Keep Bugs Out of Your RV

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June 11, 2012

"mosquito"Nobody likes being bugged by insects, especially on vacation, but the nature of RVs and outdoor camping means that your vehicle attracts bugs from the first hatch of spring to the first frost of fall. A few simple tricks and handy products can turn your vehicle into a relatively bug-free zone and prevent bugs from invading your space.

Whether it’s black flies, mosquitos, spiders, ants or lady bugs, keeping nuisance bugs out of your RV means taking a few preventative steps to ensure that when your door is closed, insects have no way to get in your RV.

The first step is to think like a bug and look for ways they may be entering your vehicle. Is there light streaming in around the edges of your screen door? Are all of your window and vent screens in perfect condition? Don’t forget the over-the-stove vent as well. Making sure there are no obvious pathways for bugs to fly or crawl in is your best defense — whether that means using calk, tape or installing new screens to better seal your interior from the exterior.

Rope calk, available in most hardware stores, is a simple, low-cost and easy-to-remove way to improve your vehicle’s physical barrier to the outside world — and it won’t damage painted or stained surfaces when removed. Use it around doors, windows or vents. Duct tape works in a pinch.

After you’ve secured the premises, take preventative measures by installing ant/household pest bait stations in key areas: under the sink, in exterior storage compartments and the back of closets — anywhere that’s practical without getting in the way or being accessible to children or pets.

Some RV retailers also offer bug bulbs that claim to repel flying insects by emitting less ultraviolet energy and, in general, a tone of light that is less appealing to airborne insects.

You can also go on the offensive, and have some fun, with a Personal Bug Zapper ($12.58 @ that’s a miniature, electrified tennis racket. Just turn on the switch, swing at bugs and it will quickly zap them out of your life. Beware, though, that this should not be left around for kids to find.

And finally, for minimizing bug damage to the exterior, some have gone as far as spraying the exterior of their vehicle with nonstick cooking spray to prevent little buggers from adhering to your vehicle’s exterior. Rain-X also sells bug-removing windshield fluid that is more effective at removing bug gunk than the cheap blue stuff at gas stations.

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  1. Jeff

    RVing for over 12 years, camping for most of my 51 years we now on our thrid travel trailer and still pest free. I continue with preventive maintenance monthly. When I spray for pests at home, the rv gets the same treatment, including the underside. When we get to camp, (staying for more than a day) I have an aeraesol can of over the counter bug killer, (ant / roach spray) I spray it around the base of the tires, stabilizers jacks and front jack which puts a small barrier as a deterant for those pesty little guys. Periodically when staying longer than a day or so, the hoses get a little treatment as well. Depending on the camped area, sometimes the unit gets a quick spray underneath when we get back home. BUG FREE we have been. Good Luck & Be Safe ! ! !