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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 07-16-2006
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ants

Recently was docked in Bermuda and found out that our docklines were being used by an army of ants gettig on our boat. Any ideas how to keep them off?
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Old 07-17-2006
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Can ants walk thru grease?

i don't know, but I'd test that as a solution.
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Old 07-17-2006
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Grease is probably not an optimal solution for docklines, as grease will tend to make them slippery, and harder to tie off properly, as well as pick up lots and lots of dirt/dust/crud and make the lives of the lines much shorter.

I would go with trying to keep the ants away from the terminal end of the line, rather than trying to prevent them from crossing over on the lines themselves... which is more difficult, and carries inherently more risks. Attaching anything to the lines to act as a blocker will introduce windage and chafe most likely. Do you really want that on the lines holding your boat in place?

Washing the dock area down with vinegar and placing ant traps around the area might help get rid of the ants... the vinegar makes it more difficult for them to figure out where to go, as it interferes with the chemical scent trail that they lay down—and the ant traps will hopefull poison the colony.
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Old 07-17-2006
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Maybe spray the lines with permethrin or deet? Both are bug repellants, but the permethrin also kills some on contact. (It's a synthetic of a natural plant extract, not some odd neurotoxin.) I'd also spray a ring of insecticide on the dock, several inches away from the mooring cleat. Often they won't cross it.
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Old 07-19-2006
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2 sided carpet tape. easy on easy off. just a thought
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Old 07-19-2006
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Permethrin is a good solution, but might not be allowed by the marina. Insecticide in public areas can be a problem. The carpet tape might be a good idea as traps for the ants. Another possible solution is putting a piece of hose over the dock lines and cinching the ends tight and coating the hose with something.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 07-20-2006
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Thumbs up

No problem.

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Old 07-20-2006
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A couple of drops of kerrosine and the ants wont go near the lines (and I mean drops).
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Old 07-20-2006
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Borax is nontoxic and reputed to kill ants.
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Old 07-20-2006
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I vote for Curt's idea.
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