This Laundry Essential Keeps Pesky Critters Out Of Your Tent & Camper

Camping can be a great fun-filled experience. However, it is an activity that requires planning. While spending time in the wilderness, you have plenty of things to worry about, from protecting your campsite from coyotes to keeping bugs out of your tent. If you go camping often, then you probably already know that one of the most irritating critters to have inside your tent, RV, or camper is a mouse. This is because mice can be quite destructive — especially when they get into food stores and gear. While you may have heard that garlic can help keep pests like mice away, we are willing to bet that you probably don't want to spend the whole night in a garlic-scented camper van. So, is there a better option?

Luckily, garlic isn't the only scent mice despise. In fact, these little critters also hate the smell of drier sheets. Yes, the lightweight and fresh-smelling sheets that you get from the store and throw into your dryer with every load of laundry may also have an alternative use in rodent control. Simply placing a few drier sheets inside your tent, camper, or RV at night is enough to make sure you stay safe from food-stealing mice.

How it works

The theory behind why mice dislike drier sheets is that they can't stand the smell. One study where mice were exposed to drier sheets to test for the possible toxic effects found that the average fabric-softening drier sheet contained chemicals that caused sensory and respiratory irritation. However, there is no further scientific research that shows that drier sheets will repel mice for long. In fact, most pest control websites recommend drier sheets only for short periods because mice are quite determined and can get used to irritating smells quickly.

Luckily, this means that — even though drier sheets may only work on mice for a few days — they may just be the perfect tool for a short camping trip. For small tents, a couple of drier sheets near possible entrance points should do the trick. In camper vans and larger RVs, you will likely need to use more sheets for this hack to be effective. For some extra oomph, you can even wipe down your counters and hard surfaces with the sheets to further deter the destructive critters.

It is important to remember that it is the smell of the drier sheets that keep the mice at bay and as soon as the smell is gone, they will come back. Because of this, regularly replace the sheets in your tent or camper every few days.