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How Do I Get Rid of Insects From My RV? 10 Simple Steps

woman cleaning RV interior

Few things are more fun than traveling around the country in an RV. However, insects may take up residence and can be difficult to remove. Bugs can ruin your trip and cause damage to your vehicle, but many people are unsure of how to get rid of them. Keep reading as we list several ways that you can quickly eliminate bugs in your RV, using inexpensive items that you might already have.

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The 10 Steps to Get Rid of Insects From Your RV

1. Soap and Water

Cleaning water bucket
Image Credit: Myriams-Fotos, Pixabay
Reason to use Multipurpose

Ordinary soap and water is one of the easiest and best methods that you can use to remove insects from your RV. Many bugs are attracted to the sugar and grime that can build up in the vehicle, and taking time to give it a good scrubdown can be extremely effective. Work at night, and start with the windows for the best results. A scrub brush can help you remove caked-on grime, and a sponge will help you absorb all the moisture so you don’t leave any behind. Repeat every season before any problems develop.

2. Broom

broom and dustpan with dirt and dust
Image Credit: Mariakray, Pixabay
Reason to use Multipurpose

Many people don’t keep a broom in the RV because it is such a small area, but it can be extremely helpful for getting into small, out-of-the-way areas that are hard to reach. A broom with stiff bristles is also good at killing insects and will help leave the RV cleaner than when you started. If you’re having a problem with fruit flies and other flying insects, having someone spray the floor lightly with water as you sweep can help you catch them.

3. Degreaser

cropped woman cleaning wood surface with blue cloth and spray cleaner
Image Credit: Kmpzzz, Shutterstock
Reason to use Deep clean

If you just purchased your RV or it has been sitting a while, you might need something stronger than soap and water to remove the grime and insects that live there. An eco-friendly degreaser will help you remove caked-on grease and grime with much less effort. To use this method, purchase a degreaser that uses natural ingredients and is safe to use on wood, plastic, aluminum, steel, and chrome, so you don’t damage the surfaces in your vehicle. Then, follow the instructions on the container.

4. Dryer Sheets

Dryer Sheet
Image Credit: Noah Rolseth, Shutterstock
Reason to use Repels insects

Dryer sheets smell nice and are more effective than you might think at repelling insects to help keep your RV free of unwanted guests. Add a few drops of water to each dryer sheet to prepare it for use, and place them around the windows and anywhere you see insects collecting in your vehicle. Add more water when they dry out, and change them out when the scent begins to fade.

5. WD-40

WD 40 in Can
WD 40 in Can (Image Credit: SElephant, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
Reason to use Excellent cleaner

One problem that you’ve likely noticed after driving a long distance is that the bugs can create a hard-to-remove film on your windshield. The window washers at the gas station are good, but they don’t always get everything off. If this sounds like your problem, try WD-40. Many people already have a container in the RV, and it works great at cleaning windows. Spray a small amount on a paper towel, and wipe the window to remove the bugs with almost no effort.

6. Bug Spray

killing bug with pest spray
Image Credit: Dmitry Syshchikov, Shutterstock
Reason to use Kills bugs

A commercial bug spray is an effective way to kill bugs with little hassle. Since the inside of the RV is so confined, we recommend using a brand that is non-toxic to humans. Many bug sprays use essential oils and other natural ingredients to kill the bugs safely. These will work well in an RV, as long as you don’t have any pets. If the bugs are collecting outside the RV and becoming a nuisance, you can use a more powerful insecticide to eliminate them.

Consult a PEST-CONTROL expert

Find a pest-control specialist in your area, and get free, no-commitment estimates for your project.

7. Citrus Fruit

citrus peel
Image Credit: MiraCosic, Pixabay
Reason to use Repellent

Once you get the insects out of your RV, adding citrus fruit like lemons or oranges can help keep many bugs, especially spiders, from returning. You can place pieces of the rind in inconspicuous locations, like under the carpet or in the vent, which is a common way that bugs can get into the RV. You can also simmer orange or lemon peels in hot water for several minutes to create a solution that you can add to a spray bottle to create a pleasant air freshener that is effective at repelling insects.

8. White Vinegar

Image Credit: evita-ochel, Pixabay
Reason to use Bug barrier

You can use white vinegar around the windows, doorframe, and vents to help create an insect barrier that will prevent many bugs from entering your vehicle for several days. It is inexpensive, and you can reapply it every few days for the best results. It’s also convenient because many people already have some around for cooking and cleaning.

9. Essential Oils

man holding essential oil
Image Credit: Piqsels
Reason to use Bug repellant

Essential oils are often an ingredient in natural bug sprays. However, you can also purchase the oil by itself. Many, like lemon, vanilla, tea tree, and cinnamon, will help repel and kill insects. The downside to essential oils is that many animals are sensitive to them, so you will need another option if your pets travel with you.

10. Cedar Chips

cedar chips
Image Credit: ELAKSHI CREATIVE BUSINESS, Shutterstock
Reason to use Repellent

Cedar chips are bulky, but they can be a great way to prevent insects from coming into your RV. Many people find success in putting a block of wood or a few shavings into drawers and cupboards. It smells nice and works especially well against moths.

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In many cases, giving your RV a good scrub down with ordinary soap and water will help eliminate most bugs. Adding in a degreaser can help make the process easier. We recommend a commercial bug spray for big jobs or when trying to remove dangerous insects like bees. Use WD-40 to get your windshield clean if it gets too buggy, and use citrus fruit, dryer sheets, and essential oils to keep the bugs out once they are gone.

Featured Image Credit: David Pereiras, Shutterstock


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