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Old 23-05-2010, 14:41   #16
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Fortunately the spiders stay outside of the cabin since there is nothing for them to feed on in there. Outside there is an army of them under the bimini, rigging, and in the sail cover. I'm not too worried about spider bites, but they do tend to scare the grand children off to the point that they cannot learn to enjoy sailing.

I've alread doused the dock light, and do have a bottle of some sort of concentrate that I bought at home depot to spray the dock lines and covers (have it but haven't used it yet).

I do notice the hornets / wasps tend to come with the spiders and are feeding heavily on them.
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Old 23-05-2010, 14:57   #17
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I just sweep them up in a paper towel along with the dead critters and webs. I'm not too crazy about chemical warfare against them. This planet is messed up enough without that contribution. Wasps on the other hand get nuked with chemical spray.

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Old 23-05-2010, 17:13   #18
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Just ruined another hat beating the crap out of red wasps who like to build under the cover over the main. Someone suggested mothballs to keep them away. Worth a try. But it isn't the spiders I dislike, its the droppings they leave all over the boat, the webs that are always in the way, and the wasps that they feed. But the spiders are so numerous around our marina I'm afraid chemical treatment would be a hopeless battle. A good hosing seems to keep the numbers in check.
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Old 23-05-2010, 17:32   #19
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If they're living under your bimini, it's because it's a nice safe place to build. Is there any way you can take it down periodically to lay it out - get some sun and wind on the other side? That should dissuade the builders. You have to make it a not-so-safe home for them. Sweeping frequently to knock the webs down might help, but they rebuild often so that one's not 100%. (Maybe on a day when you're sailing, if your conscience can live with all those drowned spiders?)
Or you could look on the bright side and tell your grandkids how spiders eat other obnoxious things like mosquitoes, so they're really a good thing to keep around.
I would second the not-spider-bites problem - spiders don't bite all that often and they're pretty distinctive bites when they do.
Oh, mothballs keep almost everything away. But they're highly toxic, so be careful if your grandkids are very young, if you have dogs or cats around, anything except aware adults, basically.
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Old 24-05-2010, 08:33   #20
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I agree with Mi2ndWind and osirissail, a good coating on your dock lines will keep numbers livable. Last year I had a small ant army attack until I poisoned their bridge. As for the wasps, hang a Ziploc bag full of water near where you are having problems. Wasps and flies will stay clear of it. Don't know about the hornets.
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Old 24-05-2010, 08:59   #21
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Pesticide poisoning is more serious than you can imagine. Spider bites are barely a problem. You are only likely to get a few in your life.
+1 on that! I hope the folks who soak their dock lines in pesticides are aware of the cumulative effect that handling toxic lines could have, especially if line handlers don't scrub down after handling those lines. This strategy might be less worrisome for the type of "cruiser" who never unties a cleat knot, but for anyone actively sailing the boat I would recommend against pesticide-soaked dock lines.
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Old 24-05-2010, 11:19   #22
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Let's not go overboard on the "toxic" pesticides. The same could be said about insect repellent (deet), diesel, oil, kerosene, gas, epoxy, bleach etc that are used by all boaters. I handle my lines multiple times a day, although I do wash my hands before eating . Speaking for myself, I do not like insects, bugs, wasp, flies, or any other creepy crawler in my living space. I keep a clean space and encourage my little friends to make their homes else where.
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Old 24-05-2010, 11:51   #23
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I don't know where you live, Tager, but I assume it is above the Arctic Circle. Everywhere elese has spiders. And they bite. Having lived in the third world, I know about other insects that infest sleeping places. I have been spider bitten on a number of occasions. Here in the PNW, we don't have brown recluses, but we do have wolf spiders, and the bite is similar. The more common brown house spider leaves nasty welts. All that being said, I was never bitten while living aboard ..... Try 20 Mule Team Borax, or Boraxo. It is a dessicant. Wipes out spiders, cockroaches, etc. You must sprinkle it liberally [even democratically ] in bilges, locker bottoms, etc. Cheap, easy to use.
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Old 24-05-2010, 12:34   #24
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Treating dock lines

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+1 on that! I hope the folks who soak their dock lines in pesticides are aware of the cumulative effect that handling toxic lines could have, especially if line handlers don't scrub down after handling those lines. This strategy might be less worrisome for the type of "cruiser" who never unties a cleat knot, but for anyone actively sailing the boat I would recommend against pesticide-soaked dock lines.
Spray soaking the dock lines, then leaving them to dry before use, leaves the chemical imprint of the pesticide in the rope which creates an unpleasant path for the insects to travel, but is hardly enough to kill them or cause harm to anyone handling the line. After a while, I'm reasonably sure that very, very little is left between evaporation and rain cycles. I think your point is only valid if handling freshly sprayed "wet" lines or if soaking them in a large vat of pesticide before use, which was never stated as part of the plan. I am not a fan of chemical warfare on bugs except in the most extreme cases, which it sounded like the OP presented, and like the situation I had a few years ago. Most of the time a simple 12 volt canister vac can keep them in check. I am also quite certain that spiders are less of a problem while on passage and while anchored for extended periods, but it doesn't take long at all to pick up a few if you spend any time tied to a dock, in which case the type of "cruiser" you are is not relevant. Cheers and beers..........
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Old 24-05-2010, 13:16   #25
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Spray soaking the dock lines, then leaving them to dry before use, leaves the chemical imprint of the pesticide in the rope which creates an unpleasant path for the insects to travel, but is hardly enough to kill them or cause harm to anyone handling the line.
One of the most common insecticides used in spider sprays is Pyrethrin, a so-called "natural" insecticide since it is derived from chrysanthemums. According to the EPA, which compiles reports from poison control centers, it is the second most common source of poisoning of humans.

Pyrethrins are classified as powerful carcinogens. Agricultural workers exposed to pyrethrins have been shown to have elevated cancer levels.

A dockline soaked in pyrethrin, as has per the method suggested previously in this thread, will contain sufficient toxic residue to harm the heath of someone handling that line.

Pyrethrin has been in use for 90-some years, and is well studied. One of the problems of pyrethrin poisoning is that its symptoms are similar to allergic reactions. These symptoms can include: dizzyness, headaches, hives, itching, rashes, respiratory distress, asthma attacks and heart attacks.

My advice stands: don't use it on any line that might be handled by someone not wearing gloves. Be especially concerned about spraying pyrethrin within 12 feet of any living space, especially if food preparation takes place there, and around areas where children play.
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Old 24-05-2010, 13:26   #26
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The Admiral hates the spiders on the boat and mosquitos dive-bombing our ears inside the boat. For her it is nothing less than war. When anchored out at night, the spiders slowly decend from the bimini as we are stretched out in the cockpit watching the sunset. With a drink in one hand and a large can of bug spray in the other, she calmly blasts the spiders, narrating their demise. She solved the "always one damn mosquito buzzzing around in the boat" at bedtime by buying a rechargeable bug zapper...and it gets the little SOB's every time. The bug zapper, combined with screens is a great way to deal with the mosquitos and not have to use insecticide inside the boat. Plus, it is fun to hear them fry before they end up in your ear.
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Old 24-05-2010, 14:14   #27
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A@MichaelC You should read the link I posted. It is from the PNW. I will say it again. Pesticides are more hazardous to your health than spiders. If you had fleas, lice, or ticks, then pesticide use may be in order if you just love your hair.

Personally, I shave my pets when they get fleas. They don't deserve to be dosed with neurotoxins.

Spider bites are very rare. If you consistently wake up with bites, clean.

If you keep a tight cabin, use screens, and clean, you will not have a spider problem in the cabin.

Spiders outside the cabin can be handled with water and brushes.

Everyone here is going to think I am a conspiracy theorist, but there are those who have hypothesized that pesticide use is linked to many diseases, smallpox, polio, MS, to name a few.

Just the fact that such a hypothesis is reasonable, if not correct, is enough to make me stay away!
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Old 24-05-2010, 14:23   #28
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"But it isn't the spiders I dislike, its the droppings they leave all over the boat"

The spiders around here eat bugs then cr@p magic marker ink.
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Smallpox was rampant, wiped out most Hawaiians, Caribs, Tainos and others in the 1700 and 1800s long before pesticides were around those areas. It has pretty much been eradicated even though pesticide is in use pretty much worldwide now
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Old 24-05-2010, 15:12   #29
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Breathing pesticides 'can trigger MS and Parkinson's disease' | Mail Online
If I see anyone spraying pesticides anywhere near my boat I will politely ask them to stop.

Pesticides and cancer. [Cancer Causes Control. 1997] - PubMed result

Pesticides and Polio: A Critique of Scientific Literature

So I am a bit heretical, and some may see me as a conspiracy theorist.

I want all to understand that these sources do not represent my beliefs. I am wise enough in my few short years to know that I do not know the truth about these things. I have very little background in neuro, bio, chem, etc. There is no way that I could evaluate these claims against popular belief and expect a sound conclusion.

I just don't know enough about the science. However, I do know that about half of men get cancer these days, so I am going to do everything I can to avoid that. If that means avoiding pesticides based on some shaky evidence, I will avoid pesticides.


I hope you do too!
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Old 24-05-2010, 20:45   #30
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One of the most common insecticides used in spider sprays is Pyrethrin, a so-called "natural" insecticide since it is derived from chrysanthemums. According to the EPA, which compiles reports from poison control centers, it is the second most common source of poisoning of humans.

Pyrethrins are classified as powerful carcinogens. Agricultural workers exposed to pyrethrins have been shown to have elevated cancer levels.

A dockline soaked in pyrethrin, as has per the method suggested previously in this thread, will contain sufficient toxic residue to harm the heath of someone handling that line.

Pyrethrin has been in use for 90-some years, and is well studied. One of the problems of pyrethrin poisoning is that its symptoms are similar to allergic reactions. These symptoms can include: dizzyness, headaches, hives, itching, rashes, respiratory distress, asthma attacks and heart attacks.

My advice stands: don't use it on any line that might be handled by someone not wearing gloves. Be especially concerned about spraying pyrethrin within 12 feet of any living space, especially if food preparation takes place there, and around areas where children play.
Sorry, no time for a longer reply. The product mentioned in my post is Clipper Spiderkill II, the active ingredient is Deltamethrin, which is a synthetic compound in use since the late 1970's. While still a neurotoxin, it is far less hazardous than pyrethrin, and far safer to mammals. Here is a link to the NPIC data http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/Deltatech.pdf Again, I am not saying it should be used liberally and frequently, nor would I use it inside the boat, but in the manner I described should cause no adverse effects.
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