Sierra Nevada Airstreams -> TT Owner's Guide -> Maintaining

Recreation with vehicles in the Sierra Nevada and American Great Basin areas

Mice and pest control in your RV

Did you know that during the span of 12 months, a single pair of mice can generate over 15,000 descendants? []


Can jump from a standing position up to 12 inches from the floor; can jump from a running start up to 38 inches, can use vertical surfaces as a spring board to gain additional height, and can jump downward 8 feet to the floor. Can run up almost any vertical surface, including wood, brick, metal pipes and girders, sheet metal, wire mesh, and cables. Can easily run along suspended electric wires and ropes of most common sizes. Can squeeze through openings slightly more than 1/4 inch in diameter. Able to travel upside down, clinging to 1/4 inch screen. Mice are capable swimmers but tend not to dive below the surface. [IPM Alaska]

You see mouse droppings in your rig. You hear mysterious scurrying noises when camping. You may actually see a small mouse diving for cover. You find small holes chewed in various containers.

You've been infested! What can you do?

Rodent infestation is an ancient problem and the ingenuity of man has been applied to it for centuries. We poison them, trap them, create bulwarks to try to keep them out, sic predators on them, keep them as pets in cages, throw things at them, have nightmares about them, suffer food contamination from them, and on and on.

Hantavirus and other problems

Mice can carry disease. A particularly dangerous disease carried by deer mice is called Hantavirus and can be breathed in while cleaning up mouse droppings. Mice can also carry ticks or fleas that can convey disease to humans.

What this means is that you should treat rodent infestation as a health problem and take reasonable precautions when cleaning up any areas with mouse droppings or when handling trapped or dead animals.

Handling mice, dead or otherwise

You should never handle dead mice with bare hands. One of the most convenient methods to dispose of dead pests is to invert a ziplock back around your hand. Pick up the pest and then fold the bag around it and dispose of it promptly in the bag. This is same trick often recommended for handling pet feces.

When cleaning up a mouse infested area, we it down first with a Lysol or bleach disinfectant solution first. Use a mask to help avoid breathing feces or urine contaminated dust.

Cats and dogs need training

Some folks go down to the pet store and get a cat to take care of their mouse problem. Then they starve the cat thinking that a hungry cat will get after those mice. The problem is that cats, like any other predator, need to be taught how to identify, hunt, capture, and kill prey and they need to be healthy to do it. Unless your pet was raised in an environment where its mother could teach it how to hunt it will only see mice as a cute plaything. Unless your pet is well fed and healthy, it won't have much interest or ability in hunting.

So, if you want a good mouser, get one that was raised by a mouser and make sure it is well fed and comfortable.

Secondary poisoning

Poisons are a topic that generates a lot of emotional bias and misinformation. Some think that they are chemicals and unnatural (Oh My!). Others blame the death of a pet on eating poisoned rodents. Others fear – oh who knows what.

Most rodent poisons in common use, such as warfarin or D-Con, require constant application over a week or more to be effective and have a very low risk of causing a pet to be poisoned by eating poisoned rodents if used according to label instructions.

A good education from reputable sources combined with careful diligence should be your guide in making decisions about the use of poisons for pest control.


Bounce dryer sheets, moth balls, ultrasonic noisemakers, ..

Just about anything that makes a smell or noise or appears to make a smell or noise has been tried as an irritant to cause mice to go away. While there are those who swear by the effectiveness of their favorite repellent, there are none that really work all the time for all mice and rodents.

The only way to repel rodents is to make it very difficult for them to find their way in and then make sure that there is nothing to interest them once they do get in and then to trap them and dispose of them once they do get in.


Traps come in all sorts and sizes. There are the common spring traps designed to snap the neck of a mouse nibbling on bait. Other traps lure the mice into a cage where they can't get out. You can also make your own trap with a bucket of water and a bait trail that causes the mice to fall in and drown.

One home made trap idea is to use a 5 gallon plastic bucket half full of water. Smear peanut butter a few inches below the rim. Put a board up to the edge of the bucket. Remove the drowned mice every day or two.

Another idea was to use a galvanized wash tub half full of water with a wire strung across the top between the handles. Sting a tin can with some grease in it to attract mice on the wire. If they do get to the bait, the can will rotate and slip them into the water where they will drown.


IPM of Alaska - – very good and complete rundown on house mice and control methods.

University of California guidelines - - – a whole slew of home remedies and ideas for mice infestations

Monaco Coach tech tip - -

Grocery getters - -

Testimonials for a PC mouse repellent (seller site) - -

Better Pest Copntrol, Inc - – an electronic attempt.

Safe Home Products - -

warfarin (d-Con, Rodex) Chemical Profile 1/85 - – learn the straight scoop on this popular pest poison. – National Institutes for Health National Library of Medicine search for household rodentcide listing for links to label information for a number of products - A guide for college students

Bio-disease management at the City of Alburquerque - – New Mexico is a problem area for hantavirus.

Protecting yourself from Lyme disease - -

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