Red squirrels are cute little things, aren’t they? Not so much, though, when you find one hanging out in your RV! Rodents, of any sort, can make a real mess, spread germs, and even do some fairly serious damage with their sharp little teeth. Here’s how we found, and then got rid of a furry visitor.
We live in a fairly rural area of New Hampshire. There are lots of woods and fields around our house and so, lots of wildlife too. We winterize our travel trailer and it is stored outside on our property. As much as we try to seal up any rodent-friendly access points into the rig, we typically catch at least a couple of field mice over the course of a winter. Those little guys can seemingly gain access even through the smallest of openings.
In the winter months, we set mouse traps in the under-sink cabinets, behind the access door to the water heater, and in several other places we think the little rodents might frequent. My first clue that something bigger than a mouse was on the scene, was when I opened the compartment under the stove – access to the water heater – and saw that a mouse trap had not only been tripped, but the plastic trigger (where I had put the peanut butter bait) had been chewed OFF! Then I noticed droppings on the floor of the compartment that were definitely BIGGER than mouse droppings.
I’ve seen, in a friend’s rig, how much damage these little guys can do. So now I knew two things: (1) I have to get under the rig with a can of spray-foam on a “search ‘n’ seal” mission, and (2) I’ve got to evict my furry little friend from the rig! I happened to have a Havahart trap in my workshop, so, leaving the compartment door open, I went to get it.
Did you ever really, really wish you had thought to bring a camera with you? Well, when I got back out to the rig with the trap I sure did. I must have been fairly quiet when I stepped back into the trailer, because when I looked down at the problem compartment there was my squirrel buddy (see the red arrow in the photo) sitting on the door looking at me as if to say “What are YOU doing in MY trailer?” I took a step closer. He sat there as if he owned the place. I took another step closer. He took off into the rig, heading for the couch. I said, “Hey, get back here!” He leaped up on the couch, jumped to the window curtain, zipped across the valance, down the curtain on the other side and under the dinette slide-out. Oh boy!
To make a long story short, I baited the Havahart trap with peanut butter and set it right on the compartment door – an open dinner invitation – and then closed up the rig and left. I didn’t think it would be this easy, but when I came back a bit later, my squirrel friend was already behind bars and very unhappy about it. I put the trap in the back of my truck, gave him a lift to the other side of town, and set him free. And yes, I really blew the photo opportunities, but at least I got rid of the unwanted tenant.
Note — if you’re interested — here’s a link to a page where you can learn more about, or buy the trap I’ve got, the Havahart model 1025 2-door trap. Here’s a link to the lighter weight model 0745 1-door trap. Either will work just fine for squirrels, chipmunks, and so forth.
I’ll do another post about finding where the squirrel got into the trailer, and how I sealed that opening and some other, smaller ones. I’ll include more information about dealing with RV pests and unwanted passengers.