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Keeping Your RV Rodent & Insect Free During Storage

"Let's talk about getting rid of bugs and rodents in your RV"

By Alan Wiener 
Editor of Everything About RVing.com

We recently received this question from one of our visitors.  I am sharing the answer we gave this RVer in the hopes that it will help other RVers.

Keeping Your RV Rodent & Insect Free During Storage

QUESTION

We plan on leaving our 5th wheel in Florida (outside) for six months this summer. We have electric available at the storage site. Does anyone have any hints or tips for keeping our rv free of mold, rodents and insects while it is in storage?

ANSWER

First let's address the issue of preventing mold. We actually 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 the 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 of 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 attract and produce all kinds of creepy crawlies. This is especially important if you have kids or grand kids 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.
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  • Remove all other food stuffs 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

  • 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. Take a look at the video below for more information on how to use and Insect Screens to protect your RV.
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  • 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 bath tubs).
  • 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 propane odorizer from congregating in the stove and fridge area. Believe it or not 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 slideouts 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.
  • Since your RV is going to be plugged into electric, 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, in particular around slideouts, 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.
  • Since you will have electricity you might want to get a few ultrasonic pest repellers. These devices plug into a normal electrical outlet. They supposedly produce a high frequency sound that only rodents and certain insects can hear. This sound is suppose 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 has to 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.  Take a look at the video below to see how Fresh Cab works

Suggestions From Other RVers

Now we enter into suggestions, that I cannot vouch for 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 particular order.

1. Mothballs

2. Pieces of Irish Spring Soap

3. Fabric Softener Sheets

4. Peppermint Altoids.


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5. Cotton balls soaked with Tea Tree OilCedar OilLavender 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 great product is supposedly sold in sporting good 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 of 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 of these suggestions will help keep your RV insect-free during storage.

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