Monthly Archives: June 2013

Bugging Out – Boats and Bugs

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These photos are from our post dinner walk of the docks. Before the sun had even started to set, the diverse army of insects had already begun their ascension into our world.

When we arrived here in May there was more or less not a single sign of any insects to be seen. Well a lot has changed since then. It is not unexpected but does take some getting used to. I guess you can’t expect anything less than the complete catalog of Southern, water loving, humidity hopping, dock running bugs when you live in a brackish water marina. Arachnophobes need not apply.

I really can’t decide which I loathe more… Palmetto Bugs (The Giant American Cockroach) or the wide variety of spiders that seem to love it around the water and our boats rigging. There are some other strange species of insects that I have yet to identify but I sure wouldn’t want to cozy on up to them.

Luckily the spiders don’t come inside the boat. They seem perfectly happy to hang out in and around our rigging and stanchions on deck. They spin their circular webs at dusk waiting to catch their nighttime meals. When morning comes they crawl back to whatever dark hole they came from and wait for the sun to set once again. At first it was a couple here and there, but the population has grown and seemed to be a bit out of control. We decided to go on the defensive. On the advice of another liveaboard couple, I bought one of those plastic electric swatters. It looks like a mini tennis racquet. It worked here and there but is rather tedious and not very precise so I decided to go to the good old faithful fall back… RAID in a can. It doesn’t take much and is far more precise. This is our 4th night of zapping every spider we can find on the outside of the boat and I have to say that the population has diminished extensively! VERY happy.

The funny thing is that Cadence has really gotten into the whole spider hunting and killing thing. She gets excited at dusk and likes to hunt with me and point them all out with her flashlight. On the way back to the boat this evening she started saying Kill-Kill-Kill! It is a pretty amusing thing to hear coming out of a 3.75 year old little girls mouth. We tell her that overall the spiders are good but we do not want them on OUR boat… elsewhere they are fine and eat lots of other bugs that we humans don’t like.

Now onto the Palmetto Bugs. They are nasty nasty nasty. They tend to come out after a good rain. We have had two large 1.5 inch specimens INSIDE the boat. They are fast and ugly and strangely bold. They run away when chased then come out 20 minutes later and stare at you from their perch. Almost like a cat. A vacuum cleaner makes quick work of them and luckily they are far and few between. We have become very diligent about keeping the boat closed up with our screens and such and have been running the air conditioning a bit more than we normally would have liked.

Well I think I have shared with you enough of the bug experience so that you get the idea. If I keep writing more and get into the many different ways that liveaboards handle these creatures I will not be able to get any sleep tonight! All I can do is battle on :)