It may seem that RV ants have their own classification as they seem to just appear from nowhere. And before long they just take over your RV. When that happens, camping is no longer fun! But whether it is carpenter ants, sugar ants or some other kind of ants, they have to go.
But how do they get into your RV anyway? The truth is that there are plenty of little cracks and holes in most RVs. And ants are persistent! The colony sends out scout ants first. Their job is to go find the food. Once the food is found, they leave a scent trail for other ants to follow. Before you know it, you have a steady stream of ants coming and going in your RV.
What kind of ant remedy should you use?
There are lots of ant remedies being discussed all over the internet. Some work well and others, not so much. Of course, many campers turn to using some kind of insecticide in the RV right away. But there can be problems with this approach. If you have children or pets, it is possible for them to be harmed by the poison in the insecticide. And even adults can be affected, if the ant poison isn’t applied correctly.
So today, we are going to discuss mostly natural remedies for ants instead. They can be just as effective and don’t have the harmful side effects of insecticide poisons. Some of these natural ant removal techniques take a little work on your part. But they are also very effective!
Remove the RV ants food source
The first ant removal technique is to simply remove the food source. Ants are not out there just marching around to find a camper that they can irritate. Although it may seem that way at times. Remember, that scout ants are always on the lookout for food. Only when they find food will you see the rest of the colony in your RV. So it stands to reason that if you remove the food source, they will leave you alone.
This means that you can’t leave food sitting out where it is easily found by the scout ants. So when your meal is over, put the leftovers away as soon as you can. And don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink very long either. Of course, it is tempting to leave them for later. But the ants may get to them before you do!
And if you have food along on the camping trip that ants love, protect it! That means that if it is going to be outside the refrigerator, put it in a container that can be sealed. There are several plastic containers for sale that are ideal for storing foods in this way. Especially foods that are sweet should be sealed away from sugar ants and other prying insects.
Thoroughly clean your RV
After removing the food source, clean your RV thoroughly, especially where the ant trails are visible. This is the extra step that many campers do not take. But it is critical if you don’t want to see any more ants!
The reason for this cleaning is to remove the ant scent trails that were left for ants to find the food. If you just remove the food source, the ants will still keep coming in for a while. This because the scent trail for food is still in place. So, if you remove the ant scent trails, you reduce your ant problem significantly and quickly.
Many campers use a product called Pine-Sol to clean their RV. This is because Pine-Sol effectively destroys ant scent trails right away. The ants may still come in your RV for a while but they find no scent to follow. So they become disoriented and usually leave.
Use ant bait liquid
The use of ant bait liquid is very effective in removing ants. There are several brands of ant bait liquid on the market. But one of the most popular is Terro ant bait. It is the product that we have used in our motorhome and it worked great! If you look into Terro ant killer containers on Amazon, you will see that the product is well reviewed. And the reviews are very high too!
I use and recommend Terro ant bait containers. Find out more about it by clicking the photo below:
It works well because it contains borax, which is lethal to ants. However, Borax has very low toxicity for humans and other animals. So, it is more of a natural ant remedy. The ants are attracted to the borax ant killer in the containers. They ingest it and take it back to the colony. The colony ingests it and is wiped out. No more ants!
All you have to do is just place the ant bait in strategic areas. These could be in cupboards, cabinets around the kitchen area, along known ant trails, etc. If you use the Terro ant bait containers, they are simple to distribute and there is no mess.
Kill RV ants outside
All of the ant removal remedies I have mentioned so far have been inside the RV. But why not stop the ants from coming in to your RV in the first place? Ants must have a way to get into your RV and there are only a few ways to do that. RVs usually only have contact with the ground through the tires, leveling jacks or hoses. So as part of your regular RV inspection, include these areas where ants can gain entry to your RV.
A product that has worked well to kill ants outside is diatomaceous earth, or DE for short. DE is sold in pool supply stores for use in pool filters. It’s a white or gray powder that is very fine and is lethal to the skeleton of ants. So if you apply DE around anything that touches the ground from your RV, it can be very effective. Ants often approach the diatomaceous earth, sense that it is harmful to them and just back away. But if they don’t back away, it kills them quickly.
There are plenty of other ideas for getting rid of RV ants, but these are the ones that have been most effective for us.