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This question is for anyone who has ever lived in a mobile home: What are your thrifty ideas to prevent wild animals like raccoons, etc. from making their home under your mobile home, or worse, getting into the insulation or ductwork from the underbelly? I have recently had to add vinyl skirting to a mobile home which had never had any before. My neighbors with skirting always seem to have animal issues, and I'd like to prevent any problems if possible. Please help and thanks for any advice!
Here are several that my mother & I have been using to successfully deter various critters over the years. Irish Spring soap bars, Bounce dryer sheets (the extra-smelly kind), sprinkle Cayenne pepper around (many dollar stores have it cheap), Avon Skin-So-Soft bath oil (dip a rag in it), peppermint oil (on a rag, wood chips, or a cotton ball, natural food stores & some hardware stores). All of these do have to be "refreshed" every so often, but one or another of them has always worked for us. Also, one of my favorites, though I don't think it has any effect on raccoons- is to sprinkle Borax (good ol' 20 Mule Team laundry "booster") around on the ground. It's great at getting rid of various insect pests, especially fleas.
I would put a plastic dishtub under there and put a quart or so of bleach in it now and then, just to put a lingering irritating smell under there. Yes, I used to live in a mobile with skirting, and yes, rodents were a problem. For the mice, I just used a bucket trap (a thin board leading up to the top of the bucket, no lid, then a wire across the top with a pop can strung on it, and some meat juice dried on the outside of the pop can at the middle. The mice would run up the board, step out on the wire to get to the meat smell, the pop can would turn so that the mouse fell into the bottom of the bucket where there was about six inches of water with dish soap for him to drown in. Nope, no sympathy for a mouse that dares to get under my house. The icky part was changing the water now and then, every couple-three months.
The absolute easiest thing to do is simple throw a handful of mothballs under your trailer. It keeps out all animals. Tried and true remedy. They will eventually deteriorate and will have to be replaced.
Had a mobile home, now have a campground. Throw moth balls under your home or peppermint Altoids (mice hate them) or very strong scented fabric softener sheets--or all three!
Throw A box of moth balls under the trailer each season. It keeps all critters out including spiders.
They can simply dig a tunnel under there, that's how they did mine.
Just moved to a rural area in a MH that has been sitting for about 6 months and found critter tunnels at all corners and under the decking. Read somewhere about using USED kitty litter. I had to do it a couple of times, crap and all thrown into those holes then sprinkled hot pepper powder (like 2 for $1 from Family Dollar) on top. My third trip out today, nothing had been moved so I think they left, but I threw in about 8 moth balls in every nook and cranny I could find. Saving more used kitty litter just in case, but I think it worked! Also read about using unwrapped sticks of Juicy Fruit gum - guess the critters eat it and it "gums" up their insides. I don't know what critters I had/have, but will keep on working on it!
This a bigger problem than you think. Rodents love to nest in the insulation under your home. And they reproduce in litters of 9 or more every couple of months. Their young quickly mature to begin litters of their own. You may want to do the math on this. They will come in droves every winter and quickly contaminate your insulation causing major odor problems. You must exlude your crawl space. Vinyl is probably the cheapest, but leave no openings for them to get through. The skirting will not totally keep them out by it self. But you need to make it difficult for them. Some people put wire mesh in the ground going down a foot or more. Others will dig a trench around the skirting and put in pea gravel as rodents don't like to dig in pea gravel. Use spray foam, and wire mesh to seal off all openings larger than a dime especially around porches and decks. I put my vinyl skirting just to the ground except on the woods side of the house where I put a 4 X 4 in the ground under the skirting and some gravel in front of it.
You then need to keep bait stations around the skirting and replenish them every couple of months. and I would recommend a couple of traps under the house just in case one gets under the house and is thinking of taking up residence. This is pretty effective. Installing a crawl space door makes it easy to access the traps. If you want to ever get rid of the smell, you want to have the floor insulation replaced. Some crawl space companies do this and spray a deodorizer under the home. Call some mobile home people that know how to do do insulation work for mobile homes. Many regular contractors won't do it cause it is difficult replacing the rodent barrier that goes underneath the insulation. You'll pay around $2,00 to $3,00 per square foot for this, which isn't bad. Often you'll need to re-do the whole underbelly as once there in they like to run up and down the length of the home crapping where ever they go. They do alot of damage quickly, this is whay the exlusion and baiting trapping maintenance is so important. Put down a clean vapor barrier. I had to learn everything the hard way. I had the crawl space redone, put on vinyl skirting, excluded the crawl space with wood, wire, and foam, and have a bate and trap system. This has been successful for a few years running now. Good luck with it.
First of all, your home owners insurance will cover the removal of a dead raccoon and put all new insulation in for you. My insurance covers this at a 100%, there is usually no deductible, no upfront cost, no charge to me the home owner. So contact a company that handles live and dead animal removal. Find out if they handle the insurance claims. Have them find out if the animal has matted down the insulation and if you have droppings from it. Then you just sit back and let them take care of the problem. Next, some of the animal removal companies put up the new insulation and some work with others who do. Either way, they should enter the insurance claim for you and you should have no upfront cost if your insurance covers it at a 100%. Next, you will want to try and make it harder for any animal to get under your home again.
When we re-floored several rooms, we put in pipes with caps in the closets. The pipe is a pvc pipe coming out of the floor with a cap that is not glued on. A nail keeps it from dropping down. The pipe is just long enough to go past the insulation. Now once a year I pour down oil of peppermint into the pipes. Not a mouse or a mouse dropping since.
Our dog got a puncture wound and a 2 in. long slit in his skin from something in the back yard. This is a fenced in back yard. We've checked the fence for protruding nails, the swing set for protruding screws and all that's left is a trailer with some brush on it. Possibly he went under the trailer and snagged himself on the metal.
The vet doesn't have any ideas either from the shape of the wound. A friend suggested a wild animal attack, but that would mean a squirrel or a bird did it, and that's not possible given the severity nor the type of the injuries. So, what do you suggest that we put under the trailer (which is just an open wagon) to keep him from crawling underneath or near it?
Vet said he's going to be ok - drain out in 2 days and stitches out in 10. Poor fellow.
Could you empty the trailer and then turn the trailer on its side, so you could see if there are sharp edges or protruding screws? Then you could fix the sharp places. Or you could just turn the sharp side toward the fence. Or you could put the brush from the trailer under it as a barrier. I hope your dog recovers quickly.
I'm sorry about your poor baby. That must have really hurt.
You also can get cheap chicken wire fencing & just fence it in.