Keeping Mice and Other Critters Out of Your RV and Boats

Keeping Mice and Other Critters Out of Your RV and Boats

Winterizing your RV or boat includes putting a “no vacancy” sign out for all the creatures looking to make a winter getaway inside your rig. You don’t want mice and other critters in your RV or boat, ever. Remember that they go seeking shelter well before temperatures drop. Therefore, you’ll want to prevent any creatures from getting in as soon as you can.

If you didn’t winterize your RV or boat, you may suspect that rodents and ants are coming in and out (i.e. droppings everywhere). If that’s the case, chances are you have openings that can easily be sealed with Styrofoam or spray foam insulation. Most, if not all, of us do not enjoy sharing space with mice, squirrels and other critters. These animals can wreak havoc on your RV, your mattresses and pretty much anything they can gnaw through (wires, wood, etc.). They also pose serious health risks, such as Hantavirus, which can be fatal.

The following are some ways you can prevent animals, large and small, from making a home in your RV, especially before you put it in winter storage.

Get Rid of All Food Once Your Trip Is Over

Most of us get rid of any remnants of food in the fridge as soon as our vacation is over. But how many of us leave boxed and dried goods in our rigs thinking they’ll keep? Unfortunately, small critters can easily chew into these boxes and bags. It’s best to keep your entire motorhome or trailer as free of any food products as possible. Remember, these little guys are not deterred by plastic containers either. Ending up with mice and other critters in your RV simply because of food you didn’t throw away is something you definitely want to avoid.

Block Any Openings Where Mice and Other Critters Can Get In

mice and other critters in your rv

An easy way to check for openings where mice and other critters can get in is by waiting until it’s dark out. Turn on all the lights in the interior and cabinets next to the floor. Go outside and look beneath your RV to see if any of that light is coming through. Also, make sure to check your firewalls. You can also check for openings by doing this process the other way around. Light up the outside of the RV and see if there’s any light making its way into the dark interior of the coach.

Where there is light, there is an opening large enough for all sorts of creatures to make their way inside. One way to secure all sections of your RV or trailer is to stuff the opening with Styrofoam or spray foam insulation. This is easy to remove and will not do any damage to your rig.

You’ll also want to seal access holes to your water lines. Two common areas critters come in from are your power cord access and exterior storage door seals. Don’t forget stoves, furnaces and ovens. Mice also often come in through sink, toilet and drain lines! If you’re storing your RV or trailer for some time, you may want to look into plugging up drain lines.

Keep Ants From Wanting to Get In

mice and other critters in RVAnts are easier to get rid of than rodents, but they also pose another big problem for RV owners. One common way to prevent ants from marching inside is to sprinkle some borax powder or any cleansers containing bleach around the tires, the leveling blocks and steps and basically anything that touches the ground. Smearing petroleum jelly around electrical cords and hoses also prevents ants from crawling in. Don’t end up with mice and other critters in your RV, especially ants, when you could’ve easily avoided the problem with some powder and jelly.

Another effective deterrent for rodents and ants are mothballs. Critters tend to hate the smell of the stuff and will try to get away from it. If that doesn’t work to keep the mice away, there’s always the tried-and-true (albeit gruesome) mouse trap. Rat traps are usually big enough to also capture squirrels. There are lots of glue strips and poisons that can be used too. But first, make sure you’re sealing all openings as tightly as possible so you don’t have to use these less animal-friendly methods.

RV Insurance

Protecting your RV against rodents is an important step in preventing costly damage. Getting the right RV Insurance for your rig is also important in the case of an accident or theft. Our Insurance Specialists can help find the coverage that’s right for you. To get a free quote, go here.


The information in this article is obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. It should not replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms, and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

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