Mr. Bill

PUP-2002 Flagstaff 725D TV- 2004 Dodge Ram 1500
Apr 27, 2009
Geneva, OH
Because of my schedule we were not even planning a trip till the weekend of July 17th.

I picked up my PUP from where I store it at a friends house. Opened it up on Thursday and found ants only in the rear area. Big, black and they had what looked like black eyed peas with no black spot on them all over the place. They were only on the area by the gasket and inside the canvas flap that goes over the back of the bunk.

I cleaned them all out (I thought) let the camper air out and later that night closed it back up.

Opened it on Saturday to wash everything down and the ants had multiplied!!!!!! I thought I had gotten them all. I sprayed some home defense ant treatment all over under the roof area, in all the corners, in tucked away places, etc. cleaned the canvas tops and took out the bunk. More ants fell off the bottom. I got them all cleaned up, removed mattresses and sprayed all the corners and a few shots on the horizontal surface where the mattress sits (no sign they had ever been there but wanted to be safe). Did the same at the other end though I didn't see ANY ants on that end.

Cleaned the inside and also didn't see any signs of ants. It was like they were just attracted to that one area and didn't travel.

I cleaned the canvas with my bleach, vinegar, water solution (a quick spray to kill any mold -though didn't see any- and prevent any from starting) and left it open to air out. It is going to rain this evening so I will put it down when I get home from work. My problem is, I am scared that once it is closed it will be infested again. I don't know where they were coming from.

After cleaning, I made occasional checks in the areas they were to see if any returned. None did. I am wondering if I should just spray more home defense on the areas when I close it or feel content that I got them? I don't like using pepper (would wonder if I was seeing pepper or something else), lime (not good for fabric) or what I should do. I also don't want to use something toxic to humans as we will be living in it in about 5 days.

Any suggestions?


Active Member
Apr 5, 2010
I use the ant traps from Lowes/Home Depot. the ants take the poison back to the colony thinking it is food and it kills them all. I use them in the PUP and in my house. they have a small hole where the ants can get into them, but kids and dog (unless they chew them) can not get into them.


Jun 24, 2010
Sounds like you might have carpenter ants. Carpenter ants seek moist wood to live in. They require moisture to keep their eggs alive. They burrow into moist wood ... typically dead trees, but they also can cause serious damage when infesting a house. Unlike termites that eat wood, carpenter ants do not eat it, but burrow long deep tunnels into the wood and carry the "sawdust" out. Sometimes you can find little piles of dust that indicate where the entrance to their nest is located. They are mostly active at night. If your problem persists you can try placing a red lens over a flashlight and checking out your popup periodically to see if you can find a trail of ants entering and leaving. You might inspect your popup closely to see if you have any areas of moist wood.

I had a nest on my front porch a few weeks back ... they were invading my house and my wife was freaking out. The ant traps were not working for us, so I bought some "ant dust" at the hardware store ... (Terro, or Terra or something) ... and sprinkled it around the perimiter of the house. No more carpenter ants.

Good luck!


Dothan, AL
Apr 5, 2008
Mt. Washington, NH
we completely strip out our PuP after long storage periods and use a environmentally safe fog bomb.... then we clean and wash the canvas and all areas....


Indianapolis, IN
Aug 12, 2008
Indianapolis, IN
When I opened mine up last year I too had ants. I got them all out and put down some Terro Ant killer. Hopefully all will be well this year. I think I was too close to a tree and that's where the ants came from.


Lancaster, PA
Nov 1, 2006
Lancaster, PA
My ant issues almost have always stemmed from grass growing up from below, giving the ants easy access to get inside. Make sure you are stored/parked where nothing touches the ground except your tounge jack and your wheels, and then sprinkle boric acid (available at lowes) or Borax laundry booster (available at the grocery) around the wheels and tounge jack. That should prevent or at least slow the ant intrusion.

Mr. Bill

PUP-2002 Flagstaff 725D TV- 2004 Dodge Ram 1500
Apr 27, 2009
Geneva, OH