How to Keep Mice Out of Boats During Winter Storage 9 Simple Hacks

How to Keep Mice Out of Boats During Winter Storage? 9 Simple Hacks

One of the biggest challenges of storing your boat for winter is keeping mice and other rodents from invading and causing damage. Mice can chew through upholstery, cushions, wiring, and more, leaving behind a mess and a costly repair bill.

Luckily, there are several easy, safe methods to deter mice and keep them away from your prized vessel while it’s in storage. In this article, we’ll share with you some tips and tricks on how to keep mice out of the boat, especially during winter storage and how to deal with them if they have already infested your boat.

By following this simple guide, you can keep your boat in good shape and avoid any unpleasant surprises when you uncover it in the spring.

Why do mice get into boats in winter?

Mice are small, furry creatures that belong to the rodent family. They are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals.

They are also nocturnal, meaning they are active at night and sleep during the day. Mice have a very strong sense of smell and sharp teeth, which they use to find food and mates and gnaw on various materials.

Mice are attracted to boats in winter for several reasons:

Seeking warmth

Read More: Pontoon Storage Ideas – Best Way to Store a Pontoon Boat?

Read More: 9 Creative Pontoon Boat Seating Ideas (With Layouts)

Mice are cold-blooded animals, meaning they cannot regulate their body temperature. They seek warm places like boats with engines to survive the low temperatures.

Looking for shelter

Rodents like mice are vulnerable to predators, such as cats, dogs, owls, and snakes. They look for safe places to hide and nest, such as boats with covers.

Hunting food

Mice are opportunistic feeders, meaning they eat whatever they can find. Ability to survive on crumbs, spills, seeds, nuts, insects, and even fabric. Boats, especially those with food or clutter, can supply a rich source of food for mice.

How do mice get into boats in winter?

Rodents are very agile and flexible animals. They can jump, climb, swim, and squeeze through incredibly small gaps and holes.

Mice and other rodents can enter boats in various ways, such as:

Cracks and crevices

Mice can fit through openings as small as a dime. They can exploit any cracks or crevices on your boat’s hull, deck, or cabin. They can also chew through weak or damaged areas to create new entry points.

Vents and pipes

They can crawl through vents and pipes that lead to your boat’s interior. In addition, they can use them as pathways to move around your boat.

Doors and windows

Mice can also sneak through doors and windows that are not shut tight or have gaps. Besides, they can also climb up curtains or screens to reach them.

Hatches and compartments

In addition to previous methods, mice can access hatches and compartments that are not locked or sealed. Also, they can also hide in them and build nests.

Wires and ropes

Furthermore, rodents are great climbers naturally. They can use wires and ropes as bridges or ladders to reach your boat. Moreover, they can also gnaw on them and cause damage.

How to keep mice out of boats in winter?

The best way to keep mice out of boats in winter is to prevent them from entering in the first place.

This involves making your boat less attractive and accessible to mice by following these steps:

Clean your boat

Before storing your boat for winter, you should clean it thoroughly, both inside and outside.

You should remove any food, crumbs, spills, or stains from your boat’s surface and any accessories or equipment from your boat’s interior.

Also, you must dry your boat completely under the cover to prevent any moisture from causing mold or mildew.

Seal your boat

Next, you should seal your boat by closing and locking all doors, windows, hatches, and compartments. Inspect your boat for any cracks, holes, or gaps that could provide an entry point for mice.

If you find any, seal them up with caulk, foam, steel wool, copper mesh, or another suitable material.

In addition, you should also cover up any vents or pipes with wire mesh that keeps rodents out while still allowing airflow.

Cover your boat

Finally, you should cover your boat by using a suitable cover that can withstand the winter conditions and keep it in good shape. The cover should be durable, waterproof, breathable, and UV-resistant.

It should also fit your boat snugly without being too tight or too loose. A tight cover can cause stress and damage to your boat’s parts, while a loose cover can sag and collect water, snow, or ice.

9 tips to keep rodents out of the boat

In addition to the steps above, here are some more tips to keep rodents out of the boat:

1. Use strong-smelling repellents

Mice have a very strong sense of smell, so strong odors are an effective deterrent. Place mothballs, grated Irish Spring soap, dryer sheets, or Fresh Cab pouches in small mesh bags or open containers throughout the boat.

The smell discourages mice from entering. Replace monthly as the scent fades.

2. Install baiting systems

Exterior bait stations lure mice out of structures. Rodents eat the bait, leave in search of water, and then expire outside.

Professional baiting systems are the most effective. Or use bait blocks, live traps, glue boards, or electric traps near the entry points, pathways, and hiding places of the mice, and bait them with food or scents that attract mice, such as peanut butter, cheese, bacon, or chocolate.

Check and dispose of the traps regularly.

3. Consider natural repellents

Sprinkle or spray natural repellents like peppermint oil, white vinegar, or cayenne pepper around the exterior of your boat.

These substances irritate the mice’s senses and drive them away.

Reapply as needed.

4. Incorporate ultrasonic pest repellers

Place ultrasonic pest repellers on board.

These devices emit high-frequency sounds that mice can hear but humans can’t. The sounds annoy and scare the mice and make them avoid the area.

Replace the batteries as needed.

5. Install flashing lights

Set up flashing lights around your boat.

Mice avoid movement and illumination, as they associate them with danger. The lights can deter the mice from approaching your boat.

Turn them on at night and off during the day.

6. Store indoors or under cover

If possible, store your boat indoors or under cover, such as in a garage, a shed, or a canopy.

This will provide an extra layer of protection and security for your boat and make it harder for mice to access it.

Make sure the storage area is also clean and rodent-proof.

7. Inspect regularly

Check your boat regularly for any signs of mice activity, such as droppings, urine, chew marks, nests, or noises.

If you find any, take action immediately and get rid of the mice.

Don’t let them multiply and cause more damage.

8. Get a cat

If you have a cat or can borrow one from a friend, you can use it as a natural mouse hunter.

Most cats are natural-born hunters, and they’re quick and stealthy enough to catch a mouse. Having one on board while you’re docked gives you a real-time alarm and capture system that should prevent rodents from making a home.

On top of that, rats and mice tend to avoid cats altogether, so just having one might make your boat less enticing.

9. Hire a professional

If all else fails or you have a severe infestation, you may want to hire a professional pest control service to deal with the mice.

A professional can provide you with a more thorough and reliable service and save you from any potential mistakes or risks that may damage your boat or void your warranty.

How do you deal with mice in boats in winter?

If your boat is already infested with mice, you need to act quickly and get rid of them as soon as possible.

This involves using traps and baits to catch and remove them by following these steps:

Locate the mice

First, you need to locate the mice by looking for signs of their presence, such as droppings, urine, chew marks, nests, or noises.

You should also identify their entry points, pathways, and hiding places, such as cracks, vents, compartments, or cushions.

Set the traps

Next, you need to set the traps by choosing the type and number of traps that suit your situation.

There are different types of traps available, such as snap traps, glue traps, live traps, or electric traps.

You should place the traps near the entry points, pathways, and hiding places of the mice and bait them with food or scents that attract mice, such as peanut butter, cheese, bacon, or chocolate.

You should also wear gloves when handling the traps to avoid leaving your scent on them.

Check the traps

Finally, you need to check the traps by inspecting them regularly and disposing of any caught mice.

You should also reset or replace the traps as needed until you catch all the mice.

You should also wear gloves when handling the mice to avoid any diseases or parasites that they may carry.

Wrapping Up

Keeping mice out of boats in winter is a common and important challenge for boat owners. Mice can cause a lot of damage and trouble to your boat and ruin your boating experience.

By following the tips and tricks we shared in this article, you can keep mice and other rodents away from your boat during the winter when you have winterized your boat.

Keep Mice Out of Boats During Winter Storage: FAQs

Read More: 9 Creative Pontoon Boat Seating Ideas (With Layouts)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top