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Old 09-10-2014, 12:49 AM   #1
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mouse in the house

Two questions re: our MB '12 AS Interstate.
We have an unwanted passenger discovered earlier this summer while still at home base. Mouse. It has apparently collected some pink insulation and made a mess of a nest under the bottom drawer of the driver side cabinet. At last check after removing the nest (no little mice inside) and vacuuming as much of the area as possible I thought we were home free. However in checking area prior to Labor Day trip I found a evidence of inhabitance. More spoor in drawer ...do I drop poison pellets? BTW another unwanted ride-alongs' existence was discovered last May, during a fuel stop in Montana, when pieces of the engine hood insulation were found on engine parts. I don't think it has been riding along for the 17,000 miles we've registered on the odometer. Any advice?
Also discovered at the same time was what appears to be corrosion, not rust, covering most of the hose clamps and bolts in the engine compartment. So nuts and bolts and hose clamps are not stainless steel? MB service here told me that yes they are not stainless, because of cost. Curious.
Anyone else have such corrosion? We do live near salt water, lots of rain (Northwest) and we drove on roads that use de-icing fluid on our last trip east this April/May...Yellowstone/ Grand Teton NPs..
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:47 AM   #2
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I have found that a piece of pecan works best for bait in an original old mouse trap, not one of the new plastic pieces of junk.

WD40 works well for stopping corrosion.
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:40 AM   #3
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I would vote for traps. I think the problem with poison is that you could wind up with a decaying dead mouse- and related smell - in some inaccessible location in the coach.

We put down traps whenever we put our trailer in storage just as a precaution - not that we have ever seen evidence of any unwanted guests. We also put "Bounce" sheets in all the cupboards - supposedly they don't like the smell, but in any even we should have nice fresh smelling mice.

Brian.


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Old 09-10-2014, 08:18 AM   #4
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I agree with the traps instead of the poison to get rid of the current passengers for the reasons stated.

To try and minimize/eliminate any new mice from entering and staying in the coach, consider using something like this:

Amazon.com : 3 Pack - Earth Kind Fresh Cab Natural Botanical Rodent Repellant, Mouse Pouch : Patio, Lawn & Garden
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:34 AM   #5
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Living in the woods in Montana I've had extensive experience with the little beasts.
+3 for trapping and I'd recommend the black "Tomcat" snap traps from Lowes with a dab of peanut butter.......watch your fingers!
The under hood critter was most likely a pack rat or timber rat, very destructive and loves to inhabit engine compartments. I've seen them take up residence in one night and cause a huge mess and chew up most of the electrical. We never leave our vehicles out overnight and if we do, leave the hood open about a foot and they won't go in. They like dark closed places to set up home. I must say they have good taste in selecting your interstate for their new abode.....
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froggsafield View Post
Two questions re: our MB '12 AS Interstate.
We have an unwanted passenger discovered earlier this summer while still at home base. Mouse. Any advice?
Traps, not poison; poison leaves you with a critter that crawled somewhere inaccessible to die and decompose. Traps at least leave you with a mouse corpse that you can find and dispose of. Never had mice in my Airstream, but I did have to deal with mice in my Garden District apartment before Hurricane Katrina. The best mousetrap I have ever found is this:

The biggest advantage to this trap is that the mouse can reach the bait from only one direction, and so can't avoid the spring-loaded trigger. I've also found that chunky peanut butter works well as bait.

Quote:
Also discovered at the same time was what appears to be corrosion, not rust, covering most of the hose clamps and bolts in the engine compartment. So nuts and bolts and hose clamps are not stainless steel? MB service here told me that yes they are not stainless, because of cost. Curious.
Hate to break it to you, but rust IS corrosion is oxidation. It's all the same thing. Except that corrosion can happen to almost any metal (except 24k gold), and the term "rust" is specifically corrosion/oxidation of steel.

Stainless steel is not all created equal. 304 stainless is typical, but for saltwater exposure, 316 stainless is better, and 316L stainless is better still. Also, especially with hose clamps, it's entirely possible that the clamps are not 100% stainless. Yachtsmen have known for years that many supposedly stainless hose clamps have a stainless band, but a carbon steel adjustment screw. You have to special-order stainless clamps with stainless screws.

As for the supposedly stainless bolts, again they could be 304 stainless which is less resistant to saltwater exposure.

One reason why stainless steel is corrosion-resistant is that it contains chromium; regular carbon steel doesn't. When exposed to oxygen, the chromium binds to the oxygen before the steel does, and forms a chromium oxide layer over the exposed surface. When all of the exposed chromium has oxidized, it's called "passivated" and offers less protection to the steel portion of the mix. So, the longer the exposure lasts, the more likely for the chromium content to become passivated and the steel to begin to oxidize instead.

In other words, it's entirely possible for stainless steel to corrode/rust/oxidize, depending on the grade of stainless and how long it's been exposed to the saltwater environment.
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:03 AM   #7
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I see that folks use dryer sheets a lot. What brand and or sent seems to work?


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Old 09-10-2014, 09:23 AM   #8
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I see that folks use dryer sheets a lot. What brand and or sent seems to work?


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They all seem to work. I like the one that smell like the great outdoors. I put a sheet in any confined space that I can get to. I do this every year when I winterize, then leave the rest of the box open sitting on a counter. The trailer smells great all year long. I start with a new box every year and use the remainder of the box in the dryer. Four years now we have not seen any evidence of mice. When we go our boarder terry goes with us. Maybe her scent also helps to tell the mice that a bona-fied moussing dog stays here!!!
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:43 AM   #9
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Another vote traps and for the TomCat brand. Get the small black snap traps. About $3.50 at Lowes if I recall correctly. I use 4 of them inside the van when it's in hibernation. I place one under each of the front seats and the other two in the back. I use cheese or peanut butter for bait.
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:10 AM   #10
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No to poison.
Yes to Bounce and Bait. Got it.
We are using our Interstate year round so one would think that the four footed rodents would drop out? Two terriers ride with us but neither have sounded the alarm as I would expect them to.
Many thanks for the ideas. I had forgotten that these smaller rodents will eat/gnaw almost anything...including the grip on the husbands' hiking poles.
Thank you Protagonist re: corrosion/rust.
Now what do I do about it? Have to be careful using anything around the hose clamps right?
Is it important to put insulation around the now exposed "flojet" mechanism?

Thank you also for your starter fuse saga: ours blew (15 amp) within 100 miles of taking her off lot. Tech support advised to replace w/20 amp ....no re-occurrence (so far). Cause not determined by MB service dept. as well as no damage. Learned more about towing and chips in keys with Protagonist tale.....aaargh.
Again ...thanks.
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