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Old 10-16-2021, 12:24 PM   #1
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Deer Out for keeping rodents away?

We are newbies and are doing our first winterizing, we have a 2017 travel trailer and not sure yet if we will have a mice problem or not since we just bought our camper on labor day. We jammed up every hole we could spot with steel wool (heard they can not chew through that), now some friends said any type of peppermint or euclayptus oil on cotton balls would work good - and to put them everywhere. We also heard dryer sheets and moth balls work too. We have some "deer out" at home - if you are not familiar with that product, it is very minty smelling concentrate that you mix up and spray on plants - it helps keep the deer away from your trees, shrubs and other plants without hurting them. It occurred to us that this might also work for rodents. Has anyone tried this? Any other tips on this that we might benefit from? Thanks much!
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:52 PM   #2
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Welcome to the group!! Steel wool works well. For mice, I keep snap traps set. At least one is the storage area, another under the kitchen sink.
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:57 PM   #3
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I keep my trailer at my friend's house by his pole barn. They had an indoor/outdoor cat. I had zero mice. The next year I had lots of mice. Not fun cleaning and disinfecting. I ask them about the cat. They said that they keep him in at night because of coyote.

I tried lots of stuff - the cat did the best.
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:15 PM   #4
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The only problem with steel wool is it will rust away. Even if it doesn't get any direct moisture it can rust. Use copper scrub pads instead as they won't rust.
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Old 10-16-2021, 02:44 PM   #5
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A tin of lightly used cat litter (urine only) inside in the front, and another tin in the back of the RV. Then some litter sprinkled outside around anything that touches the ground (refreshed every couple of weeks). Has worked for us for the past year. And no, the inside litter does not stink up the RV.
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Old 10-16-2021, 03:07 PM   #6
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I can tell you that mice will use dryer sheets for nesting material. I used them for years until.....the mice made a fool of me!

I've tried to seal up every opening on my MH, but have found that good ole mouse traps with peanut butter are still the way to go. My rig is stored in an unheated building and there are a few mice that have tried to make my rig their winter home. Since it's a MH, I go to it once a month and run the generator and check it out and see if any critters need to be removed.

From what I've read, electronic devices and other methods aren't that reliable, hence, I'll continue with the time tested mouse trap. I put them inside the coach and in a few of the basement compartments.

If at all possible, check your rig regularly when it is in storage. You want to catch the little critters before they cause a lot of damage!
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Old 10-17-2021, 08:36 AM   #7
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I do not think it is possible to close every hole that vermin can get through. I had the best luck with dishes of moth balls in a few place in the rig. Only takes a couple days to air out.
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Old 10-17-2021, 01:07 PM   #8
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Not one of the items the op mentioned work, except for plugging all the holes. Traps and denial of entry are the only long term effective means of rodent control.
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Old 10-17-2021, 03:22 PM   #9
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Steel wool is good but expanding foam either over the steel wool or to plug the hole works too. It's not just about making a chew proof barrier, it's about stopping smells from identifying an opening. No matter how clean you get your RV, it still smells like food, unless of course you've never cooked or stored food in it.

Mice is a recurring subject with the almost exact same questions asked each time. Search in the box above using the words Mice or Rodents, and just for giggles, add my name - astrnmrtom to the search. I did institutional pest control for 16 years. Mice and Rats were two of my biggest "customers." My posts are long because I try to explain the hows and whys of rodent control.
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Old 10-17-2021, 03:35 PM   #10
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I suggest paying the extra and getting stainless steel wool instead of plain steel wool, which rusts easily. Or use copper wool. But I think rats may be able to chew through copper wool, not sure.
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Old 10-17-2021, 09:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johninsd View Post
I suggest paying the extra and getting stainless steel wool instead of plain steel wool, which rusts easily. Or use copper wool. But I think rats may be able to chew through copper wool, not sure.
Yes, Rat teeth are harder than iron or copper.

What you are doing by plugging the hole with anything is changing the energy out vs energy in balance. Unless there's high pest pressure, pests will only expend so much energy looking for an opening before moving on to the next spot. A rodent doesn't need to chew through the wool if they can pull it out, so make sure it's packed in well. If you can, stuff the hole then follow up with some expanding foam that also blocks smells that may attract pests.

Keeping pressure low is what baiting does by reducing numbers competing for resources. A well sealed rig, and low pest pressure ups the odds a pest will look elsewhere for it's needs.
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Old 10-18-2021, 09:01 AM   #12
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Stainless steel wool with foam impregnated in the steel wool work for us.
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Old 10-22-2021, 04:46 PM   #13
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"I suggest paying the extra and getting stainless steel wool instead of plain steel wool, which rusts easily. Or use copper wool. But I think rats may be able to chew through copper wool, not sure."

Rats can chew through rebar!
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