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Old 04-05-2021, 05:33 AM   #1
TheBigPig
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Ants in Pass Thru

I just purchased my first travel trailer in January (2017 keystone passport 2400bh).

It has been in storage since then, but we've been occasionally stocking it. While getting it stocked a few weeks ago, I noticed a lot of dead ants in the pass thru storage, and I'm pretty sure they are carpenter ants. At first I put in Borax ant traps, and a few more dead ones popped up. 5 days ago I sprayed carpenter ant killer all around the corners of the pass through storage and there are many dead ants in there today. I just put down some granular carpenter ant killer.

There are no ants in the main cabin. This leads me to believe that there may be a leak/moisture somewhere in the pass through storage, but I cannot find any evidence of such. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on eliminating the ants completely and where else I can look for moisture/leaks in the pass through storage compartment.

Thank you,
The Big Pig
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Old 04-05-2021, 05:50 AM   #2
Urbish
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I use little piles of corn meal as a non-poisonous ant killer. Ants can't digest it and it swells up inside them. I've found it works better than any ant traps I have purchased.
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:10 AM   #3
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An old, old urban myth:

"When it comes to getting rid of pesky insects, old-spouses' tales swarm in as thick and fast as the insects themselves. You can find dozens, if not hundreds, of articles on the Internet touting cornmeal as a natural, effective and safe way to kill ants. What you won't find is any scientific support for the notion. Try it if you will, but you may have to add a little poison to the cornmeal to keep those ants from marching one by one, two by two, across your garden patio."

Step 1
Add 9 parts cornmeal to 1 part insecticide like boric acid or borax. Bait insecticides must be slow-acting so that the ant finding the bait doesn't die before it carries the bait back to the nest. Add sufficient soybean oil to make the mixture into a paste.

Step 2
Place the cornmeal bait in a sealed container with punched entry holes. Place the containers out away from areas frequented by children and pets. It is poison if ingested and can also be toxic on repeated exposure.

Step 3
Clean your house and yard to make sure that the ants do not have any other source of food. Fix leaks in pipes and faucets to eliminate other sources of water.

Step 4
Check every few days to see if the ants are eating the bait. Different foods are acceptable to different types of ants, so if the cornmeal/soybean oil doesn't appeal to them, try something sweet , like honey, or something greasy, like peanut butter.
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbish View Post
I use little piles of corn meal as a non-poisonous ant killer. Ants can't digest it and it swells up inside them. I've found it works better than any ant traps I have purchased.
Boric acid and powdered sugar mixed 50/50 will also work. Boric acid is found in any pharmacy (check the eye care section). Sprinkle it under the trailer, around any place where the trailer touches the ground (tires, jacks, shore power cable/water hose). You can also sprinkle it in the storage compartment for "immediate results".... I'd steer clear of using corn meal, it will attract mice/rats/chipmunks while trying to get rid of the ants.....
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:13 AM   #5
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I'm of the old school I guess. I spray the ground/perimeter of the trailer, the jacks, cables coming in and any other possible entrance or pathway for them. I've not had any in the RV. Might give that a whirl. I would much prefer them to never get in the trailer.
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Old 04-05-2021, 08:53 AM   #6
TheBigPig
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Thanks for the tips / tricks. Unsure which route I'll go once I get all the pesticide cleaned up that I put in the area, but I'll definitely treat the areas where the camper touches the ground to prevent future infestation.
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Old 04-05-2021, 12:42 PM   #7
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We've had a couple of ant invasions and this is what we learned.
1) You have to stop them at the entry trail.
2) You have to kill ALL of them in the trailer.
3) You have to eliminate their scent trails or they'll keep coming back.
4) Pine O Clean kills them stone dead instantly, and overwhelms their pheromone scent trails at the same time. Additionally, it's non-toxic to us... and smells nice.
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Old 04-05-2021, 01:21 PM   #8
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We've had ants twice. The first time my kids left an open Chik-Fil-A Polynesian sauce in a sealed ziplock bag under the table, and we somehow missed it during our after-vacation cleanup. There were ants everywhere in the RV, including under the matts in the bunks. I guess I'm also old-school. We cleaned the RV 100% and used ant spray for the visible ants (there was a clear line going outside), and then put Sevin around the TT where it connected with the ground.

During a trip to Jekyll, a few got inside. We have since left ant traps in storage compartments and cabinets, and haven't seen any in 7-8 months. I take Sevin with us on every trip, however.
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Old 04-05-2021, 01:57 PM   #9
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Bought a gallon jug of Home Defense Insecticide with the built in sprayer & at every stop sprayed around everything that touched the ground, never any kind of insect inside.
Also had a sonic pest repeller plugged in the basement that was on every time we plugged to shore power, we also never had any critters after using both these methods.
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Old 04-21-2021, 08:09 AM   #10
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Have mice in my 2015 Cougar 26RLS ceiling. Have tried Peppermint essential oils and it doesn't seem to work. I placed about 20 cotton balls with the oil in the ceiling by the vents and lights. The whole camper smells good but the mice are still there. No sign the mice are getting inside the living quarters. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-21-2021, 08:59 AM   #11
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Have you considered pulling the plastic trim ring from around the roof vents? They are usually held in place by 4 screws. Remove the screws and pull the trim ring down, it will give you access to the "attic space". Use a "strong string tied to a mouse trap" to secure the trap so an active mouse can't pull the trap deeper into the attic space, and set a mouse trap or two around each roof vent. Hopefully you can catch and remove the mice.

You don't want to just slip a trap up there. If you happen to catch a mouse "by the foot or by the tail" and it drags the trap into the middle of the attic, you'll NEVER get rid of the "rotting mouse smell" and you'll have to pull "half the ceiling down" to get to the trap.... So, anchor them to the area round the roof vent !!!!!
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Old 04-21-2021, 09:33 AM   #12
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I did pull down the plastic enclosures and placed the cotton balls in the small openings. The openings buy the vents are so small it is impossible to get any type trap in there. The cotton balls just fit.
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Old 04-21-2021, 11:16 AM   #13
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I did pull down the plastic enclosures and placed the cotton balls in the small openings. The openings buy the vents are so small it is impossible to get any type trap in there. The cotton balls just fit.
On our 2014 XLite, I took the trim ring off the bathroom vent and reached in "all the way to the vanity light" to put nuts on screws to hole up a fixture.

If you can't access the attic space that way, you might consider removing a part of the ceiling luan "INSIDE A UPPER CABINET" and accessing the attic space that way. For sure you don't want to go cutting holes in the visible ceiling luan nor do you want to consider removing the front cap to access the area....

It's "for sure" not a self supporting biosphere and they are "coming and going" for food and water, so there's access somewhere that they've found and they'll keep using it as long as it's open.

They've found a way into the attic, it's up to you to close that off and find a way to get them out....
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Old 04-21-2021, 03:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue View Post
Have mice in my 2015 Cougar 26RLS ceiling. Have tried Peppermint essential oils and it doesn't seem to work. I placed about 20 cotton balls with the oil in the ceiling by the vents and lights. The whole camper smells good but the mice are still there. No sign the mice are getting inside the living quarters. Any suggestions?
Definitely not questioning you. Just wondering how you figured out mice were there. Droppings? Scratching? Squeaks? I assume these are tiny field mice?
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Old 04-21-2021, 04:03 PM   #15
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Upon looking at the bottom plastic cover for the 5th wheel it looks like there as so many places to enter it would almost be better to take it off and see where they are gaining access to the ceiling. This seems like a big project that I don't know is worth it.
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Old 04-21-2021, 04:04 PM   #16
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Can hear them running in the ceiling above the front bedroom.
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Old 04-21-2021, 04:41 PM   #17
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Upon looking at the bottom plastic cover for the 5th wheel it looks like there as so many places to enter it would almost be better to take it off and see where they are gaining access to the ceiling. This seems like a big project that I don't know is worth it.
I spend about an hour or so on a creeper, under my fifth wheel every spring and every fall. Sometimes I'll use half a can of expanding spray foam, other times I'll use 2 cans... Through the years, you'd think that by now, on a 7 year old trailer, that I'd have found and covered/plugged all the possible entry points... Not so.... Every time I lay under the trailer, I find two or three more places that I missed over the years... Could be easy for me to blame the new holes on the mice chewing into my old, already plugged holes... But honestly, they're clean holes with no old foam around them, so I can't blame anyone but myself.... It leads to wondering if I'm under my own trailer or someone else's trailer at times.....

You'll find "hundreds that seem like thousands" of entry points the first time you spend an hour under there.... But, in the end, it's well worth the effort, not only in pest control but also in propane savings if you do any early spring/late fall camping... Every one of those "mouse access sites" is also a "chilling cold entry point"....
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Old 04-21-2021, 05:16 PM   #18
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I spend about an hour or so on a creeper, under my fifth wheel every spring and every fall. Sometimes I'll use half a can of expanding spray foam, other times I'll use 2 cans... Through the years, you'd think that by now, on a 7 year old trailer, that I'd have found and covered/plugged all the possible entry points... Not so.... Every time I lay under the trailer, I find two or three more places that I missed over the years... Could be easy for me to blame the new holes on the mice chewing into my old, already plugged holes... But honestly, they're clean holes with no old foam around them, so I can't blame anyone but myself.... It leads to wondering if I'm under my own trailer or someone else's trailer at times.....

You'll find "hundreds that seem like thousands" of entry points the first time you spend an hour under there.... But, in the end, it's well worth the effort, not only in pest control but also in propane savings if you do any early spring/late fall camping... Every one of those "mouse access sites" is also a "chilling cold entry point"....


Hmmm, a tell tale sign. See, I think it's the alignment of the stars or maybe the phase of the moon, but, it's everyday. Heck, most times I don't know what day it is or what DW told me to do 5 minutes ago. Yep, like me you may be entering....."THE TWILIGHT ZONE"!

After they replaced all the bottoms on my slides I went along underneath sealing the screw heads and putting washers on all the screws holding the metal J panels on that had been screwed through by overzealous "pros" putting the thing together (they need to limit their little drivers to about 20 inch pounds). On the way back from FL a few weeks back saw a large cable just hanging down under the trailer at the back corner. Crawled under there and what is there? An entire panel with screws torqued right thru the metal....and....I did this once??? Thought about getting DW under there to double check what I was doing.....but....what the heck did I just say!!!! Naw, I'll just give it another go next time round. And, just keep a couple bottles of spray foam around when you find those "new" holes you didn't see last time.
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