How to Keep the Bugs Out of Your RV

Spring has sprung! As we celebrate in the warmth the sun brings, we swat and slap at the bugs. What a beautiful world it would be without them. Some bugs are pretty and nice, like lady bugs and some not so nice and a little ugly like ticks! Ohhhh, ticks, give me the shivers.  There are bugs that can do damage to me and do damage to my van. They all need to live in nature, where we are both most comfortable. Here are a few tips and tricks on how I keep the bugs out of my RV.


Some bugs I did not even think of when I first moved into my Roadtrek. I have lived in the country all my life, and my last house was near the lake, so I am familiar with spiders of all sizes. They do not really bother me until I roll on one and it bites me or it touches the control panel of my furnace and fries itself and shorts out the panel in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter, and in the middle of nowhere. Ohh that was a costly repair and required some out of the box thinking to make it work.

Did you know spiders love propane? I had no idea. Yes they were all over the propane BBQ in the backyard but they were every where else as well. Did you know they do not like the smell of peppermint? In the spring and in the fall when they are looking for homes I will mix a small amount of peppermint extract in a small spray water bottle. I fill the bottle with water until I have a good scent of peppermint. Spraying peppermint in and around my propane openings. Near the fridge vent, near my furnace and at the back by the fill pipe keep the spiders at bay and a nice smell that lasts for a little while.


Flies are gross little creatures out to make you crazy. Growing up in farm country flies are something you just get used to. They are everywhere. They are dirty as well as can be quite nasty. The saying goes, ” If the flies are biting, rain is coming.” Which seems to be true, but those bites hurt! I can read the weather report, so biting is not necessary. There is really nothing you can do to keep them out except keep the windows closed, but that really is not an option in the summer unless you could turn on your air conditioning. Raid or other bug killing aerosols are definitely out. I do not like smell or everything covered in the mist that is left behind. Not to mention, where do all the dead bodies go? I think that is one of those universe questions that does not have an answer! Lol!

The old wives tale about the penny in the bag may be old but is definitely not a tale. It works well at keeping the flies away. Good thing I have a few American pennies. We have not had them for quite a few years here in Canada. There are always a few that want to come in though.

Penny in a bag

Remember those paper fly strips that you would have hanging in your house? Oh, I hated those just because they were ugly, and at one point, I would walk into it and get that sticky yucky stuff in my hair. Unfortunately, they worked really well. I really can not have that hanging in my RV. I found these little tube shaped fly catchers. They are only 10″ long and have little cups at the end of the tube, so if you touch it, you touch that first, not the sticky stuff, because still, eww! I hang it from the shower rod when I am parked, and because I am so short, I can walk under it. They also slide back in the box for easy non-sticky transport. Combined with a handy fly swatter, it is the best way I have found to keep them under control.


As you read in my blog, 5 Must Haves when Camping. I have a thermocell to help combat the mosquitoes outside, but I will also use it inside. I do not recommend you use it while you are in your RV, but I will put the portable one in the van, close up the van while I am outside at the fire. About 20 minutes before I am ready to get in the van for the night, I will turn it off and let it sit, and the vapors evaporate. I find it gives off such a fine vapor that it will dispel but kill or drive the mosquitoes out before I climb in.

I have also seen an advertisement for a window netting that would let the air flow through but stop the bugs from getting in. I am thinking of trying it. It expands to wrap the window part of the door but still allows you to close and lock it. It looks like it may work on any type of vehicle.


Those blood sucking little varments really need to stay outside. Not only are they ugly and nasty, but they also carry a dreadful disease known as Lyme Disease.  Prevention really is the best medicine here. In the last few years ticks have been very bad and plentiful. I have had two on me so far this year, and ohhhh, did that give me tickitis for the rest of the night. Ticks are mostly found in long grass areas along trails and walkways. Knowing what you are walking into is your best defense. Long pants with your socks pulled over the bottom of your pants to keep them off your ankles. Do a thorough tick check before getting into the RV. They can sit and wait until you walk by again. They do not die easily. The two I had were put in the sink and set on fire with my stove lighter and flushed down the drain. Lol!


Now mice are not bugs but are pests so I am going to include them here. I often see full time RV’ers post about mice problems. I have never had them as an issue as I am very mobile but I do have a custom van that I store in the winter that is prone to mice invasions. The best thing I have found for keeping them out is whole cloves. I get a small bag from the bulk food store and sprinkle them all over the van. I have never had a mouse problem since and the van smells nice when I open it in the spring. Almost makes me want to eat ham! 🙂

I hope some of the things I do help you to keep the bugs in nature and out of your RV. 

What is your most hated bug intruder? What is your favorite hack you use to keep them out? Let me know in the comments?

Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure

See you next time


7 thoughts on “How to Keep the Bugs Out of Your RV

  1. Bugs can be tough on the road. Horse flies really bite! Being bit by horse flies has hurt far more than being stung by bees and yellow jackets….at least for me. Brutal.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: