Top tips to avoid vermin in your static caravan

Unfortunately, mice and rats like static caravans and can squeeze through the tiniest of gaps to keep warm in winter or seek out some food.

Each year we deal with insurance claims for damage to caravans caused by vermin, particularly the upholstery, which can sometimes run into thousands of pounds. Luckily Leisuredays policyholders are covered in the event of damage caused by vermin.

Vermin damage to seating

Nobody wants to be faced with the mess and smell that mice or rats can cause when returning to their static caravan or lodge at the start of the new season, so it’s always worth taking to steps to prevent a family of unwelcome visitors to your holiday caravan in the winter months – or at any time of the year!

Vermin droppings in caravan

One common theme is that they don’t seem to like metal but love a bit of plastic in their diet!

Our tips for avoiding vermin

A supply of food and a cosy warm place to sleep, with easy access, are all rich pickings for these pesky creatures so here are some key ways you can stop vermin getting into your static caravan or lodge in the first place:

  • Make sure you give your static caravan a thorough clean before leaving it for long periods so there are no crumbs or bits of fluff on the floor, paying particular attention to the fridge and bins.
  • Remove all packets of dried foods, like cereals, rice, biscuits and even pet food. If you do plan to store any food then use metal containers.
  • Remove any paper, like kitchen and toilet roll.
  • Look under your caravan and around the outside and if you see any gaps where pipework enters the main body, try filling with some wire wool or fine mesh. Don’t block any holes near gas pipes – instead use a fine metal mesh.

Air vent

  • Replace any plastic air vents with metal mesh – mice will happily chew through plastic. Remember not to block air vents completely as you need to allow air to circulate in your caravan to avoid condensation and ultimately damp.
  • Seal any cable holes with a good quality sealant.
  • Consider wrapping wire wool around any exposed plastic pipes to stop mice chewing their way into the caravan.
  • Remove all cushions, bedding and seating cushions if possible – they all make for good nesting materials for mice. Storing cushions at home in the dry is ideal and can also help prevent damp.
  • Mice don’t seem to like certain scents like mothballs, tumble dryer sheets and even putrefied dog droppings!

Solar powered vermin repeller

  • Use a battery operated rodent deterrent device which will emit an ultrasonic sound which can’t be heard by humans but repels rodents. Placing these inside your holiday caravan will send out a signal to keep vermin at bay! There are also solar powered ultrasonic repellers, which you could place outside your caravan.

Finally, speak to your park operator and ask what vermin control measures they have in place.

Over to you…

Have you had to deal with vermin? Got any mice-busting tips to share? Feel free to share your comments below.

17 comments on “Top tips to avoid vermin in your static caravan

  1. Mine is new. I’ve had to fill several pipe holes with wire wool. It’s impossible to tell if there are gaps under built in furniture. Wouldn’t it be best if the insurer (yourselves) lobbied the manufacturers to make it vermin proof at the factory? For instance a wire mesh layer under the floor? Also the air vents in the floor look as if the size of mesh is too large.

    1. Thanks Peter. It’s an interesting point and we’ll certainly pass on to manufacturers to see what preventative measures they put in place to tackle vermin.

    2. Hi Peter, we contacted Swift Leisure and they do the following to prevent vermin:
      For all pipes going through floors they have sleeved collars to block all holes up. Where they have air circulation holes these have mesh grills to protect from rodents. They also consider insect infestations with gauze over high level ventilation.

      1. We have a Swift Champagne and have had a mouse problem for the last two years. We are the only ones on a site of 50 vans to have the problem. We never leave food loose in van, always clean before leaving and have two sonic mouse repellents. They also attacked our car while we were on site. This winter we put in poison and found two dead when we visited after Christmas. Not opened yet but dreading what we will find.

        1. Hi Maureen,
          We had a terrible experience when we got back to our caravan in West Wales after the winter period. Started to put back the cushions, as we take them away from the sides of the caravan. On the last cushion, I lifted it up and nearly jumped out of my skin!!!….5 mice run in all directions, my wife gave out a scream and ran to the bedroom and slammed the door!!. I managed to track them down and killed them all but one (I don’t like killing wildlife) I later found one behind the fire. Well cooked ! Found where they got in. The waste pipe holes from the sinks were roughly 3 times the size of the down pipes. They had been in every room, mouse drops every where !! Luckily no damage to the mattresses as they were covered in big plastic bags. Now hopefully all access holes have been covered with stainless steel mesh…..But it puts you on edge….don’t let the little critters get you down !!!…they damaged 2 cushions, chewed through 3 towels and 2 tv cupboard pillars and even got into the cooker!!!
          They must have been treating out caravan like a hotel!!

    3. Willerby Holiday Homes use a perforated polythene sheet across the underside of the chassis for the floor insulation and the exterior panels include fly mesh ventilator screens around the soffits and cladding joins to prevent the entry of vermin.

  2. Do you know where I can purchase metal mesh covers and metal circular floor vent covers please?

  3. I had a problem with a rat one winter. It pushed up a metal plate (air vent) in the floor of the bedroom and made a nest in the sideboard drawer! BUT there was no smell.
    Door bottoms chewed, upholstery chewed, net curtains pulled down. The place looked as though a bomb had hit it and I cleaned up about 2lbs of droppings!!
    I now leave my electricity on and a rodent repeller plugged in to a socket in the hall.

    PS I also use 2 of these at home

  4. Rats love drains and sewers,
    over winter
    Cover the toilet pan with a metal sheet,
    lower toilet seat down onto the metal sheet,
    the seat will help to keep it in place.

  5. Something chewed through our central heating pipes last year, rabbits or rats. Cost a small fortune, and sadly our insurance didn’t cover for vermin damage.

  6. Having owned static caravans since 2008 without problems we upgraded to a brand new 2016 Victory Versailles 40×20 lodge in June 2016. This lodge has an inner and outer floor. In April 2017 there was a terrible smell in the 2nd bedroom which was traced to a rat getting between the two floors underneath the radiator. We found that the holes cut in the inner floor to accommodate the radiator pipes are not sealed allowing the smell to rise into the room. We also found that Victory cuts 2″ x 3″ holes in the joists for 0.5″ pipes to pass through – an open invitation for vermin to go anywhere within the two floors. In September Victory spent 2 hours putting plywood patches over gaps and holes in the outer floor, but again, a rat gained access in October. This time it was under the radiator in the main bedroom. Both Victory and I spent a total of 14 hours patching up holes in November, – something as a 70 year old owner I didn’t expect to have to do, but we are still living with the stench so unable to use the main bedroom. The outer floor of our lodge now looks like a patchwork quilt. It is too late for us, but Victory really need to rethink the design of their outer floor to make it more vermin-proof as these lodges are not cheap. It is also a lot easier to address this issue in the factory, rather than dealing with it when the lodge has been placed on a Park pitch with limited access to the underside.

  7. We’ve just had a problem with vermin chewing through the lagging and then the external pipes to the central heating boiler, couldn’t believe all the holes in the pipes!! Luckily whatever it was (the plumber thinks rats) didn’t gain access to the static caravan but caused us a nice bill. We now need to make sure that the boiler is topped up with antifreeze and have all the new pipes re-lagged

  8. Hi All,
    We had a terrible experience when we got back to our caravan in West Wales after the winter period. Started to put back the cushions, as we take them away from the sides of the caravan. On the last cushion, I lifted it up and nearly jumped out of my skin!!!….5 mice run in all directions, my wife gave out a scream and ran to the bedroom and slammed the door!!. I managed to track them down and killed them all but one (I don’t like killing wildlife) I later found one behind the fire. Well cooked ! Found where they got in. The waste pipe holes from the sinks were roughly 3 times the size of the down pipes. They had been in every room, mouse drops every where !! Luckily no damage to the mattresses as they were covered in big plastic bags. Now hopefully all access holes have been covered with stainless steel mesh…..But it puts you on edge….don’t let the little critters get you down !!!…they damaged 2 cushions, chewed through 3 towels and 2 tv cupboard pillars and even got into the cooker!!!
    They must have been treating out caravan like a hotel!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *