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Old 08-06-2007, 19:23   #1
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Angry CHIGGERS ON BOARD

For the last number of months I have been in the process of recaulking my boats teak decks, (Brutal Job). As I have been spending a great deal of time on my knees with my nose on the deck I have been getting a great view of my nice clean seams waiting to get new caulk. The last nuber of days I have been noticing what appears to be chiggers crawling around the deck, weather has been very warm in the 90's. Do any of the members have any thoughts on what this may be about, as well as what should be done?
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Old 08-06-2007, 19:29   #2
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Don't actually know what a chigger is, but it sounds rude.
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Old 08-06-2007, 19:33   #3
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Are you in Calif. by any chance.

I seem to remember some small creatures making their way around on my old rough teak decks. I think it's just a coastal insect that likes hot wood.
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Old 08-06-2007, 19:40   #4
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Dunno what a chigger is but as long as they don't drink all my rum and fondle the women, they're welcome!

Oh wait! Just looked them up on Wikipedia. Nasty lil' buggers. Not welcome at all.

Harvest mite - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Chiggers, HYG-2100-98
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Old 08-06-2007, 20:51   #5
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No, Rick, you definitely should never, ever welcome chiggers, anywhere! Having grown up where they are in every grassy area and active when the temp exceeded 70 F (which, in Texas, is most of the year), I can tell you they are extremely unpleasant creatures. First, they spit on you, which dissolves your skin. Then, they suck up the juices and drop off. They are gone before you notice that the spit they leave behind is very itchy.

The only way we found to keep them off of us when in the woods and fields was to power our legs and feet with sulfer. Unpleasant stuff, but better than chiggers!

BTW, I really doubt those are chiggers in your boat, cburger -- not their habitat. If they are some sort of related species, though, I pity you. Get out the sulfer.

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Old 08-06-2007, 22:36   #6
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Not likely chiggers. I also grew up with them. Nasty bugs! They tend to keep to grassy areas. Can't imagine they would live long on a boat. You would also know because you would feel the bites (they itch like hell) everywhere they could get to you.
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Old 09-06-2007, 00:27   #7
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Up here in the North Country we have a tiny aquatic pest we call chiggers. They would periodicaly infest the lakes for about a week in the summer back in the 1960's when I was a kid. If you were unlucky enough to go swimming during an outbreak you ended up covered with tiny red welts that itched like crazy for several days. The old folk remedy was to put a dab of fingernail polish on each welt. Then they would chemicaly treat the swimming area and it would be closed for several days. Probably DDT or something similar. Ahh, the good old days.
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:18   #8
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OK, I guess there are aquatic chiggers. Never heard of them before.
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Old 09-06-2007, 04:18   #9
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So that is where they all went. Since the invasion of the fire ants I have not picked up a single chigger.
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Old 09-06-2007, 06:23   #10
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They are red little bugs about the 1/2 the size of a pin head, when I looked them up on the net it was indicated that they like decaying wood. I didn't notice them until I opened up the hull to deck seam. I am just wondering if there there might be a moisture issue with that section od the wood.
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Old 09-06-2007, 06:51   #11
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I remember my wooden boat days with fondness and sometimes remember working with wood with a bit of nostalgia, but your mention of wood mites and rotting wood slaps me back to reality and reinforces the reason I am now a Tupperware sailor. I hope you get rid of them little buggers and solve the cause of their uninvited visit.
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Old 09-06-2007, 09:12   #12
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I'd suggest buying a bottle of liquid permethrin, diluting it as specified, applying it to the decks and allowing it to dry before coming back on board. Once it has soaked in--it is very toxic to the bugs but fairly safe for humans. (Once it has dried--you don't want to be breathing in the spray or putting it on your skin.)

It is a fairly "safe" product as far as insecticides go, made from chrysanthemum extract. Used to treat clothing, too.

If you think the boat itself is infested, a traditional insecticide bomb (smoke bomb, not aerosol) is the best way to fumigate, i.e. "Raid" Fumigator, activated by placing it in a dish with water. You then go away for 4+ hours, come back & open all the vents, go away again, and when you come back next time--the critters are ALL DEAD. ALL. DEAD.

Again, fairly safe if used as directed.
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:29   #13
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Get some liquid Lysol, pour some around in the dry parts. Get a spray bottle and mix 4 parts water and 1 part Lysol and spray but not on cloth or wood. Close up boat tight. When return, air out.

Using this I have not bugs on my boat and no mildue on the places sprayed.

I find it strange that you do not report any bites. This should get ride of any bugs that you might have.
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