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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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  #1  
Old 11-18-2007
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Vermin Infestation...

This had happen on a Offshore supply Vessel that I took command of that was fresh from Mexico. The cockroach infestation was so bad that we were put up in a hotel while they bug bombed that vessel three times to eliminate that problem.
There are various ways of prevention but it will happen from time to time.

1. Keep your vessel clean. Clean every locker, pantry and other enclosed spaces at least once a month if not more. Use screens on the ports to keep the flying pests out. Screens on your water tank vents also.
2. Don't take cardboard boxes inside your vessel. Empty them of their contents and put those boxes ashore.
3. Inspect every thing going inside your vessel... Found 'Piss Ants' in the cartions of coffee filters that just came aboard.
4. This include your crew's baggage also. Some people do live in or passed through infested areas and don't think about it.

So what are your experiences with vermin on the boat??
Any nasty tales to tell??

One boat had an infestation of spiders and a couple of the crew had been biten. Hospitalization for both of them. Deep spraying with bug poison that time. I got on board that vessel a couple of weeks after the spider incidents.
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Old 11-18-2007
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Prevention is the best idea when it comes to bugs. Spiders are especially difficult to get rid of, and some are very poisonous... One of the best methods to kill off cockroaches is to spread boric acid powder around. It kills the cockroaches without being too great a hazard to crew or pets.

Taking off the labels of canned goods is also a good idea, since the adhesive is a food source for cockroaches IIRC.

One place I've seen some serious problems was inside a furled sail on a boat that had been at dock most of the season. There was a rather large wasp's nest built up inside the folds of the sail... and when they went to raise the mainsail... almost everyone on-board was pretty badly stung.
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Old 11-18-2007
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Happily, at 57 deg north, the tropical cockroach is a raity!

I have seen the occasional one when in Houston, and they seem cunning and very destructive.
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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
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 11-18-2007
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Oh this thread reminds me of my boat when I took possession of it last summer! Our 1st night was OK.. but the next night OMG!! They were as big as my whole thumb! crawling out all over the place! ew... shudder... faint! Anyway, we bombed the boat 3 times the day we left it on it's mooring. During the week I went back and did it again. The next weekend we bombed it 3 more times! Dozens of the dead roaches were in the bilge, on the counter tops, and shelves. Apparently they come out of hiding to die? Not seen any kind of bugs since! Anytime I've had to look in various compartments or bunks I've not seen any.
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Any time you take stores south of Hatteras you're at risk for infestation. I recommend transferring dry-goods such as flour, cereal, and the like out of their original containers into air-tight containers. The nasty details are that you're bringing the roach eggs on board in the dry-goods. The humidity, if left in original boxes, is sufficient to aid in their hatching. Don't worry about their consumption; you've eaten worse without knowing it!

Once infestation starts, ie...you see ONE roach, take measures immediately to eradicate the little suckers. That one roach is always the tip of the iceberg. Stories of being able to train them to keep you awake on night watches have never been confirmed to my satisfaction. (g)
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Old 11-18-2007
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sailaway I think the ratio is for every one there's 900? or was it 90? LOL
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Old 11-19-2007
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Roaches also lay vast numbers of eggs and the life cycle is what has to be stopped. I have no answers for roaches. I just know that on a previous boat I got roaches from a supermarket in Mozambique and I never got rid of them. The boat went with the roaches. And I emptied can after can of bugspray into lockers. And if I saw one I hunted it down until it was dead.

The problem with these little devils is that by the time you see the first one, it's already way too late!! I'm really pleased to say that I have none on board now (that I know of).
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Omatako-

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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
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 11-19-2007
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Vermin infestation?

Quote:
So what are your experiences with vermin on the boat??
Any nasty tales to tell??
Interesting thread, since aside from our normal routine for cleanliness, we never really took many precautions against infestation, which I assume is mostly isolated to the tropics. I must say that of all the boats we've owned, none have ever served as an extended residence for vermin.

Now those flying pests associated to coastal salt marshes are an exception. Of all the biting breeds of bugs which spawn in our cruising area, greenheads (or deer flies), are perhaps the most feared - even more so than mosquitos.


They thrive on blood and within a second of landing on skin, literally tear away a chunk of flesh to lap it up. Nasty little buggers.
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