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Mice in van!!
Posted: 10 January 2005 4:51 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

We keep our motorhome (Herald Aragon) away from our home in a secure compound. From time to time (i.e. not on a regular basis)we have found what seem to be (very small) mouse droppings. Today, after one month storage, we visited the van to check batteries etc and the droppings were there again. Not many but sufficient to raise concern. Now we have found that the mice have chewed at several buttons in the upholstery. We shall have to have the damaged buttons replaced (fortunately we do have some spare fabric for this purpose). Is this a difficult job?

How do the mice get in when everything is locked securely and there are no obvious entry places? We never leave any food in the van after each journey and we have never had any food attacked by mice when we are away in the van. Any suggestions on getting rid of mice will be welcomed. What about fumigation? And, are those buttons easily repaired? We have set two mouse traps - so watch this space!
Posted: 10 January 2005 6:14 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Mice do not need a large hole to enter. They can access via air intake for heating or from under the bonnet.
Forget traps get a moggy, the buttons should be easy to repair if you have spare material problem would be putting them back on.
Good luck
Posted: 10 January 2005 6:20 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Can't help with the re-covering of the upholstery buttons, But
Last winter we had the same problem in our 'van, kept at home and hooked up to mains electricity.
The mice did not have any food to attack, but they left the same evidence of their presence as yours.
The main problem was that they nested in the spare toilet rolls kept in the bathroom, chewed them in a big way to make a comfy little nest. Also chewed one or two towels, etc.
This year we have opened ALL doors, everywhere inside, and left rat and mouse poison in all accessible places (poison is in jar lids, so that any evidence of disturbance is immediately obvious).
We have also fitted a mains-powered rodent-scarer which emits a high pitched signal audible only to the furry intruders.
So far, this winter, we seem to have beaten them, fingers crossed.
Best of luck.

userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 10 January 2005 7:10 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Traps are probably better than poison on the basis that you catch 'em as well as kill 'em. If you use poison mice have a nasty tendency to crawl off somewhere inaccessible (like behind your heater) before dying. The mice round here laugh at 'humane' traps: they seem capable of getting in, springing the trap, taking the bait and still getting out. I think they teleport! Traditional spring-wire traps get them though.

Regarding the gnawed buttons, the easiest thing to do is buy a kit from a shop selling upholstery materials. This includes the button components and tools and you use your own material. The kit is not very expensive and readily available. My experience is that, with Herald material, you may need a couple of practice goes to get a perfect button.

userMel E
Posted: 10 January 2005 7:30 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

A friend has just had his car written off by mice chewing the electrical wiring under the bonnet - oldish car so not economic to repair.

So put a mouse trap under the bo0nnet as well!
Posted: 10 January 2005 7:51 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Is Docted on the rat poison again?

"Forget traps, get a moggy". What, and leave the poor little sod trapped inside the van for weeks on end?

Cr*p everywhere, dead cat corpse, and mice laughing like drains?

Doesn't sound quite right to me.


Posted: 10 January 2005 8:06 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

We had trouble with mice on a storage site, looking for nice winter quarters. As Docted said they do not need a very big hole, look for missing or displaced rubber grommets in the engine compartment, also where cables exit through the floor, I found several quite big clearanc areas around cables, sealed them with silicone sealant. Don't use gap filling foam they eat it. We caught 2 using the old fashioned spring traps mentioned by Derek, before hopefully eliminating all possible entry points.
Posted: 10 January 2005 9:49 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Also poisoned (blue) corn attracts other mice who will also die behind your refrigerator. They can smell the corn from a long way off.
Posted: 10 January 2005 11:15 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

I/ve been told that a mouse can get in thru a hole no bigger than a pencil( they can dislocate there shoulders, so I was told). Had no end of problems with them until we got a company to bait with proper stuff, the chemical products sold for diy use are not as strong. A look in Yellow Pages should locate a co, they will charge of course but its cheaper that the damage and the mess, also bear in mind the urine smell, you dont need that when it gets warm next summer!
userMel B
Posted: 11 January 2005 3:10 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

We use some poison from the Chemist which works a treat as I think it's better than the run of the mill stuff you get for DIY stores etc. It certainly cleared the rats our of the attic anyway!!!
user pete walker
Posted: 11 January 2005 3:23 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

hi, mikes right (8)they can get through a hole the size of a pencil, and traps are only any good with adult mice as the young are light enough to walk all over the bait and eat it as they go,chocolate is the best bait though,good luck
Posted: 11 January 2005 6:45 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Neal not on the rat poison, cooking sherry left over from Christmas.
I did not suggest leaving moggy alone in van for weeks on end. Anyway cats are "clean" they will use a cat tray if trained and they do not leave dead mice in inaccesible places where they decompose and smell.
Good luck
userDavid Powell
Posted: 12 January 2005 3:33 AM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Mice in Van!!..MockJock is quite right, the electric rat and mouse repeller definately works. Even chaces away those who have already established nests. And as a bonus, it keeps most flies away as well. The repeller is available in a veriety of designs and sizes, from as small as an alarm clock for a motor caravan, to big enough for a very large attic. On the down side:- some pets don't like them.
Posted: 12 January 2005 3:10 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

First get a cat
second et a trap

Third find a cleaner storage area

DONT USE poison or fumigation
with poison they hide away as said before
Similarly with fumigation

Also some fumigation stuff attacks metals.
So ypu wold have to strip out fridge, cooker, ...........
Posted: 12 January 2005 8:10 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Problem solved then ?
Buy several "humane" mouse traps (plastic cubes with one way door - in only - and bait them with a proprietory vermin bait from your nearest agricultural chemist or supplier. NEOSOREXA is recommended, although it is not cheap and you will have to sign the poisons register.
But you get a huge tub of the stuff.
Don't bother with over-the-counter mouse poisons.
Thus protected any mice attracted to the bait will be contained within the trap. They will not be able to disappear elsewhere before the bait takes effect.
The scent of the bait will not travel outside the van and will not therefore attract otherwise uninterested mice.
The trap/poison set up is infinitely reuseable and does not require frequent feeding and/or ego stimulation, as does a feline.
Keep your cat for its true purpose, i.e. for falling over when there is a power cut.
Posted: 13 January 2005 9:16 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Ho, ho ho. Cat's, electicity!!! Great when the van is local to you. Our's is kept on a farm (retired!) Not very near the house and certainly with no electricity as our purchase of 3 batteries and a battery booster has proved - never mind the seized brakes. As for mice - had them every year but at last have confined them to the outsde locker. Packed every orifice with steel wool but still not found the entry into the locker. At least they don't seem to be in the van. No doubt speaking too soon. Eat everything rubberery in the van and under the bonnet. Did hear that paprika will keep them away but not tried that one yet - need the paprika for our consumption. So if anyone does succeed would be delighted to hear how!!
userMike Chapman
Posted: 14 January 2005 12:23 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Had mice problems 5 years ago when a local builder demolished some old farm buildings and the mice refugees moved into the houses and garages on our estate.

The local pest control officer suggested using a unit called an X-Contro Electric Fence. This was supplied by a company called DIYPCS and their latest range of units can be seen on web-site

The unit which is about the size of a small hi-fi speaker runs off 4 "D" type batteries and/or a mains adaptor and detects movement within a sphere of up to 15 ft radius, which can be set on a movement sensitivity slider. it carries out a sense cycle every 10 seconds. When it detects a movement even through brick walls the unit transmits a high frequency signal of between 8 and 50 Mhz which again is adjustable. It can be used in or outdoors.

Depending on frequency (a frequency table is included with the unit paperwork) it will scare away anything from Insects through Mice and Rats to Deer and at lower frequencies also serves as a high pitched intruder alarm.

In our case it worked very well and cured the mouse infestation and as a bonus stopped the local cat population using our garden as a toilet.
The only animal that it does not seem to scare are wild rabbits. We found that with the unit switched on permanently the batteries lasted about 4 months. A friend borrowed it to use in his caravan in store and it stopped infestation of his unit and the caravans each side.

Has to be better than a cat-flap in the motorhome door!!


Mike Chapman
userRees Pryce
Posted: 17 January 2005 12:31 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Thank you ALL for providing such helpful information. We are now having the upholstery repaired, with new buttons (12 in all) and some new panels where the mice have chewed the seating material. The cost will be £40 or so (but with us provding the material which fortunately we had obtained some time ago, 'just in case', from a stand at a motorcaravn show).

Since discovering the damage, we have set two ordinary traps but not caught anything yet. It seems that the mice had visited our van and then left (there was not food available for them, but they had sharpened their teeth on our upholstery!). We are Very interest in the sonic equipment mentioned lastly by Mike Chapman, especially as he states that the equipment works on batteries. We have visited the site he mentioned,, but they phoned back to tell us that they do not know anything about the equipment Mike has named as x-contro Electric Fence and they state that they do not supply any equipment of this nature that works off batteries. Please can Mike clarify the details for us and contact us on Many thanks for a splendid and very helpful set of responses. Rees Pryce.
Posted: 17 January 2005 8:48 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Please put the details here on this site so we can all buy this fascinating equipment. I found one on their site - but I see the battery one is 'out of stock'.
userMike Chapman
Posted: 18 January 2005 1:58 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Hello Rees and Norma and anyone else interested.

The unit I have is called an X-Contro Electric Fence (Manufactured by Lentek) and is sometimes referred to as a Yard Guard. It was definitely supplied by DIYPCS in May 2001 and I have the invoice in front of me.

I spoke to a lady in their technical department and she informed me that this unit is no longer manufactured. She informed me that they had many returned because they did not work correctly but mine certainly did/does and repels mice at the higher frequency.

The Garden Pest Repeller would not be suitable to repel mice or insects only larger mammals such as rats, cats, dogs etc. Would still be useful to repel rats and squirrels.

I have searched the internet for a battery powered Ultrasonic Pest Repeller similar to mine but cannot find one so, at present, it looks as though the mains powered versions are the only ones available and I would be a bit cautious of a unit that uses the wiring to transmit a signal, it could interfere with the vehicle electrics.

Will keep searching and let you know if I can find one.


userMike Chapman
Posted: 18 January 2005 2:36 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Have just found the unit same as mine on the internet, it is now called the YardContro and available from several sites including

Have also found two other battery/adaptor powered units at The First Alert unit and the Weitech Battery Operated Transonic Yard Garden Protector.


Posted: 18 January 2005 3:10 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Haven't looked yet - but you are wonderful. Many thanks

Posted: 19 January 2005 3:00 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Many thanks, Mike, for the contact information. I found the item 'Yard Control+' on as you stated. The equipment is made by Lentek ( in Orlando, Florida, US and costs $69.99. I discovered that until recently it was also sold by their UK agents Benson Ltd (0845 1000800) but that they no longer do it. The lady who answered the phone stated that it would not repell mice in a caravan! But your expereience, Mike, is otherwsie, is it not? Can you confirm that is so? It seems that the only way of getting this equipment will be to buy direct from the US. Another item you mentioned is First Alert Ultrasonic Pest repeller but that does not seem available in the UK (they also make gas and fire alarms which are sold in Focus stores in the UK). There seem to be several mice repellers but very few (only two?) that work on batteries which will be necessary to motor home users, such as us, who keep their van in a compound but without mains connect. Any further comments will be much appreciated.
Posted: 19 January 2005 3:49 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

The gibberish below is the address for the battery version at $19.99. Think I may invest in one. Though I will wait and check the van to see if we have had any vistors first!
userMike Chapman
Posted: 19 January 2005 11:26 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Hello Rees and Norma,

I can confirm that my X-contro has repelled mice from my garage (after stored bird seed), house and also from a friends caravan. Found that they use even polythene sheet chewed up for nesting.

Have spoken to a contact who is a pest control expert and he gave me the following info.

"Mice may not be repelled if there is a good food source and the ultrasonic repellers (mains or battery) vary in effectiveness. If there is no food available the ultrasonic repellers are more effective as they create an uncomfortable environment for nesting. The ultrasonic units need to be switched on for several days to take effect". He agreed with other comments about using poison and the mice crawling off to die in unreachable places. He reckons that the old spring traps are best baited with chocolate.

Perhaps I should sign off as Mickey.
Posted: 26 January 2005 4:24 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!


We have caught two mice in old fashioned snap traps. We hope to get more!! The upholstery has been splendidly repaired by local upholsterer for the cost of £40 cash. In addition to resetting the two traps, we have decided to buy an ultrasonic mice repeller as suggested by you Mike, and others. I found the Yard Contro (as described by Mike) on the Lentek www site but to buy it I would have to import it from the US.

Instead, we are most likely to go for a similar piece of equipment that works from batteries as well as from mains. On January 15 this was advertised in The Times as 'Ultrasonic animal chaser' for £48.85 (including post and mains adapter). Much fuller details are given (suitable to use against mice and in RVs)on (in the US), which they call 'Pest Repeller UltimateMC', costing a total of $69.94 (£37) including cost of carriage to the UK. The beauty of this equipment is that it can be adjusted to repell different types of pest, including mice and that it works either from the mains (through an adapter) or from four C batteries (lasting 3 months on average). The same equipment can be obtained in the UK from Group 55 ( for £35 (they call it 'Garden Pest Repeller') - but at present the equipment is out of stock but they state that they will have full stock in the first week of February. The woman that answered the phone (01772310200) told me that they have sold many of these to caravaners to repell mice who have been pleased wiht the results. So, I now think that I will go for this equipment. Meanwhile, the traps have been reset. What this spot!
userMike Chapman
Posted: 26 January 2005 5:09 PM
Subject: Mice in van!!

Hello Rees,

Glad the mice problem is being solved to your satisfaction and the upholstery repaired OK.

The "Garden Pest Repeller" seems to work similarly to my X-contro but at a far more reasonable price. Mine cost £64 inc postage.

Good luck,

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