RV Ants? Get Rid Of Them Now

How to get rid of RV ants

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!

So maybe you want to know how to get rid of carpenter ants in your RV. Or sugar ants or some other kind of ants.

Well first, 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.

Watch my video on RV ants here

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Table of Contents

“How To Get Rid Of Ants In My Camper”?

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 you may ask “How to get rid of ants in my camper without using insecticide”?

Well 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 can 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.

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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.

One way to eliminate the food source is to physically move the RV. After all, most likely you have ants in your RV because it is parked close to a nearby nest.

So moving to a different location can often solve the problem.

But often, just moving the RV is not enough. And you still need to remove the food source ants are coming for.

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.

One more thing to do after cleaning your RV. Make sure that you take out your food garbage quickly and regularly.

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Trash with food in it that is left behind for even a short time can become an attractant for ants. So make a habit of taking out the trash often!

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 personally use and recommend Terro ant bait containers. Find out more about it by clicking the link below:

Click here for Terro Liquid Ant Bait Containers

(This is an affiliate link for the product on Amazon. It does not cost you any extra to buy the product using my affiliate link if you choose to do so)

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.

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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.


All of the methods mentioned above work well to get rid of RV ants. But the single best way to do it quickly and efficiently is to remove the food source itself.

It’s actually very simple. Ants are always looking for food. And you won’t see a lot of ants unless a food source has been located.

So it stands to reason that if you provide no food source for them, you will not be seeing them much.

And there are plenty of other ideas for getting rid of RV ants, including the use of pesticides. But these are the ones that have been most effective for us.

So if you want to know how to get rid of carpenter ants in your RV, sugar ants or ants in general, these suggestions are effective.

In review, here are the ideas we have covered in this article:

  • Move your RV to a different location
  • Remove all leftover food and crumbs from open areas and take out the trash
  • Store dry food in plastic containers to prevent their access to it
  • Thoroughly clean the RV to remove all traces of ant trails
  • Use PineSol on solid surfaces to destroy any leftover ant trails
  • Use ant bait containers like Terro to attract and kill them
  • Sprinkle DE outside around any part of your RV that touches the ground

I hope these suggestions help you get your RV ant problem under control quickly and easily.

Have safe and happy travels my friends!

4 thoughts on “RV Ants? Get Rid Of Them Now”

  1. New To RV'g says:

    Thank you; we are trying your recommendations right now. We wonder, is it possible that this RV had an ant infestation before we purchased it?

    They seemed to come out of everywhere, and they seem to know just where to go back to: bathroom wallpaper, kitchen window, around the toilet.

    But, we are already seeing improvement; we haven’t even had a chance to cook in this RV yet!!!

    1. I know … sometimes it seems like they are coming from everywhere. Just remember that they need the same three things that we do – water, food and shelter. The more that you deny them access to those things, the more they will leave your RV alone. Happy RVing!

  2. Paul Allen Taylor says:

    I am seeing a collection of white material evidence of insects chewing in the interior panels on a slide out. Its only one side and the particles pile up on the floor directly under that panel. It’s a closet in the bedroom above the floor. I put a dixie cup under the panel. I found both particles and some darker objects that look like parts of ants or very small insects that look like ticks, but I doubt that’s what they are. We did have an issue in the same area where the white material was wood dust. We cleaned and bombed the bedroom. The issue was resolved, we thought. We are not set up in Florida until April. It’s my thinking there are larva that hatched in warmer climate and are gnawing on the material. So far, they are localized. When we set up I sprayed around tires and such as well as hoses and cables. I have not seen anything crawling on the rv. So, as mentioned, I feel they are larva chewing.
    Perhaps you or anyone else might have an opinion on this.

    1. Hi Paul. If it is insect larva, I think you did the right thing by using a bug bomb in that area.

      But I would also follow that up by spraying that slide out with a good insecticide as well. And if you can somehow penetrate into the interior of the slide wall that would be even better.

      This is something that I wouldn’t mess around with. I would throw whatever I can at the problem before significant damage is done.

      I hope that helps.

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