My Experience On How To Fight Rodents.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by yodeli, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    4,336
    Likes Received:
    8,061
    Location:
    Balma (next to Toulouse) France
    I could have put this on Motorhome Storage Forum, but the thing is, it might happen any other cold period before storage!

    Right, I think a few of you are aware I had a huge problem recently, both in house and motorhome.
    During more than one month I have tried all the possible things I could find on the net to fight them.

    Mine were rats, but some of the tips I will give you here work for quite a few different rodents, mainly mice and rats. I know some of you will have a smile on their face …. Fighting mice and rats … soooooo easy LOL ! Just pock them! Well …up to you! Obviously you know nothing about it! I have had a real bad time and so, have decided to take some time for those who want to be ready … just in case.


    There are 2 different stages:

    1) You are going to store your motorhome for winter or for a rather long period for whatever reason, and you don’t want any visitor while you are away!

    2) You already found out you actually have a visitor(s) and you want to have it out as quick as possible.
    By all means, the second point is much more difficult to face than the first one.


    Let’s start with the first one then!

    First of all , have a good check under your vehicle to see if you have any holes allowing any intruder to get in. 1 cm is enough for a mouse, 2 cms for a rat (adult). You might have holes under your truma heater for security. The easiest way is to nail a piece of plywood board on. Of course you won’t forget to remove it when about to use your van again.
    Try to see if there is any way on the sides of the van to get to the double floor (check if you do have a double floor by measuring or asking your dealer). Make sure there is no way to get to your fridge or your air hoses from the outside. Check the roof too! All these hoses, and wires for antennas are a way to get in.
    Then go the cabin, and with the help of a mirror, try to find if there is any mean to get in from the engine. You can as well use a thin but powerful torch, but you need to be 2!
    Lift the bonnet and explore all the area, checking the smallest ways leading to the cabin while one of you is inside and try to see the light.
    Do it the other way round too!

    Once you have checked all the ways IN, from the outside, let’s get on board!

    Remove all sorts of food which are not in proper tins or glass jars .
    All soft papers like tissues, kitchen rolls, toilet rolls, cotton, must be taken away too.
    If you going to leave your motorhome for winterising then take away the dinette seats and if you have a mattress you‘d better have it out of the way too! …. But this is up to you and as well to your physical capacities.
    Leave a toilet roll in good sight (with flour around it) to see if anything happens to it!!!!!
    If you think you are going to forget what you have removed from your van then just buy a big strong plastic box and store all your motorhome stuff in it. This way, you can’t miss what you have removed!

    Now Protect Your Motorhome!

    First of all whatever you are going to do, do it with gloves on and have a few pairs at your disposal. Make sure you have no perfume on and do it all the same day and everywhere in the motorhome.
    You must have: Fresh mint (a lot) + sage + eucalyptus (you can always pick up some in Portugal, plenty of it, and bring it back to the UK before storage…. Or buy a few Fray Bentos pies without kidney…please!, and use it to buy some eucalyptus leaves to JJ …. It’s up to you!) + Oleander. Oh and camphor too!! You can also buy all these plants oil extracts . they are very good.

    Find or buy women tights (if they are old ones, wash them first in some washing liquid smelling lavender)
    You will make a lot of bags with the tights, and put in all the ingredients I gave you the list of, except the oleander which is too big. This one will just be put in branches wherever you can find some room. Under the bonnet, all around the engine for example. In fact where you find some room for those branches.

    Home made repulsive to be sprayed, so you’ll have to buy a bottle with a spray on. No second hand one!
    You need: a coffee spoon of Cayenne pepper; a coffee spoon of Tabasco; half a coffee spoon of washing up liquid , all mixed up in 2 cups of water (I would think it’s about 2 mugs) . Spray it on wheels and all around the motorhome! Under the bonnet where they can reach the wheels arches… one of their favourite places as it is full of nooks and crannies!

    I have used on the wires a defensive spray made of pepper and cayenne pepper. It’s a bit hurting; you must have a protection on nose and be careful not to use it when it’s windy. It does stop them from chewing , but not for long so you have to do it many times and it is quite expensive! The good side is that there is no bad effect on wires.
    You will also buy pepper and hot pepper both in powder, mix them together, and put this everywhere you can’t really go with anything else and where the rodents could go. Behind the fridge, behind the boiler where it’s warm, around the fresh water tank, to name but a few places.
    They hate essence of turpentine too. So you can spread some around your motorhome. Of course be sensible with this sort of stuff…. We don’t want to set fire or do anything silly, so be safe!
    Make sure the area hasn’t got dirty dustbins/rubbish containers, which could be spotted by the rodents. If living in town, don’t park your motorhome next to a manhole. I don’t know in England but in France the rain waters go in along the kerbs, and so if it’s a way in , it’s a way out just the same.

    If you live next to a field, or in the country side, then keep the area tidy, grass cut short, and look for holes in the ground, especially if you live next to a river.


    Second point: You have found out you actually have a visitors(s)

    You will have to know which one. It can be just a dormouse… not dangerous as far as your health is concerned, still can damage a lot. All rodents need to keep their teeth short so they need to chew all the time. We have 2 here but Google doesn’t seem to make the difference so here are pictures of a dormouse (Loir) and what we call a Lérot (Google calls it a dormouse too, but it’s different). It has a black fur on the eyes making it look like a bandit!
    Knowing what they look like helps you when you will look at the prints left in flour. When the tail is naked, the print is very clear, when there is fur on it , then you should see a brush print more like.

    http://deratisation.info/rongeurs.htm

    Then you might have mice. Mice go everywhere… high and low , mattress as well as lounge seats , high cupboards, curtains… If you are really invaded then best is to kill them: poison and glue and killing traps are best. I have little cages to trap them and release them FAR AWAY!!!!! But only use them if one or 2 or 3 around. More …… KILL! They reproduce far too quickly!
    They are a bit easier to get rid off as they are not as clever as rats … mind you, you might have an Einstein mouse among them ….. It will take a little time as poison is meant to take some time to kill , so that they don’t get suspicious about this food! They must call their mates and let them eat all the poison. If you want to use glue and killing traps, get ready to get rid off them straight away so that the dead bodies don’t alarm the whole colony! ALWAYS use gloves and bags you can shut properly. Mice have very little drops . It is very easy to recognise them!
    NOW …. RATS !


    There are 3 different types of rats:


    The ones that live in sewers called sewer rats or Norway rats .
    These ones need water next to their home, they are not good climbers and stay in the lower places. Basements, cellars, seed sheds etc…. AND motorhomes double floors and hoses!
    10% of their food are proteins. Why is it important to know this? Because when you will try to find out which sort of rodents you got in your van, you will have to look for clues around.
    Empty nails shells, butterflies wings, lizards bits are the best clues along with the size and shape of the droppings to point out the Norway rat.
    Also , they will urinate and defecate on their way to the place they found in your van to spend the winter. They will do the same on the food they didn’t eat. It is their mean to say to other colony …this place is ours , don’t come! This rat’s area extends to about 100 m2. Then it might be another colony’s area.
    They usually mark their place by rubbing their body against the furniture lower corners, in order to leave a special grease. Look for these marks, they will be another clue for you to be sure what is in your place!


    Then you have the black rats also called the Roof rats and so as the name says it, these ones love attics and high places. They are good climbers, and don’t really fancy water. You should not be bothered by these ones. But ….you never know! For more info just look on the internet for habits and shape of droppings.



    And last ones are the Voles.
    They live under the ground most of the time, they destroy cultures, and live on berries mostly, roots etc…
    They could be a huge problem because they don’t really fancy the smell and taste of poison, they prefer to feed themselves outside and come back for the night where they found a good warmish place. And because of this they are very difficult to get rid off. Glue and repellents seem to be best way to get rid of them.


    In any case, you have to know that they need to get warm for the winter in a secure and peaceful place! Make a lot of noise! If you have a sound system making the walls vibrate, put it on! No rat mummy will have babies in such a noisy place! And of course don’t put the heater on.


    Now the point is, how do you know which ones you’ve got IN?

    I gave you already a few clues but you have to start with paws prints.

    Whatever you will do from now on, put gloves on !

    Use flour along all the walls and corners, and along the frontier between cabin and habitation. You must find out where they get in. If it’s from the engine…. Well, I’m afraid you’ll have a long fight. It is sooooooo difficult to shut all the ways in. Cables need space and rodents don’t need much to get in.

    Then, once you see prints, you will know what is your problem.

    Except for 2 of them : The Loir (dormouse) and the Norway rat have similar prints BUT opposite side. So the rat has small prints (5) in front and larger/longer ones behind (4), while the Loir has the bigger ones in front and the smallest are the rear ones.
    So you must find out which way they are walking to know which is which!
    Quite a difficult job. But the Loir should be on his own while rats will leave so many prints you won’t need to work this out! Many prints ; Rats, only a few SHOULD be a Loir!
    Once you know , Fight time !!!

    Put all the means of getting rid of them at the same time. Don’t try them one after the other . This is what I have done, I used things one after the other, and unfortunately once the rat knows he has a predator, then “he” will fight you back in a very clever way. It is endless, I’m telling you!!!

    So you must surprise them and surround them. So glue all along the walls (they never walk in the middle !) all the walls!!, in between , put poison to attract them, or nutella or peanut butter , the point being to get them glued. Careful they will whine a lot, and might even cut their leg to run away. You should be ready to give the killing knock. Killing traps along the habitation access from the engine. Poison in the engine. Chlore every place you found poos and pees or steam them if you can’t clean them or put mint or pepper.

    Always leave the way to the traps and glued cardboards/plastic free of any repellent. You have to make them avoid the places like wires but not the ones that lead to traps and poison. You have to make their way to where you want them to go. Don’t forget USE gloves and change them regularly.
    And then , check everyday, what’s going on.

    I really wish that none of you will ever have to face this.

    Not pleasant at all, but I guess it doesn’t happen that often. Most of the time, it gets cleared quickly.
    Another point you should know: Renault has now wires protections made with potatoe and corn base, being very attractive for mice!


    I have been very lucky that they didn’t destroy everything. Max got back from mechanic with nothing (errrr…. We’ll see this in a few days!) chewed … to be SEEN !
    And came back yesterday from habitation check. Truman and boiler and hoses put back in and checked . Fridge checked with gas and electricity and UP TO NOW nothing to be declared damaged.

    Now….. I was supposed to go away yesterday , and power steering power oil just fell on the ground! I don’t know if it’s a rat jobby. And to make it complete Max didn’t want to start. Probably battery … Will know more in a few days I guess.

    Very depressing to see my motorhome going away on a trailer… it seems to never end.

    Now let’s cross once more my fingers and hope I won’t have to change the whole power steering system, costing me another arm.

    Here is Max going away … again! BooHoo!


    I do hope this will help lots of you to prevent the problem. I have read lots about the problem on internet. I think I made the best possible summary of all the info I have collected, but of course feel free to add anything that should be good for funsters to know!

    Amicalement à tous!

    Frankie Max remorqué.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
    • Like Like x 24
  2. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    18,337
    Likes Received:
    21,675
    Location:
    Narrfoook
    Oh lordy ! You do seem to have more than your fair share of troubles Frankie :eek:

    But troubles aside, thank you for that excellent and very full write up mate (y)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. champers

    champers Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,443
    Likes Received:
    2,029
    Location:
    Wales
    Thank you Frankie for sharing this information, it is so horrible a thing to happen.. Hope Max returns soon and you keep you other arm xx
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,782
    Likes Received:
    6,034
    Location:
    Sarth London
    A cat?:giggle:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    6,470
    Likes Received:
    13,777
    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Oh Frankie, I am so sorry you have these pests.

    We have rats and mice and voles here. The people next door used feed them - well they feed the birds and the foxes but if you feed one you feed them all. They repaid the kindness by chewing through the fuel and brake pipes in their car. Luckily there was no accident.

    The people next door are animal rights people so we wait unto they go away and then put traps and poison down. There are also air pistols (!). We will never get rid of them for good but will keep the population down as much as we can and use repellants.

    Mice and rats are vermin and need to be controlled. I think foxes are also vermin but that is another story.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,798
    Likes Received:
    1,022
    Location:
    Cark, Cumbria
    Thanks for that information, very interesting.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. jenny and mitch

    jenny and mitch Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,814
    Likes Received:
    1,567
    Location:
    Bungay Suffolk
    Thanks Frankie.. SO sorry to hear that happening to such a kind and helpful funster..
    I'm sure everyone will be with me in wishing you a speedy and satisfactory solution..
    Good luck.. Amicalement. Mitch and Jenny.

    PS.. We are surrounded by fields and when they harvested this year, I looked out of the bathroom window and saw a colony of up to 30 rats feeding on the spilt corn...!!
    Managed over the next few days to shoot about 10 of them and kept poisoning until the remainder moved.. I still put poisoned corn down in several places until the winter passes..
    I even saw one once crawling along the ridge tiles of our cottage, trying to get in.. So really can understand your horrific predicament.. Mitch..
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. teddybard

    teddybard Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    7,611
    Likes Received:
    8,998
    Location:
    warwickshire
    Hope this Cheers you up a bit.


    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    4,336
    Likes Received:
    8,061
    Location:
    Balma (next to Toulouse) France

    Yes cat could be a solution IF you didn't put poison first! If the cat catches the poisoned mice/rats whatever, the cat might die! I don't want to kill an innocent animal . Then ...... errrr.... how do you know THE cat you're going to get (adult obviously..; you have no time for a kitten to grow up) is going to chase rats/mice? You know that some cats are just afraid of rats? Rats attack and not very softly. So to me it is a very uncertain solution and needs too much time to be fixed!
    Also I'm much more a dog person. I am not really at ease with cats and in any case being a Nanny doesn't allow me to have a cat (allergies , getting in the babies beds,... dogs can't do this!). I have decided to have no more dog so can't have a cat instead! But I do think to buy a ratter when retired!
     
  10. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    6,470
    Likes Received:
    13,777
    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Some dogs are good ratters. Jack Russells for example. Also if you can get hold of some ferret dropping rats don't like to be where a ferret has been.

    Our friends' son has ferrets and we can get as many droppings as we like - and so long as poison hasn't been used he will come and exercise the ferret and his Jack Russell dog :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. sdc77

    sdc77 Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    2,486
    Likes Received:
    2,893
    Location:
    East london
    Wow. Great write up.. Thanks Frankie
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. bobandjanie

    bobandjanie Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    4,406
    Likes Received:
    2,494
    Location:
    UK / Spain
    Very good advice Frankie, we happened to buy a house that had rats in the roof, not a nice feeling having them running about in the loft and chewing the plaster board above your head while you sleep. :eek:
    We got them in the end, but they are very bright, and know that your trying to KILL them. :LOL:
    They had done a lot of damage, I think it had been their home for a while.
    But the cottage was a good price, and we made money on it. :LOL:
    As you know we store the caravan in Spain, and we worried about having visitors, the first thing we saw when we opened the door was little poo's we thought bloody mice. :rolleyes::cry:
    On further investigation and google being our best friend, ;) the poo's had a little white bit on the end, and it turned out to be gecko's poo, and they had been in and eaten the ants from the ants nest we had parked on. :rolleyes: :LOL:.
    Hope your trouble is over, and you start enjoying Max and not having all this stress. (y) Bob and Janie.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    4,336
    Likes Received:
    8,061
    Location:
    Balma (next to Toulouse) France
    There are so many things I wished I had been aware of before this all happened. But well at least my experience and some other funsters' one can help a lot of us ! So please go on giving here your tips!
    I have used their own droppings by rubbing my gloves in their wees and poos to fool them and lead them where I wanted them to go, and it worked. So furrets too ! Good to know this!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    1,759
    Location:
    London
    Great write up Frankie, I shall bookmark this for use if I ever have the same problem. (y)
     
  15. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    4,336
    Likes Received:
    8,061
    Location:
    Balma (next to Toulouse) France

    I have learnt as well to make the difference between geckos' droppings with the white bit. They are very similar to some rats' dropping and the babies geckos 'ones look like mice' ones!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    6,470
    Likes Received:
    13,777
    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    When next door had a rat in their kitchen (came in beside the sink drain) they tried everything but the rat is clever and it didn't take the poison and avoided the traps. After we tipped ferret droppings round and down the rat runs it was not seen (nor the evidence) - might be co-incidence but the rats do seem to avoid the ferret exercise area on the farm as well.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    4,336
    Likes Received:
    8,061
    Location:
    Balma (next to Toulouse) France
    This just great Roger ! Thankssssss! It does cheer me up! Soooo funny!
     
  18. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,782
    Likes Received:
    6,034
    Location:
    Sarth London
    Our twin mousers now in training!

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 7
  19. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    4,336
    Likes Received:
    8,061
    Location:
    Balma (next to Toulouse) France
    They look cute indeed ! How Do you train them ? A toy that you tie up to a string , pulling the string to get them interested in where it's going? ?? Do you need the smell of a mouse on the toy? Do they make toys having the smell of it already . I'm interested in all the process. How do you get the cat a tad more aggressive to fight a rat ?(more aggressive than a mouse) I guess anything can be done with a professional to supervise the training.
    I had a kitten for the first time in my life a few weeks ago, kitten sitting lol ! I loved it! But this one sleeps on a mouse HTC 1 an et demi de photos et films 28 11 2014 085.jpg LOL
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    6,470
    Likes Received:
    13,777
    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Not sure if it is true but the old boys here say that a cat with big ears is the one you want for a mouser. The small eared cats are only of use as foot warmers. :(
     
    • Like Like x 3
Loading...

Share This Page