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Old 09-25-2012, 09:34 PM   #1
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I need RODENT DAMAGE advice

My motorhome is parked at my home in a garage; Today I discovered the grove rats had been feasting on my wire insulation in my front roadside electrical bay. My question to one and all what do you use to repell the rodents.

I have bait stations out but I have 2 acres of fruit and avocado trees that attract rats; ANY AND ALL SUGGESTIONS APPRECIATED.
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:40 AM   #2
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I use a combination of moth ball hangers (plastic hanger with moth crystal hockey puck inside) and dryer sheets (bounce, etc). I hang the moth crystals in the outside compartments - including the engine compartment when in storage, and the dryer sheets in drawers and kitchen cabinets inside the camper. It works great for mice! I don't know about rats but it is worth a try. If you do this, let us know the results. Jim M 2008 Camelot 43 PDQ
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:59 AM   #3
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A nice rat snake will send them packing....

Of course, it will send some people packing as well.

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Old 09-26-2012, 06:03 AM   #4
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Mainly if he crawls in side and you find him while sitting on the couch
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:05 AM   #5
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No experience with rats, but plenty with mice. They cost me $600 in repairs a few years back and I've been on their butts ever since. Dryer sheets seemed to work initially but eventually they made nests out of them. (they get use to certain smells).

Putting moth balls in all your bays should keep them out. I'm in the process of trying this stuff too:

http://www.outsidepride.com/repellen...cat-urine.html

Related to predator urine, an old fella told me he used amonia around all his vehicle tires for years, never a mouse problem.

Peppermint is a very good rodent repellent. Planting peppermint plants around your garage would be a good idea. Peppermint oil (health food store) is also very good. A few drops on a cotton ball will keep them away from that area. A good alternative to moth balls in the bays.

In your garage, a 5 gal bucket 1/2 full of water with corn meal covering the top works really well for mice, no reason it wouldn't work with rats. Just lean a 2x4 on the top of the bucket to give them a ramp to climb up on. They jump in to get the meal and drown.

All of these methods work and i pretty much use them all depending on the situation or where I park. When keeping rodents at bay, you can never let your guard down.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
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I had good success with moth balls keeping squirels away, never tried it with rats. The only other idea I could think of would be surrounding the tires with glue boards, presuming the rats are climbing the tires.
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:25 PM   #7
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I am another believer in moth balls, I keep small Tupperware containers in all compartments filled with mothballs, I also keep a tray of mouse/rat poison in each compartment.

I have a 08 cayman and they were getting into the rear curb side electrical bin were the wires come in, so I crawled underneath and covered all the wires with 1/4" by 1/4" wire mesh and then great stuff foamed all the edges. I haven't had mice in there since.

Now I have a problem with them on the Genny and The main engine. So I keep trays of poison sitting on the genny and on top of the radiator support.

It seems to me they are worst when it first starts to get cold in the fall. I think they are looking for a winter home. During Spring, Summer and after Winter sets in there seem to be less activity
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:31 PM   #8
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I read this thread and have to laugh. Trying to remove rats or mice with mothballs or dryer sheets is crazy. It's way better never to allow them access rather then schemes to repel them once they are inside. As a home builder in rural places I am often called after an owner has tried everything to no avail.

The first and last line of defense with rodents is to prevent access. Period!!! Look around the rig and use copper shaving scrub pads to pack any hole that allows the mouse or rat entry. Once in place shoot a little expanding foam with the copper pad to hold it in place. Rodents will not chew copper.

Remember that a mouse can squeeze down to the size of a dime. They will chew almost any organic material and wood, drywall, foam, or insulation, will not stop chewing. They often attack wire flex ducts and once inside the thin film of the wire flex, they have access to the entire trailer or house through the duct work. Replace damaged duct work and never use wire flex under or inside a wall. Use flexible aluminum or steel rigid duct.

Rodents are just like a person. They want food, water, and shelter and they will take advantage of any opportunity to get what they want. The first and last line of defense is to prevent them entry. Mothballs may repel them but they still damage wires, insulation, fuel lines, etc once inside and they are vectors for disease. Feces and urine is toxic even after dried. Rodents are known to carry rabies, and they carry fleas that also are a very virulent vector for disease.

Go over your rig with a fine tooth comb so to speak and fill in any entry no matter how small and look closely around wheels, tires, and hoses or cords that allow them a way up into the coach. Do not use expanding foam alone or without copper. They will chew right through it. Store with no food inside the rig. If food of any kind is inside they will work for hours trying to gain entry. Stored food is like a flashing neon light saying Soup Kitchen.

Once you are sure they have no entry, trap the ones inside. If you catch one you probably have 11 others.

Good luck, they are very hard to get rid of and they are very bright and very determined. You have to be more so.
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:33 PM   #9
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We've dealt with both mice and rats. We found that practically anything was effective with mice, the absolute best defense was a pair of good cats. The problem with rats is that they are so darned clever. You can kill one rat with poison, then the rest of the rats will leave the poison alone. You can drown one rat with a water pail, then the rest won't go near the water pail. The same with traps. Cats aren't very effective, because the rats will gang up on them. Rats are clever and vicious fighters. Once our German Shepherd had cornered one big rat, and our dog ended up running away from the fight. Rats will chew through wood walls to get what they want.

So, I don't know how to defeat the rats. Move the coach somewhere else?
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:01 AM   #10
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Thanks to all for your suggestions; I will start today repairing damage and sealing all openings I find
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R. Haller View Post
I read this thread and have to laugh. Trying to remove rats or mice with mothballs or dryer sheets is crazy. It's way better never to allow them access rather then schemes to repel them once they are inside. As a home builder in rural places I am often called after an owner has tried everything to no avail.

The first and last line of defense with rodents is to prevent access. Period!!! Look around the rig and use copper shaving scrub pads to pack any hole that allows the mouse or rat entry. Once in place shoot a little expanding foam with the copper pad to hold it in place. Rodents will not chew copper.

Remember that a mouse can squeeze down to the size of a dime. They will chew almost any organic material and wood, drywall, foam, or insulation, will not stop chewing. They often attack wire flex ducts and once inside the thin film of the wire flex, they have access to the entire trailer or house through the duct work. Replace damaged duct work and never use wire flex under or inside a wall. Use flexible aluminum or steel rigid duct.

Rodents are just like a person. They want food, water, and shelter and they will take advantage of any opportunity to get what they want. The first and last line of defense is to prevent them entry. Mothballs may repel them but they still damage wires, insulation, fuel lines, etc once inside and they are vectors for disease. Feces and urine is toxic even after dried. Rodents are known to carry rabies, and they carry fleas that also are a very virulent vector for disease.

Go over your rig with a fine tooth comb so to speak and fill in any entry no matter how small and look closely around wheels, tires, and hoses or cords that allow them a way up into the coach. Do not use expanding foam alone or without copper. They will chew right through it. Store with no food inside the rig. If food of any kind is inside they will work for hours trying to gain entry. Stored food is like a flashing neon light saying Soup Kitchen.

Once you are sure they have no entry, trap the ones inside. If you catch one you probably have 11 others.

Good luck, they are very hard to get rid of and they are very bright and very determined. You have to be more so.
-Paul R. Haller-
Thank you for your advice; but your comment regarding not eating copper is not true, they chewed through the insulation of a 12 volt battery cable and reduced its diameter to less than half.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R. Haller View Post
Trying to remove rats or mice with mothballs or dryer sheets is crazy. It's way better never to allow them access rather then schemes to repel them once they are inside.
I agree with this. Once they are in you need to trap or poison them.

You need to make every effort to keep them out. Spend several hours looking underneath the rig plugging every hole you can find.

After you have plugged every hole you can find and cleared out all the ones living in the camper then you can use the mothballs to help deter them.

I think part of what the mothballs due is mask the odor of any food that may attract them.

JMHO
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:54 PM   #13
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Cats aren't very effective, because the rats will gang up on them. Rats are clever and vicious fighters. Once our German Shepherd had cornered one big rat, and our dog ended up running away from the fight.
Must be the good-natured disposition of the Sheppard. A 15 - 30 pound Jack Russell will take on a 60 pound raccoon without hesitation.

Mine go psycho at the mere sight of anything that vaguely resembles a rodent.

He gets requests from the various horse barns in the area regularly and has cleaned out more big Norway (16+" and well over a pound each) rats than I could begin to count.

Look up the local Jack Russell (or Rat terrier down there) Club down there, I bet you have several folks volunteer to bring their dogs over for training.
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