Keep Bugs Out of Your RV!

Nobody likes being bugged by insects, especially on vacation, but the nature of RVs and outdoor camping means that your vehicle attracts bugs from the first hatch of spring to the first frost of fall. A few simple tricks and handy products can turn your vehicle into a relatively bug-free zone and prevent

Whether it’s black flies, mosquitos, spiders, ants or lady bugs, keeping nuisance bugs out of your RV means taking a few preventative steps to ensure that when your door is closed, insects have no way to get in your RV.

Mosquito close up
Photo by Alfredo Ruiz

The first step is to think like a bug and look for ways they may be entering your vehicle. Is there light streaming in around the edges of your screen door? Are all of your window and vent screens in perfect condition? Don’t forget the over-the-stove vent as well. Making sure there are no obvious pathways for bugs to fly or crawl in is your best defense — whether that means using calk, tape or installing new screens to better seal your interior from the exterior.

Rope calk, available in most hardware stores, is a simple, low-cost and easy-to-remove way to improve your vehicle’s physical barrier to the outside world — and it won’t damage painted or stained surfaces when removed. Use it around doors, windows or vents. Duct tape works in a pinch.

After you’ve secured the premises, take preventative measures by installing ant/household pest bait stations in key areas: under the sink, in exterior storage compartments and the back of closets — anywhere that’s practical without getting in the way or being accessible to children or pets.

Some RV retailers also offer bug bulbs that claim to repel flying insects by emitting less ultraviolet energy and, in general, a tone of light that is less appealing to airborne insects.

You can also go on the offensive, and have some fun, with a Personal Bug Zapper ($12.58 @ that’s a miniature, electrified tennis racket. Just turn on the switch, swing at bugs and it will quickly zap them out of your life. Beware, though, that this should not be left around for kids to find.

And finally, for minimizing bug damage to the exterior, some have gone as far as spraying the exterior of their vehicle with nonstick cooking spray to prevent little buggers from adhering to your vehicle’s exterior. Rain-X also sells bug-removing windshield fluid that is more effective at removing bug gunk than the cheap blue stuff at gas stations.

What are your bug-prevention tips? Comment below to spread the knowledge!

Tom Kaiser


  1. Good call on the Personal Bug Zapper. It will not take any sibling to realize the power they will whiled over another with that device. LOL I am going to try the Rain-X windshield fluid. Thanks for the great ideas.

  2. We saw a TV program a couple of years ago that suggested wiping down the front of the RV (we have an Allegro Class A) with dish detergent. When you get to your destination (or it rains!) the bugs just slide right off! We use Dawn but I expect any liquid dish detergent would work. 😉

  3. Seal off the air conditioner vents when not in use…I found bugs were getting in that way. Just took a minute to loosen the tape when I wanted to use the unit…also changed filters

  4. I put moth balls in all of my compartments underneath the RV and also under the bed. Bugs cannot stand moth balls. No bugs in this RV.

    • Doesn’t the strong smell of the mothballs bother you in your RV? I use them in my offsite storage and they make my eyes water until I get out of there.

  5. I used sewing tread and cotton balls with raid around my entry screen door all can be bought at walmart, first thing i did, was cut the tread about a foot in size and tie the cotton balls to one end, then use the sewing needle to place the string through your screen door and tie that end, then spray the cotton balls with the raid or bug be gone stuff on the cotton ball, wait about 20min. for the smell to go away then enjoy the outside while being inside with no bugs flying around your door.

  6. I wonder how RVers handle the noseeum’s — tiny, biting flying insects found in Florida, year round? People have extra small mesh screens on their windows in their houses down there, but what can RVers do? How to find extra small-mesh window screens for RVs? We were eaten alive down there at night while we slept.

  7. Please, can someone help? We are newbies/full-timers, coming up on our 1st summer in Phoenix. Anyway, we bought our 1999 Sunnybrook, 33ft TT from a private party. Initially there was a bee problem (quite a few appeared to be living in & around the back of the trailer). The previous owners took care of exterminating the pests before we purchased the place, & all appeared well. Until, that is, our first night in our new home, & we blew our first breaker. The breaker box is located next to our bed, down by the floor. When we, opened that cabinet door I could hardly believe it. There were hundreds of dead bees all over in there. And thats not even the worst of it…HONEY!!! EVERYWHERE!!! A shop vac took care of the bodies, but the honey has proven to be more of a challenge. The two big connections on the sides of the breaker box looked like heavily corroded battery terminals, & it’s just thick on the linoleum floor, the wooden walls and yes, all over & down in between each breaker. I have used a plastic scraper & chiseled away most of the thickest stuff, but I need to really get in there & get it gone. As the temperature is getting hotter, & the honey gooier, now the ants are arriving. Do you know of a good cleaner that I can use, that won’t cause any damage to the breakers or electrical wires? I’ve posted this question on a couple of other sites, & have gotten no response. Please, I could really use some helpful suggestions. I’m scared that with the warmer weather here, this honey is going to also attract more bees back here. HELP! Thanks for your time, Ruthie.

  8. In the summer in Florida and Ga. I get these little black flying insects they don’t bite or anything, but everyday their a so many and if I don’t kill they just die and leave tiny black dots everywhere. If anyone knows what I’m talking about, and how to stop them please help. Thanks

  9. Has anyone used a bug fogger to get rid of fleas in your RV. Is there a certain kind you might suggest. Thanks Cindy.

    • Obviously I’m too late in reply but fleas aren’t a bug, but rather a parasite. They’re much harder to kill. Killing/removing their eggs is most important as they can come back months after you think you eradicated the issue. Wash everything in hot water with borax. Every single material you can. Sprinkle it into couches and anything you can’t wash. It dries out the protective covering to their bodies and eggs. Then vacuum, vacuum, vacuum! Everything you can, vacuum it 3 times per day if you can! Make sure you stop allowing any pets on your furniture or bed, and treat all pets for fleas, ticks, etc. every month in the spring, fall, summer (winter too if you live where it doesn’t freeze). Dealing with fleas, mites or any parasite is a nightmare.

      Another amazing thing to help is DE. Research it before use. It’s natural but not good to breathe in. Can be used in laundry, on furniture etc. just be careful not to inhale it. Hope your pest issue is a thing of the past!

  10. Baking soda with peroxide, take off any sticky dirt, once it dries out use an old tooth brush to brush it off then a vaccum to suck the dirt out.

  11. Did you know there is a product on the market that self closes the plastic slide on the RV Screen Door so you don’t forget to close it? It’s called RV Bugstop. I purchased it online, and it took under two minutes to install and without any tools, it is one of the best things I have ever bought for my RV. You can get them online

  12. I have always found that most of the bugs come through the slide panel on the screen door because it seems that someone will always forget to close it, and before you know it the bugs are inside your RV. But someone has finally come up with a solution. I was in a Camping World store and came across a product called RV Bug Stop. It is a self-closing device for the slide panel on the screen door. I bought it and installed it in under two minutes without any tools. it works great. No more leaving the slide open. Also, there was an extra bonus. It also keeps our cat from getting out through the panel.

  13. I just dealt with a major ant and spider infestation after getting my RV out of storage. It took me forever to kill them. I was creeped out to sleep, eat or just be in my RV for over a month. I had to bug bomb it with a fogger for a day then put traps, bug spray, take it to an RV wash and a bunch of other home remedies I found. Best is to never let the bugs in!


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