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Filed under: Comfort at Camp, Nature & Wildlife, Preparation & Readiness

MOUSE ATTACK!! (part 1)

May 18, 2010 by · 14 Comments 


Our home is in a rural setting.  We have an abundance of Oak trees and, as such, acorns.  Acorns are a favorite food for squirrels and mice – both of which we seem to have more of  than our fair share.

Of course, we also have deer, raccoons, opossums, skunks, foxes, owls, hawks, snakes and even an occasional coyote.   The last five of these critters are suppose to eat mice.  Unfortunately, I think they missed a few.

I believe it was the winter of 2006.  Our camper had been parked since late November.  All of the food had been removed from the cabinets so as to not attract any hungry invaders.  Sometime in early January I went out to check the camper just to be sure everything was OK.  Scattered across the counter tops were these little black rice sized droppings interspersed with acorn shells.  Further investigation revealed shredded rolls of toilet tissue that had been used to make these nice little cloud soft nests in the kitchen drawers and under the bathroom sink.

We had been invaded!

I spent the afternoon cleaning out the nests, vacuuming up the acorns and droppings, running the drawer contents through the home dishwasher, and disinfecting all of the drawers with a bleach solution.  I had to throw away all of the toilet tissue and a drawer full of dish towels.  There were droppings and acorns behind the pillows on the couch and in the corner of the bed.  All of the pillows and bed linen had to be run through the washer and dryer.  In case you did not notice, all of the cleaning was referenced as “I”, not “we”.  I kindly spared Nancy of the unpleasant and sometimes surprising task of cleaning out mouse nesting materials.

Our visitors were no longer cute furry little critters with big black eyes nor the cartoon dipected creatures dining on a feast of cheese!  No, these were uninvited invaders — enemies of the state trespassing on protected soil!

Once the camper was cleaned, I did a search for openings where mice could get in, sealed those I found with Great Stuff and set two mouse traps baited with peanut butter.  I felt confident my mouse problem would soon be over.

Two days later I returned to check on my traps.  Both had been tripped, but there were no mice in the traps.  Telltale droppings once again littered the kitchen counter.

This time I decided to put out some poison pellets.  I placed part of an open package on a paper plate and set it on the kitchen counter.  Another paper plate with poison pellets was placed under the bathroom sink.  I figured the little critters would eat the poison, go outside and die.

The next day when I inspected the camper all of the pellets were gone.  I was somewhat surprised since I had left such a large amount of pellets.  But, if the pellets were gone, the mice must have eaten them and would soon be out of my life.

I refilled the paper plates with more pellets.

The following day I was shocked to discover that the pellets were once again gone.  Wow, I thought, there must be more mice in here than I originally concluded.  But with the pellets gone, surely the hungry little varmints would soon be eradicated.

Just to be sure, I once more refilled the paper plates with even more pellets.

When I returned on the third day I could not believe my eyes.  All of the poison pellets were once again gone! I thought, “It would take a hundred mice to eat this many pellets.”

I began to look around.  Behind the couch I discovered a horde of pellets in the corner.   The same type of horde was found in the bedroom next to the mattress.  The kitchen drawers were full of the little green and white pellets.  The mice were taking the poison pellets and moving them to another location.

Perhaps they would eventually eat the pellets and die.  But, for now they were just interested in stashing them away (I guess they had plenty of acorns for now).

That was when I decided to really declare total war on the furry little creatures.  Traps, poison and Bounce Dryer sheets were not the solution to abating this type of invasion.

In the military, a commander will quickly tell you that if you want to win a war, you must know your enemy.  Where they sleep, what they eat, how they think, what they value and what weapons they have at their disposal.

I knew if I was going to win this war, I must approach it like a true military commander.  I must, in my own mind, become a mouse!

Coming Soon!   Part II – The Mouse War Continues!


14 Responses to “MOUSE ATTACK!! (part 1)”
  1. Merry Lea says:

    Yes, they can really be a serious problem. One year they ate the gas hoses! My husband put out Moth Crystals but all they did was make the camper smell bad when we opened up in the spring.

    I am anxious to read what you have for part two. I want to know how to stop the mice from invading next year..

  2. Peanut says:

    i like reading the blogs on how to do stuff. the one on kitchen mods by one of the ladys was great.. mice are always a problem where i live. they get into the house, cars, garage and anywhere there is a crack. poison and traps do not get them and neither does the lazy cat. please professor tell us how to get rid of these menances.

  3. I was reading your story one day and then we went camping to our trailer to open up the season. In the fall we left mouse traps and pellets in the kitchen and all the pellets were gone. But no dead mice. And guess what? When I looked into the bed, under the covers I found all those pellets with some mice poop! How funny is that?
    I guess this is what they do.

  4. Putting out poison is not always a great way to get rid of mice. What happens if the mice die within your camper? You have dead mice odors to contend with. I sell a product that is natural, no poisons to pollute our ground waters. It is called FreshCab. The main ingredient is made form needled of a spruce tree along with other natural essences. The product smells like a christmas tree.
    The product comes with 4 little pouches that you place in various places in your camper, especially where there is wiring, etc. Each pouch lasts for about 100 days. I sell quite a bit of this product in the fall and winter when the mice are looking for a warmer place to stay.

    If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at the email address above or visit my website at

  5. Ray Nolan says:

    Some of the poisons that let the target rodent go outside to die expose the fox and other rodent predators, including your neighbor’s cats and dogs, to the poison since they will scavenge on the dead mice or capture, kill and eat the sick animals with the same result. For every action there is a reaction, even in the natural world. Be mindful of the consequences of your actions.

  6. YVON ST-MARTIN says:

    the only way is to restraint the mices to enter the coach.At night place a powerful light under the vehicle.From the inside look for the light.Especially whwer there are pipes and wires. Also do not forget to look FROM THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT . Good luck from …… Yvon

  7. Matt Smith says:

    We don’t travel with pets (though we had plenty while our kids were growing up) but we often camp next to folks who do. Late one October we started up our furnace for the first time and soon smelled something like burning toast. A little investigation revealed a stash of dry dog food inside the heating chamber of the furnace, clearly the work of prudent rodents “importing” the fat of the land, stolen from one or another summer campsite neighbor!
    Another year we found the hoses from the (’94 Chevy) emissions canister chewed away, resulting in nasty gasoline smells when driving on hot days.
    For the last few years we’ve had good success with mothballs strategically applied in attractive nesting places (after carefully removing all paper, cloth etc. from the coach for the winter). In the last two seasons we’ve found none of our D-con touched, including portions placed in the storage compartments (AND on top of the air cleaner!) (I really hate that stuff, for the reasons Ray Nolan cites.)_

  8. Judy Lawless says:

    When we bought our used motor home I noticed a very strong moth ball smell and was told they had been put there for the winter to deter rodents. I was assured that they had all been removed, but I couldn’t get rid of the smell. When I went searching for the source, I not only found moth balls, but mouse nests and major damage to the furnace ducts! Now I wonder if the moth balls had been placed there before the rodents arrived, or after, in order to camouflage their stench. We have, I think, found all of the sources, cleaned up the messes and replaced the furnace ducts. However, on a warm day the smell of the moth balls still lingers. Any suggestions to get rid of that would be appreciated.

  9. gonecamp[n says:

    We had mice problems. They were eating the d-con and not finding their way out!!!……what an odor!
    Found 2 dead adults and 5 babies. So of course, we went thru the whole cleaning thing, then did some research on the internet and found that mice HATE the smell of PEPPERMINT!!!

    We found some scented bags at a hardware store made for mice repellent (like a large tea bag package) and put them in the bottom drawers and under the counters…..and IT WORKED!!! We also bought pepperment OILat a health food store (extract doesn’t keep it’s scent, and doesn’t go very far), and put drops on cotton balls and spread them around in other drawers, closets. So far, so good.

    And the best thing is the motorhome smells like a candy store!! (Not over powering tho.). Just to be
    on the safe side, we also plugged in one of those gadgets that people cant hear, but bugs and critters can — and don’t like — underneath the coach. It’s been 3 months, and no sign of them!

  10. Penny Bates says:

    We have used the Fresh Cab and it seems to have worked and is a nice pine smell. They were placed near the possible entry areas and when we got south I placed then in plastic bags until we got back to Minnesoat. The peppermint also seemed to help some but the pellets and noise didn’t do much to help last fall. Steel wool placed into as many of the openings as you can get to is a freat help also.

  11. Anna says:

    I have the invasion of mice as well in my camper…
    I must admit, the pellets are scattered about and more evidence the mice are still about.
    I have read other’s comments and will try most any thing to rid the camper of the little beasts.
    My thoughts to eliminate quickly and effectively is to be consistent at setting traps, many of them…

  12. ROSS says:

    While in rural area of Sierra Vista, Arizona this summer, I picked up a mouse hitch hiker.I thought the 80 mile over a rough road to Tuscon would encourage the little fellow to jump out. No such luck. I then went to Home Depot, bought every type of mouse poison they had. I also purchased some electronic mouse devices to discourage them. I figured that the electronic devices were a waste of money. I put one in place near where I heard the scratching at nite, fully expecting it to not work. I was pleasantly surprised. No more mouse. Dont need the poison. Now that I am back home, I have put one device by each tire. They work on 120 volts.,,Well worth the try

  13. scott says:

    I found mice poop in my camper bed today. Is it safe to sleep in tonight

  14. Tina D says:

    I too absolutely hate mice and for years i’ve tried everything out there and nothing has worked for any length of time. I protected my RV with a product called Mouse Free that is actually working for me. Its a coating that goes on the undercarriage of your trailer or motorhome that keeps mice out. The site where I found it was I used the do it youself kit but there are also RV dealers who can do it for you. The videos on the site are really good for showing how it works.

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