If you think cockroaches are offensive but harmless, our experience may change your mind.
We managed to keep our boat
free of pests for more than a year of cruising in French Polynesia
. When we provisioned in Papeete for our trip back to the States, we weren't very careful keeping boxes and paper bags off the boat
. Didn't take bags or boxes with us on the passage
but carried our goods back in them and left them on deck
or below for a day or two before throwing them away. By the time we got to Hawaii
, we were beginning to see signs of roaches. Not many but a very occasional little critter. We bounced around Hawaii
for 6 months and weren't really all that bothered by the pests. They were there but we'd smack the ones we saw and managed to keep their numbers down. Our slip finally came up in the Ala Wai and we left the boat there unattended for 3 months or so and then a friend of a friend wanted to stay on the boat for a couple of days. When he opened the companionway
, he said it was like Helter Skelter with cockroaches running every which way. He and his girl friend declared war on the bugs, killed a bunch of them, and thought they'd gotten the situation somewhat under control after a couple of hours. He said they had a big stack of squashed cockroaches to show us how bad the infestation was. So things were okay for them as the bugs were staying out of sight until that night.
whe they came back eating out, the bugs made another charge. Once again they swatted and squashed a ton of cockroaches and things appeared to be back under control so they went to sleep.
The guy slept on the stbd. settee which had a rack for my Sony shortwave radio
mounted at the head
of the berth. Sometime during the night, while he was sound asleep, a cockroach dropped into his mouth. He awoke startled and sat up spitting out the roach. Unfortunately, the radio
rack hadn't moved and he nearly knocked himself out splitting open his forehead. A quick trip to emergency
got his forehead sutured. They'd had it with the boat and rented a Hotel
Room for the rest of their stay on Oahu
We flew in a couple of days later and immediately set off bombs in the boat. That left the boat loaded with cockroach carcasses, hundreds of them. We cleaned up the bodies and moved back aboard. The cockroaches had done significant damage to the boat and gear
. They'd eaten the glue on the spines on all of our books
so the pages just fell out, the waterproofing on our foulweather gear
, even the paint
in some places. We ended up having to bomb the boat in 2 week intervals for about 2 months before we managed to kill all the roaches from the constantly hatching eggs. it was a major battle that only constant attention and diligence allowed us to win.
You do not want roaches to gain a foothold. They are villanous creatures that a bear to get rid of once they are established. They are also really destructive and will find something to eat no matter how careful you are.