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Keeping Your RV Rodent and Insect Free During Storage
By Alan Wiener
Editor of Everything About RVing.com
Here are some helpful tips for keeping your RV rodent and insect free during storage
We recently received this question from one of our visitors. We plan to leave our Fifth wheel in Florida (outside) for six months. We have electricity available at the storage site. Does anyone have any hints or tips for keeping our RV free of mold and keeping your RV rodent and insect free during storage?
Below is our video about keeping your RV rodent and insect free during storage. Once you watch the video, you can dig deeper into this topic, by reading the full article
First let's address the issue of preventing mold. We have a very good article in our RV Lifestyle Articles section of our website called RV Tips for Keeping Your RV Mold and Mildew Free. I believe this should give you the proper steps you need to take to prevent mold and mildew from forming.
Now Let's talk about bugs. Here are some simple tips for preventing an invasion of insects into an RV when in storage. Some of them are common sense and some of them are unique solutions that RVers have come up with and say that they work.
Just a heads up for you; these tips will work for both summer and winter storage. but I do not guarantee that all these tips work but give it a shot. Let's start with the simplest steps first.
- Make sure you have removed all fruits and vegetables from the RV before storage. Rotting fruits and vegetables and produce attracts all kinds of creepy crawlies. This is especially important if you have kids or grandkids that have traveled with you. They may have stuck a Banana, apple or orange in a drawer or cabinet, so they can eat it later, but they forget to eat it later. I know this one from experience.
- Remove all other food stuff from your RV unless they are sealed in a can or bottle.
- Get rid of all standing water. If you have an Ice Maker in your RV’s fridge, make sure you empty the water out of it.
Pictured Above: Camco Flying Insect Screen
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- Install Insect Screens on the exterior of your RV over the openings for your RV's refrigerator, furnace and hot water heater. This will prevent both insects and rodents from entering your RV through these exterior openings. Watch the video below for more information on how to use Insect Screens to protect your RV.
- Put plugs in all the sink drains; make sure the toilet seats are down. Cover the shower or bathtub drain (yes, some RVs do have bathtubs).
- Turn off the propane at the tank, not only is this a safety tip, but it also stops little insects who love the smell of the propane odorizer from congregating in the stove and fridge area. Unbelievably there does not have to be any leak of propane, these little critters somehow are able to detect it and are drawn to it like a moth is drawn to a flame.
- Make sure all windows, exterior doors and slide outs are tightly closed.
- If you are storing the RV in an area where pets etc. cannot get to it, spread Roach powder and Ant Powder around the tires, leveler jacks etc. Remember if it rains the powder will have to be re-applied.
- If your RV is going to be plugged into electricity, make sure that the RV's power cord is not touching the ground.
- Check for any areas under your RV that may allow insects or rodents to crawl in. Do the same for the interior, around slide outs, cabinets, etc. If you find some gaps, go to the hardware store, and get a can of expanding foam sealer and seal them.
- Make sure the inside of the RV is clean, I mean really clean, even one little crumb is like a buffet to certain rodents and insects.
- If you will be plugged into electricity, you might want to get a few ultrasonic pest repellers. These devices plug into a normal electrical outlet. They produce a high frequency sound that only rodents and certain insects can hear. This sound is supposed to drive them away. Be forewarned, if you have a pet Gerbil or pet rat, this sound will also drive them insane.
- For preventing a Roach or ant infestation sprinkle diatomaceous earth and/or 20 Mule Team Borax around and between cabinets, on floors and into any crevices. Do this with caution, as you are going to be the one that must clean this up when you are ready to use the RV again.
Pictured Above: Fresh Cab Non-Toxic Botanical Mice / Rodent Repellent
- If you have rodents invading your RV and you do not want to use poison to kill them, there is an all-natural rodent repellent that a lot of RVers swear by called Fresh Cab. Look at the video below to see how Fresh Cab works
Suggestions From Other RVers
Now we are arriving at tips from other RVers for keeping your RV rodent and insect free during storage. I cannot vouch for these tips personally, but in doing the research to answer this question I discovered these tricks and tips that other RVers swear by. The following items should be put in bowls and liberally spread around the RV, they are not in any order.
2. Pieces of Irish Spring Soap
3. Fabric Softener Sheets
4. Peppermint Altoids.
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5. Cotton balls soaked with Tea Tree Oil, Cedar Oil, Lavender Oil, heck, why not try used motor oil (just in case, the used motor oil suggestion was just a joke)
6. Some RVers suggest using rags soaked in Coyote or Fox urine. Supposedly this repels some rodents and insects (it's repelling me just writing about it). This useful product is sold in sporting goods stores. If you are brave enough to go to your local sporting goods store and ask the salesperson which aisle the Coyote Urine is on, then go for it. This is one that I am not personally going to try.
I would not recommend using all the substances above at the same time. I don't even want to guess what the RV will smell like when you first open it up after being stored for six months.
I am sure that some or all these suggestions will help you keeping your RV rodent and insect free during storage.
Keeping Your RV Rodent and Insect Free During Storage
Refer to the RV Lifestyle Articles section of our website for an article called "RV Tips for Keeping Your RV Mold and Mildew Free." This should provide you with the necessary steps to prevent mold and mildew.
Remove all fruits, vegetables, and other food stuff unless sealed. Get rid of standing water, and install insect screens on the RV's exterior openings like the refrigerator, furnace, and hot water heater.
Ensure the RV's power cord isn't touching the ground, check for gaps under the RV or inside and seal them with expanding foam sealer, and clean the RV thoroughly. Also, consider using ultrasonic pest repellers and natural rodent repellents like Fresh Cab.
Some suggestions include placing mothballs, pieces of Irish Spring Soap, fabric softener sheets, peppermint Altoids, and cotton balls soaked in various essential oils around the RV. Some even recommend rags soaked in Coyote or Fox urine, which can be purchased at sporting goods stores.
No, it's not recommended to use all the substances simultaneously as the combination of smells might be overwhelming when reopening the RV after storage.
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