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PLUGGING THE HOLES to keep mice out of a Vanagon (mouse)
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:21 am    Post subject: PLUGGING THE HOLES to keep mice out of a Vanagon (mouse) Reply with quote

Moderator Edit [April 2015]:

Note: We've been edited!
Kam and I talked and decided to clean this thread up and direct it to the original theme of simple Entry Prevention. Some post were moved, many were sent off to die where useless posts go......... Some posts that are still here were edited simply to remove references to removed posts or unneeded commentary.

If you want to talk about anything besides sealing entry points..... Pick one of the links below to use. .........

Links to various mouse discussions...

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=613451 -- prevention tips
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=599989
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=600850
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=602180
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=541633
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=556054
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=493484
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=425230
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=408527

*******************
Having mouseproofed my vanagon almost 5 years ago, I think the best advice is to defer the legends until later and for now study the photos of physically plugging holes with "metal screen" and "pot scrubbies".

1) & 2) below, are wide open on every vanagon, they are the basis for the urban legend. Once mice learn those paths, new campground mice can smell those who have gone that way before - thus locate the holes quickly.

At minimum, do 1&2 then you can pursue animal legendry in your leisure. If you do a good job plugging the holes you will get good results with your other methods too (except trapping which will be less fruitful).

1) screen the fresh air vent behind the radiator grille.
2) plug passenger and driver side battery box vents with stainless steel scrubbies.


3) check the large rubber seal at the engine ECU wiring loom and if seal is gone, repair it with silicone. And a large grommet for the headlights too.
4) I guess on some vans you need to look for rust holes too. A nightime helper inside with a bright light inside then crawl around outside looking for light.


Informational thread for keeping the local rodentia out of your Vanagon.
Please try to add ONLY USEFUL information, and keep ON-TOPIC.

-----> OCT 12, 2010 UPDATE <--------
Keeping an informational thread "ON-TOPIC" .... turned out to be much more difficult than keeping mice out of the vanagon.
GENUINE info started to appear partway down page 2.
Here is a link to skip over the chatter to the PHOTOS.
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=4888661#4888661
Thanks Simonslp, you and Alistair's finger are destined to be SAMBA heros!!
---------------------------------------------


Let's say you went to a campground, and there are mice everywhere. We all know that mice get into our vanagons easily, and other cars don't have this problem. What can be done to the Vanagon to make it as mouse-resistant as virtually every other modern car in the world?

Topic: How to KEEP THEM OUT. It is possible to plug all the holes that mice come into a (closed) van. We just need to know WHERE all the holes are. Best is--->photos of exactly where and how to plug the holes that mice use to get into the Vanagon.

PLEASE:
---> No tips that require your van to be in a controlled space (the garage)
---> No trap stories
---> No poison methods
---> No tips "how to gross out your mice" Laughing
---> No damage stories


These subjects are interesting, but the subject of this thread is BLOCKAGE. Please post this stuff in a different (non-focused) thread.
Idle chatter isn't necessary in this thread. Just the facts ma'am Wink
How to physically BLOCK mice OUT.

(Young) mice have been known to squeeze thru a 1/4" slot. They cannot get thru a 1/4" hole. So look for SLOTS.

I realize that trying to control a forum is "like herding cats", but there is hope and luck....
please READ THE TITLE of the thread BEFORE YOU SUBMIT. Everyone terrororized by mice will thank you!

PHOTOS are very much appreciated.
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Last edited by Sodo on Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:25 am; edited 37 times in total
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a photo of how 10cent blocked the fresh-air vent behind the front grille:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Sodo
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: How to keep mice out of a Vanagon (mouse) Reply with quote

For those of you who searching for ANSWERS, I've located some actual information from "danfromsyr".

-thru the front fresh air grill behind your upper grill, the plastic bug mesh is way open in the corners.
-thru the Westy battery vent under the pass seat to the wheel well
-thru a removed hear heater hose orifice
-thru a missing plate around the propane hard lines into the cabinet
-thru the sloppy hole and missing seal for the H2o tank drain

(from thread "Mice in the Westy" http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3791273#3791273 )
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simonslp
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok i'm on a mission to find and close mouseholes on my westy (with thanks to sodo for inspiration).

Rigged up this screen and zapstrap job to close off the battery vent hose. see before and after pics - honest opinions (even harsh ones) welcome:)

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I also noticed the other hole in the wall of the wheel well, leading into ?the battery compartment. Does anybody know what this hole is and whether/how I can close it off? (Thinking of just pushing some screening into the hole and holding it in place with a bit of silicone but want info and opinions 1st).
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

X2 - trying to seal the car is a total waste of time. If they want in, they will get in. Never tried the peppermint oil - but have seen that posted other places as well with good results. Moth balls, dryer sheets, etc do not work. If they "seemed" to, you just had a winter that the little bastards didnt want to nest in your car.

My cars are inside a garage, I use the ultrasonic repellers and they work very well. I will find the start of nests, or small stashes of acorns and such here and there in the garage, but the nests never get finished and the food doesnt get eaten.
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's remarkable what some people think is not possible. I've made two houses completely mouse-proof and it wasn't even in the realm of difficult. Making a van mouse-proof is a breeze.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:37 pm    Post subject: HOW to plug the MOUSE HOLES Reply with quote

Metal screen covering a hole is a 100% effective barrier. A coarse stainless-steel pot-scrubbie stuffed into a hole will allow ventilation and block the passage 100%. There are many, many ways for the versatile hobbyist to solve this problem. The Westy can be as mouseproof as all the other cars in the campground. (Thread bloat is far more difficult problem to solve than mice!)

We need to know WHERE to plug the holes.

Once we have photos where the holes are, this problem can be considered SOLVED!
Someone out there KNOWS every inch of a Vanagon underbody , and KNOWS all of this!
With luck, this someone has a CAMERA and some TIME!
You will have some VERY HAPPY readers, for YEARS to come!
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It's remarkable what some people think is not possible. I've made two houses completely mouse-proof and it wasn't even in the realm of difficult. Making a van mouse-proof is a breeze.


Yep - you are absolutely right. Good luck with it.
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the bright side (and to get back ON-TOPIC ) it's possible that the reason for the "vacuum" here may well be the ANSWER in itself! .....MAYBE the Westy has ONLY ONE MOUSEHOLE?[/b]
Which simonslp thankfully posted. And I will gleefully plug!

simonslp wrote:
ok i'm on a mission to find and close mouseholes on my westy (with thanks to sodo for inspiration).
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Applause Applause ...........maybe we're done........ Applause Applause

In a couple weeks I'll park again at the mouse farm and report back if mice still come in. It never occurred to me that there could be only one hole, but when other cars have ZERO then it seems feasible. Durn it I should have just stuffed a rag in the hole last time I was there.
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....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
One apple every 8 hours will keep 3 doctors away - B Kliban


Last edited by Sodo on Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:08 am; edited 4 times in total
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DAIZEE
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mice don't need holes to get in, they only need a small mm, they can flatten themselves.

You might have not gotten in here, what you were looking for because no one wants to get involved, perhaps overlook an access crack and then they'd feel horrible if a mouse did get in. It's not about holes at all. and each van can be so different after up to 50 years Smile
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simonslp
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:12 pm    Post subject: Getting somewhere? Reply with quote

Well I just couldn't take it anymore... Sodo, this one's for you!

(Thanks out to Alistair for all the support and fingers)

Battery vent hole and mystery hole (also battery vent?) - filled!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Three holes / cracks in cabin air intake (goes to heater box) - filled!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



Hole behind driver's side headlight, into area behind dash where grommet has popped loose - filled!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Former digifant wiring hole (behind bench seat / water tank - wires removed when subaru installed)- filled!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



No hole in sink drain.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


No hole in propane lines inlet.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


No hole in water tank drain (cap in place, sealed on edges).
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



Now to buy some peppermint oil, cotton balls and baby bottles. Laughing
Looking forward to restful, mousefree sleeps!
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

....and poop-free. And with luck this thread can be poop-free from here on out. I think I finally found my most offensive mousehole. If any mice get in after this, I'm going to try peppermint oil (to relax too!).

Here's an image with further clarification of Simonslp's photo. In my van, the Subaru wiring passes thru this hole, but there (was) plenty of open space around the wire bundle for a FAT mouse to get in. This seems to be a "converted" problem, but every Vanagon owner should probably inspect this 'hole' to be sure the grommet is in place and intact. It's also very visible from the outside, ahead of the left rear tire.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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EJ25, Peloquin diff, locker, transaxle oil cooler/filtration system
....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
One apple every 8 hours will keep 3 doctors away - B Kliban


Last edited by Sodo on Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:35 am    Post subject: Re: Getting somewhere? Reply with quote

simonslp wrote:
Battery vent hole and mystery hole (also battery vent?) - filled!
[pic]

With battery cover in place, isn't the battery box "sealed" from the cabin? Or are the mice victims getting nests in the battery box? Ok, granted, most covers are a bit mangled and loosely hanging by a single ill-fitting screw...
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simonslp
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
With battery cover in place, isn't the battery box "sealed" from the cabin? Or are the mice victims getting nests in the battery box? Ok, granted, most covers are a bit mangled and loosely hanging by a single ill-fitting screw...


I hear ya... and my battery compartment cover fits pretty snugly with a whole TWO ill-fitting screws. On the other hand I figure it can't hurt to cover all glaring holes.

AND a little bird reminded me that it would be a bummer to discover chewed wires, or a corrosive, smelly mouse nest in your battery box.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK here are my pictures of plugging the Fresh air vent access with 3/16 galvanized screen (also called "hardware cloth").

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here's where they can get into the vent system, behind the front grille.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Screen is folded over to make a hard edge. This edge touches the backside of the
black plastic vent screen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Can't drill holes in the fresh air duct (to screw the screen on). You just cant. Try it and you'll see why.
You could use black silicone. But all of this white silicone is hidden behind the black plastic screen, not visible.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just bought a 91 Westy and need to mouseproof it. I'll disagree with all the naysayers. You can indeed mouseproof a car or a house. I've done it to both. You just have to find all the holes. As was stated earlier, a mouse can get through a 1/4" slot but not a 1/4" hole. I use 1/4" hardware cloth to seal up vents and such. Amouse cannot chew through it. One nasty thing they like to do, though, is chew through weatherstripping to get through the door.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

they can indeed chew thru hardware cloth - they are unlikely to spend the time and effort to do so however
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fixing the battery boxes it is clear that they are vented for gases to the undercarriage.

It is also clear that mice use them for nesting if mouse crap and nut shells are any indication.

On my 1986 Multivan "Weekender" I have a mirror image of the Right Battery Box also on the left behind the Drivers seat. Same Vents, same dividing sheet metal piece. Not every Van has the fully formed Left Battery box, but some do.

The ONLY access is via these vents lower right..... Upper Left......
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Close up of lower vent.....
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Thinking of ways to hinder access steel wool cane to mind but...... It's prone to rust........

Wait!
Stainless Steel Kitchen scrubbers!!!
(It takes about 1/3rd of a scrubby to do one hoke adequately)

Stuff one in the passage, gas can pass...... Mice Cannot!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



No more mice in my battery boxes!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Passenger wheel well.....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Closer....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


My finger is touching the steel wool I inserted.....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



So, the front grill is off, checking out the mice infiltration. As mentioned, I know they've been in the Fresh air system, I saw their nesting when I had the dash vent pipe off.

Here is a photo of the intake scoop with the screen removed......
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


A closer view of the scoop, the air is forced up and over the top of the dam...... Notice the ingenious water deflection lip. The rear of the scoop is folded back forward upon itself leaving a collection place for water to drain off while traveling at speed! .............
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I held my camera phone up in the slot and blindly took photos to see what joys await me!........
The Drivers Side......... I do NOT like the rust I see at the base of that seam!!!.... Evil or Very Mad
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.





The Passengers Side............ Sad ..............
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Heavy sigh........ Off comes the dash and a much better mouse screen MUST be made!!


Well, I'm working on rust erratication, bug prevention and mouse prevention as I await my engine and transmission parts/seals to arrive.

A major concern is mouse intrusion into the heater system. I already have a nest of unknown age which will require dash removal and cleaning this Winter.

I want to adequately screen the opening to prevent new Settlers!

I plan to do as 10cent did........
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I was in Home Depot looking for hardware cloth and stumbled upon this in the gutter aisle.
Adequate length, adequate width? Already painted Black!
Hmmmm $3.04 out the door pricing! Sold!
Now to install it, probably tomorrow........
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Edge view showing the bend to hook onto the gutter, I may need to straighten that.......
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



MOUSE PROOFING THE FRESH AIR INTAKE

this is so simple that it should be mandatory!

I cut the leaf guard to 31" long.

I laid it on the bench and using a scrap of wood compressed the factory "lip" tighter so it would firmly grasp around the sheet metal lip at the top of the grill opening...........
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I next had to carefully notch in the center for the center grill support bar.....
The opening needs to be only 3" wide and just remove the folded lip plus a Smidgen more...........
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I then used SHORT (3/4"....1") 1/4-20 stainless screws, washers and locknuts and utilizing the factory screen fastening openings, fastened the lower screen to the scoop....... I also clipped out an opening for the Grill mounting screw.....
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I next had to fold the screen up the slanted sides. Be sure to NOT leave any opening along this for a mouse to enter....they do not need much space!......
I cut an angle........
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I then modified the angle so I could easily fold the edge under. I didn't bother folding the lower front edge...... Crimp it tight using pliers.........
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here it is all folded and neat........
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


And with the grille installed. I'll paint the hardware and leading edge of the air scoop black.......
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Now my question is...... The factory screen was MUCH finer...... Why?
Did it disperse rain drops better?
Did it block small insect entry better?

What issues will I have with the larger openings? ...........
tencent! You've done this! Any problems?

I'm going to guess that NOT having Mice in the heater is well worth whatever trade off is being made with the bigger holes!

It came out so well that I decided to celebrate and eat the recently delivered $500 VanCafe Cookie! ......
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Dave
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http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473

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http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537

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https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep in mind that no matter how many Factory holes you may find and seal up that allow mice to enter........

You must closely examine you Van for rust holes!

My Rear washer bottle leaked whenever the motor ran..... Apparently for YEARS!!!!!

View looking up in to my RR wheel well.......
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


And looking from above after the interior panel is removed.......
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I did have mice from this huge hole!

Dave
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http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537

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https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:
All I know about peppermint is that Vanagon people prefer to discuss peppermint than eliminate the problem. If the holes were plugged there would be no need to discuss peppermint. Does that makes sense to anyone?
...


it makes sense but is incorrect

mice are averse to peppermint but CAN and WILL jump into an open door of a Vanagon (or my old Bay window Bus)

so people need to both seal all openings AND use something to prevent them from using a door as access
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