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Old 24-12-2014, 06:59   #31
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Re: Rat! Unwanted Liveaboard

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One of the most hilarious sights I ever beheld was a commercial salmon...

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Awesome story Phil !

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You should see the street rats in the French Quarter that come out about an hour before daylight. Size of cats, some of them.
You were out then??? I didn't see ya or I woulda said hi...


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The rats in Southern California and in some of Central Florida are said to be accustomed to boaters.

Oh man... The rats in So. Cal are relentless.... They live in trees (palm and anything else) and roof hop like crazy...
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Old 29-12-2014, 05:24   #32
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Re: Rat! Unwanted Liveaboard

The liveaboard problem continues.

Turns out the rat had some liveaboards of his own; Ornithonyssus bacoti commonly known as the tropical rat mite.

About 10 days after ending him I woke up with a few verry small raised itchy bumps.

A few nights later and I was in a panic thinking I had bought a boat with bed bugs.

After a few more days of hunting for bugs I found out you don't feel bed bugs bite. Well I found one of these might and it was pure luck.
The are smaller than a pin head.

Good news is they can't complete their life cycle without the rat host.

Bad news is that they can live for 8 weeks off my blood.

Guess I have another month of dealing with my liveaboard liveaboards.

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Old 29-12-2014, 05:49   #33
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Re: Rat! Unwanted Liveaboard

We have a Jack Russell Terrier. He lives to kill rats. And he's good at it. I have nothing against cats, but all in all I think a small dog is a better boat animal. A cat would certainly be a close second choice, but dogs have a slight edge in that they're also a good thief deterrent/alarm system for any strange noises on boat. They can be trained to do some useful things like stay in one place. They also are great conversation starters. Cats.....not so much. Rats are a hobby for a cat, an obsession for the terrier.
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Old 29-12-2014, 11:24   #34
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Re: Rat! Unwanted Liveaboard

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Originally Posted by meeki007 View Post
The liveaboard problem continues.

Turns out the rat had some liveaboards of his own; Ornithonyssus bacoti commonly known as the tropical rat mite.

Bad news is that they can live for 8 weeks off my blood.

Guess I have another month of dealing with my liveaboard liveaboards.

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I think the appropriate comment to the above would be: "That bites!"

You have my sympathy. The tiny mites can be real aggravation. While I was on a ranch, around animals and hay and tall grass, I picked up some that drove me to scrubbing my skin and bathing with anything I thought might get the mites off. Some folks may know about "chiggers" and they can be very uncomfortable. Clothing has to be washed etc.

Here is a link to more information on Chiggers. More than anyone would want to know, unless they are scratching endlessly. I am posting it because the symptoms and treatments are discussed, and the symptoms are similar (itching whelps on the skin, etc.).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trombiculidae

One point I learned: The chigger (mite) is using an enzyme to destroy skin cells that it then sucks up (to feed on them). Yuck!

Your post got me thinking of what to do to eliminate the pests, as I intend to spend a lot of time in the tropics.

Found another article (you probably found already) on Wikipedia that is focused on the Rat Mite. It references many other articles.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornithonyssus_bacoti

Another article mentioned that DEET (mosquito or bug repellent) works on them.

I don't think I could stand to be on a boat with rat mites for weeks! Yikes!

I wonder if a "bug bomb" type of insecticide would work? Of course it may be dangerous in a boat, one would want to make sure there is no source of ignition, and fully ventilate after using. Has anyone here used a "bug bomb" on a boat? NOTE: I am only asking, as I have not used one and do not know if there might be bad risks or consequences to using one on a boat. I know they worked wonders in an commercial building I leased once.

If you come across a good solution to killing the mites off the boat (rather than on a pet), I hope you will post. I am curious.

Good Luck!
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Old 29-12-2014, 11:32   #35
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Talking Re: Rat! Unwanted Liveaboard

..you always can charge for rent...
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Old 29-12-2014, 11:56   #36
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Re: Rat! Unwanted Liveaboard

I have had both a rat and bed bugs (Brought them aboard in the spine of a second hand hard cover book) and I have to say I would prefer the rat to the bed bugs any day. I have a steel boat with spray in foam insulation and the little beggars got into the pores and cavities in the foam and it took months to lure them all out and kill them. Any time I bring second hand books aboard these days I do it in plastic bags and don't open them until I have given them three or four minutes in the microwave.
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Old 29-12-2014, 13:29   #37
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Re: Rat! Unwanted Liveaboard

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..... given them three or four minutes in the microwave.
Never thought of that! Good idea.

As for bed bugs ya I would not wish them on any one.



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Old 29-12-2014, 13:45   #38
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Re: Rat! Unwanted Liveaboard

meeki007,

I am so sorry to hear about the rat mites. The unkindest cut of all!

You might consult one of those pest control businesses to find out what will get rid of them for you. It is a fairly big hassle to insect bomb a boat, might as well get it right the first time!

Good luck with it.

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Old 29-12-2014, 13:51   #39
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Re: Rat! Unwanted Liveaboard

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I don't think I could stand to be on a boat with rat mites for weeks! Yikes!
It's all a matter of past life experience and how bad they are.
I get one to three bites a night. Not in a row but random. They itch a bit but not to the point I need to scratch them more than once when I wake up.

8 years in the army and I'm thankful for these mites vs somthing else

All male unit in the barracks and deployed brought us all kinds of stuff.
Got chiggers x 3, ringworm X 2, crabs x 0 but 1/2 the barracks got it, lice x1, scabies x2 but never bedbugs. Been bit to he'll by sand flies.

Amazing what 3 working toilets and a few working driers does when used by 130 people.

So a few more weeks of bites will not be too bad.

Getting rid of bugs. I don't know about bug bombing a boat but pyrethrin works.

We would spray it on our uniforms. Wash them once. Then they were good for a few months washing them once a week.

You knew ya needed to reapply because ya would start getting bit again.

Thanks all for the kind words.




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Old 29-12-2014, 15:22   #40
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Re: Rat! Unwanted Liveaboard

FWIW, rats and mice don't actually "eat" electric wire insulation or PVC tubes, they make shavings out of them with their teeth in order to feather their nests. So, if you find bared wires on your boat, chances are you'll be hosting the Mother of All Birthday Parties in no time.

As it stands, I've got a certain respect for rats. They're a lot more intuitive and a lot less compulsive than cats or dogs. Granted, they don't live long enough to become household pets, but their learning curve is such that if they did, yours might just be taking out the trash or debugging your computer as we speak.

Jacques
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Old 31-12-2014, 00:30   #41
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Re: Rat! Unwanted Liveaboard

This is almost on topic.

I came across something that may give you a chuckle or laugh. This is added for humor, not a recommendation of the music. You should see the album cover of the following.

Paddy and The Rats - "Rats On Board"

http://youtu.be/yWFUyJy4Ga0


Finally, I seem to recall in one of those articles I read said that the mites fall off the host after feeding, then lay eggs, those hatch, and the life cycle continues with a new batch. So, I would check into that and do something to kill the buggers now. Good luck!
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Old 01-01-2015, 01:44   #42
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Re: Rat! Unwanted Liveaboard

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FWIW, rats and mice don't actually "eat" electric wire insulation or PVC tubes, they make shavings out of them with their teeth in order to feather their nests. So, if you find bared wires on your boat, chances are you'll be hosting the Mother of All Birthday Parties in no time.

As it stands, I've got a certain respect for rats. They're a lot more intuitive and a lot less compulsive than cats or dogs. Granted, they don't live long enough to become household pets, but their learning curve is such that if they did, yours might just be taking out the trash or debugging your computer as we speak.

Jacques
And, they share about 95% of our DNA, which may be another reason to .... umm, uh, but, well, at least they don't carry guns when they invade : )
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:01   #43
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Three pronged approach ended our rat problem

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From personal experience I can categorically state that foil pie plates, coke bottles, discs etc do not prevent rats from climbing along shore lines. In order for the discs to work they have to be enormous, way too big to be sensible to carry on a small yacht.

Pre cats we used discs and coke bottles which we centred over the lines and poked cocktail sticks through to make them prickly. Mr Rat just took his time, flattened the discs and pushed the cocktail sticks into the bottles as he walked across!

The best deterrent is a cat, and to make sure that yours is the boat that is unattractive to rats (no food rubbish left lying around etc).

In October we were Med moored in Port Said in Egypt with 9 other boats, rats everywhere. In preparation we had soaked a cloth in our cats' urine and torn it into strips. Everyone tied the strips to their shore lines and no-one had a rat aboard. Maybe we were all just lucky (we had Puss and Fluff so we were ok!), maybe the cat pee worked, either way, we all continued down the Suez canal rat free.
Your "coke" problem, might have been that the rats actually latched onto the sticks.

The key to using the coke bottles seems to be that they have to be loose on the lines, and long enough to cause the rat a serious trek across them. Rats are smart, and, depending on their locale, may have learned to jump over a shorter bottle. The longer, well placed bottle spins, and the rat falls off. At least that is how it worked with our rates.

Another interesting note is that, they seemed to have a way into our boat through an open storage space in the cockpit which had a vent that eventually led to the deck below. I blocked the vent w. heavy duty screening, and put sticky tape at the entrance.

At first, before we put up the coke bottles, the rats tried, without success to enter that vent. Between the coke bottles and the blocked vent, they seemed to figure out that their free meals were over within about a week, since, we soon found an end to their attempts to avoid the tape and chew around the screen.

That said, your point is well taken in that we also put all "smellable" food, like rice that was in plastic bags, into air-tight Tupperware. The combination of all of these efforts have proven effective, and, are some kind of testimony to the rats intelligence, as well.

G2L
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Old 10-12-2015, 16:16   #44
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Re: Rat! Unwanted Liveaboard

I was searching through all the threads looking to see if anyone knew about rats - I had no idea that rats were a common issue!

I live in Oregon and my boat is in San Mateo so i only get there one a month or so. Prior to my last trip down my brother was at the boat and called to say "we have mice". He took a photo of the poop and sent it to me. Nope, that's rat poop. I got some huge snap jaw traps and a bottle of pure coyote urine and sent them to him. Please, brother dear, use these on the oat before I get there!

Arrived 2 weeks later and, as i approached the boat i saw what looked like a chihuahua in the trap on the dock. 3 dead rats on the inside and that was it. I treated the lines with the coyote urine and then dropped urine soaked cotton pads about every 5 ft inside (humans don't smell it). All rats gone. It took me more than 5 hours to completely clean the boat with bleach and water and then i sprayed everything with an antibacterial for extra measure. Next time I'm down, I have to replace all the radio wires as they were a very delectable treat...

To test the urine (which all the able seamen at the dock balked at) I placed 2 traps baited with smoked raw bacon out by the dock box. Inside of te dock box i placed a cotton pad with coyote urine on it - in the morning the bacon was still intact and there were no further rats...

I ordered the stuff from a place in Maine that specializes in predator urine. I found the place when my chicken coop was overrun with field mice, which then resulted in my garage and outdoor office being inundated with the little sons of $@*^&%$. For mice you use bob cat urine. I placed the cotton pads every 10ft and in less than 48 hrs all mice had headed somewhere else - so now i just add more urine to the pads once a month and i haven't seen a mouse since.

Headed back to my boat in January - and no, I'm not a spokesman for predator urine - but because of the urine, i know the boat is rodent free!

PS. The boat rats opened a large glass jar filled with flour. It had a screw top lid that even i had trouble opening!
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Old 10-12-2015, 16:59   #45
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Re: Rat! Unwanted Liveaboard

Long story short: this rat came onboard around 3:45am and died at approx. 3:50am.

In other words: get a cat
They may take prey home every once in a while, but nothing survives for long.



(My cat spent the first 2 yrs or so of her live on the streets, so she's a very enthusiastic, good and quick hunter. Also does very clean kills which I do appreciate ).
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