As the season gets colder, rodents will surely be looking for a warmer place to nest. Your camper is going to be a good spot for some of them, especially for mice. I’m sure you will never let these tiny critters wreak your camper, so here are some good tips on how to keep mice out of your camper quickly and effectively.
1. Keep Foods Away from Your Camper
Anywhere that is close to a food source is the best place for a nest. If your camper is not in use, make sure to remove all foods in its pantry. Empty your fridge and all storage for foods. Take note that mice can chew on wood and plastic container, so do not feel safe if you have grains stored in these containers.
Try not to park you camper anywhere near trees or plants that bear fruits or nuts. Since your camper is warm and well-insulated, mice will use it as a shelter while munching on produce near it. Clean your camper thoroughly so it will not look attractive to mice or other rodents.
2. Repair Any Damage or Seal the Holes Where Mice Can Enter
Prevention is always better than cure. If there is even a tiny hole on your camper’s wall, mice can get through it. A small mouse can get through a hole as small as a dime and the size of a quarter for rats. They can even gnaw on smaller holes to make big enough for their bodies to fit in.
You can use caulk and steel wool to seal any openings as mice cannot chew on these. Put a screen on vents and cover the drainage and pipelines when not in use. You can also spray some mouse repellent underneath your camper to get rid of not only mice but also other rodents such as squirrels.
3. Make a Natural Mouse Deterrent Spray
- 2 tbsp. cayenne pepper flakes
- ½ cup chopped habaneros
- 1-gallon fresh water
- Two pcs. 2-gallon buckets
- Fine strainer
- Large pot
- Protective gear (goggles, gloves and face mask)
- Spray bottles
Wear your gear. Put the habaneros and pepper flakes in a food processor and blend it until roughly chopped up. Put it in one of the gallons, set aside. Boil the fresh water using the large pot and pour it over the pepper blend.
Cover it and let it sit for 24 hours. Pour the mixture to the next gallon and separate the pepper bits using the fine strainer. Transfer the mixture into spray bottles.
Spray a small amount around the entrances and affected areas. After a day or two, clean it up with by wet sponge and reapply the concoction. Keep the mixture covered if not in use. It can last for months away from direct sunlight.
This deterrent spray will irritate the eyes and the nose of the mouse once they stumbled upon it. The mice are less likely to go to places where irritants are present and will eventually leave your camper to look for a better spot.
If jalapeno has a Scoville rating of 1,000-4,000 units and it is already too hot, imagine this deterrent spray which is a combination of habanero with 100,000-350,000 units and the cayenne pepper flakes with 30,000-50,000 units. No rodents would want to come near it.
4. Keep Your Camper Unattractive to Mice
While the scent of peppermint is pleasant and refreshing to human, mice find it offensive and cannot stand its aroma. Fill your camper with peppermint scent and mice will not dare to go in it. It’s easy; all you need is some cotton balls and peppermint oil.
All you need is to add 20-30 drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball. Get as many cotton balls as you want and scatter it inside your camper. Make sure to refresh this at least every week or the mice will be grateful for a nice nest made from cotton balls you gave them.
You can also use clove essential oil if peppermint is not available (or if you just simply love its aroma compared to peppermint). Same procedure with the peppermint oil, 20-30 drops of clove essential oil should be enough. Whole cloves can be used too. Just wrap it with an old t-shirt instead of cotton balls.
Mice also hate aluminum foil, maybe because of the sound it makes when they try to walk on it, or it is too slippery for them or the irritating goose bumps they feel when to try gnawing it. To be honest, I do not know why, but one thing is for sure, aluminum foil can really get rid of mice.
I wrapped my countertop with it one night and placed some bread and grains on it. When I checked it the next morning, the foods were untouched. You can do this if you are using your camper to make sure that these tiny critters won’t feast on your foods while you are sleeping. If they cannot access the food, the camper is not a good shelter for them.
The mice also hate the smell of a dryer sheet. Just lay it around where you saw mice drippings. Replace it at least every month or when the scent faded, or just like the cotton balls, mice will use it as a nest.
5. Let a Mouse Terminator Live in Your Camper
What hates mice so much? A cat! Choose a cat that has a high hunting skills and killer instinct. You can buy one from a pet store or visit your local animal shelter (hint: if you save a cat from an animal shelter, it will love you back and will work hard for you).
Just make sure that the cat is trained to do its thing outside your camper, or you will never like the smell of your camper with a cat in it. If the cat you got is not that aggressive when it comes to mice, it’s okay. You still gained a furry family member.
6. Use Traps
Types of Mouse Traps
If you do not want to kill an animal even if they are pestering you, a humane trap is the best choice. Once a mouse got trapped in, you can just let them go in a place away from your camper. Some humane traps feature another bait holder that when the mouse bit the bait, it will open another door, so all you need to do is put the trap away and wait until the mouse hit the trigger and leave.
Traditional mousetraps are still as effective (especially if you want to see the mouse in agony). Just make sure not to let your kids and pets play around it or you they will end up in an emergency room. Peanut butter is one of the best baits as mice love its aroma.
If you want these mice dead but don’t want to see them dead, you can use a messy-less mouse trap. Aside from there will be no blood spills around the trap, it is safer as only a tiny mouse can enter it. And you do not need to remove them inside the trap, just throw it all away.
Characteristic of Mouse
Mice invasion is rampant from October to February, looking for a warm shelter during cold season. They prefer human homes as they can nest near food sources as they need to eat 15 to 20 times a day. They are good climbers, they jump high and swim best swimmers so they can roam around your house and steal your food easily.
These mice carry as many as 200 human pathogens that cause Salmonella and Hantavirus. Their urine and stool can cause Leptospirosis which is deadly. Each mouse can produce 40-100 droppings a day! They also produce micro-droplets of urine as they roam around your home.
Their life span is quite short as they only live for five months in the wild, probably because of predators and those who are kept in laboratories as lab rats can live up to two years. However, mice reproduce really fast. A house mouse can start reproducing at two months old. It can give birth to a dozen of baby mice every three weeks!
The good thing is, a camper is not as big as a house so if there is an infestation going on, you can just follow the simple guides in this article and get rid of them without spending much money for pest control.