeping the totally enclosed traps active and ongoing the trespassing mice will have no chance to set up residence on your property.  It is an ongoing problem that may never go away due to wildlife flourishing in your neck of the woods. 

  I know this information will be a great value to you.  You do not have to hire a pest control person.  Just take it one step at a time and keep the traps active to keep the problem under control.  This way the mice problem will always be caught in the bud before they have a chance to infest.


  If you have mice you have squirrels.  Not that they will be infesting your RV, but they could.  Let's assume you just have a nice squirrel and suddenly by year three you notice there are now two dozen of them causing you grief as they burrow under your home (not the RV) and live under your home and begin entering the walls of your home.  Now you got a problem.  How to deal with this?

1.  You can buy a large caged trap that will catch the critters alive.  You then drive a mile or two away and release the animal.  Some states have laws against releasing animals into the wild like this.

2.  You can set a rat trap with a cherry, apple or other fruit or glue a walnut to the trigger device.  It's messy, but it works.  It also can be cruel because you have to go out and finish them off with a shovel in many cases by breaking their neck.

3.  Buy a feeding station that is designed to admit the squirrel.  Inside is a squirrel bait laden with poison.  This works, but it takes about 30 days and up to four months.

4.  Don't shoot them with a gun.  A ricochet bullet could kill or injure a person a mile away and you will be to blame, in prison and sued for damages.  It is not worth it. -

5.  Use the Rat Zapper device.  For more advice click here.


You need to purchase a larger size trap/cage than what you normally use for a squirrel.  How do you get a wild rabbit to enter the cage?  You use bait, but what works with wild rabbits?  You can't use rabbit food and you can't use carrots as wild rabbits do not know what these items are so they will not be attracted to them (unless you live on a carrot farm).  What I find that works is peanut butter, black oil sunflower seeds or both.  They love these two items.  Make sure you get a large cage twice the size of the rabbit is tall.  If they still will not enter the cage try covering it with a cloth that does not flap in the breeze.  They will enter a dark tunnel.  Once you catch the rabbit, just transport it about 5 miles away and release it so it will not return. 




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