There’s a rat in the kitchen, what am I gonna do?! Keep mice and rats out of your static caravan

From nibbled cushions, sofas and beds to mess on the carpets – the damage caused by a tiny mouse or other vermin can run into thousands of pounds!

Mouse

There’s nothing worse than returning to your static caravan or holiday lodge for some well-earned rest and relaxation to find you’ve had an unwelcome visitor who has wreaked havoc on your furnishings! Or worse still they’ve left a terrible smell as they’ve decided to outstay their welcome and make a nest in your sofa or mattress.

Some of the little rascals may also decide to make a meal of your pipes leaving you in hot water – or maybe no water!

Here at Leisuredays we saw claims for damage caused by the dreaded vermin increase by 171% last year, compared to the previous year.

The advice is simple… prevention is definitely better than cure! It’s important to take measures to keep mice and rats out of your static caravan

We’ve teamed up with Willerby Holiday Homes and Lowther Holiday Park manager, Alan Stevenson, to give you some vermin busting tips on keeping out those little squeakers.

Set in woodland in beautiful Penrith, Cumbria, Lowther Holiday Park try to pre-empt any problems for their static caravan and lodge owners by employing a pest control company to put down humane traps each year.

“Prevention is definitely better than cure,” said Alan. “We try to control rats by putting down bait in sealed boxes. To prevent mice getting into holiday caravans I’d suggest making sure all vents are meshed because they can get through the tiniest of holes.”

Chloe Lawford from Willerby told us, “All vents are meshed here at Willerby Holiday Homes during production. Gas regulations state that you should never block any Ventilation holes.”

Static Caravan in winter

Looking at our insurance claims for damage caused by mice, although very little, it seems that some have taken the liberty of bringing along their friends to the party and infested the holiday home.

In one claim rodents caused more than £5,000 of damage in just seven days, after getting in through the toilet waste pipe and chewing curtains, the mattress and air vents! The clean-up process and repairs can be quite costly.

Better manufacturing methods are helping to keep out rats and mice but it’s worth making sure you’ve taken those extra steps to stave away those unwanted pests.

If you’re planning on leaving your static caravan or holiday lodge for a few months – or even a few weeks – taking some simple pest control measures can make it all the more resistant to vermin.

Prevention better than cure…

Here are some top tips to stop mice or rats getting into your static caravan or holiday lodge:

  • Fit a durable metal mesh to any air vents. If you have plastic mesh over vents, replace these with metal – it doesn’t seem to be on their dinner menu!
  • Do be careful around gas pipes. Don’t completely block any holes near gas pipe joints, instead, use a fine mesh and if in doubt seek advice from your park operator. Chloe from Willerby adds,  “Don’t make any alterations to the sleeve that the gas pipe goes through, the gas engineer should have sealed the sleeve correctly”.
  • Have a good look around the exterior of your caravan or lodge to check for any small gaps or openings, particularly where pipework enters the main body. If there are gaps use an appropriate sealant to fill them, but again do be careful around holes designed for ventilation, and perhaps use a fine mesh.
  • Protect plastic pipework with some kind of mesh as mice and rats seem to like plastic for lunch rather than metal!
  • If you’re going to be away for a while, try to remove any cushions and bedding. Mice might be tempted by the cosy warm furnishings if it’s cold outdoors and decide to make a bed of their own!
  • When away from your static caravan or lodge give it a thorough clean, and make sure you take away any paper, including toilet and kitchen rolls.
  • Remove foodstuffs, like cereals, pasta and rice if you’re away for a while and be sure to have a good sweep, vacuum and mop up so no crumbs are left behind. And store any food left behind in metal containers rather than plastic. Mice and rats enter the holiday home for two reasons, food or warmth during the winter period.
  • Make sure any waste water outlets are closed as mice and rats can get in that way.

Please note: Do be careful around air vents as your holiday home or lodge is designed to be well ventilated and restricting air flow may build up other problems such as condensation damage to the interior.

Sonic busters!

Battery operated sonic rat and mouse repeller

A product that might help is an ultrasonic indoor rodent deterrent. There are a number of different products out there which cannot be heard by humans but will repel rats and mice. They emit a regular ultrasonic signal and the battery operated products claim to last up to six months (or longer) which should cover long periods of unoccupancy. There is also a plug-in variety, which will need a constant electricity supply, but obviously these are not suitable if power to your caravan is cut during the winter.

Visit www.primrose.co.uk or www.martleyelectronics.co.uk for some of the products that are available.

Also check with your park operator to see what pest control steps they take to tackle the vermin and for more information and advice.

Vermin cover on your insurance policy

Some insurance policies won’t cover you for vermin damage but the Leisuredays policy obviously does. For details of cover included in our Defaqto 5 star rated insurance policy for static caravans and holiday lodges please click here.

Your hints and tips

Got any hints and tips you’d like to pass on to fellow static caravan or lodge owners regarding preventing damage from vermin? Or have you had a mouse invasion of your own? Please add a comment below.

 

24 comments on “There’s a rat in the kitchen, what am I gonna do?! Keep mice and rats out of your static caravan

  1. We got some visitors last winter but they were confined to a built in wardrobe and only one shelf at that so we were lucky. We found they had got in through a small hole by the fuse box. We filled the hole with steel wool which they hate and havent been troubled since!

  2. This actually works, and has proved to be very effective at deterring vermin such as rats and mice, and it costs nothing.
    Place some dried or putrefied dog droppings, just 1 or 2 pieces somewhere in a dry area under the base of your holiday home, and you will remain vermin free. Although this sounds like a rather extreme method it is also a very effective deterrent for homes when applied in underfloor area’s or loft spaces.

  3. you can use wire wool to block any small holes or gaps
    this is very good as anyone can do it and you do not need any alteration to pipes etc.

  4. We had mice come in through an oversize hole around the water pipe in the bathroom of our Willerby. They ate a wheat filled heat bag & we had to fit metal mesh around the hole. Not easy to do.

  5. How do you mean vermin can get in via waste pipes? Do they come on through the gap between the pipe and an oversize hole?

  6. I have just purchased one of the battery operated rodent deterrants for my newly purchased caravan. Is it better to put it underneath the caravan? The caravan has wooden skirting all around.

    1. Hi Shirley we’ve spoken to a supplier of these devices and they recommend putting it inside the caravan, if you want to keep them out! If you put the device under the caravan, it will just deter the rodents from underneath. It works best in the space you put it into. Hope this helps?

  7. We had mice the other year who bit through the water pipes under the sink and we ended up with water going through into the lounge. It took quite a time to soak it up.. We too put wire wool around the pipes and also bought an electronic device which we keep under the sink.

  8. It’s not easy crawling under a static caravan to find entry points for vermin. Could Willerby please make available simple plans to show each model’s likely entry points.
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Alan. Thanks for taking the time to post your comments. We’ve been in touch with Willerby Holiday homes with your question and here is their response from Chloe Lawford:
      “Willerby do not currently provide plans for each model with ‘likely entry points for vermin’, as thankfully this is far from a common problem with our holiday homes. In the 20-year history we can trace back through our current customer service system, we have had less than 20 enquiries regarding vermin of any type. If you are concerned and have a specific enquiry regarding your own holiday home, feel free to contact our Customer Service department to chat it through with them. However, please rest assured that as long as your holiday home is kept clean and tidy in the same way as you would your own house, there should not be any problems.”

    2. You don’t need to crawl underneath, if there are any entry points then they will be visible from above.

  9. To control mice and rats, try Pestcontrolsupermarket.com’s ‘Pest Expert Mouse Glue Boards’ as I have found these amazingly effect at trapping mice and rats. They are flat boards about 10″ x 6″ and they have a really strong sticky surface which traps the rodents if they walk over them. It sounds a bit cruel as they do obviously die, but when everything else has failed and you have to worry about poison if you have pets, they are the best solution. You have to place them on the routes the rodents use (i.e. in a caravan surround any vents or gaps with the boards so the mice can’t come in any of these entry holes and into the van without having to walk over the sticky pad. They cost about £15 for 10 boards, but worth the cost when you think of the damage they can do. I had one board in my garage trap 5 mice on it. Hope this helps.

  10. We have got rodents as I type. We can hear them gnawing and my Jack Russell is going mental. Silly thing is I am terrified of them. I am almost sure that they are nesting. I also have wooden panels around the bottom. I can assure you we have had them in our van a few years ago and have been rounds and blocked up all holes. I just need to know how to get rid of them.

    1. Sorry to hear you have a problem with vermin. Your best option might be to buy an ultrasonic rodent repeller. It cannot be heard by humans but the sound is painful to mice. Steel wheel is also an effective deterrent as suggested by some of our readers. You could also speak to your park owner about setting traps or calling in pest control.

  11. I had considerable damage done to my pipework through vermin gnawing holes in it. I’d be interested to know if there’s any mesh that can be wrapped around pipework running under the lodge. As discussed earlier you may need to get underneath as the pipework enters through insulation (good nesting place) which is encased with rather flimsy hardboard and crude holes have been made to feed pipework through. Granted, sealing holes from within is an easier job. I’ve been advised to spray Jeyes Fluid underneath which has limited effect. Much as I love seeing birds feed I’ve had to take my feeder down as this attracts vermin.

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