If you are planning to store your RV during the off-season, one of the challenges you can face is keeping pests out of the comfortable environment of your vehicle. Nothing is worse than opening your vehicle up for the camping season only to find nests of mice in the cushions and a wasp nest in the bathroom. Here are some steps you can take to help make your RV pest-proof before storing.
Empty Out The Food
Naturally, you empty out your cupboards and fridge before parking your RV, but you must check over your entire RV for food remnants. Consider:
- vacuuming the upholstery. If people were eating on the couches or beds, crumbs left behind attract the pests.
- checking down cracks and crevices. Children can drop things like dried fruit, banana slices, or bread crusts into the strangest places.
- wiping out the oven area, even if you didn't cook anything in it.
- cleaning the surfaces of cupboards that could have greasy residue or sticky jam prints.
Even small food particles attract animals, so removing as much as possible reduces your chances of battling an infestation. Spraying surfaces with bleach and deodorizer can also help to mask any lingering smells of food.
Keep It Dry
If you are winterizing your RV, this step is pretty much done for you. However, standing water is attractive to bugs. Your toilet should be drained and emptied. You should clear out things like bottled water. Also, be sure to defrost your freezer and ice-maker and dry it out before storing the RV—sometimes owners forget about these items and they melt, leaving water damage, mold, and a haven for insects.
Inspect and Protect Openings
Now it's time to check all openings to make sure they seal well and are in good repair. Window screens should be patched or replaced if they have holes. Place screens over all exterior openings that are not windows and doors—where your clothes dryer vents, fridge exhausts, and air conditioner lines run. These are all entrances for pests when they are not in use. Other areas to cover include drains in the sink, shower, and bathtub (if your RV has one). In the driving area, you can also cover AC vents.
Disconnect or remove propane tanks.
Insects are attracted to smell of propane gas, and while leaks are usually harmless for humans, they can bring insects to your RV in swarms. The best way to prevent this attraction is to remove it, if possible. Remove camping-size propane tanks from your RV storage, and if you have a generator or fridge that runs on propane, be sure that the lines are turned off, so that the gas stays on the outside of the RV.
Now that you've done your best to prevent entrance and attraction, it's time to add proactive detraction. Hang fly paper to catch flying bugs that might enter. You can set up ant traps on the counter that will poison and remove ants that come scrounging for crumbs you might have missed. If you don't mind the smell of moth balls, put these in the cupboard and pantry to deter moths and mice. You can sprinkle peppermint oil on the cushions of your RV furnishings, as mice don't like the smell, discouraging nesting.
Also, your choice of storage area matters. It's better to choose a storage facility that has a paved or gravel lot, instead of a grassy meadow. More animals live in vegetation, increasing the chances of infestation.
For more information on preventing pests during RV storage, contact a local storage company in your area, such as United Moving and Storage.