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post #1 of 22 Old 11-20-2012 Thread Starter
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Wasp in Mast/Sail

I keep getting wasp that appear to be trying to nest inside my mast (enter through the internal haylard holes), and also try to nest under the mainsail cover while sitting at dock.

What is best repellant to use? If I spray with wasp spray will it damage my haylards, paint, sails, or fiberglass.

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Last edited by casey1999; 11-20-2012 at 12:29 PM.
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post #2 of 22 Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Wasp in Mast/Sail

take the boat out sailing. Wasps are not really into sailing. you can spray up into the mast with bug spray and they will leave. soak a rag with bug spray and hoist up to the opening. most bug spray is used around furniture and it should not hurt the boat

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Re: Wasp in Mast/Sail

We had the same problem with yellow jackets getting inside the outside wall of our house. The pest control person injected a white powder substance that really solved the problem. Yes, the liquid spray is really "hot" stuff" and may very well do damage, you might want to try a very small test spot. Some of the sprays we have used also have an oily base which is very hard to remove, probably not good for sails and halyards. I think the pest control people have access to materials that we can't get, maybe better to just hire one and have done with it?

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Re: Wasp in Mast/Sail

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take the boat out sailing. Wasps are not really into sailing. you can spray up into the mast with bug spray and they will leave. soak a rag with bug spray and hoist up to the opening. most bug spray is used around furniture and it should not hurt the boat
I have taken the boat out after apparently getting rid of the wasp at the dock, only to find them back on the boat in a few days after being docked. It is also hard to even take the boat out when the wasps are under the sail cover and inside the mast, need to fight them off just to get to the main sail. You would be surprised, I have been sailing in 20 knot winds only to have these wasp come out of the mast, fly around the boat, then go back into the mast.
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post #5 of 22 Old 11-20-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Wasp in Mast/Sail

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We had the same problem with yellow jackets getting inside the outside wall of our house. The pest control person injected a white powder substance that really solved the problem. Yes, the liquid spray is really "hot" stuff" and may very well do damage, you might want to try a very small test spot. Some of the sprays we have used also have an oily base which is very hard to remove, probably not good for sails and halyards. I think the pest control people have access to materials that we can't get, maybe better to just hire one and have done with it?

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Thanks, that was my other concern, spray some of the stuff on the deck and turn it into an ice rink, while trying to get away from a swarm of wasps.
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post #6 of 22 Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Wasp in Mast/Sail

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Thanks, that was my other concern, spray some of the stuff on the deck and turn it into an ice rink, while trying to get away from a swarm of wasps.
Right, we have found they return to the same spot in the house every year. They must tell their friends where to go before we kill them. Not sure what to use but I think it has to be something injected into the mast that they don't like and will last long enough to break the return cycle. We used to suspend a piece of meat above a bucket of water with detergent in it. They would eat until they dropped into the water and drowned. Worked pretty well but is slow and hard to get all of them. Probably the commercial yellow jacket traps are as good. We use these and catch LOTS of them:

Amazon.com: Rescue YJTR-DT12 Reusable Yellow Jacket Trap: Patio, Lawn & Garden Amazon.com: Rescue YJTR-DT12 Reusable Yellow Jacket Trap: Patio, Lawn & Garden



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Re: Wasp in Mast/Sail

Do you think dropping some moth balls into the mast and boom and maybe a bag under the sail cover would deter them?
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post #8 of 22 Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Wasp in Mast/Sail

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Do you think dropping some moth balls into the mast and boom and maybe a bag under the sail cover would deter them?
I'd say that this is definitely worth trying out. I'm sure that they would find it difficult to ignore that smell.

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post #9 of 22 Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Wasp in Mast/Sail

A good solid capsize or two ought to fix your problem, and you'd get a BFS out of it to boot!

I second the wasp traps and love the idea of hoisting one up to where they go in as well. As for moth balls I HATE the smell of those things and the smell does linger. Be sure you're okay with that because if you drop a couple in the mast you might end up with a boat that smells like moth balls.

Premethrin is what most bug spray is these days and they saturate baby's mosquito nets in the stuff in Africa. It's very safe for humans, is wickedly toxic to cats and I have no idea how it is for ropes, sails and canvas.

I'd try the traps and moth balls if you can stand them.

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Re: Wasp in Mast/Sail

I just remembered that you can buy premethrin concentrate and wash you clothes and stuff in it to impregnate them with the stuff. Some brands of clothes already have this stuff in the clothes. Looks like it's safe for clothes and equipment.

I'd say spray away, especially around the openings. It stays and kills for quite a while. We sprayed our door threshold with premethrin and even after a couple rains we see dead spiders who tried to enter at the door and died.

From a premethrin fabric treatment website: (btw it is VERY toxic to marine life so try and minimize the amount you get in the water):
Sawyer® Products - Water Filtration, Insect Repellent, Sunblocks and More
Q. Will Permethrin ruin my clothes or equipment?
A. No. Permethrin will not damage clothes or equipment. Unlike DEET, which may harm some fabrics and materials, Permethrin is compatible for use even on fragile fabrics such as silk, plus all synthetics and waterproof membrane fabrics. Permethrin will not affect plastics or finishes. IF IN DOUBT, try a sample on an obscure surface area, especially on delicates and check it after 24 hours of exposure.

Sawyer® Permethrin Insect Repellent is odorless, non-greasy and non-staining after it dries. Permethrin can be harmful to aquatic creatures such as fish, so do not spray Permethrin around fish aquariums.


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