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Old 01-25-2009, 09:01 AM   #1
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2007 19' Bambi
Delton , Michigan
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Talking Keep the Bugs Out!

Here's some advise and tips from a couple we meet who had full-timed in their 34' Airstream for 6 years! Ants will get into your trailer from any tiny openings they can (and will) find. Try to never park under trees with branches touching your trailer. Ants will climb onto it and all over it, looking for any access points. Tie narrow (1") strips of old terry-cloth towels, etc. around your hitch jack, stabilizer jacks and inside the wheels, around the axles. Spray (or saturate) these strips with some type of 'home defense' house foundation bug spray.
My own tip. One evening, we went to bed and a huge spider was on the wall by Donna's pillow. I went to get it and missed. It ran down the wall behind the mattress. I pulled the mattress up and watched it escape into a crack between the wall and the curved moulding that supports the under-bed plywood. The framing edge is not curved perfectly to follow the wall. There are some gaps a quarter inch wide! In my 2007 Bambi, that area goes down into the rear storage compartment, which is itself, not sealed tightly against insects. I stuffed the gaps with bronze wool (maybe not a requirement on interior applications), then covered all the rail edges with duck tape. There is also a large (1/2") gap inside the rear storage compartment and the wall to the center, which goes directly into the trailer next to the bed and not accessible from the inside. I taped this gap inside the rear compartment with duck tape. The gray water drain also enters this rear compartment from the shower. I intend to reach in and tape all around this circular opening where the pipe comes in. This should eliminate insect access from this area of the trailer. Hope this helps some folks keep the crawlies off your heads in the night....

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Old 01-25-2009, 10:06 AM   #2
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Don Boyd's Avatar
1971 27' Overlander
1970 25' Tradewind
1989 19' "B" Van Airstream 190
cromwell , Kentucky
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 45
yuk bugs

Ants have been a big problem for us in the past. We usually rent a spot at the local campground from early spring to fall at a campground 30 miles from our home on a small lake. If you were to have dropped a potato chip it would be covered by aunts just a few minutes and this was inside the camper. We tried putting down baby powder, spraying completely around the camper with a ready mix insecticide and then with a stronger mix yourself kind. It was horrible until we bought the Terro Ant Bait. This stuff works, the ant come eat it and take it back to the nest. Don

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Old 01-25-2009, 11:37 AM   #3
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2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
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Whenever we are camped on or near an obvious ant "problem" we use cookies - yes cookies. Oreos are great. Broken up and placed near the ant hill(s) and away from use areas draws them away from the trailer and also your activities. Obviously you have to keep their pantry full ....

We began this little system in 1992 during a tenting trip to Fort Wilderness when we unknowingly erected our tent on top of a huge colony - we eventually did make the discovery - after dark - when we returned to the campsite and started to get ready for bed. It was one of the more memorable moments in our marriage - my wife made it very clear that "critters" of any kind are clearly the husbands direct and sole responsibility ......

Anyway, we (I) have used this "biological control" system ever since - it saw us through the rest of our tenting days, then the pop-up years and continues to serve us well in our Airstream "era". It has never failed - most recently used this past fall at the Albuquerque Balloon Festival where we "lucked" into a spot directly on top of a bunch of hills - one row of Oreos protected 2 sites for the 3 days that we were there.

Thank God for Oreos.

Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
(Oscar Wilde)
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Old 01-25-2009, 01:52 PM   #4
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1963 24' Tradewind
San Diego , California
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When we camp at the beach we sprinkle a powder cleanser like comet on the ground around anything touching the ground to the AS, like tires, elect. cords, hose, etc. the ants do a 180. We have done it for years, it might not be eco friendly-green anymore.
however it is still being done by many at the beach.
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:21 PM   #5
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Thanks for posting - good information.
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:32 PM   #6
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1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
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Never had a problem with ants in my trailer. I did have a problem in a house with sugar ants aka piss ants. They form a line through the house looking for something sweet. They actually are called piss ants for a reson. A diabetic will have more sugar in their urine attracting the ants. They don't like to cross a line of borax.

When I used to do a lot of camping in upstate New York I found a effective method for dealing with mosquitos and black flies. They swarm in clouds so thick if you throw a punch at them you leave a hole. The clouds tend to circle around your head and follow you as you ramble about. Take a bottle of Aqua Velva and find some tenderfoot to tell what great bug repellant it makes. After they give themself a good slather casually walk by thus trasferring your cloud to them. Then you better run.

By the way Avon Skin So Soft really does work.
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:12 AM   #7
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1969 31' Sovereign
1976 Argosy 26
Fort Smith , Arkansas
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You Oreo cookies method sounds good to me. Ants are amazing creatures and feeding them Oreos sounds like the most friendly way to keep them out. Thanks for the tip which I will be using. Now, if I can just keep myself from eating the Oreos.
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Old 02-01-2009, 07:29 AM   #8
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2013 25' Flying Cloud
ARTHUR , Illinois
Join Date: Dec 2007
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While parked in N. Texas at a "campground" ( I hate "campgrounds"!) I picked up some Little Black Ants.

If you Google "Little Black Ants", you'll discover they're a tough and cunning pest to handle.

While setting up, I sprayed the usual points of entry with household, indoor/outdoor spray as I usually do, but it was raining every day and I supposed would wash off and let the ants enter. Later I found out that those products wouldn't work on these critters anyhow. Anyhow, once I discovered them inside, I tried everything I had on them to no avail. I went back to Illinois and I still had them! (in fact, I discovered that I had two colonies onboard) That's when I decided they must have a nest inside my RV. So I resorted to the internet. I found that a product called Terro would take care of them. And it did.

Just set a little bait station out with a couple drops of Terro whenever you see a 'scout' ant so that the 'scout' ant can't miss it. Don't kill the 'scout' ant! Let him discover the bait and return to the colony with the information. Then, after the colony returns to feed let them, all you need to do is make sure there's enough Terro available for them to eat and to carry back to the colony. In 24-36 hours, the colony will no longer be a problem.

Terro also makes outdoor products. I've not tried them, but from the way liquid Terro worked, I'd bet they also work well. Terro is available at most hardware stores, Lowes, Home Depot, et al.
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Old 02-01-2009, 07:47 AM   #9
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Sparks , Nevada
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Anyone have a tip for cock-a-roaches? I entered Opehlia a couple nights ago and witnessed a HUGE mother )$#(@! on the living room floor. About a month ago I found one in the sink. After my second sighting though, I am seriously grossed-out. I have been considering putting off a bug-bomb. Any problem with that??? Laura
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Old 02-01-2009, 07:59 AM   #10
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We've used dryer sheets scattered throughout with good success to date. They make the closets, cabinets and storage areas smell nice too. While not particularly eco friendly, when camped for extended periods we scatter insect granules around the trailer in a protective perimeter.
In dog years, I'm dead!
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:23 AM   #11
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Florida is famous for roaches our best way out was to put boric acid powder down (they must walk through it) in all the areas where they are hanging out...this will get rid of them after awhile...but if they infest you are going to see one or two every once in awhile...I guess they too are aware of the high quality airstreams provide and maybe they ant to 'see the world' too! lol
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:25 AM   #12
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Send a message via Yahoo to AIR-Quarius Send a message via Skype™ to AIR-Quarius a last note, keep food particles and water sources cleaned up...and I mean real good too.
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:48 PM   #13
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ants in the water tank vent

While attempting to clear a black ant infestation I found large numbers in the joint between the AC unit and the roof, amongst other places, but I also found some under the water tank filler flap. When I went to squidge them with a finger, I distinctly heard a squeak of "incoming", and the ants all dived down the air vent hole. I was using the tank water at the time, so the plastic vent plug was disconnected. What the ants had failed to realise was that I had fitted a pump bypass system to be able to fill the water tank without dragging a hose round to the intake. I set the bypass, and filled the tank to the brim and let it overflow. I then carefully half screwed the cap back on with the tank still filling. (Careful not to bulge the tank with too much pressure) The water shot out of the vent hole, together with some surprised looking ants. When they hit the ground they raised their arms in surrender, but I squished them anyway. I know I should feel ashamed. Here's a picture of the water intake, showing the air vent hole to the right.
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Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:44 AM   #14
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1988 34' Limited
1960 24' Tradewind
Mt. Pleasant , South Carolina
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Black Widow Spider

Yesterday we were getting ready to pull out of Huntington Beach State Park (coastal SC) after a few day's stay. One of the last few things to do was to pull the shore power. I opened the flap on the power pole that protects the breakers and plugs to disconnect my power line. As I put my hand on the plug for a pull I notice a LARGE black spider inside the box above my hand. She became highly agitated--moving about and such--my hand came out of there in a large hurry!! She was a black widow with the telltale orange hourglass on her underside. She didn't get me, thankfully.

I normally leave outside spiders alone because they do so much good work but had to get the ant spray and exterminate this one. Her well hidden presence in that box almost caused me some large trouble and I certainly wouldn't want the next camper in that spot to get bitten by her. I suppose these power boxes are an ideal place for some insects--warm and dry.

Just something to keep in mind when you are out and about--have a good look inside before you put your hand in there. I surely will in the future.


Bill Cantrell
AIR 24338
Easily distracted by shiny objects.
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