How to Keep Ants Out of the Trailer

My kids woke up with ants in their bunk beds. I want to share a story with you about a camping trip we went on that ended with ants. Now we’ve been camping in this trailer for two and a half years, and this is the first time that we’ve experienced ants. So it’s not like something that happens all the time, but it was not a fun experience and we really don’t want to go through it again. Luckily it happened on the last day that we were at camp, so it wasn’t as big of a deal as it would’ve been otherwise, but still, it’s never fun to have ants invade the trailer. So we wanted to come up with a plan so that we can avoid having ants in the trailer in the future. So I’m going to go over how we got the ants out of the trailer and what we’re planning to do about it from here on out.

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Cleaning the Ants Out

So when we got home, and like I said, the ants appeared on our last day of camp, so we were headed home anyways. We got home and we cleaned the trailer out. We took all the food out of the pantry, we put it on our camping table outside. We got everything out and anything that had ants, obviously we tossed that out.

And then what we did was we put poison where the ants were the worst in the trailer. So for us, that was underneath the bunk beds and then in the kitchen sink. The poison we use are the liquid ant bait stakes. So we just put a couple of those in the worst spots of the trailer. And the point of those is they take the bait back to the nest. Hopefully they didn’t have a nest in our trailer, but just in case they did, we use the type of bait that they’ll take back to the nest and kill it off so that we don’t have to worry about that being a future problem in our trailer.

So that cleaned out our trailer. After about 48 hours we didn’t see any more ants, but we still wanted to have a plan in place so that hopefully we could prevent this from happening again.

The Best Way to Keep Ants Out

So now let’s get into our plan for dealing with ants in the trailer. So we got home and we did some research to see what we should be doing to prevent getting ants in our trailer.

We found that the most common way that people keep ants away from the trailer is by putting a powder around all of the points of the trailer that touch the ground. So that would be the stabilizers, the steps if they go all the way down to the ground and also the tongue. So you put a powder around all of those areas to prevent the ants.

So there’s two different types of powders that you can use. The first is baby powder, which has an ingredient called talc. And the talc should deter the ants from going in that area. The other powder that people like to use, which actually seems like the more popular choice, is called Diatomaceous Earth or DE. And that powder, what it does is if the ants walk on it, it just dries them out to the point that they can’t move anymore.

So the popular method to keep ants out of the trailer is to put either baby powder or Diatomaceous Earth around all of the points that touch the ground. So any points of entry that the ants could use to get into the trailer. And both of these powders are supposed to be safe for dogs and kids.

And then the other route that an ant could take to get into the trailer would be on hoses. So cables or hoses are another path that ants could use to get onto the trailer. And the recommended way to keep ants off of those is just to take a little bit of Vaseline or petroleum jelly and just put a little bit all the way around on the hose or the cable, and the ants aren’t going to walk through that sticky substance, so that should keep them off.

So between the powders and the Vaseline, these methods seemed like the best ways to deter ants from getting into the trailer, but they didn’t really seem like a good fit for us.

Why We Won’t Use That Method

Our hesitation was when we leave, when we take our trailer and pack up and go, that powder’s still going to be there. We don’t want ants in our trailer, but we don’t really have a desire to harm ants that are just in the wild. Plus, we don’t know if this powder could hurt any other creatures, like banana slugs.

We just really don’t feel comfortable going into nature and then destroying stuff, especially because this isn’t the type of problem that’s happened all the time. It happened once in two and a half years, so it’s just seemed a little overkill for us.

What We’re Doing Instead

So ultimately what we decided to do was carry Raid in the trailer. We aren’t going to put down the powder because we don’t want to inadvertently harm nature, but we do want to be able to stop the ants from getting into the trailer if we see that they’re trying. So we’ll keep the spray with us and that way we can spray the outside of the trailer if we see that there’s certain spots that they’re using to try and come into the trailer.

When this happened at the last campsite, it wasn’t that we didn’t see that they were trying to come inside. We could see that they started making a trail on the trailer and we were worried about it, but we didn’t have any way to stop them. We went to the local store and we tried to get some kind of ant spray, but they just didn’t have anything. So we saw this starting and we could have tried to get them off of the trailer before they came inside, but we just didn’t have any way to handle that. So now we’re going to keep some ant spray with us so that if we see this problem occurring, we have something to try and help the situation.

So like I said, this hasn’t happened to us very often. This is the first time in two and a half years, and so our plan is to carry some ant spray with us so that if we do see it happening, we have a way to prevent it before it gets out of hand.

We don’t keep any of the ant stakes with us in the trailer. Our plan is if we get ants again, we’ll wait until we go home and then we will use those ant bait stakes again that are designed to kill off the nest. And the reason why we don’t take any of those with us is because if the nest is still in the wild, that’s fine. We don’t need to kill that off. But as soon as we get home, we definitely want to make sure that there’s no ant nest in the trailer.


So to recap, our plan is to have ant spray in the trailer that we can use on areas that we see having issues while we’re at camp. And then when we get home, we’ll use the liquid bait stakes to kill off any remaining ants in the trailer.

So that’s our plan. I hope it helps. It wasn’t that fun of a situation, but hopefully we could learn from this and be better prepared next time so that it doesn’t get to be as bad as it was last time.

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