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Old 11-15-2019, 07:29 PM   #1
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Mouse Free Undercarriage Treatment

Have any of you tried the Mouse Free Undercarriage Protection. My understanding is can be professionally applied to my 40' coach for $400.
It appears to be a slippery coating? Would appreciate any input or experiences?
My concern is it will attract dust and make it difficult to service the chassis.
If it will solve the rodent/mice issue it may be a fair trade off?

Thank you in advance.

Tom
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:38 PM   #2
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Seem's like overkill for a mouse problem that is not that often. We have caught mice twice in 7 years and a cheap snap trap works best.
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Old 11-19-2019, 04:41 PM   #3
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Sounds like an ineffective product.
Find the holes and fill them in.
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:37 AM   #4
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I only had mice twice in 15 yrs FT and only from a particular CG.. I am pretyt sure they come in the sewer conn. I put steel wool around the conn and pack it tight, also where elec and water come in, Snap traps work great with a dab of peanut butter and put where you can get to easy, like under the sink where you keep the trash. . I also put that rodent repellant that comes in bags on the conns. outside but keep pets away.
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Old 11-22-2019, 09:05 PM   #5
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Expecting to see a big cat photo LOL. (Leading to the more difficult question, how do you get rid of cats ...)

I vote for the hole plugging method and what I did was fill all the holes I discovered that were leading from the outside into my coach with either spray foam or in the case where I might need to run another wire, I used steel wool to slow down the ease of entry. I also filled all the holes in my under body frame with rodent bait. I find lots of it has been eaten and luckily they take that for a snack and not my wiring harness insulation.
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Old 11-26-2019, 01:21 PM   #6
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The first step in any rodent control is exclusion, but its also the most labor intensive and time consuming. Most people aren't willing to crawl around underneath their RVs looking and poking every little hidden spot but it is the most important thing to do.

This link covers the accepted standard methods used by professional pest control people. Note there's no mention of the popular "repellents" such a dryer sheets, peppermint oil, moth balls, or smelly soap. That's because research has shown they don't work.

House Mouse Management Guidelines--UC IPM

You are beginning to see peppermint oil showing up on the market as a "repellent" because there is an increasing pressure in the market to move away from "chemicals" and "poisons." People want a "natural" alternative and this group of customers is growing. The idea of a natural repellent is very attractive because it is marketed as a simple cure, just apply and it keeps pests away, its natural, and it smells good to the customer too. What's not to like about that?

Here's one thing I advise when researching anything regarding pest control. When you do your online searches, note where the information is coming from. If you don't get hits from reputable research institutions, that is telling you something. Note the link I attached is from a google search that I made regarding rodent management. I included the letters IPM which is the industry standard for environmentally sensitive research based pest control. Also ask yourself: "Does this claim sound too good to be true?" To me, Mouse Free raises the sounds-too-good-to-be-true flag.

Here's another link to rodent control. Again, note the lack of mention of repellents.

https://extension.psu.edu/is-there-a...-mice-with-ipm

If you are willing to pay someone $400 to apply an unproven product to your rig, and more to reapply it on a regular basis, spend some of that money first to have someone go over your rig with a fine tooth comb to seal up any entrance points.

Here's one final link to from an institution that handled a lot of our pesticide license classes. Again, no mention of Peppermint oil or other repellents. I can assure you, if peppermint oil was as effective as is claimed, you'd see it suggested in professional pest control circles.

https://catalog.extension.oregonstat...f/em9062_1.pdf
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Old 11-26-2019, 02:03 PM   #7
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Rodents don’t need to get inside to damage vehicles. Just last week we found wiring chewed to the tune of $1,200 under the car hood. I know people who’ve experienced worse than that with motorhome wiring.
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Old 11-26-2019, 05:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrnmrtom View Post
When you do your online searches, note where the information is coming from. If you don't get hits from reputable research institutions, that is telling you something.
Are you trying to put the Internet out of business? If you can't follow the biggest boisterous blow-hard who's always hanging out on your favorite RV discussion groups, who can you follow. Maybe the RV club president at the next rally?

Kudos for exposing the Internet and google search for what it has turned into today, a vast set of rumors, conspiracy theories, bogus ideas and people pretending to be who they are not.

I once saw a rat climbing over a fellow RVers rope lights that were surrounding the entire vehicle. So add that to the list of bogus info.
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:00 PM   #9
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Don,

Good one Don, I actually struggled on exactly how to to word that statement because it sounds way to obvious but you are correct, it did sound like I'm trying to put Google out of business. Was also afraid it might come across as a little insulting like I was inferring people don't have the smarts to know what they are reading which was not my intention. The internet has always been a wealth of information, and I use it for researching a subject all the time because I love to learn, but it was once described to me as having a dump truck full of information backing up to your computer desk and depositing a huge pile of garbage that you then had to pick through to find the valuable tidbits of real information you needed. Its even worse now because its all tied to making money off clicks. Companies pay to come up up at the top of the page. That and the more people click on a subject, the higher it rises on the list whether its good information or not. Bad information that is repeated over and over again becomes more frequently to the first couple pages which reinforces the idea that it's accurate.

The other problem is if you don't know much about a subject, its almost impossible to tell the trash from the gems. None of us are experts in everything so its even difficult to know what to look for when we search. People have little interest in science and research because lets face it, it can be boring and dull and can give one a headache. There's too much we see and hear every day and our focus is living life. Taking the time to sift through information with a critical eye takes time. Advertisers know this and often sprinkle tiny bits of facts through an ad to infer some property that doesn't exist or has no relevance. Personal testimonials are another big method of lending credibility to a product. It's human nature to believe the word or a familiar person over that of some distant dull research paper. Celebrity testimonies sell billions of dollars in health products that have no provable effect. No one is immune, and it doesn't reflect the slightest bit on a person's intelligence or sincerity. It's human nature.

Like most people, I had no idea what the research was when it comes to pest control and the use of pesticides until I had to take classes and pass tests for my license - and more so when I took my recertification classes. It put me direct contact with people who research these things for a living and it taught me about the chemistry, biology and animal/insect behavior that all comes into play when it comes to controlling pests. Was a real eye opener and was/is fascinating to me. In our classes they often talked about most of the popular home remedies or so called "natural" controls. These presentations were accompanied by slides of Mice sleeping in beds made of dryer sheets, chewing on Irish Spring bars of soap or contently washing themselves sitting right in front of an electronic pest repeller.

Unfortunately the most effective method of controlling mice and rats hasn't changed much over the years and continues to be unglamorous, difficult, and time consuming. That's the first step listed in the links I provided - exclusion. Keeping the little stinkers out. Sure they can always chew a new hole, but in survival its all about energy expended vs energy consumed. I use the analogy of the casual thief walking down the sidewalk late at night looking for something to steal from car parked along the street. The car with the laptop in plain sight and the door unlocked is much more likely a target than one with nothing attractive visible, and the doors locked. Since there's nothing to be gained breaking into an empty locked car, the thief keeps trying doors until the find one unlocked. Rodents are no different. Plugging the holes is the equivalent of locking your doors. The second thing plugging holes does is it blocks faint odors that may attract the interest of a hungry pest. Another thing most people aren't aware of is mice leave scent trails which is like painting a big yellow line for other to follow.

Monitoring for activity is the second step regardless of what you method you chose from there. It no different than checking you oil regularly even though at the last oil change it was at the full mark. Searching for activity should be a regular event. I do it whenever I visit my rig in storage, usually once a month to exercise the generator. Use a flashlight and hunt.

Ants and mice are two subjects that come up regularly on these forums and they along with hornets/bees and yellow jackets were the most frequent pests I had to deal with with for 16 years. Along with my classes I was always researching information - online of course - for and new and novel ways to deal with the problems. I worked in an institution that was one of the most tightly regulated in our state with regards to pesticide use. I was also responsible for dealing with the pests in public areas and buildings that were occupied all day by people from infants up to adults. In food preparation areas, and eating areas where 4000+ people gathered daily to have their meals. Not only that but my state has what called the "Pesticide Sensitivity Registry" and by law I had to have copy of the list and check it for registered individuals that lived in ADJOINING properties to where I was going to apply pesticides. The law required I notify those individuals before applying pesticides, even to an area that may be at the other end of a 20 acre facility. There was constant pressure from the public and employees to reduce the use of chemicals and poisons. A very understandable attitude. I'll tell you the absolute number one thing I did to reduce the need for poison bait - yeah, you guessed it - exclusion. Good 'ol fashion hole plugging.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I can't tell you how badly I (and my employer) wanted to be able to use an effective, natural, repellent or could plug in a few ultrasonic emitters to scare the little devils away. What reasonable person if asked wouldn't prefer the use of a natural oil, or common household soap or a dryer sheet most people have in their laundry rooms over a poison glue boards or even snap traps? I would want nothing more than to place something with peppermint oil to keep them out of the bags of flour, boxes of pasta, and other dry goods in the food storage warehouse or food prep areas. Shoot, just think how badly the whole pest control industry wishes there was a completely safe, natural repellent. Think of all the restaurants, food processing and storage plants not only in the US but in the world who would rather not use poisons or traps. In my institution alone home remedies were a constant subject of discussion. From extremely toxic, now banned poisons that "Grandpa used to use in the barn" to herbal plants, oils, and all kinds of stuff from people's home kitchens and cabinets. Employees would bring stuff in because they heard it would work. While ineffectiveness of these home remedies was one problem, in this case it was illegal in my state. That and on occasion I ran across stuff people had tried on their own that was MUCH more hazardous than the registered "chemical" pesticides. People often assume "natural=safe, chemical=unsafe, but they don't realize chemistry is chemistry, and nature makes some of the nastiest toxins on Earth. Again, it's that pesky, boring science.

The fact is the only thing that worked was exclusion, baiting to reduce population pressures, and trapping for both final control and for monitoring. It took me countless hours to secure some areas. I live on 5 acres surrounded my grass fields, in a rural area and I battle the little guys in my own home and have for 30 years. Even when the time came to do the same to my own motor home, it took me a couple seasons to finally find every last hole. Every time I roll around under the rig for regular greasing I check. Several times I thought I'd beat the little guys, then after not seeing activity for months, I'd find one in one of my traps, and in one case, saw the little stinker run across the floor at night while I was watching TV! Now if you don't think THAT got the challenge going!!

I still have a couple bait stations under the rig in storage, although I don't have to refill them very often because the local population has been reduced. I also keep a couple traps inside. One in the main storage compartment, and one in the the lower pantry area where I've seen the most activity in the past. I now no longer find any evidence of mice in my rig. Haven't found a mouse in my monitor traps in so long I have to keep refreshing the dried out peanut butter. The traps stay there though because I know as sure as day, when I stop monitoring, they'll be back.

An effective repellent sure would have saved me a lot of crawling around on my hands and knees with a flashlight in some rather unpleasant environments over over 20 years now, longer if I include my house.

All this hot air blathering is meant to stress how important it is to exclude as your first step. Monitor as your second. If you don't want to use poison baits to reduce population pressure, exclude and monitor. Use whatever other method you like, but again monitor. Pest populations rise and fall - its called pest pressure in the industry, and just because something appears to work at first keep one rule golden of evaluating data and drawing conclusions in mind - correlation does not equal causation. Never assume the problem is solved without proof and monitoring will give you accurate data.

Ok, phew! Anyone still awake? Hello!?? Anyone there? Has my post been a super effective reader repellent?
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Old 11-28-2019, 09:12 PM   #10
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I understand what you are saying Tom. But for us RV'ers, our normal source of information is this and other similar RV forums. Many posts, even in current threads, post conflicting information, some saying or repeating dryer sheets, peppermint oil and Irish Spring soap HAVE worked for them, others saying, or repeating that they haven't worked for them. Plugging the undersides of an RV can be very difficult especially with multiple slides and basement access points. There are places we simply can't reach, on top of the tanks for instance. And those of us storing for 3 months at a time off-site can't use traps or sticky pads or poison in the rig for fear of returning to rotting mice in hidden places. So what else are we to do? In four days I am putting mine into storage in FL for three months and returning to MI. So I am stocked up on dryer sheets, soap and steel wool for the obvious entry points. Yes I have had rodent issues the last two times I have put the rig in storage, first time chewing through wires in the engine compartment in FL, second time just nesting in drawers or bedding in MI. Our dry food goes into upper cabinets that they have not been able breach. They didn't chew through any of the plastic bags we had some of the bedding in, although I am sure they could. Haven't had a serious issue for our first 9 years, but this year they have upped their game. BTW, underhood wiring issues could have been squirrels. They chewed right down to the center conductor on my RG6 coax, but don't seem to have entered through the big firewall grommet they destroyed.
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