Sunday, July 26, 2015


   It is fairly common knowledge that unwanted critters of many kinds can be a nuisance to cruisers.  When a boat is out at sea, the chance of taking on little stowaways is greatly lessened.  However, when a boat is tied up to land, all bets are off.  Just like those who live in houses, we are vulnerable to things that crawl be it ants, roaches, rats, whatever.  While, thank God, we have not had the experience of dealing with rodents (I'm sure the cats are a good reason for that), we have had experience "hosting" a few other little unwanted creepy crawlies.  None of these "visits" have been bad enough to leave us feeling like we were under siege (though one came close) but, they have provided me with some interesting stories.

   Our first encounter of the buggy kind started when were about three-quarters of the way through our excursion in the Bahamas.  We are not exactly sure when or how these little nuisances got on board but, we are pretty sure that we picked them up during one of the very few times we stayed at a marina there.  The first sign our "guests" had arrived came one morning when I saw what, at fist glance, looked like rodent droppings.  I cleaned them up, sanitized the area, and spent the whole day worrying that we had a rat aboard.

   A few days later, I picked up the cats' litter mats to clean them out and found more of these "droppings" under one of the mats.  This time, when I went to wipe them up, one of them squished like a bug. . . It hit me . . . these were NOT droppings, they were eggs, cockroach eggs. . . ugh. . . . I couldn't believe it; we had been very cautious.  Cardboard never made it on to the boat (roaches like to lay eggs in cardboard) and we didn't leave food out.  Somehow they still made it aboard.

   So, I made sure to kill and dispose of the eggs, sanitizing and checking every area I could think of that a bug would want to hide in.  I thought it worked. WRONG.  It only delayed them.  Over the next few weeks we started to see a roach or two at night. I tried sprays and baits; I think the roaches laughed at my efforts.  Even so, the problem didn't get worse until we landed in Florida (apparently they are a common problem here).

   I started researching solutions one day and found a product made by Dupont, Advion Cockroach Gel Bait, that had about a million five star reviews and had been used by other boaters.  By the time I had made the decision to order the stuff, it was late.  So, I left the information on my tablet, intending to place the order the next day.  Ironically, that night, I was awakened by something crawling down my back.  I nearly leap out of bed and turned the light on at the same time. "Aha!  Get it!  Get it!  Get it!", I yelled while simultaneously trying to smack the bug with a book.  Bill, still half asleep and bewildered as to what it was that he was supposed to get, was frantically asking "What? What is it?".  We finally got the little monster and I order the bait the next day.

  I couldn't wait to get this product out of the package.  Once I had set the bait, all we had to do was wait.  In a mater of three days, we had disposed of the last dead bug.  It was that good.  We have been completely roach-free ever since.  Whew!  Glad that didn't get any worse!  

   Don't worry, the other two stowaways are much less of a problem and not cringe-inducing. . .

The Coil That The Bugs Were Hiding In Is On The Right;
The End Of The Snubber Is Near The Bottom Left.
  Since we've been tied up here in Hollywood, Bill and I have noticed that, every now and then, we'd get a bunch of little ant-like bugs up on deck.  They never seem to hang around for long, they seem to crop up whenever we get a heavy rain, and many of the other boats here were noticing them, too.  Until this morning, we assumed they were being blown in when the rain and storms came though. Again, WRONG.  Bill checked some of our lines this morning, the snubber (this attaches to the anchor, acting as an extra bit of security when the anchor is down) included.  While checking the snubber, he found a nest of these little buggies (wee beasties as my Scottish-born great aunt would say) hanging out in its coils.  He did his best to smash and wash them all away with the hose . . . I'm assuming that the other affected boats also have nests like these and just don't know it yet . . . Hopefully ours won't be back.

The Crabs Seem To Like Our Blue Line Better For Crawling
On Board (I'd Have Posted  A Pic Of One Of These Guys
But, I couldn't Get One To Hold Still).
   Our last critter is the more humorous of the bunch: the crab.  I don't know exactly what sort of crabs they are.  I have heard a few people refer to them as sand crabs but, I'm not sure.  They are very dark in color, are shaped kind of like a Blue Crab, and are only about the size of a half dollar.  Because of their diminutive size, they find it easy to crawl onto our (and many other's) lines from the pier and explore the deck.  I have seen these sidewinders on quite a few boats.  They don't seem to bother anybody (other than they way they invite themselves aboard) and, if left alone, they seem to crawl right back to where they came from.  However, no one really wants a crab on their boat (unless it's on the menu).

  Now you might be wondering about our built-in feline defense system.  They love it when a crab comes to see us.  The crab, unfortunately, usually regrets the visit.  I have seen Oliver get into a staring contest with a crab.  With the crab still on the pier and Oliver still on the boat, the crab spent several minutes trying to figure out how to flee the scene without being eaten.  Little did he know that the cats aren't allowed to leave the boat.  Most of the time we see the crabs coming and can knock them off of the lines and into the water before they ever get to the boat.  However, They aren't so easy to spot at night and we have often seen one of our cats chasing a new "toy" around the deck.

   One morning, a few weeks ago, I slid out of bed and walked into the salon/galley where Bill was making breakfast.  Without  my glasses on or contacts in, I am  very near sighted.  I noticed a fuzzy-looking grey spot on the rug.  To my unaided eyes, it looked like a tuft of cat fur.  As a went to pick it up, the feel was all wrong.  My eyes began to focus.  It was a crab; a dead crab.  "Oh, it's a crab! It's a crab!", I lamented to Bill as I tried to dispose of it as quickly as possible (Why must I always be the discoverer of such things?).  Apparently, one of the cats had brought us a "present" that morning and left it under the table for us to find and enjoy; how nice. . . loyal mousers are wonderful . . . most of the time.

   Well, I hope you have found my little compilation of stories amusing.  Check out the cockroach bait link if you have a need for it; it really does work.  If any of you have any interesting invader stories of your own, feel free to post them in the comments section so we can all enjoy them.

   By the way, I just added a great burger recipe to the galley page.  So, check it out!      

   Please let us know what you think. Feel free to ask questions and leave nice comments. (If no one has commented yet, there will be a "No Comments" link near the bottom of the post. If someone has already commented, there will be a number and the word "comments" beside it. Just click whichever of these is there, click, "add comment" when the window opens, and type away.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please let us know what you think. Feel free to ask questions and leave nice comments.