Tuesday, December 6, 2022


Want to camp with alligators and an army of ants?


Should an RV park that has an insect or dangerous reptile problem provide that information when a camper places a reservation? That’s what this reader asks. The answer, it seems to me, is to do some checking before making the reservation. A critter problem may be present one week and gone the next, or, in this case, the alligators may only show up on occasion: A sign at the park could provide a warning much the same as campgrounds in the Rocky Mountains do for grizzly bears.

My advice would be to check with RVparkReviews.com before making a reservation, as well as CampgroundViews.com which features videos of a campground or RV park. They may not show alligators or armies of ants, but they can help you decide if it’s your kind of camping place.

The letter I received
Good Morning Chuck:

I am perplexed and trying to figure out how to handle this situation.

My wife and I are planning our next RV trip and while making plans and advanced reservations, ran across a state park in Alabama, near Mobile, called Meaher State Park. From Google Earth it looks like a nice place. Anyway, I left an email and was told to call to make reservations, which I did, only to find out when my email confirmation arrived that the park has a massive ant problem. On the reservation confirmation it stated this, but on the Alabama State Parks website there is NO mention of the problem, nor is there a mention of alligators, either.

I immediately called the campground and was told that my $36.74 deposit would be lost if I cancelled or simply didn’t show up. I have looked high and low to find out about why they keep your entire deposit if you choose not to stay at the park. There is nothing on their website to state this fact.

Long story short, after contacting the State of Alabama Parks department head dude, they agreed to refund my deposit.

Information like this, ants and alligators, should be posted on their website someplace, so that campers can make informed decisions. I’m sure the last thing you want is to park someplace and find you are infested with ants the next morning. — Jeff


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Joel Vinson
5 years ago

LOL????…I saw this and instantly thought of Meaher, low and behold it is????. This is our local park and it’s REALLY AWESOME. If you want a true review, read mine on Google from runnoft. I’ve never seen the lizards out on the grass or on the pads, but they are around. The ants are potentially HORRIBLE, but if you prepare, they won’t be joining you. I use Ortho home defense on EVERYTHING THAT TOUCHES THE GROUND and haven’t had a problem one. Come on down and relax!

Captn John
5 years ago

If critters are a concern don’t camp in the south. I live in a populated area, newer development. Two evenings ago killed a small copperhead in the garage. He came looking for a warm place to spend the winter. All the retention ponds are connected and empty into the ICW. Gators move on warm damp nights. The ones people feed become a problem. Wildlife just removed one that the nice people were feeding. His mate and 14 babies remain. The critters were here long before we came. Do what is required to stay safe and comfortable but critters will always be here. Those that are queasy should see the Mason Dixon Line as a wall not to cross.

Richard Davidson
5 years ago

We use peppermint oil (which can be ordered on line) put in a sprayer, we spray it in our basement area and around anything that touches the ground (including the wheels). Bugs nor mice nor rats nor snakes like it as it’s vapors burn their sensors but it doesn’t bother us and has the added benefit of making the MH smell good, plus it’s nontoxic and safe for children AND pets.

5 years ago

Just curious but how long does Borax around the camper work to repel the ants? Do I need to reapply if I’m there for more than few days? Thanks

5 years ago
Reply to  Deana

I was told, by the lady at the campground, that borax cuts their little exoskeleton causing them to dehydrate.

5 years ago
Reply to  PeteD

Diatomaceous Earth cuts up and dehydrates bugs , DE also works well in long storage grain and can be eaten by human or animal without harm .
Borax is supposed to kill a roach from what I hear , or it can be used as a repellant to bugs and moths in wool or tanned fur .
Putting either around RV is a good idea that I will have to try , if either one gets wet , it will need to be replenished . Thanks for the suggestions .

Tommy Molnar
5 years ago

We never leave the house without a HUGE supply of Amdro. Ants love it. They haul it back to the nest and the next day there’s not an ant in sight. But, you still have to endure them until they’re all dead.

5 years ago

I stayed at a military campground one time in North Carolina. When I backed in a woman from next door came running over with a large box of borax. She told me to sprinkle it around anything touching the ground to prevent ants from coming in. There were loads of ants. But that was all. Then she pointed to the hedge row behind us and said to stay away from there as there was a nest of copperheads in there. Ok, now I am beginning to think she is some kind of nut. Later that night I saw people moving around outside with flashlights. I went out to see what was going on. They told me not to move. The grass was full of snakes. I got my light and sure enough there were two foot long copperheads everywhere. They called a wildlife officer who came and rounded up as many as he could. This went on every night we were there. They must have caught at least a dozen snakes. Sure glad I parked next to that lady now.

Ric Trapp
5 years ago

Food for thought, if you camp in the South in the USA you will have many many types of ants, wasps, mosquitos, biting flys, and from Texas to Florida, an aligator or two in every fresh body of water. Take precautions to reduce your interactions. I own a sticks and bricks too and have lots of ants, snakes, mosquitos and yes I’ve even had an aligator in my yard. It’s just part of life. Enjoy this beautiful land! ????

5 years ago

If you’re camping out in the woods, you should expect to run into problems not normally associated with more civilized campgrounds. What about mosquitoes, deer flies, ticks, fleas, redbugs, mice, etc? We’ve camped in situations where we’ve had at least one of those pests…face it, you can’t eliminate all pests. As for the gators, read up on the area and the wildlife so you’re not unpleasantly surprised.

5 years ago

Thanks Chuck for posting my story. But, since I contacted you the park in question has posted information on their Ant problem. The Alligator issue is only there when the gators are nesting and I have NO idea when that is!

The park claims the Ants are sugar ants. But, Alabama also has Fire Ants. Ants of any kind are incredibly difficult to control and even harder to get rid of! Sprays and chemicals are only a temporary fix. I do carry ant spray in my Rig for those just in case situations.

Thanks Chuck.

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