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Old 05-17-2020, 03:48 PM   #1
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Question Mice in AC and Vents-Smell

We have/had mice in our AC vents. The smell is awful, feels toxic. All of the loose stuff (styrofoam and whatever else) blew out when we turned on AC but even after hours of running it and leaving our camper open the smell is still there. It is most notable under the actual AC unit inside the camper-the large, sort of flush Square mounted piece on ceiling with the filter and some slide vents you can open and close on the perimeter. I clearly do NOT know correct terminology and want to distinguish between this and the round directional vents located on the ceiling through the camper. Those smell but not nearly as bad. We have washed the filter and replaced it. What else do you recommend?
I'm specifically looking for help with the smell and with cleaning these vents out. Thanks.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:02 PM   #2
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I hope that I am wrong but I think you have a dead mouse and it is a stinker. It will eventually dry up and so does the smell but that takes a long time. You might need to clean out the AC and the vents looking for your mouse.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:05 PM   #3
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So, how do you do that? From the top (take off AC cover on roof) or the bottom (unscrew the piece on the ceiling of camper? Could I run some type of thin plumbing snake through the directional vents? We are not mechanically inclined but can follow directions...
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:15 PM   #4
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Try running an inspection camera thru the vents and see what you can find. You can get them at harbor freight or big box stores. Or maybe try a tool rental place.

Bob
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:00 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by retiredcamper47 View Post
Try running an inspection camera thru the vents and see what you can find. You can get them at harbor freight or big box stores. Or maybe try a tool rental place.

Bob
That is a good idea.

I can open my AC unit inside the TT and see up through the unit which I would do first. I suspect your mouse is not going to be easy to get out like that.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:05 PM   #6
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inspection cam

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Originally Posted by retiredcamper47 View Post
Try running an inspection camera thru the vents and see what you can find. You can get them at harbor freight or big box stores. Or maybe try a tool rental place.

Bob
I recently bought an inspection camera (endoscope) through Amazon. Brand name is ILIHOME. 16' reach with LED lights, very clear 4.3" color monitor. Cost was around $60 and free shipping.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:42 PM   #7
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We had the same problem in our 2109s. I took the fan cover off in the bathroom and found a nest in there. Apparently the previous owner left the vent open a crack and they got in. I took a shop vac with the small hose and ran it down the A/C vents. Problem taken care of.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:56 PM   #8
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Buy a clothes dryer vent brush at a hardware store. It is a still brush at the end of a flexible shaft. The shaft is usually 10 to 12 feet long. You can use that to clean the vents of debris. Go to an air conditioner dealer that does install work and get some of the aerosol duct cleaner they use to disinfect and sanitize air conditioner duct. Usually it is an aerosol can with a long tube. Good luck!
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Old 05-18-2020, 08:12 PM   #9
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You do want to be careful when getting that little critter and its feces out. Some of the droppings can contain some pretty nasty diseases. Wear a mask (like most of have to anyway right now) and vacuum him out carefully. Then disinfect spray as much as you can of where he was. We had them build nests in our cabinets under the sink and it took a while to get the urine smell out - as well as the dried urine. We had only been parked a couple days in our driveway, and I was working in the cabinet next to where they were building their nest. After it was cleaned up I still caught one (like the traps because you get a body) coming back under the sink, but, since then they have only been caught outside the trailer right at the stabilizer jack (we store our TT inside a barn with a concrete floor). Found the best thing was to put a bait block between two glue traps at the base of the stabilizer. Wife is deathly allergic to peanut butter, so that is out for us as bait. Nothing yet back in the trailer which is filled with Bounce and moth balls and has several of those sonic pest deterrents. Caught 7 of them outside so far this winter. Now that it is warm, I plan to go around and seal everything up again. I would rather catch them as they come out of the TT looking for food or before they get in. Also spreading those rodent chaser compounds around the walls and doors of the barn to keep them out. They have been a real pain this year.
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Old 05-18-2020, 10:26 PM   #10
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Sadly, you need to clean the vents. Mice can carry diseases.
https://www.cdc.gov/rodents/diseases/direct.html
Enough said.

Your HVAC system is contaminated with urine and feces, and it may be home to a decaying carcass.

Cover your interior furniture with plastic.

Vacuum out the ducts...preferably with a long extension hose on the vac, and the vac unit outside the coach so that you don't redistribute rodent waste in vac exhaust. https://www.amazon.com/Cen-Tec-Syste...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

You may then adapt dryer vent brushes to push swabs/rags with cleaning solution...clorox perhaps...through the ducts. Also check the AC units to see that they are clean. Don't saturate the rags...just dampen them.

My brother encountered this in his fiver, and it took a LOT of work to decontaminate.

Wear a mask and rubber gloves while doing this work. If you happen to have any N-95s laying around, used those. If you don't use any mask. And cleanup the interior to deal with the inevitable debris that escapes the ducts.

This may seem like overkill, but read the disease link again.

Then get to work and figure out how they are getting in. Rodents' teeth hardness is just shy of steel. Foams, aluminum and other soft materials present no barrier. Sheet steel flashing and hardware cloth work.

I've had very good luck repelling rodents with Freshcab: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Fresh-Cab...BoCFHEQAvD_BwE Use liberally. I have 8 of them in my 24' camper. In 10 years at my current home, I've never had a rodent in my rig.
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:06 PM   #11
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Listen to the warnings

My brother-in-law ended up in the hospital with a very serious infection affecting his lungs and his entire body, after cleaning out an old nest in his storage shed.
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cold Lake Kid View Post
My brother-in-law ended up in the hospital with a very serious infection affecting his lungs and his entire body, after cleaning out an old nest in his storage shed.

Hantavirus. Nasty stuff. Only been 15 or so cases in Oilberta over the past six yrs but still, ya gotta suit up when cleaning up that critter waste.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:43 AM   #13
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That's the virus.
He caught it at his home in Aylmer, Quebec.
It took a long regime of inter-venous antibiotics and a long time for him to bounce back and he was a young, vigorous, healthy man at that time.
God only knows what it would do to an older person or one with other health issues.
Be very careful.
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Old 09-07-2020, 09:39 AM   #14
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Mice

Moth balls don't work to keep mice out
We had a Coleman camper with a mouse problem,
We put moth balls all around inside the camper and added mouse poison pellets. We even left a box of the pellets open inside the camper.

One month later we opened the camper. The mice had moved all the moth balls and poison into the box. They also made a nest out of the canvas and mattress covers, However, there were no mice in the camper.
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