Mouse in the House

Mice pose an ongoing problem for RV owners. They destroy food and other goods, contaminate RVs and threaten your health and they can even crew wires causing problem or even starting your RV on fire. We went decades without mouse problems in our RV and then a few years ago that changed and I was forced to become educated on preventing and eliminating mice from our RV.

“Mouse in the House” shares our knowledge and experience to help you keep the little critters at bay.

Mice Pose a Serious Risk

Mice are known to not only destroy food, wiring and more but also to spread many diseases. They dedicate all over, urinate constantly and leave disease-ridden saliva on whatever they chew. They leave serious contamination wherever they go.

Mice urine, feces and saliva are known to spread several diseases including Hantavirus, Salmonella and Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCMV). Dust from dried urine spreads Hantavirus, which is lethal to humans. As they run through cabinets, merely touching packaging and products on their way through, contaminates those items with Salmonella. Even simple exposure to fresh urine, saliva, droppings, or other nesting materials where mice have been can result in you catching LCMV, and serious neurological problems such as inflammation of the meninges and the brain.

Not only do mice pose a serious health risk but they are also well known to be attracted to some of the chemicals in wire coatings. They chew on the wires enabling them to short out causing components to fail and starting fires.

Clean Up

Cleaning up the visible and invisible mess left by mice can be tedious and even dangerous if not done properly. Always put on rubber gloves when cleaning up after mice and if in a confined space, wear some form of respirator or mask to reduce the risk of breathing in the contaminants.

Throw out all contaminated food, including those that may have nearly been touched or walked on by the rodents, not just stuff they crewed on.

Spray urine, droppings and all areas where mice have been with a strong bleach solution or disinfectant. Get the area very wet and let it soak for at least 5 minutes. This includes all non-food items the mice may have come in contact with. Even the dust from their dried urine poses a serious health risk.

Lastly, use a disposable paper towel to clean up the area and all remaining traces of the mouse's urine and droppings. Do not sweep or vacuum the area as this can distribute dust from the droppings and urine.


Your first line of defence in battling these little pests is stopping them from getting into your RV. To do this you have to get to the bottom of things, as in the bottom of your RV. A mouse only requires a pencil-sized hole to crawl through so you have to find all those small openings and plug them. The best material for plugging them is Stainless Steel Wool ( Being steel, mice cannot chew through it and stainless steel won’t rust and leave ugly rust stains on your RV. A rodent-resistant expanding foam spray, injected into the steel wool, helps secure the steel wool in place and ensures that all small openings are plugged.

If a mouse gets by your first-line defence you want to eliminate all potential food sources and trap the little buggers as quickly as possible. Our RV has floor-mounted cupboards and cabinets plus other hanging down from the ceiling. As the ceiling-mounted cabinets are more difficult for mice to access, that is where we store all of our packaged foods. Canned goods and washable items are kept in our lower cabinets as they are not going to attract mice and can be decontaminated if required.

Make sure the area around your RV is clean and tidy, denying an attractive home for rodents near your RV. Then, carry on with the clean and tidy theme inside your RV to lessen rodent attraction.


Most of the mouse remedies you hear about are simply old wives' tales that dismally fail in controlling these pests. Some suggest repellants to keep the mice away while others suggest attracting them into traps (and your RV) by providing them with peanut butter and other treats. Before putting your faith in one of these “solutions” I strongly suggest checking out the Shawn Woods YouTube channel.

Shawn’s Mouse Trap Monday videos show all kinds of mouse traps and repellants being applied to real live wild mice and other rodents. Not only will this demonstrate the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of these solutions it will also give you a better understanding of mice, their preferred habitat and movement, increasing your success in repelling and trapping them.

Warning: Do not use poisons. A decomposing mouse in an inaccessible location can seriously stink up your RV for a couple of weeks. And, if a poisoned mouse gets outside and its carcass is consumed by a predator, that animal will also die.

What Works For Us

Rural RV parking locations are where the mice live and sooner or later, they will try to get into your RV. Our first encounter, in our current RV, occurred in Fort Smith in the Northwest Territory or northern Canada. Being a small and remote community limited our mouse-trapping options to what was in stock at the local hardware store.

We did not want to use any poisons as the thought of a mouse diving and decomposing inside a wall or other inaccessible location did not sound smart. We purchased several traps but, at that time, had little knowledge of how to use them effectively. Two weeks later, we got to Yellowknife, NT where we had access to both internet information resources and a broader range of traps.

From this, I learned the best places to set traps and I tried a few types out, including glue traps. Effective positioning of the traps, along their natural travel paths, and glue traps soon produced results. Our first partial success educated us on the need to secure the traps so a mouse could not drag them away. Our second night using the glue traps caught the little guy who was quickly dispatched and disposed of.

Since then, and before sealing up our RV, we have had other mice get in but the permanent placement of glue traps, along their natural travel routes, stops them before they gain access to our living space.