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post #1 of 14 Old 01-25-2008 Thread Starter
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Unhappy Cockroaches

Hi folks. I'm new and need to ask your help. I'm sailing the Caribben for 7 months and doing all the cooking. The skipper is driving me crazy by washing all the vegetables in saltwater and bleach. We fight over it and I usually manage to keep the onions but he even does vegetables that come from the U.S. like Dole celery. He says cockroach eggs could be on them. This is all to prevent cockroaches. We already keep boxes off the boat. But veggies are ruined by this practice. Not to mention we can't even eat lettuce because it is no good after his ministrations.

Does anyone have any good information that says not to do this. Root vegetables just start growing and they don't last nearly as long.

I'm new to the forum.
Thanks
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-25-2008
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I've seen cockroach egg sacs. They are very easy to spot. A good rinsing with water is all that's needed, bleach is unecessary. As you can see from the photo, a cockroach egg sac is nearly a cm in length:



Stick with the freshwater rinsing, but the bleach is not needed.

Hope some facts will help your case!

Good luck.
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-25-2008
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I knew a woman who didn't mind eating food with obvious cockroach infestation. The tea bags were quite lively before they were dunked into hot water too. Turned me off tea for a long time. Yes, she was a pig, and at the other extreme of hygeine and good sense.
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-25-2008
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doll,
You've got the right idea by removing dry goods from their boxes. South of Hatteras, any dry goods are suspect for roaches. Normal washing is sufficient for fresh fruit and vegetables. Besides, they're harmless if ingested anyway and chlorine is a known carcinogen that you really should not be ingesting.

Cleaning up thoroughly after meals will go far further in minimizing the chances of a roach outbreak. You usually have to be a bit slovenly for them to get a toe-hold. He's poisoniing you with the bleach.

“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”
Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-25-2008
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Originally Posted by sailaway21 View Post
doll,You usually have to be a bit slovenly for them to get a toe-hold. He's poisoniing you with the bleach.
He may have life insurance on her though...

-- Jody

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post #6 of 14 Old 01-25-2008
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Leave your street shoes on the dock too. Had to do that as a Hawaii live aboard..
and get a cat. They love cockroaches!
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-26-2008
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Unpack all the foods you get from any cardboard.. the cardboard, especially corrugated cardboard will hide their eggs... also, many canned foods with paper labels should probably be marked with permanent marker and have the labels take off... if you don't bring the cockroach eggs aboard, it'll be much harder for them to get a good foothold.

As for washing veggies in saltwater and bleach... try just washing in freshwater... no bleach, no soap... UGH... it is the rinsing of the veggies that is important...since you're not trying to kill the cockroach eggs... you just don't want them on board when they hatch.

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post #8 of 14 Old 01-26-2008 Thread Starter
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Cockroaches

Thanks for the pic of cockroach eggs. That helps. I always thought you could just look at the produce and see them. I have told him that. He also thinks the bleach helps destroy bacteria that might be on stuff. He thinks that the people of these islands (currently the grenadines) use human manure to fertilize their gardens. I think the world has moved on from stuff like that . They have public health nurses now and people are educated. Besides, they would get sick themselves if they practiced such a thing.

Thanks for the tip about leaving shoes.
We're at anchor all the time now so I don't think that is a problem because the dingy always has some water in it to wash the shoes.

He puts bleach in our water tanks as well. A capful in 60 gallons of water.

So far in 3 years we haven't had a roach on board. I understand that if that happens, they are very hard to get rid of. So many dark hidden spaces for them to hide.

Thanks again
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-26-2008
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That amount of bleach in the water is fine. Water stored in tanks can be a source of bacteria growth. A little bleach will stop that from happening.

“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”
Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-26-2008
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Cool Leave the skipper at home......

There is one problem with bringing so called "first world" concepts of hygiene to the so called "non first world'. The problem is that you build up no resistance to the normal local "bugs". When you finally catch something, which you will, it is not pretty.

By all means take all normal precautions, hand washing, rinsing/peeling of fruit/veg, all the preventative shots etc. But then relax and enjoy the local food, culture etc.

The "sanitation wipes" that I see for cleaning the handles on shopping carts at US supermarkets amuse me greatly.

As for cockroaches, the chances are that they will find their way onboard unless you are very lucky. Make up a paste of equal parts of Boric Acid/fine granulated sugar (what we call castor sugar) and make a paste with condensed milk. Form into small bricks (about 1in in diameter) and dry in the sun. Place one in the corner of very locker. They last about a year and roaches love them. Works a treat. If the Skipper continues to whine feed him one with his morning tea.



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