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Mice Rat prevention


Bob Vaughn
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Sealing openings is a very good way to start but be sure to use something not easily removed by the rodents. It is pretty common for them to chew out the expanding foam. I stuff steel wool into the openings around an entry point and then use expanding foam to make an air seal. Makes it harder to chew. There are all sorts of repellants but I have found that most of them require enough to make an odor so strong that it also repels my wife. The electronic repellers don't seem to do much if anything. In storage, the best solution that I have found is to use rat and mouse baits to eliminate unwanted visitors. Once the rat has moved into the rig it is probably best to trap him. I have found the most effective bait to be peanut butter. 

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One difficulty in knowing what works to prevent any problem is that it is very difficult to demonstrate what caused a thing not to happen. Even though I may tell you what I have started doing to keep mice out of our RV and so far that has worked, we can not know if what I did kept them out, or was I just fortunate that no mice moved in? It is rather like an incident I observed when I was a Scoutmaster. We went camping in Wyoming and as our camp was set up each of the older Scouts placed a stick of firewood at each corner of his tent and drew a line on the ground between them each evening. A young scout on his first campout asked the older boys what they were doing and why? The experienced scout replied that it was a way to keep elephants from trampling his tent in the night. The young scout exclaimed, "There are no elephants around here!" to which the more experienced scout knowingly replied. "You see, it really does work." 

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My first step would be to get rid of any you may have residing with you.

There is an electric mouse/rat trap you can purchase.  I got mine at Lowes but I'm sure many other places sell them.  They take several C batteries.  What is nice about them is you don't have to handle the dead mouse or rat.  They just walk into the little cozy garage, get a little zap, and go to rat heaven.  The lights on top of the unit tell you if you have a deceased occupant or not.

I maintain lights under my RV and trailer.  Not sure if that keeps anything away or not.  I don't store any type of food in my lower storage compartments.   If you have a pet you should never store pet food or treats in lower storage either.

A strong smelling bar soap or fabric softner sheets would be my next preventive measure.  I would use one of those products and place them throughout my storage compartments.

If you still suspect or see evidence of rodents in the area then pick up a couple perforated packs of moth balls and toss them under your RV.  Chances are you won't smell them around your RV or inside but rodents won't like them and for sure snakes won't come close to your lot.

 

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Common myths about rodent deterrents.

I use  mouse and rat bait blocks that have a center hole. The main ingredient is Warfarin, ( also used for human blood thinner) which consumed in quantity causes internal bleeding and a driving thirst for water. Rodents know  where water is found and leave inside for outside.

When we got mice in our MH I put out some blocks in hard to access, dark places; under drawers, down in plumbing access holes in the floor, etc. I never found a mouse dead or alive. I did find partially-eaten bait blocks, and left them in place until there were no more missing.

For those who travel with pets (well, except mice) you can make a pet-proof bait station from 3, 1' pieces of 1.5" PVC, a tee, 1 pipe cap, 12" of 1/4-20 all-thread W/ 4 nuts and 1 large washer. Make a tee from the plumbing fitting T and he pipe and glue together. Drill a 1/4" hole in the pipe cap, insert the all-thread and lock in place with 2 nuts. Place bait blocks onto the all-thread and secure with the remaining nut and washer. Then place that cap onto the top leg of the tee- do not glue. Mice and small rats can access the poison, pets cannot.

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