The world has many creepy crawlies and nuisances looking for a way to enter your comfortable space. Your camper van needs ways to keep peace inside and pests outside, and there are some helpful strategies to employ that keep your van cozy and secure. Use these methods to keep seasonal pests out of your camper and worry less about something crawling into your bed at night.
Apply Sealant to Exits
Although there are layers of material that block the doors and windows of your camper, there’s always a small space that’s just big enough for insects to squeeze through. You can seal these small gaps with various products such as caulk or plastic stripping.
Ensure there isn’t space for pests to enter while allowing the windows and doors to open for air circulation. Use plastic sealant to form a removable seal throughout the year while insulating the van.
Use Essential Oils
Many van lifers use essential oils in outdoor settings to help with pest control. Apply various oils to different van zones to keep certain pests away. Around the door, apply peppermint oil since it can repel rodents and insects. Use rosemary and lavender to keep mosquitoes away, and slather some thyme and sage to keep pesky flies at bay.
These oils add a fragrant scent to the camper, providing an aromatherapeutic experience while helping to defend you from the small intruders of the world. You can also place essential oils underneath the vehicle if some pests enter through the small openings in pipes and other mechanical parts.
Put Away All Food
Food is one of the most common things that attracts insects and mice, especially during the cold months when their food is less abundant. Store food in a tight container to ensure insects or rodents can’t access it.
Make temperature control a priority to prevent spoiled foods. Spoiled food is more likely to attract pests, given the strong odor. Proper refrigeration and packaging will keep the strength of the smell down.
Spray Vinegar Around Windows
The acid in vinegar gives it the potent smell many know. This odor is strong enough to repel many insects and may kill weaker ones in strong enough doses. Ants, spiders, mosquitoes, and other bugs will move away from the acidic smell that could cause them harm.
Spray vinegar around the doors and windows to prevent seasonal pests from entering your camper. This method is especially reliable when the weather turns cold and more insects seek warmer places to rest.
They’ll turn away from the smell and stay outside and away. If vinegar’s odor bothers you, couple the vinegar with essential oils for a doubly potent mix that will keep more insects away and balance the scents in the camper.
Use Insect Screens
An insect screen is one of the best methods to keep any pests out of the van. There are a variety of screens for different vehicles that will protect you from small intruders.
Use our RV bug screens to keep the doors and windows open and insects out. The screen ensures air circulates through the mesh and maintains a barrier that prevents bugs from entering, regardless of size. If you don’t want mesh, The Bug Wall also offers chill screens that use plastic instead to keep out cold air and stop seasonal pests during the winter.
Place Mothballs in Storage
Mothballs are a classic product for repelling insects. The smell of mothballs keeps away flying and crawling insects, making it an effective tool for protecting your camper.
Place a bowl of mothballs around your storage where pests may hide during the fall or winter. The mothballs will be a strong presence that deters insects from resting among your valuables.
Place the mothballs in a sealed container with holes. Since they’re toxic to living things, keeping them contained will prevent cross-contamination and help keep children and pets safe from injury.
Sprinkle Powdered Bleach Around Exterior Openings
Bleaching agents have more powerful scents and are toxic to anything that ingests them. Pests such as mice that want to enter your vehicle for shelter or food will look for ways to enter your van that you may not see. The exhaust pipe and small openings in the grill may be enough room for a family of mice to enter and become your hidden roommates.
Sprinkle powdered bleach around these openings for a simple repellent to keep them away. Smelling the powdered cleaner will irritate the nasal passages of mice and make them scurry away to find shelter elsewhere. Insects will also have a hard time getting past the cleaner’s presence since their senses are strong enough to feel deterred by bleach.
Limit Areas Where Pests Can Climb
Even if you block the entrances for flying insects, crawling insects or rodents will find a surface to crawl up. Your van’s step ladder that leads from the door will provide a way up for pests, so it should remain folded until used.
The wheels are the primary source of leverage for creatures to climb. Cover the wheels with galvanized sheet metal to make climbing a challenge from pests.
The metal is smooth and harder to cling to, making scaling an extreme obstacle. Keep the metal clean, as mud may attach to the surface, which could present a way to climb for animals when dry.
Seal Small Openings
As previously mentioned, pests don’t need a large opening to enter the camper. Seal as many small openings as possible to prevent animals from making it in. Add a bug screen to vents on your RV or camper to keep bugs out while still allowing for ventilation.
Cover the tailpipe while the vehicle is off to prevent anything from crawling inside and into the engine. If your camper has any cracks or holes in the surface, repair them immediately.
When flowers are in bloom, wasps and bees may try to make a nest in your vehicle. If they find their way into the walls of your camper, they’ll become a challenging problem to address.
Use Lantern Repellants at Night
Campers often bring mosquito-repelling lanterns to their campsite to keep mosquitoes away. Mosquitoes are the most active during the summer nights since the high heat and bright sunlight of daytime can be an issue for them. These flying pests may seek a way into your camper, but keeping them out will prevent illnesses and itchy bumps.
Activate these lanterns before you go to bed. The lanterns will keep the larger hoards of mosquitoes away and help you survive the onslaught until morning, when you may deploy other methods. Use the lanterns with essential oils that repel mosquitoes to enjoy soothing scents that also combat any approaching swarms.
Your camper should feel like a safe place from the creatures of nature; in these ways, you’ll find protection in your vehicle. Use these methods to prevent small animals from entering and keep the peace in your resting space.