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Monday, January 1, 2001

Preventing Critter Infestation During RV Storage


Hey Doc, what can we do to keep mice out of our RV when it is in storage? Jeff C., (Iowa Park, TX)


I thought I read an article you wrote about keeping mice from entering your RV under-carriage, I thought it was something   you could spray on. Any help? Joe G., (Bellingham, WA)





Well Jeff and Joe, I had an opportunity to test a Canadian product called Mouse Free, vicariously, through one of my beta-testers in the field. Howard and Linda Payne (rv-dreams.com), agreed to try it out, under my direction, since they were going to store their RV on a farm out in the countryside of KY while traveling overseas. Field mice had been a problem at this location in the past so I thought it would be a great proving site for the test.


From all appearances, I liked what I saw and heard while speaking with the company at a few RV shows and was anxious to see if it was worth the effort for the do-it-yourselfer. Here’s what Howard and Linda had to say:

 


"We were kind of at a loss of where and how to begin. The instructions you get are very limited. The only written instructions we found were with the spray gun. The instructions said to use no more than 60 psi of pressure. We felt this was not enough pressure to get a good spray of product. At 60 psi, our spray of product was more like spitting the product on. When watching the video of a dealer applying the product, the amount coming out of the spraying was an even coating.

Application as a “Do-It-Yourselfer” was difficult because you need an air compressor and
getting access to the under carriage. Our RV sits very low to the ground so one has to lay on their back and scoot under and around to apply the product (see photo below). The instructions suggest wearing protective eye gear and we are glad we did. The spray of the product does get on you when you are applying it to the under carriage.

Other comments:
The literature states that one gallon coats up to 24’. Our 5th wheel is 39’ and we did not use
an entire gallon. We are not sure why, but it could have something to do with the amount of air pressure that the instructions suggested. It was unclear of how much to apply in a given area.

 

Cleanup was suggested as very easy. We did not find this to be the case. The product is very similar to petroleum jelly and is extremely difficult to clean the spray gun. It was suggested to use hot water and a mild soap. I’m not sure anyone wants this product being washed down into their drains or pipes. I simply gave up and put the spray gun back in the box with product still in it.

Overall comments:
Although we took other measures to prevent mice, (removed all food, and filled obvious holes with steel wool) we feel the product did work. We parked in the same spot last spring for one week and we got mice (note: we were living in the RV at the time so we had food and we did not plug up holes with steel wool). This time we were gone for a month and there were no signs of mice.

Being full-timers, we probably would not buy this product because of the expense and the infrequency of rodent infestation. However, if we stored our RV every winter and mice were a continuous problem, we would not hesitate to use it and the cost would seem more reasonable. We would prefer to have a dealer apply in that case.”

In addition, one of the containers had leaked during the shipment to KY and created a mess in the carton. I spoke with the supplier about the leaking container and they assured me this was simply a random accident and that they’ve not had problems shipping the product in the past, but I thought it warranted a mention as a full disclosure of what the Payne’s experienced. As always, your mileage may vary! I think the bottom line is that Mouse Free will indeed help keep the critters from entering the RV.


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