Thursday, January 27, 2011

Positive Attitude on Negative RV Rodent Problem

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
My wife and I have a 30 ft. motorhome worth over a hundred grand. We are not using it this winter and I have it stored in the yard in a canvas portable garage. I have a problem with rodents moving in and spending the winter exploring and chewing wire coatings. I want to bait heavily with Decon but my wife is totally against it. She has put mint tea leaves around and some questionable high frequency sound machine that is supposed to drive them away. She feels that the mice will be eaten by our resident raptors and the poison will be transmitted to them. I still find signs of mice and want to bait for them. This has caused several heated arguments. Can you bring some common sense to this issue before I need a full time electrician to rewire my rig.
--Positively Negative in New Hampshire

Dear + -
I think I can make you both happy campers. This is a common problem and can become expensive and frustrating very quickly next time you go to use your rig and find a mouse nest in your converter or on your engine block. Rodents are attracted to the coating on the many miles of wire that travel through a rig, creating electrical shorts. If that is not enough reason, they just plain like to chew stuff. What you need to do is stop arguing and put that energy into a quick and easy recycling craft project. Get a couple 5 gallon plastic buckets, a few recycled soup cans and a length of wire. Punch a hole in the bottom center of the cans. Duct tape two together at the opened end. String the wire through the holes and twist it off on both sides of the bucket top. Fill the bucket with RV antifreeze. Spread some peanut butter on the soup cans and strategically place your new mouse trap in and/or around your rig. You can place a stick up to the bucket to make it easy for any rodents that desire a little peanut butter. They will step out on the cans which will quickly spin them off into the water/antifreeze solution and quickly drown. This is much more humane than poison, much quicker and continues to work all season. Your wife can still continue with her system. If it does work there will be no casualties. If it doesn’t you have a guaranteed backup line of defense.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please just make sure the bucket, if placed outside the rig, is NOT accessible to cats or dogs! They love the taste of antifreeze and it will poison them.

Anonymous said...

Ditto what the previous comment said. You can either use heavily salted water in areas where freezing temps would be only occasional, or modify the bucket so you can put a lid on it. Use only 2 1/2 gallons of water/antifreeze and drill small holes about 5 inches down the side of the bucket. Thread the wire through the tiny holes and the taped-together tin cans; secure by wrapping each end of the wire around a small piece of stick. Drill or cut a quarter-size hole next to one of the wire ends and put up a slanting stick so the mice can easily scamper up.
This is a SUPER trap.

Brian John said...

Better yet, get snap traps, they die almost instantly, rather than waiting to be drown, place these at several strategic locations in the RV, baited with peanut butter, and like the R.V. Shrink said, keep your wife's method in place, if it works, great! If not, backup plan. Similar to your wife, I'd heard for years dryer sheets were suppose to keep them away, however I don't think it works, considering they used those to build their nest in mine :(

Dan from North Dakota said...

What I use is similar, but I'll take a 5 gallon plaster bucket, 1/8" rod or thinner, and a 20 ounce empty pop bottle, then with bottle cap screwed on securely, drill 1hole, dead center in each end. Drill rod through pail just below where rim goes but stay as close to the size of the rod for you hole size, put rod through pail and 20 ounce bottle leaving the rod at least a couple inches long on each end past the outside diameter of pail. Then I get a stick for the mice to run up, using the rod that is hanging out as a sturdy support. Put a small screw into the wood runner to keep it from sliding off, as you said spread peanut butter but make sure it is thin as to not make one side of bottle heavier than other. It works great! Another thing is the anti freeze on bottom prevents mice from getting stinky since they would then be embalmed in anti freeze. One word of caution, is when it come time to getting rid of the dead mice, don't just throw them out on the lawn or where ever, but they will probably need to be buried so your pets or neighbors pets don't eat them as that will cause them to get at least sick or die also. The nice thing about this is the trap is always set!

Anonymous said...

Assuming we set up this trap inside our coach, wouldn't hye smell of dead mice in antifreeze be terrible an dthe end of the storage season? We live in northern Ontario and our coach is stored from NOvember until April.

Mark

Anonymous said...

We have a older camper and always had that problem. But my husband caullked what he could under the camper and any openings like for vents he placed steel wool pads. We havent had a mouse since!!

Anonymous said...

RV antifreeze is supposed to be non toxic right?
So why the concern about animals drinking it?

tartan23455 said...

What do you do for rats? Use a 55 gal drum?

Anonymous said...

Buy Dcon and be done with it.

Anonymous said...

We've had a huge problem with mice, as we live in the country, and store our RV in our barn. Rather than risk dead mouse bodies contaminating the place even further (if mouse droppings aren't bad enouth!), we've tried lots of so-called remedies. From slivers of soap, snap traps, to sticky mouse traps baited with peanutbutter--either our mice are smarter, or immune! The Only thing that has actually worked is Moth Crystals. Place a ring of them around each wheel, and any exterior part of the camper that may have ground contact, or be within "jumping distance" from the ground. Make sure there are no objects leaning against the camper which may act as entrance ramps. Monitor the crystals, as they do evaporate/melt over time.

Dan said...

check this site out - product definitely works. I know of several feed stores that swear by it.

http://www.earth-kind.com/

Anonymous said...

I have found the best way ever, safe and a surefire cure. Fabric softener sheet in drawers and cupboards seem to drive them out and leaves your RV with a fresh smell. I use Kirkland brand myself and not sure which brands work best. It works very well for me. I also use it for Wasps nests. They clear out and never come back.

Anonymous said...

OK, my (5th wh) rig is in the shop right now for extensive rodent damage (rats, mice and/or ground squirrels). Fortunately, ins is covering the repair. One thing that I've learned is DON'T FEED THE BIRDS because it draws rodents who share the seeds and move into your rig. Even with various traps, snap and glue, they can do much damage before eventually getting caught to water lines, tanks as well as wiring and insulation. Don't use DCon if you have pets because the rodents will store the poison where your pets may have access. And remember, squirrels are just rats with furry tails. Good Luck with the battle.

Anonymous said...

the rv doctor said to use rv antifreeze which is not toxic.This will not kill your pets if they eat it or the dead carcass.
cliff

Anonymous said...

DO try fabric softener sheets. They DO work!! I have used them for about 6 years and can vouch for this very inexpensive method. They hate the smell, an exterminator told me. Wishing you many rodent-free days and happy camping!