Do Bugs Off Pads Really Get Rid of Insects on RVs?

Published on September 6th, 2023 by Lynne Fedorick

Insects can give their lives only once for our RV adventures. My dad seemed pretty certain that each of them would do it again if he had more guts.  Whether or not that’s a groaner or not, over the 12,000 miles I’ve traveled in my RV, I’ve collected at least 1000 times as many insects,  all over the front of my RV.  On the windshield. On the hood.  Even on the headlights and in the grill.  Ugh!  No matter where they land, bugs make a baked-on mess on the front of the RV every time. When I got the heads-up about Bugs Off Pads, I was intrigued. In this article, I’m going to compare Bugs Off® Pads versus bug and tar remover.

Removing Bug Residue From Your RV Is Important

If you love your RV, you need to look after it. With that being said, it’s important to get the bug guts off of your RV ASAP.  Not only is having bugs all over the front of your RV unsightly but the acids from the decomposing insects can actually damage the paint or gel-coat on the front of your  RV.   

Like many other RVers, I’ve been using bug & tar remover, a ladder and elbow grease to get the bug guts off my RV for years. It’s a system that  works, but it’s a real time-consuming hassle.  Using bug & tar remover also has environmental drawbacks.  That’s because bug & tar remover is made of a mixture of toxic chemicals, and it comes in landfill-clogging plastic bottles.  Right now, landfills are overflowing with discarded plastic packaging.  I like that Bugs Off Pads can be used over and over again.  I also love that they come with a mount that screws onto a pole to make clean areas like the windshield. The idea of not having to set up a ladder to clean the bugs off the top part of my RV was really appealing.

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Can Bugs Off Pads Handle Canada’s Toughest Insects?

Bugs Off Pads were developed to get rid of the love bug guts that RVers have to deal with in Florida and other southern US states. In Canada, RVers don’t have to deal with love bugs.  Instead, Canadian RVers scrape giant, hate-filled horseflies and a host of other like minded insects off their campers. Really, if these Canadian insects had any goal in life, it would be to eat you, and apparently they’ll try to tackle your moving RV to do so.  I genuinely wondered how Bugs Off Pads would fare with tough, tenacious Canadian insects.  

before and after image of RV using bugs off pads to remove bugs from the front.

Putting Bugs Off Pads To The Test

I really wanted to put Bugs Off Pads to the test.  So I drove my motorhome from Vancouver Island, BC, to Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada.  By the time I arrived in Winnipeg, the front of my RV was spattered in a thick layer of bugs. Apart from cleaning off the windshield when necessary, I didn’t clean any of the sun-baked mess off the front of my RV until I was settled into my campsite near Winnipeg. I’ll admit it was pretty gross, but my goal was to review Bugs Off Pads, especially compared to the method I’d been using. 

Testing Method

I drove nearly about 2850 miles across Canada’s insect-ridden west.  Except for the section of windshield I needed to see out of to drive safely, I didn’t clean the bugs off the RV for the whole journey. Instead, I allowed a crust of insects to build up. As I traveled, they dried out and baked onto the front of my RV. I did my best to ignore the grossness because I wanted to really put the Bugs Off Pads to the ultimate test.  Sure enough, when I arrived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the front of my RV was a real mess.

Bugs Off Pads Versus Bug and Tar Remover

I wanted to do a fair comparison of Bugs Off Pads versus the bug & tar remover that I usually use. WIth this in mind, I divided the bug-tar coated front of my RV in half. I would clean the passenger side with the Bugs Off Pads side and the driver side with bug & tar remover.  

Did Bugs Off Pads Really Work?

The Deluxe Bugs Off kit that I tried came with: 

  • 1 Bugs Off Pad 4 Pack
  • 1 Flat holder for the Bugs Off® Pad– attaches to any threaded pole
  • 1 Curved holder for cleaning curved areas like windshields
  • 2 Better Than A Brush Scrubbers
  • 2 Brake Dust Eraser pads
  • 1 interior scrubber
  • 1 Kit bag for product storage
Manufacturers photo of the Bugs Off Deluxe Kit
The Bugs Off Deluxe Kit

I followed the manufacturer’s directions and filled a bucket with RV wash and water. First, I  washed the surface grime off the front of the RV. Then I gave it a scrub with the green Bugs Off Pad that came in my wash kit.

I normally would have washed the top portion first, and worked my way down, but I was excited to see if these things worked so I started at the closest area and worked my way upward.   

I also wanted to make sure the pads weren’t going to scratch my RV, like other plastic scrubbers would.  As it turns out, I was very impressed by the gentle cleaning power of the Bugs Off Pads. With barely any effort, the pads cleaned all the bug residue off without a single scratch.

When it came to more baked on bug residue, it only took very minimal scrubbing to get it completely off. The pads did all the work without scratching or marring the finish on my RV at all. 

My kit also came with a Better-Than-A-Brush tool. This tool turned out to be perfect for getting the grill on the front of my RV sparkling clean. I also used it to help clean my grungy wheel covers. I followed up with the Bugs Off brake dust eraser. The results were nothing less than phenomenal. I was very impressed.  

Bugs Off Pads Easier Than Bug & Tar Remover

In my comparative analysis, there was no doubt the Bugs Off Pads were just as effective and easy to use as bug & tar remover. But it really had very little effect on the worst bug residue around the headlights. Regardless, using bug & tar remover on the RV means toting around a plastic bottle of toxic chemical spray. Not only that, but you have to deploy and climb a ladder to use it on any area that isn’t within easy reach. Bugs Off Pads eliminate that hassle. The Bugs Off Pads cleaning kit that I tried out has key advantages over the bug & tar remover. Here’s what I loved:

  • Reusable
  • No plastic bottles or toxic chemicals
  • Quick and easy to deploy
  • Easily mounts onto a pole, eliminating the need for a ladder or step stool
  • Cleans bug residue off completely and easily
  • Doesn’t mar RV gel coat, paint or aluminum
  • The Better-Than-A-Brush Pads clean hard-to-reach areas really well without scratching
  • The brake dust eraser pads made my wheels shiny again
  • The whole kit is very lightweight
  • Everything packs neatly into a generous drawstring bag when you’re done.

Purchasing Bugs Off Pads

I’ll definitely use Bugs Off Pads both on my RV and around the house. I highly recommend this product without any hesitation. They are truly a game changer for me when it comes to maintaining both my RV and my other vehicles. 

Interested in getting your own Bugs Off Pads kit? They’re super easy to purchase online at Bugsoffpads.com, or Amazon.

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