Jaustin

Dang Rodents

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This is a big issue for us. On our first coach we lost a nice generator to mice when they ate the insulation on the wiring in the control box.

We have a company that does pest control for us at home. Just had a talk with the guy when he was here this week. Biggest suggestion is to be sure to minimize access as much as possible. A mouse only needs a 1/4" wide opening to squeeze through. My plan is to check every corner of all the basement bays and fill every crack or space with caulking. For areas that I don't want a permanent seal I'll use what our pest guy does - a very coarse steel wool. That should work in places like the space around the generator exhaust pipe where it exits the bay. Any places that might get damp or wet I'm planning to use stainless steel wool (like they make pot scrubbers out of). Check around anywhere that wires, cables, plumbing, or other bits and pieces enter the coach and pierce the outer shell. It's surprising how many places like this there are in a coach. I'm going to make a list of any places I close up that will need to be re-opened in spring - with my memory I wouldn't be surprised if I forgot half of them otherwise.

I'm also going to place bait stations throughout the inside of the coach as well as in the bays. If any mice make their way inside, I want their days to be limited. I'm also planning to strategically place a few sticky traps in places where it's not possible to make a totally tight seal. On our coach the bottom of the entry door doesn't seal 100%, so I will place a sticky just inside the door. Of course I'll have to remember it's there so I don't stick to it myself. Of course, removing anything that a mouse could possibly interpret to be food is important - this includes any cardboard or paper products that they might see as useful in building a nest.

One last thing that I learned years ago trying to keep mice out of our house is to be sure that the area around whatever you're trying to protect is clear of tall grass, piles of leaves, or other hiding places. This just makes it easier for rodents to stake out the building or vehicle they are trying to enter and gives them cover as they come and go.

These are my plans. I'd also love to hear from others what they've found works for them. Good luck.

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Rewillia   

We worry about this subject too (both pests and rodents) particularly when garaging our MH in our storage building.  Our storage building is large (60' x 100') and is located adjacent to open grassy "fields" so we perceive the risk of pest and rodents being high. To mitigate the risk, we;

1) employ a professional Pest Control company that comes monthly to re-load (8) rodent bait boxes and inspect/replace numerous sticky tack traps if needed as well as perform parameter pest control spraying. They charge us $35/month for these services which we think is reasonable.

2) ensure we never leave food waste/trash in our storage building, not even a empty paper coffee cup, etc. and we tend to remove all perishable and packaged foods from the MH when storing it (we do leave the canned goods). We also practice good MH-housekeeping and ensure the MH is properly vacuumed out and floors mopped with a disinfectant. 

3) also have one of those ultrasonic electronic devices that emits a high frequency tone which we place underneath the MH and leave on when the MH is stored (not convinced these gadgets actually work but we go by the "more the better" in an attempt to avoid rodent and pest intrusion). 

4)  on occasion have also sprayed "peppermint" oil along the inside perimeter walls as well as around the MH tires which are positioned on dense rubber parking mats as a further "distraction", (another effort we don't know if  using the oil works or not)

5) we do leave the MH connected to 50-amp shore power as well while in storage (which may/may not have an impact in terms mitigating pest/rodent)

Most importantly I suppose, we frequently look for tell-tale evidence of intrustion in the form of dead pest, rodent droppings, etc. both inside the MH and within the interior of our storage building. So far, we've seen little to no evidence which has been "good news" (particularly inside of the MH). As well,  I typically visit the storage building once/twice a week just to check on the MH or to do other unrelated things in the building.

Note: after the 1st month of storing our unit two years ago I did find evidence of a rodent in the form of "a" single dropping on the roof of the coach wherein shortly afterwards, we commenced the pest/rodent control efforts listed above....since then, we've never seen "droppings" again so hopefully, we're doing what needs to be done to avoid any problems. 

 

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manholt   

Type "mice" in Search box, upper right on this page and you will find a large file on rodents, wasp, bees, mud dabbers, etc!

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ISPJS   

We have always taken preventive measures with our RV's just like we did with our motor yachts when dry docked.   In the storage/basement/bilge areas we keep dryer sheets spread around even when we are using the RV/boat.  While in storage we will spread another box full throughout all living areas.  Also when stored not only is all the food taken off but everything is cleaned really good around the kitchen/galley area.  

The only time we have had a problem was 18 months ago when we purchased our used gas coach from a rural Illinois dealer.  We inherited a couple mice with it.  After a week I had them trapped and the dryer sheets kept them away after that.

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FIVE   

The problem with traps and bait inside is you'll have dead mice in the coach.

Try camphor balls around every part of the coach that touches the ground.

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The bait is designed for any that get inside despite all efforts to keep them out. The theory is that when they eat the bait it causes extreme thirst. Since the bait is basically a blood thinner that seems like a likely result. If things work out the way they're planned, the mice will seek out water after consuming the bait. Not finding any inside, they will go back out the way they came in and have the decency to die outside.

Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way. I've had more than a couple die inside - not very pleasant. However, I'll take a couple of stinky dead mice over a live one eating away at my wiring any day. Dead mice do little damage other than causing a stink. Live mice cost me a 12.5kw generator.

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lenp   

In addition to mice discussed above, I have had problems with squirrels, chipmunks and pack rats getting in where they are certainly not wanted.  This past spring the removed all of the insulation from the cowling on a friends RAM pickup.  Another RAM had a nest built in the air intake for the heater.   Truck the FS gave us to use had the wiring harness chewed up rendering the truck inoperative.

When camp hosting at a Forest Service campground in Eastern Oregon there was (and still is) a problem with all of them.  The pack rats and squirrels like to get into your engine compartment and build nests.  We found that leaving the hood open a few inches discouraged them - did it let the heat out or let a little moonlight in?  I don't know but since then I have seen many people place a light rope under their rigs - lighting up the underside also seems to discourage them.

Current MH has LED lights in both the front (generator) and rear (engine) that stay on all the time.  Have not had any issues.

Lenp

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I hang moth balls in an old stocking inside the engine and generator compartments, and sprinkle some Sulphur in those areas also, it's great as a snake deterrent also. lenp, I like the led light idea also. Forgot to mention that I owned a KIA suv that a squirlle ate the wiring harness under the hood, that's when I started using moth balls, it was the dealer that recommended it.

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Be very careful with Moth Balls. Here is a quote from one medical source - forgot which one.

"Mothballs are nearly 100% active ingredient, and the active ingredient may be either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Each active ingredient can cause different health effects if the exposure is high enough. Mothballs slowly turn from solids to toxic vapor. When you smell mothballs, you are inhaling the insecticide"

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Pest control companies all discourage the use of mothballs for pest control. It's apparently an off-label use and not permitted by the EPA. No one is probably going to get dinged for this, but a heads up is in order. I just looked up mothballs, and apparently the older formulation (naphthalene) is quite flammable. The newer one (paradichlorobenzene) is less flammable but more toxic.

My main approach is going to remain exclusion. Beyond that and the various traps and bait stations, it seems like frequent inspections for signs of activity is going to be the best bet so that steps can be taken before any serious damage is done.

 

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mikey   

Cedarcide.com

We put down Cedarcide every couple of months, whether we’re home or not.  Have not discovered any evidence so far either.  

Mikey

’18 Berkshire 40B

f464920

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jleamont   

Had a mouse problem once, ironically it was also the only year I covered the coach.

here is what I use;

Pour the oil and soak the cotton balls in these containers. Place them in each compartment (both sides) on top of each tire. The ones on the tires I place a stone or two for weight inside also.

the oil you can buy from Amazon or most stores.

 

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IMG_4016.JPG

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manholt   
Quote

Cotton balls.

Joe.  Can you use it for bad breath?  In the event it don't do as advertised. :lol:

Benzene is flammable and also listed as explosive, so is anything with naphthalene in it.

I was born in Europe during WWII and grew up there...the vapors from moth balls had no long term effect on me, my Mother or Father...I mean how else do you store wool ! :blink:  

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jleamont   
8 hours ago, manholt said:

Joe.  Can you use it for bad breath?  In the event it don't do as advertised. :lol:

Benzene is flammable and also listed as explosive, so is anything with naphthalene in it.

I was born in Europe during WWII and grew up there...the vapors from moth balls had no long term effect on me, my Mother or Father...I mean how else do you store wool ! :blink:  

:lol: why sure Carl!!

Mothballs had NO effect? Are you sure ?? Not the slightest bit huh??:lol::ph34r:

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On 11/10/2017 at 9:32 PM, mikey said:

Cedarcide.com

We put down Cedarcide every couple of months, whether we’re home or not.  Have not discovered any evidence so far either.  

Mikey

’18 Berkshire 40B

f464920

Cedarcide Original?

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nitehawk   

We use peppermint oil, cotton balls, and aluminum pop cans. We cut the cans in half--right angles to the long axis--then cut tabs parallel to the long axis, almost all the way to the end of the can. Make tabs about 1/2" wide. Place about six cotton balls in a can, soak with peppermint oil, fold tabs in so as to contain  the cotton balls. We do poke a hole thru the bottom of each can and push a wire thru so we can hang the cans in places where we might expect critters to travel.

Works great I guess, as we haven't seen any evidence of mice or red squirrels where we put the can deterrents.

Oh, by the way, we only use the bottom half of the soda or barley pop cans.

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jleamont   
7 hours ago, manholt said:

:( I will not say that I'm Sane, therefore I'm not Insane! :ph34r:

That's why we love you Carl!!  :lol:

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manholt   

I know, I did....along with all that asbestos's and lead paint. :rolleyes: Drank water out of a garden hose also & that thing that was supposed to make you go blind ! :o:D

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Well I have now learned why my dad lived such a short life (74 years young), he produced the active ingredient (naptha), in moth balls for forty years, while working in a coke by product plant here in Alabama. I'm now 73, so I will discontinue use of moth balls,:wub: before it's too late. Thank you so much EPA.

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