Keep Those Critters Out: A Guide to RV Pest Control

Often RVs are home to unwanted passengers in the form of pests like insects and rodents—or worse! Spiders, ants, flies, fleas, bedbugs, roaches, mice, rats, scorpions, and snakes can invade your RV through gaps in the undercarriage, broken screens, and hanging hoses. That’s why it’s important to pest-proof your RV, especially when it’s stored or not in use. 

Prevention is the way to go when it comes to RV pest control because it’s a lot easier to prevent pests than eradicate them. With a few easy steps, you can make sure only your favorite humans and companion animals make it on board your rig, and there’s no free ride for unwanted critters.

1) Ditch all food sources onboard when your RV is not in use

Yes, we know it can be a pain to empty your RV cupboards at the end of vacation season, but removing all food sources will drastically lower the chances of a mouse or rat infestation. Be sure to wipe down the insides of all RV cabinets and clean up every trace of crumbs from the counters, tables, and floor. Clean up sticky, sugary residue from all surfaces, and don’t forget the cup holders up front.

2) Keep your food sealed up tight when you’re on board 

Don’t get sloppy. Rodents have a keen sense of smell and will go to great lengths for a food heist, even if the RV is occupied. Keep all your food — especially flour, rice, cereal, crackers, and other snacks — sealed up tight in nibble-proof locking storage containers

3) Inspect RV bedding, mattresses, cushions, and pillows regularly

Our rodent frenemies are always searching for warm, dry, cozy nests where they won’t be bothered, and your RV’s soft parts are the perfect target. Be sure you thoroughly check all bedding and upholstery (as well as stored linens and towels) every so often, just to be sure you don’t have any stowaways. Plastic mattress covers are also a great deterrent.

4) Keep your RV as clean as possible

It can be tricky to keep an in-use RV clean, but it’s necessary to prevent ant, roach, and mouse intruders. Make it a point to do dishes immediately after each meal and store leftovers smartly. Give all surfaces a good wipe-down each evening, and sweep or Swiffer pesky crumbs post-meals.

5) Fill gaps and fix screens

A few creepy crawlies will always manage to get into your RV, but be sure you’re not welcoming bigger crowds by checking screens every week and fixing even tiny holes before they get bigger. When it comes to bigger, warm-blooded pests, you’ll want to be sure you fill all unnecessary openings or gaps on your rig, like around propane lines, undercarriage covers, and plumbing. A mouse can wriggle through a six-millimeter space!

6) Be smart about parking

Whenever possible, avoid parking for sustained periods in grassy fields where critters like to roam. Take special care when you go remote camping to find the least overgrown spots you can. If mosquitoes are the bane of your crew’s existence, don’t park near stagnant water or in thick forest cover. And be sure you’re not parking right on top of an anthill—those buggers can all too easily work their way up en masse into your living quarters and wreak itchy, bitey havoc.

7) Consider insect and rodent repellents

There are plenty of great pest repellents on the market. If you’re looking for basic repellents for prevention, you can go the ultrasonic route or opt for natural peppermint-oil-based solutions. If you’re spending a lot of time in your RV, you’ll want to be sure the repellents you use are non-toxic to humans and companion animals. Ant traps, baits, and insect sprays are also great to keep on hand, but keep an eye on the ingredients. Some are fatal to cats and dogs, even in tiny quantities. 

Seek Out Advice From RV Pros

Got a bad rodent or insect infestation? It’s wise to consult an exterminator pro, who will know how to squash the problem and prep your RV for future pest-free adventures.

Is there a pest repellent or hack you love? Let us know!

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