There are several types of pests you could potentially encounter on the road while traveling around the country in your RV or camper. It is important to learn how to avoid pests, spot signs of them, and deal with them if they do become a problem. Some of the more typical pests RVers and campers encounter are:
- Bed Bugs – These little pests like to establish residence in your mattresses, sofa cushions, and other areas where it is dark and they have easy access to food, which is, of course, the blood of humans and pets.
- Mosquitoes – Mosquitoes are found everywhere you travel. They tend to be heavier in shaded areas and areas near water. In addition to their annoying bites, they can carry diseases.
- Ants – Depending on where you travel, you can encounter red ants, black ants, carpenter ants, fire ants, and more that look for small openings in your RV or camper to get indoors.
- Fleas and Ticks – Both of these pests can be problems for you, your family, and your pet.
Always do a manual inspection of the area you will park the RV or camper, and verify it is not over ant mounds or sand, as fleas like sandy soil.
Make sure to take shoes off outside and inspect clothing by brushing it off after spending time outdoors. Use a flea/tick comb to brush down pets before letting them back indoors.
Inspect door and window screens for damage or small holes where mosquitoes could get inside. It also does not hurt to use mosquito netting over sleeping entrance areas and beds.
Signs of Pests
Bed bugs may leave small bite marks on your legs. These can be accompanied by small reddish/copper colored stains on the mattress cover or sheets, as well as small black specks of what looks like dirt.
With mosquitoes, you will know they are problem by an excessive amount of swollen and itchy bites all over your body.
Depending on the type of ant, you may find they are more active during the day, while others roam at night. If you notice only a few ants in your RV or camper, chances are there are more coming.
Fleas and ticks also leave bite marks. Fleas look like little small specks of dirt that jump, while ticks tend to look like either tiny specks of dirt (deer ticks), up to an eighth of an inch wide, red-, brown-, or black-colored flat discs, warts, or moles (dog ticks).
Dealing with Pests
Out of all pests, bed bugs can be the most difficult to deal with while traveling in your RV. You will want to use cushion, pillow, and mattress encasements, if you were not already using these products. Next, you will want to make sure to keep your clothing, both clean and dirty, in bed-bug-proof laundry bags.
Use mosquito repellants indoors and outdoors, like electric plug-in repellants indoors, and candles or coils outdoors, as well as on your body any time you venture outside.
To get rid of ants, you need to determine what type is currently infesting your RV or camper to select the most appropriate ant traps and baits.
If fleas are a problem, sprinkle borax powder on carpeting and rugs, and leave it sitting for 24 hours, and then vacuum it up. Borax is safe, and the small particles kill fleas and their eggs.
For extreme pest infestations, make sure to wash all bedding, cushion covers, and clothing, as well as vacuum carpets, mattress covers, mattresses, sofas, and chairs on a daily basis, until you can get have your RV or camper professionally treated.
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