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9 Best Mouse Repellents: Keep Pests Out of Your RV

9 Best Mouse Repellents: Keep Pests Out of Your RV

In this post, we’re taking a deep dive into the best mouse repellents for RV use.

We previously published a post on how to keep invasive mice out of your RV for good, and as we mentioned, there are many things we can do to help with this important task. But not every mouse problem can be solved with the same tactics. What works on one RV or in one location may not work in another.

And here’s the thing:

Mice are more than a nuisance. They present a very serious health hazard due to hantavirus. They’re also capable of doing thousands of dollars worth of damage to your RV by chewing on wires and messing up all things electrical.

So, getting rid of mice is certainly important. But using a pest repellent that deters mice from entering your home on wheels in the first place is an even better form of pest control if you can find something that works in your situation.  There are lots of ways to try tackling this creepy problem, so let’s get to it!

How Do Mouse Repellents Work?

Very simply, mouse repellents (and all rodent repellents) work in various ways by deterring mice and rats from entering a dwelling. 

Most work based on scent, though there are also ultrasonic pest repellers that can keep mice out of your home by emitting ultrasonic frequencies or impulse waves that deter rodents from coming close to the sound. 

Note that substances like mothballs and ammonia have worked for some people based on the odors that they emit, but we’re not going to be including these types of items in this post.

First, we’ve covered mothballs in a previous post entitled, “Do Mothballs Keep Mice Away?“.

And although we understand that substances like mothballs and ammonia can be effective as mouse repellents, they’re really not safe for people and pets who may be in the area, so we’re choosing to stay away from them for the purposes of this post.

Three bottles indicating poisonous substances, covered by a red X to indicate not using

Items like mothballs and ammonia may be effective in some situations, but they’re poisonous to kids & pets.

Children, dogs, and cats are at particular risk of ingesting something dangerous that’s left out to repel mice. It can be risky to use substances that have the potential to cause serious harm.

Now let’s get down to business and take a look at the best mouse repellents available to keep those nasty, disgusting, disease-carrying adorable little critters out of your RV!

The Best Mouse Repellents to Keep Rodents Out of Your RV

Before we jump into our list of the best mouse repellents, we want to acknowledge that many products work well in some situations but not in others. We’ve found that to be true with most we’ve tried. Some have worked pretty well, and some haven’t worked at all despite seeming to be effective for other RVers.

For example, many people comment that dryer sheets work wonders in keeping mice out of their RVs. Others say dryer sheets are nothing but an invitation to build a nest using expensive dryer sheets provided by the RV owner.

You see where we’re going here. Peppermint oil worked great for you and did nothing for us. Irish Spring soap worked great in Harry’s RV, but the mice in Susan’s RV eat Irish Spring soap for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

So we’re sharing the “best mouse repellents” because they’ve worked for many RVers to keep mice out of their rigs. Not because they work in every situation. We haven’t found that magic bullet yet. Let’s clarify and consider this post the best mouse repellents worth trying.

In no particular order, here they are.

Cayenne Pepper

If you have an area where mice have been getting in, and it’s a place you can’t really close off to mice completely, you can try using cayenne pepper mixed with water in a spray bottle. 

We wouldn’t suggest trying this if you have pets or young children, not because cayenne is poisonous but because it can cause a painful burning sensation. You wouldn’t want your cat or dog getting cayenne pepper spray on their paws.

In fact, if you use cayenne pepper as a mouse repellent, you’ll want to use gloves whenever you’re mixing the solution of pepper & water and when you’re spraying it. And be sure to avoid getting it in your eyes!

Some RVers who’ve sprayed cayenne pepper on the undercarriage of their RV have had success with it. And mouse mitigation experts report that cayenne has a deterrent effect against rodents, so it made our list.

McCormick Ground Cayenne Red Pepper, 14 oz
  • Starts with whole, ripe peppers
  • Dried and milled under strict quality controls

Essential Oils

Many RVers swear by essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, clove, and oregano oils as natural mouse repellents. 

We’ve personally used peppermint oil with mixed results. Essentially, it worked… until it didn’t. 

Essential oils have very strong aromas that mice supposedly don’t like. The most commonly used are peppermint and eucalyptus. However, there are mixed reviews on the effectiveness of essential oils in general.

Some RVers use peppermint oil on cotton balls placed in various areas in and around the RV. Again, many swear by its effectiveness, while others say it didn’t work at all. 

You can mix essential oils with water in a spray bottle, but don’t dilute the solution too much, as it will lose its effectiveness quickly. In fact, pest control experts say that while they’ve seen success using peppermint and eucalyptus oils, they had to be reapplied often for the desired impact.

Here are a couple of commercial sprays you can try. We suggest reading user reviews (which also offer application suggestions) to get a sense of how successful each product has been in real-life use. Again, some methods that work great for some people don’t work at all for others.

Mighty Mint Peppermint Oil Rodent Repellent Spray

56% of Amazon reviewers give this product a 5-star review, but 11% give it a 1-star review. Like most other methods, your mileage may vary!

Mighty Mint is made with an “extra-concentrated strength” pure-origin peppermint oil that’s locally sourced in the Pacific Northwest.

It can be used indoors or outdoors.

Mighty Mint 16oz Peppermint Oil Rodent Repellent Spray
  • Naturally Safe for People and Pets When Used as Directed - Smells Good Too!
  • Extra-Concentrated Strength for Long-Lasting Protection

Peppermint Repellent Natural Spray for Mice, Rats & Rodents 

This product gets very similar reviews (percentage-wise) to the peppermint spray mentioned above. 

This is a gallon container of peppermint oil spray, which is noted by the positive reviewers to work fairly well. We’ll note that it’s only 1% peppermint oil and 99% inactive ingredients, which may account for some poor reviews.

Peppermint Repellent for Mice/Mouse, Rats & Rodents. Natural Spray for Indoor & Outdoor Use. Natural Armor Rodent Shield. 128 OZ Gallon
  • POWERFUL PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL FORMULA - Long Lasting Indoor & Outdoor Protection. Use To Protect Against Rodents, Mice/Mouse & Rats
  • READY TO USE SPRAY - Easy To Use, Just Shake & Spray. No Messy Traps

Harris Rodent Repellent Spray

This one uses a combination of peppermint oil and cinnamon oil to repel rodents.

It can be sprayed under, around, and inside your RV (though be aware that it has a strong smell!) and in the engine compartment of your motorhome or tow vehicle.

It receives about the same percentage of very positive and very negative reviews as the other essential oil products we’ve mentioned.

HARRIS Peppermint Oil Mice & Rodent Repellent Spray for House and Car Engines, Humane Mouse Trap Substitute, 20oz
  • Plant Based Active Ingredients - Repels mice and rats using plant based peppermint and cinnamon essential oils that have been proven to work
  • Long Lasting - Works quickly and offers long lasting protection against rodents invading your house and car engine

Before we move on to other categories of rodent repellent, we’ll note that most essential oil repellents require regular reapplication to work their best.

Some pest control experts say that essential oils only work when applied very often, even daily! But some RVers who’ve had success with oils mention that they reapply on a weekly basis.

Ultrasonic Repellers

Ultrasonic mouse repellents offer another approach to deterring mice from entering an RV or home.

When shopping for an ultrasonic repellent device, note the amount of power it uses and keep in mind the power source for your RV, particularly during periods of long-term storage.

Mitscoots Mice Repellent Plug-in Ultrasonic Pest Repeller

This plug-in device gets very high marks from Amazon shoppers. In fact, we included it because its 86% 5-star ratings and comparatively few 1-star ratings indicate a particularly high success rate.

This repeller uses dual speakers to emit high-impact ultrasonic sounds between 25KHz-60KHz. (Apparently, mice hate that!)

It also uses 9 LED strobe lights to offer visual repellents in the dark, with the idea being that the bright strobe lights will add to the deterrent effect of the sounds.

4 adjustable modes allow you to choose the desired effect.

This type of repellent is odor-free and chemical-free, using only sound waves and lights to deter pests.

Mitscoots says this repeller covers up to 1076 square feet (that’s oddly specific, isn’t it?!) and targets mice, rats, squirrels, spiders, roaches, and more. (One reviewer noted an absolute conquering of a cockroach infestation!)

Note that these repellers need to be plugged into a power source. Input voltage (AC) is 100-240V, and working DC voltage is 9V. 

This is not a battery-operated unit. 

No products found.

RibRave Ultrasonic Mouse Repellent

96% of this device’s ratings are 4- and 5-star. So lots of people say it’s very effective, with only 1% of reviewers reporting a very negative (1-star) experience.

Like the Mitscoots unit, it has 4 manually adjustable modes.

There are 3 speakers emitting various sounds, along with 9 LED strobe lights. It causes both auditory and visual sensations that mice will hate.

RibRave says it repels mice, rats, cockroaches, bats, spiders, and squirrels. (We’ve had bats on boardtwice… and that’s no fun either!)

This is a plug-in device and is not battery-operated.

No products found.

Loraffe Battery Operated Ultrasonic Rodent Repeller 

This ultrasonic device doesn’t get the consistently good reviews of some of the others on this list, but we wanted to include it because it’s a battery-operated ultrasonic device with about 78% 4- and 5-star reviews.

We did see a number of reviews that mentioned it didn’t work well for protecting the engine bays of several hopeful vehicle owners.

That said, this is a two-pack of ultrasonic pest repellers using variable pulses that are inaudible to humans but apparently disturbing to rodents. 

The unit also has 2 LED strobe lights and runs on 3 AA batteries (not included).

It does have a low-power alarm to let you know that batteries need to be changed, though several reviewers mentioned that they didn’t need to change thems for months.

Loraffe Under Hood Rodent Repeller Battery Operated Ultrasonic Car Rat Repellent Mice Deterrent Keep Animal Away from Car with Ultrasound and LED Flashlights Rodent Defense Vehicle Protection, 2 Pack
  • Emits a combination of fluctuating ultrasound waves and dual LED strobe lights to deter rodents from entering your automobile
  • Operates on 3 “AA” alkaline batteries, lasting up to 45 days

Fresh Cab Botanical Rodent Repellent

Fresh Cab combines balsam fir oil and other fragrances with plant fibers in small pouches that can be distributed as necessary throughout the RV.

They actually smell nice enough to toss into a closet, glove compartment, or engine compartment (remove before driving).

Thousands of reviewers and many RVers swear by Fresh Cab, saying it works well and is simple to use.

Fresh Cab says that one pouch covers about 125 square feet, and that pouches should be replaced every 30 days for best results. Some users mention that they don’t change pouches for 90 days, and they continue to emit the desired strong smell.

Fresh Cab is made in the USA by EarthKind, the only company to develop a botanical rodent repellent that meets federal EPA standards for professional pest control.

Fresh Cab Rodent Repellent - Botanical Pest Control for Indoor Use - Safe for Kids & Pets When Used As Directed - Made with Plant Fibers, Balsam Fir Essential Oil & Fragrance - 4-Pack
  • NON-TOXIC - Made with balsam fir oil, this plant-based alternative freshens and protects our storage areas for up to 90 days.
  • NO-MESS, EASY TO USE - Remove plastic overwrap. For use in currently infested areas, increase use to 1 pouch per 8 sq. feet of floor space, and...

Mouse Free

One of our readers kindly left a comment on our post entitled “How to Keep Mice Out of Your RV for Good” saying that they use Mouse Free, and it works very well for them. They have a travel trailer located in the woods and sprayed the underside with Mouse Free.

We’ve gotta say, if something can successfully dissuade mice from entering a trailer parked in the woods for an extended period, that’s a pretty good indication of its effectiveness.

So, despite the fact that we probably wouldn’t use it ourselves because, as avid DIYers, we work under our RV sometimes and wouldn’t want to get gunked up with the stuff, we took a look at it anyway. 89% of Amazon reviewers had a great experience with it, so here it is on our list of best mouse repellents.

This is not an inexpensive product by any means. But the manufacturer notes that a gallon of Mouse Free will coat and protect up to a 24′ RV. (If you have a smaller rig, note that anything you don’t use won’t expire.)

Also worth noting — Mouse Free, like the others on this list, isn’t intended to eliminate mice that have already infested a location. It’s a repellent that’s designed to deter rodents from entering an area in the first place.

An air compressor is required to use as a spray applicator and isn’t included. Mouse Free is applied using air pressure between 80-100 PSI.

Mouse Free 1 Gallon RV Mouse Repelling Undercarriage Lubricant with Spray Gun
  • The Mouse Free product works very well at preventing mice from entering your RV; It is not designed to get rid of existing mice; ‘Bait and Trap’...
  • The lubrication qualities in the Mouse Free product create a thin protective coating that rodents and even insects cannot travel across

How Well Do Mouse Repellents Really Work?

Many mouse repellents work… to a degree. But honestly, no one method or product is foolproof.

In the final analysis, using mouse repellents and taking a few other important actions are your best bet for keeping mice from invading your RV.

Along with a mouse repellent that works best in your particular situation, we strongly suggest taking three important additional actions, particularly if your rig is going to be in storage.

Fill all possible openings with something mice can’t chew through.

An important step for deterring mice from getting into your RV is closing their paths to entry. That means filling holes and cracks with something mice can’t chew through, like steel wool.

Sale
Homax 10120000 Steel Wool, 12 pad, Grade #0000, Rhodes American, Final Finish
  • Steel wool super fine grade #0000 used in cleaning, polishing, buffing and refinishing
  • Uniform, high quality metal strands with gentle abrasiveness

Better yet, use copper mesh. It is more expensive, but won’t rust. That makes it a worthwhile choice for areas that may get wet.

ZHSLDQ Copper Mesh,Pure Copper Wire Mesh, Hole and Gap Filler, Sturdy and Durable, Suitable for Gardens and Houses, Size 4" x 40"(1 Roll)
  • The copper mesh is made of 100% pure copper, which is rust-proof and durable. Braided by multiple strands of copper wire, it has excellent ductility...
  • Shielding mesh is the perfect solution for plugging holes and filling gaps.The copper mesh is bendable, and the corresponding number is cut according...

Remove food from the RV

We’ve established that mice follow their noses, to this one needs no further explanation. If you’re storing your RV for a period of time, you really need to remove all sources of food from the rig. (And other items with a strong smell… deodorant, for example.)

There’s no way around this. Mice can smell your peanut butter from 87 miles away. (Okay, we made that statistic up, but it might not be that far off!)

Clean the RV well

Check out our posts on the best RV vacuums and our vacuuming tips to get your rig as clean as possible, especially prior to storing it for the winter or for any long period of time. This will help remove small crumbs of food that may remain, which can still attract mice.

All of these actions, in conjunction with a good mouse repellent, will help to keep your RV mouse-free!

Got a Mouse Problem Already?

If you’ve got a problem with mice and need to banish them from your kingdom (or just need some light entertainment), check out our video showing how we made an emergency (humane) mouse trap!

Share your experience

Many RVers (most of us?) have dealt with mice, both successfully and not-so-much. If you have a happy (or sad) story about little guests on your rig or successfully preventing or evicting them, tell us all about it in the comments below.

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Tom

Tuesday 16th of January 2024

LOL at the 87 miles! I've tried the tilt-a-lid, the mouse house and the rolling pin. I could hear the mice snickering as I set the "trap". (note: PA mice are exceptionally ingenious and sarcastic). They stop snickering when I get them in a snap trap, like Victor's. This method gets them eventually, because at some point they want a break from their insulation diet. Patience and Peanut Butter. And once a trap has caught a critter, it'useful life is over. Go with a fresh one and, yes, fresh peanut butter

Jerry

Tuesday 16th of January 2024

We've had good luck with pure peppermint oil and cotton balls...(so far)...and it smells nice. Dryer sheets do not work and leave a terrible soapy taste in our mouth and smell for months.

Chuck

Tuesday 11th of July 2023

Vote for copper mesh over steel wool. when stationed in Alaska in79 went thru aircrew winter survival course. One technique was using steel wool with tinder to start fire with issued survival knife & striker bar for sparks. Works better with rusted steel wool, oxygenated. And don't use the soap pads.

Steve Clancy

Sunday 22nd of January 2023

I'm actually looking fore something to keep mice/rats out of the engine compartment of our autos. They sit on top of the engine block where they eat and poop. So far nothing has worked. Going to try the ultrasonics next.

john fleming

Thursday 19th of January 2023

I love your improvised mouse trap and humane relocation. I could not stop laughing for 5 minutes. Was that an 'Apple' or Android mouse you were relocating ?

TheRVgeeks

Thursday 19th of January 2023

LOL! Thanks,@john fleming! The victim actor in that was an Apple mouse. We're an all Apple house, so we use glue traps for Android mice! ????????

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PLEASE NOTE: We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

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