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Old 07-02-2013, 11:06 AM   #1
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Santee , California
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Ant and Mouse Proofing

We are picking up our new baby and after camping over the 4th will be storing her outside. What should we do to prevent infestations of ants and mice? We are planning on wheel covers but are still undecided about a cover. We picked out a shaded spot along a creek. I think some type of tar would be in order because of bird droppings etc. Any suggestions? Thank you!!

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Old 07-02-2013, 12:02 PM   #2
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Mostly you will find people saying "do not use a cover or tarp" as they scratch, no matter how well made and how carefully you put them on. Wind moves them around and you wind up with scratches. I have read from a few people that they have had no problems, but my experience is of the "no cover" variety.

As for mice, ants etc. there is just no good universal solution that I am aware of. I would use some ant insecticide around the outside if you have problems in your area. As for mice, you may not have an issue, but it is quite common and hard to pinpoint a general area for their entry.

The very best thing you can do for your new Airstream is to store it under some kind of a covered space, but I know that is not possible or practical for everyone. A roof over it keeps the sun off, the rain off, the birds off (generally) and even with open sides will give you a huge leg up in protection over anything else you can do.

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Old 07-02-2013, 12:40 PM   #3
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Two small little Ortho spring traps baited with peanut butter caught our little visitor this last trip. Cheap and functional.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:50 PM   #4
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For the mouse problemo, buy some steel wool that you clean pots and pans with and stuff them inside the frame holes (not the SOS Pads). The "curley" type steel used to clean the pans.

It seems mice and rats don't like them (It cuts them up inside).
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:32 PM   #5
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Hello fellow streamers. Pluging the holes with steel wool is not recommended as it will rust and cause other problems. If you want to plug the holes use stainless steel wool or brass wool. It will do the same job but will not rust. I always also put a few ant bait traps under the camper and as mentioned in one of the above posts a couple of spring mouse traps.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:18 AM   #6
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I don't think it's practical to prevent ants from getting into the trailer - there are just too many ways in. That's not to say I haven't considered spraying our jack post and tires with ant killer to try it, but let's face it - they're probably already in there, in the belly pan somewhere, and you'd have to keep reapplying it.

We use ant bait traps, but I think we sabotage them, too, because we spray when we see ants. The ants have to be able to get into the traps and take the bait back to the nest. I try to put one of the baits near where they're coming out of the floor or whatever, then spray the ants (away from the bait) to whatever it was that attracted them (often a crumb on the floor from our cat's food).

Spray kills immediately; the traps (and Terro and its competition) work by destroying the colony. The latter takes longer but in theory should be more effective long term...but who wants to watch ants crawling around their Airstream while we're waiting for the traps to do their thing?
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:51 AM   #7
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We were plagued by ants when we camped a single night at De Soto Caverns in Alabama. I read that if you put an Oreo cookie at the base of each stabilizer then the ants don't bother going past it. I can see that might work when camping but it's not a solution when you're in storage. Us? We moved on to Tennessee, the ants didn't seem to like it there
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:29 AM   #8
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I had a mouse visitor one night on a trip last fall. I had talked to a professional exterminator at my neighbors house a few weeks prior, he was on "mouse patrol" there.He told me that the best bait for mouse traps is Rollo candy. I thought he was being funny but he said that he is always getting calls from convenience and grocery stores for mice problems. He said most times the mice would go to the candy rack and eat Rollo's, I'm not kidding. He had always used peanut butter but thought maybe they like candy better. He did several "studies" where he would bait half the traps with candy and the other with PB. Rollo's always caught the mice. He said he has gone to homes where others failed to catch the mice and Rollo's worked. He had box traps with sticky paper int he bottom, mice check it but can't check out! Anyway, I baited a trap with a Rollo and the next morning, I had the little critter.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:40 AM   #9
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Other than branches hanging on the trailer, I find thatb there are only three of four points where they get into the trailer. The tires, the hoses and jack point. If I am in an ant favored flake I always put an insecticide around those places. An oreo cookie idea is dumb.
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Old 08-31-2013, 09:49 AM   #10
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Forty five years of storing British sports cars and kayaks through our Canadian winters has driven me to find / devise the following storage tips:

1. Do not store any metal vehicle on dirt or grass. The earth will give up its moisture, which then condenses on and in trailers. As well, the grass grows up and comes into contact with the metal, again causing moisture transfer and eventually rust. Lay down cement sidewalk blocks, painted plywood sheets, or thick plastic sheeting that will cover the entire area under the trailer.

2. Place tin foil pie plates / old plastic containers filled with charcoal briquettes throughout the interior of the trailer, and particularly in closets or enclosed spaces. The charcoal will absorb moisture from the air, and also some odours. Briquettes can be re-used for years to come.

3. Some people use mothballs to ward off pests. However, mothballs give off naphtha gas, which is not good for living creatures, including humans. Besides, do you want your trailer to smell like old aunt Effie? On-line research suggested using fox urine extract for keeping mice away! Research also suggested using extract of peppermint oil in open dishes throughout the vehicle. As the oil eventually evaporates, if you can, "top up" the oil occasionally throughout the storage period. I've used the peppermint oil in stored cars and kayaks with good results ... plus, my toys smell better! Of course removing any and all food and food crumbs, as well as the cushions where varmints like to nest, will help lots.

4. I no longer put my special car up on blocks for the winter. While blocking up keeps the tires nice and round, it also leaves your axles and suspension components "hanging" for an extended period. I found that such hanging in an extended posture changed the geometry of the suspension bits and springs, sometimes permanently. Better to rotate (turn) the wheels occasionally throughout the storage period to keep your tires round (this also ensures the wheel bearings get turned and lubricated every so often).

Keep the shiny side up!
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:17 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Last Open Road View Post
2. Place tin foil pie plates / old plastic containers filled with charcoal briquettes throughout the interior of the trailer, and particularly in closets or enclosed spaces. The charcoal will absorb moisture from the air, and also some odours. Briquettes can be re-used for years to come.
Kitty litter (clean litter only, please!) works also. Use litter boxes with a thin layer, just enough to completely cover the bottom of the pan. Change the litter when necessary.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:56 PM   #12
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Thanks for the tips!

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