Newbie Liveaboards Beware of the...

Baggy

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The two worst things that can happen, during the cruising life, in the warmer climbs,
which do not seem to get much of a mention


are.....







Cockroaches and Mosquito,s ..

They can turn a happy contented life aboard, into a killing field .... :eek:
 

Honey

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charles_reed

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I got a cockroach infestation in Malta - it took 5 years to get rid of it.

I tried the hunting approach, a variety of sprays and chemicals, all to no avail.

I'd even got sufficiently desparate to consider overwintering in Finland (temperatures there should put paid to them).

Finally, a pharmacist in Marseille, told me that boracic acid was a slow, sure way of getting rid of them.

A couple of lay-ups using the powder in the lockers has finally got rid of them.
 

BobPrell

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About ten years ago, Australia was invaded by Asian House Geckos.

This was the friendliest invasion since the americans came in '41.

Now cockroaches are a rarity, when once every house had them by the thousand.
 

macd

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I got a cockroach infestation in Malta - it took 5 years to get rid of it...Finally, a pharmacist in Marseille, told me that boracic acid was a slow, sure way of getting rid of them.

I've never had to try it, thank heavens, but have certainly read (in a cruising autobiog, I think, but can't remember which) that boracic acid (sometimes called boric acid) mixed with condensed milk is an effective remedy. Apparently the roaches love it. Sorry that you had to wait so long for similar information.

Wikipedia has a page on the stuff, describing it as "a weak acid...not much more toxic than table salt".

As an insecticide it's more potent:
"Boric acid was first registered in the US as an insecticide in 1948 for control of cockroaches, termites, fire ants, fleas, silverfish, and many other insects. The product is generally considered to be safe to use in household kitchens to control cockroaches and ants. It acts as a stomach poison affecting the insects' metabolism, and the dry powder is abrasive to the insects' exoskeleton.

Boric acid is also made into a paste or gel form as a powerful and effective insecticide much safer to humans than many other insecticides. The paste or gel has attractants in it to attract insects. The boric acid slowly causes dehydration."

Presumably the condensed milk is the home-made equivalent of the "attractant".

Memo to self: buy some boracic acid, just in case.

P.S. The Michael Caine in me couldn't resist adding this, also from Wiki:
"The primary industrial use of boric acid is in the manufacture of monofilament fiberglass usually referred to as textile fiberglass." So most of us have another reason to be thankful for this unsung hero amongst chemicals. NMPKT.
 
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demonboy

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You're right, Mac, boric acid is what we have used and it does seem to work.

Also I concur with SHUG. We have a cat and she loves chasing cockroaches. The only downside is that she will occasionally replace them with a small rat or a frog, normally left on the saloon floor at 3am when we're asleep.

Temperature has a lot to do with roaches too, as someone has already mentioned. We have aircon whilst here in Cochin and rarely see a cockroach on the boat.

Be careful about the old wives tails regarding roaches. A nuclear bomb will almost certainly kill them, but then if a nuclear bomb goes off, I think roaches are going to be the least of your worries. Stepping on them does not always spread their eggs, though when squishing them it is best to use kitchen towel to clear up all the mess. The rule about no cardboard on the boat was proved to me the other day when I had a box of beer delivered to my boat. When I went to move it to the cockpit, three cockroaches crawled from it, and there were another two inside. I killed all five. And the German roaches are far more prevalent and nasty than the larger American ones. They're turbo charged mofo's!

As for mozzies - just keep drinking the G&Ts and keep your quinine levels up ;)
 

oldsaltoz

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About ten years ago, Australia was invaded by Asian House Geckos.

This was the friendliest invasion since the americans came in '41.

Now cockroaches are a rarity, when once every house had them by the thousand.

I'm looking at two of them right now, they love down lights and pick anything that lands in light, mind the barking sound they make at mating time can frighten the wits out of southerners who have never seen them.

The only roaches we see are out of the cardboard boxes bring on board; we kindly ask them to unload them in the cockpit and remover the box to the pontoon or place it a plastic bag tied tight till we can dispose of it properly.
 

Baggy

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There was loverly ( HR ) boat in the canaries, which
got infested with cockroaches.. apparantly the wife would not set foot on the boat till they were rid off

So the poor husband had to pay for the boat to come out, everything taken off and had the boat tented up and fumigated
It must have cost a bomb..:eek:

I was told the only sure way to get rid of roaches was a good old british winter..
This certanlty got rid of my infestation... :eek:
 

KellysEye

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>I'd even got sufficiently desparate to consider overwintering in Finland (temperatures there should put paid to them).

You can put them in a freezer for years and they will be fine when defrozen, unfortunately.
 

charles_reed

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You're right, Mac, boric acid is what we have used and it does seem to work.

Also I concur with SHUG. We have a cat and she loves chasing cockroaches. The only downside is that she will occasionally replace them with a small rat or a frog, normally left on the saloon floor at 3am when we're asleep.

Temperature has a lot to do with roaches too, as someone has already mentioned. We have aircon whilst here in Cochin and rarely see a cockroach on the boat.

Be careful about the old wives tails regarding roaches. A nuclear bomb will almost certainly kill them, but then if a nuclear bomb goes off, I think roaches are going to be the least of your worries. Stepping on them does not always spread their eggs, though when squishing them it is best to use kitchen towel to clear up all the mess. The rule about no cardboard on the boat was proved to me the other day when I had a box of beer delivered to my boat. When I went to move it to the cockpit, three cockroaches crawled from it, and there were another two inside. I killed all five. And the German roaches are far more prevalent and nasty than the larger American ones. They're turbo charged mofo's!

As for mozzies - just keep drinking the G&Ts and keep your quinine levels up ;)
Periplanta americana - is a misnomer, they actually hail from SE Asia.

They have one major advantage - a very fine dissective specimen for those investigating genus Insecta.

I'd agree that the small brown ones are far better sport than the big yellow ones, most people didn't even see them but I became an ace swatter - good for hand & eye coordination, but the sport not worth the inconvenience. They also appear to suffer from motion sickness, sailing in anything like a seaway seemed to bring them out.

As to mosquitoes, they move at dusk and dawn, apparently attracted by CO2 exhalation. An obvious counter is to stop breathing - something that will probably happen to me if I drink tonic-water (gin is OK). I've found most rub-on repellents OK, candles effective but make you as well as mosquitoes ill.
One way effective way, I have found of dealing with them of dealing with them, is to go to bed after dark and after fumigating the sleeping space.
 
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pW2

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Boric acid worked for me in Colombia a few months ago I just sprinkled it around, the milk option seemed far too messy
 

penfold

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I got a cockroach infestation in Malta - it took 5 years to get rid of it.

Quayside in Msida was riddled with the *******s when I visited, as have been most meddy harbours. Lots of fun to be had stamping on the critters after chucking out time; whoever gets the crunchiest/biggest splat gets coffee made for him.
 
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BrianH

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As to mosquitoes, they move at dusk and dawn, apparently attracted by CO2 exhalation. An obvious counter is to stop breathing - something that will probably happen to me if I drink tonic-water (gin is OK). I've found most rub-on repellents OK, candles effective but make you as well as mosquitoes ill.
One way effective way, I have found of dealing with them of dealing with them, is to go to bed after dark and after fumigating the sleeping space.
My NE Italian lagoon area was notorious for mosquitoes and, as you say, dusk was the optimal activity time. The local authorities, recognising the very real threat of them to the lucrative tourist industry, embarked on a determined effort of eradication, which has been largely successful. Instead of the black clouds of mosquitoes in the marina as the light fades, individual ones appear and are deterred by most commercial repellents.

However, a far more aggressive variant is now breeding in Italy, the Asian Tiger mosquito (aedes albopictus), which feeds at any time, not just dusk and night as the indigenous ones do. These are devils, fast and persistent, unlike the local species that are a bit dozy, usually easy to spot and swat. They also seem immune to a fumigator that I use in the cabin and that was successful with other flying insects, including mosquitoes.
 

chinita

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There is a chap around here flogging little battery driven plastic boxes which emit the sound of a male mosquito (if you hold your the box to your ear you can just about hear it). You just attach it to somewhere and....hey presto!

I am told that it is the female mosquito which causes the problems and when they hear the sound of a male, they bugger off for fear of being seen to.

Might work, I suppose. Don't know how it would deal with any nymphomaniac female mosquitos though.
 

dancrane

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Shoot on sight

My dad bought an air pistol (plastic pellets), just for fun. The pellets go clean through a biscuit-tin lid at short range - not quite Terminator machinery, but might it terminate cockroaches? It's unlikely to damage any part of the cabin, and you'll enjoy waiting for the little monsters, with a whiskey, a cigarillo and a Man With No Name beard.
 

mandlmaunder

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The Boric Acid and condensed milk has worked on the few occasions that the little blighters have got past the NO Cardboard boxes on board defense. They love the milk and the acid does the rest.

As to the mosquito, we made custom nets to go over all the opening hatches and fitted screens to all the little hatches, use smoke coils at certain times of year when after a rain they hatch after 7-9 days, then they swarm.

Another method of controlling the mozzy is the electric tennis racket, put in the batteries and behold, hours of fun swatting and shocking ,sizzling death with a flash of blue light to the killers of 2 million people world wide every year.

Both are something you sort of get used to having occasionally when you live some where warm all year round.

Mark
 
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