Saturday, December 9, 2023


An easy, cheap DIY fix for RV mouse infestation

A few weeks ago, Chuck Woodbury wrote an article about an RV he saw for sale at an RV show. If you missed it, check it out here. He couldn’t believe what he saw… This RV was practically begging for a mouse infestation!

Is your RV designed as an invitation to mouse infestation? Here’s a cheap, easy, DIY fix with dollar store placemats and velcro.

Sewer hose mouse runway

Our wet bay is designed with a mouse runway too. The large sewer hose opening inspired the little &^%%# things to crawl up the sewer hose and on in. Did they stop there? No, they gnawed through the insulation and made themselves at home under the bathroom sinks and beyond.

Tried and failed

I have tried several things to temporarily plug the hole—a toilet plunger slit and stuffed around the sewer hose, a piece of cardboard, even a series of desert rocks placed around the hose. That one was a total failure.

Mice are collapsible… right?

Urban myth: Mice are literally collapsible. I believed that for years! Actually, their collarbone doesn’t obstruct getting into small places the way our collarbone does. I have always looked for entrances about dime size, but really they can get into any opening the size of a number 2 pencil. That is about 1/4”! They test the size of a hole with their whiskers and if their head can fit through, their body can too. That is why my methods have failed so miserably.

Finally! Success with a DIY RV mouse infestation trick

I finally found a solution that is working and at least the kit is keeping the mice out of the water bay. It is a constant battle to find where else they can get in…

  • I bought several dollar store plastic placemats.

  • Not having a compass anywhere, I used various household items until I found the right size.
  • I then made a paper template the size of the sewer hose, then fit the paper template snuggly around the sewer hose.

  • Next, I cut a slit and a hole in the placemat. I checked the size just to make sure it fit.
  • After that, I cut a flap from the hole cutout and taped it to the placemat.
  • I applied a velcro closure on the placemat and flap.
  • I fit this around the hose and put a few extra desert rocks to keep it down.
  • Finally, I sprayed mouse repellent in the bay for extra security.

I HATE having mice in the motorhome! I know they LOVE popcorn, so I keep three or four pieces next to the counter on the floor. Every day that the popcorn is still there is a good day!


Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon has been a full-time RVer living “The Dream” for the last six years and an avid RVer for decades more! She works and travels across the country in a 40’ motorhome with her husband. Having been a professional food photographer for many years, she enjoys snapping photos of food, landscapes and an occasional person. They winter in Arizona and love boondocking in the desert. They also enjoy work camping in a regional park. Most of all, she loves to travel.



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John Hicks (@guest_246505)
4 months ago

It’s been done. I’ve had these several years.

Michael Gardner (@guest_246476)
4 months ago

I took an old heavy door mat, cut two 8×6 pieces, cut a round hole and slit to fit around dump hose, and put them on with slits opposite. 4 yrs, no mice.

Arvid tillmar (@guest_183158)
1 year ago

They hate Dryer Sheets. Put everywhere including engine and other compartments.

stan (@guest_180306)
1 year ago

Had mice in our 2011 RV over the winter months few years go, lucky no damage, since then I’ve scattered mothballs around the inside for the winter, no sign mice…

Kay (@guest_180218)
1 year ago

I don’t know why RV manufacturer’s can’t come up with a design innovation that would eliminate any possible entry point for rodents. It wouldn’t require rocket science.

John Sullivan (@guest_180293)
1 year ago
Reply to  Kay

I would say that if they wanted to fix the problem they would. Their way keeps RV’s getting infested and the public buying them.

Doug (@guest_180071)
1 year ago

Easier fix is to use Bounce dryer sheets spread around. Mice stay out of the motorhome.

Jeff J (@guest_180149)
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug

Didn’t work for me! The mice made a nest in a drawer with the sheets!!

Bill Shivers (@guest_180012)
1 year ago

Anytime I need to fill a void, and believe it may need to be removed at a later date, I first push a plastic bag into place, then fill that with the foam. This allows expansion of the desired type of foam, without it gluing itself to the pipes etc. that penetrate the void.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill Shivers

I think that sounds like a great idea. Thanks, Bill! 😀 –Diane

Suzanne Idol (@guest_179916)
1 year ago

I stuffed mine with steel wool and then spray foamed to fill it up and then taped over all of that with foil tape. Worked

Pamela Douglas (@guest_179499)
1 year ago

Check out TikTok video of home made mouse trap. Home depot bucket,flip top weighted with 2 screws on one side. Easy, cheap.

Jeff J (@guest_180150)
1 year ago
Reply to  Pamela Douglas

But the mice are already in the rv.

Gary (@guest_179498)
1 year ago

Seems to me you should make this out of a thin piece of sheet aluminum.

Jake (@guest_179210)
1 year ago

To those suggesting foam sealant… that won’t work on the sewer hose hole and other holes where we insert and remove things periodically (sewer hose, water hose, electric cord). We need them NOT sealed so there’s room to remove those items. Maybe the author’s placemat trick is appropriate for these scenarios. (Exception: If your RV is stationary year-round, my comment doesn’t really apply.)

And spraying some peppermint oil on both sides of the placemat and surrounding areas might be a good idea too, since that seems to work. Where I workcamp in Tahoe National Forest, we have mouse problems too. Someone in our office mixed up a huge spray bottle of peppermint oil (maybe it’s a concentrate mixed with water, I forget). Anyway, I periodically borrow that and take it to my camp host site, and mist my engine area (especially those soy-insulated wires!), and spray around the entry points (sewer hose, water hose, shore power hose), and also around the tires. No problem yet.

Larry Lee (@guest_179209)
1 year ago

Instead of steel wool, I pay a little more for stainless steel wool to avoid rust and deterioration.
Also I found a stronger foaming agent which lasts longer and the mice cannot chew through it. One is approved for firewall sealing around steel doors and the other one says specifically for rodent prevention and it cures hard as a rock.
Big box stores have it

Darrin (@guest_179502)
1 year ago
Reply to  Larry Lee

I use copper wool (dish washing supplies) to block the power cord opening when I plug in.

MrDisaster (@guest_179208)
1 year ago

The last thing to do after you have plugged the holes, determined what oil to use, you need to spray a cleaning solution (any will do) to all the areas outside (underneath your rig to kill the odor of urine left by the mice searching for the entrance. The follow-on mice smell the trail.

Bruce Perens K6BP (@guest_179207)
1 year ago

You must obsessively close every opening, and place-mats will pretty quickly be gnawed through – they are soft and mice and rats have a physical need to gnaw because their teeth never stop growing. Expanding foam that is made to taste bad to rodents should fill every gap from one side to the other, not just a thin mat. Wear clothes you don’t mind ruining, the foam doesn’t come off. And then the vent behind the refrigerator should have hardware cloth that has less than 1/4 inch openings shaped to block all access and hot-melt glued around all edges. I did this 4 years ago, and nothing has been able to come in since. The foam eventually rots and goes to powder, and then must be redone, but this should take more than 5 years.

Brian C (@guest_179189)
1 year ago

Where do you place your place mat with the hole in it and the flippy panel?? You show us what you made,…but not where you put it or how you installed it. Please advise.

BILLY Bob Thronton (@guest_179129)
1 year ago

I mentioned this before, so I’ll do it again. Buy foam sealer (black for ponds looks much nicer). Stuff steel wool around the gaps, then coat with the black foam sealer. Much faster, no measuring, and the mice dont like the steel wool dental floss. Mint oil is a waste of time. You need to inhibit the intrusion points as much as possible, mint oil, dryer sheets, are just bandaid fixes. The method i just suggested is easy and it works. The problem is knowing where to do the “stuff and foam it” procedure.

This all came to me in a dream, while sleeping on a My Pillow, in a Holiday Inn express last night.

cee (@guest_179167)
1 year ago

Dream? More like a nightmare 😱 Note to self: never sleep on a My Pillow 👹

BILLY Bob Thronton (@guest_179173)
1 year ago
Reply to  cee

Cee, cee, cee Ryder. “Ease down Ripley” Aliens……

Cee (@guest_246693)
4 months ago

Hey man, I was a Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels fan!!! Aliens…not so much

Me-Me (@guest_179220)
1 year ago
Reply to  cee

Great 😊

Ron (@guest_246512)
4 months ago
Reply to  cee


Joe Goomba (@guest_179102)
1 year ago

This will not work. Mice can chew thru this in less than a minute. Do cotton balls with mint oil.

cee (@guest_179168)
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Goomba

Cotton balls with mint oil smell nice… but do not keep the rodents out

Pat Hannon (@guest_179193)
1 year ago
Reply to  cee

I do not agree. Expensive mint oil seems to keep mice out of the drawers etc. I agree that Irish soap and softner sheets are a waste of time and money. We also use old fashioned mouse traps when the RV is sitting. They still work!

BILLY Bob Thronton (@guest_179540)
1 year ago
Reply to  cee

Cee, cee, cee Ryder, maybe if you put mint oil on your My Pillow!

Diane Haugen (@guest_179061)
1 year ago

I like this idea and will definitely try it. Last year I was disappointed to learn that Irish Spring soap does NOT work. As a matter of fact, it seemed to attract the mice as a source of food.

BILLY Bob Thronton (@guest_179130)
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Haugen

Exactly! And that dumb suggestion on dryer sheets too. That just nesting material for those little buggers.

Joe Allen (@guest_178976)
1 year ago

You will find that cotton balls with drops of peppermint oil is the answer. They don’t like that smell and your bays will smell great! Have tried it all and this seems to work the best! Just an FYI.

Pat Hannon (@guest_179195)
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Allen

I agree. And I find the dollar store mint oil has no staying power. Too weak for a long effect.

Me-Me (@guest_179221)
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Allen

I agree. I tried this and it has always worked for me

Herb & Kathy Baldwin (@guest_178931)
1 year ago

Another way is to not leave your sewer hose connected all the time. I disconnect my sewer hose every time after I dump (about once weekly) and then close the large 6″ hole with the large screw-in plate that came with the motorhome. This seals off the wet bay from any outside critters. Actually the initial reason I started doing this is because I found the ultra-violet rays from the sun in AZ prematurely deteriorate the plastic sewer hose and I really don’t like getting my shoes and pants covered in you-know-what. By disconnecting and putting the hose away (or at least in the shade under the motorhome) it lasts a LOT longer.

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