How To Keep Rats Away When Camping?

Camping can be a great adventure if you are well prepared. Aside from stocking up on gear and studying the area, you should also know how to keep rats away when camping.

The first thing that you need to do is to identify possible entry points. Look for holes in your tent and fix them. Make sure that all the zippers are working properly to keep rats out of your tent.


If you’re using a camper, make sure that there are no holes where they can enter. Inspect the spots where wires and pipes enter the vehicle.

Don’t forget to inspect the camper’s exterior as well. Check the windows and doors, drawers, cabinets, and storage area of the camper for any entry points.

Seal all gaps and cracks with a wire mesh, spray foam, or caulk. Use expanding foam sealant to close cracks around the camper’s plumbing and doors as well as pull-out sections.

Below listed are the tried and tested ways to keep rats, mice, and other unwanted animal guests away when camping.

Top 3 Effective Ways Campers Can Keep Rats and Mice Away

1. Use a Rat Repellent

Rats mostly seek shelter, food and water. You need to make your tent or camper less appealing to these unwanted guests by using a rat repellent. Placing mothballs, Irish spring soap, or dryer sheets at possible entry points can deter these pests.

You can also use a rat spray repellent or make your own by soaking cotton balls or rags in peppermint oil and placing them at potential points of entry. Rodents don’t like strong scents so the strong smell might scare them off.

Rats, Mice and other rodents are also repelled by sulfur, vinegar, light, and ammonia. You can also use the following natural rat repellents:

  • Ammonia – Add ammonia to a small bowl and place it near possible entry points.
  • Cloves – Put cloves in a muslin cloth or pantyhose near potential points of entry. You can also use clove oil.
  • Onions – Rats don’t like the strong smell of onions. Replace the onions every second day with new ones.
  • Cocoa Powder and Plaster of Paris – Combine cocoa powder and Plaster of Paris and spread the mixture at possible entry points. Once they eat the mixture, they will eventually die.
  • Instant Potato Powder – Sprinkle the potato powder at possible points of entry. The potato flakes will puff up in their intestines and kill them eventually.
  • Garlic – Combine chopped garlic and water. You can also put garlic cloves at potential points of entry.
  • Hot Pepper flakes – Sprinkle hot pepper flakes along the entryway to keep rats away from your tent.

Unnatural scents such as deodorant, toothpaste, soap, and lotion can attract wild animals. If you can’t avoid using these items, just use anything with artificial scents in the morning so that the smell will dissipate by nighttime.

Wear clean clothes before going to bed and keep the ones you were wearing in odor-proof bags.

2. Use Traps

You can set rat traps to catch them. Rat traps provide quick results, so it’s ideal for dealing with smaller infestations. Trapping is also safer than using poison rodent baits.

Locating the dead rat is easier as well. Use traps when rats exhibit bait shyness or when dead rats may emit unpleasant odors.

Traps are ideal when you can’t use rat baits due to the risk of food contamination. You can also use traps when poison rodent baits may pose a hazard to wildlife, pets, and children.

There are snap traps, glue traps, and live traps. Snap traps are cheap and can instantly kill rats. The spring on the trap is really strong, so make sure to keep it out of children’s reach.

Glue traps are more affordable than snap traps. It’s also safer to use. Glue traps must be kept in a dust-free and dry place.

This kind of trap may be inhumane because the rodent may not die right away. If you’ve decided to use rat glue traps, you can place them in areas with rodent activity.

Live traps are easy to use. It’s the most humane method of trapping and catching rodents. You can bait rats with a lure or peanut butter and release them outside.

Check the live trap once a day so that you can release the trapped rat immediately. Release rats far away from your campsite to prevent them from coming back.

Don’t forget to wear rubber or plastic gloves when handling traps or dead rodents. Place the rat in a plastic bag then put that bag in another bag. Seal the bag and place it in a trash can with a tight lid. Don’t forget to clean the items that were contaminated by the rat.

Disinfect the trap with bleach. You can use a commercial disinfectant or make your own by combing one gallon of water and three tablespoons of bleach.

Wash your gloved hands after disposing of the dead rodent and cleaning and resetting the trap. Remove the gloves and wash your hands with water and soap.

3. Clean Your Tent/Camper Properly

Remove all food items from your tent or camper, especially if you won’t be using them for some time. Rodents can chew their way into plastic bins, so don’t think about storing your food in these containers.

Don’t forget to clean up any spills, sticky areas, or crumbs on countertops, cushions, and other surfaces in your camper. Clean underneath the chairs and cushions. This is especially important if you are camping with your kids.

Avoid storing your camper in a wooded or grassy area where rats, mice, and rodents are likely to wander. Look for a hard surface where you can park your camper. Don’t forget to inspect your camper frequently so that you can act immediately if you find any sign of rats.


Keeping rats out of your tent or camper in the first place is easier than dealing with them after they have invaded your sleeping area.

Seal up any gaps or cracks on the exterior and interior of your tent. Remove any food sources when storing your tent. Keep everything clean to avoid attracting rats.

If you’re going to use traps, consider using humane options. Set up your camper or tent at least 200’ from where you drain water, cook, or store items with unnatural scents. Now that you know how to keep rats away when camping, all that is left to do is to enjoy your adventure!

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