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Old 03-18-2015, 12:24 AM   #1
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How to keep vermin out in AZ

We've been snowbirding at RV parks in Tucson, AZ for 15 years and never encountered pack rat problems until this visit. Many of our neighbours in the park have had pack rats in their truck engine compartments and have damage to the wiring. Some had left their RV's in summer storage at the park and had been invaded by pack rats.

There was a large pack rat nest on our site (this RV park is just out of town in a natural desert setting) which the management removed at our request, but they just come back.

Everyone seems to have a theory as to what deters the rats from entering your vehicle/trailer but none seem proven. We'd like to leave our trailer/truck/bikes/etc at the park over the summer and just fly home, but the thought of expensive damage is discouraging.

Has anyone experienced this in a desert environment and found a way of keeping the pack rats out? BTW, these are not small mouse-like critters - the rat in "our" nest was 6-7" long, not including the tail and the entrance to the nest was 2-3" diameter.
Thanks.
Bob
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:08 AM   #2
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My wife swears by dryer sheets. She puts them everywhere between seasons, drawers, cabinets under sinks basement, etc. We've never had a rodent problem.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:43 AM   #3
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It only takes a hole about the size of a nickel for them to squirm in to. Keeping them out in the first place is ideal. For under the hood, about the only thing I know of that is fairly effective is keeping the hood up and hanging light to illuminate the compartment. It takes away their sense of security and will likely look elsewhere for shelter against predators.

I've heard of dryer sheets, peppermint/mint oil, irish spring, predator urine sprays, etc etc.. but I've never heard of anyone with a pack rat problem that was resolved by any of those methods.
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Old 03-18-2015, 09:57 AM   #4
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I've heard good things about this

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Old 03-18-2015, 12:51 PM   #5
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Old 03-18-2015, 02:23 PM   #6
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Critters aren't confined to AZ. Our previous 5th wheel was damaged by squirrels at our seasonal summer site in MB. After that episode we started screwing on 1/4" screen to every possible opening larger than a dime. Very time consuming, but so far it doesn't appear as if we've had any visitors.
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Old 03-18-2015, 03:14 PM   #7
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Pictures of cats placed around the rv.
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Old 03-18-2015, 03:19 PM   #8
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We stored our RV at our mountain cabin that is plagued by pack rats. We took old socks and loaded them with mothballs, hung them anywhere it seemed like a rat could crawl or jump plus scattered a half box underneath. Have repeated the same when storing in a field by our house, and have never had a rodent in the last 6 years. A neighbor uses an aerospace lubricant that used to be called "Squeek Out", but has a new name???
The mothballs also work keeping skunks away.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:45 PM   #9
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After having camper and subsequently a park model in a rural WNY campground the only fool proof solution I found for off season storage was taking 8 to 10 moth balls in a paper towel secured by a twist tie. And placing the packets in room corners and in cupboards and storage bins. Keep track of how many and where you put them so they can be retrieved before going back in service. Leave windows open and or fans on for a day and you are back in business. Only year we had "critters" was the Year my wife was sure dryer sheets worked as well...
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Old 03-19-2015, 12:35 PM   #10
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When we store our RV for an extended period, we put moth balls around inside and storage areas. It takes a bit to get the smell out, but no critters.

Jim
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