I have to admit (out loud) that I am a complete wuss when it comes to bugs. I really don’t like them. There is something creepy about the way they move, the way they have six legs, and the way they always seem to sneak up on you. They give me the heebie-jeebies. I am enough of a wuss that even seeing one on our boat, most of the time I will just stare at it, not having the nerve to approach and kill it. Our daughters are better bug killers than me. Embarrassing to say that my 2 and 5 year old are braver than me in this domain.
You can imagine how nuts I have been going with this ant infestation on our boat. And infestation may be a strong word, but that’s how it feels to me. They are not everywhere. They sneak out in the dead of night and wander around. They are not the cute little ants that many boats have. No, ours are big carpenter-looking ants. They don’t even march in line. They are brave little soldiers that solo wander around our boat in the most random locations. (For some reason they seem to be attracted to our toilet seats, so I now do a triple-take before resting my tush down for a pee.) We have tried several different types of pesticides to kills these mofos but apparently they are indestructible. They must somehow be related to nuclear cockroaches. But I keep at it, sweeping up the little messes they leave behind and sprinkling different killing agents in the hopes that one day I may win the war. I have begun to come to terms with the fact that we have ants. I don’t like it, and I will continue to try and kill them, but I acknowledge their existence and our forced cohabitation.
But yesterday another bug decided to play with my sanity. Weevils! We were sailing, more like being tossed around by the ocean, and our “panty” door flew open sending all of our bags of pasta flying to the floor. I ran down below to clean everything up, and as I picked up one of the bags I could see the little critters running rampant inside the bag. It was completely disgusting! I quickly scanned the other bags and found one more with the pests in it. So I put both those bags into garbage and saved the rest of cleaning up until we were calmly moored in Caneel bay. That’s when I discovered the horror of it all. These tiny bugs, that look almost like ticks, we crawling inside bags of noodles, on the shelf, and on the outsides of the packaging of our other dried goods. Apparently the rocky sailing trip got them all stirred up and they started to wander, everywhere. I took everything off the shelf and thoroughly cleaned the entire thing. Then I inspected all the other food, put back what was fine, and trashed anything that looked compromised. Eben told me, hey we can just boil them out, scoop them off the top of the water and then eat the noodles. I was already disgusted at that thought, but when I saw that these bugs actually burrow into the noodles and eat/live in them, there was no way I was going to eat anything they had touched. YUCK!
Eben jumped online and researched what we can do about these critters. For future reference, they like flour, rice, and noodles. You can freeze any of these products right after buying them, which would kill any potential eggs. But one site said you had to freeze them for 4 days! With our very tiny freezer we just can’t make that happen. It recommended keeping all your goods in bins with lids on them, and adding Bay Leaves to them, which is a natural deterrent. So, being me, I may have gone slightly overboard, and placed something like 4 leaves per container. That ought to keep them away.
After I felt good that I had rid our boat of these pests (cleaned the shelves, thrown out all packaging and compromised food, and washed all the food bins) I sat down for lunch. As I ate something tickled in my shorts, and what do you know, one of those weevils found its way on to me! I swatted it away and Eben came to my rescue, killing the little sucker. Having seen them burrow into noodles, I will now have nightmares of them taking on tick-like behaviours and trying to burrow into me!!!
I am sorry if my “bug killing” is offensive to any insect lovers, but ewww; I can’t handle them and will continue to encourage my daughters to kill any critter that is on our boat that may try and touch me in my sleep.
Sorry I didn’t get any pictures of the weevils. The last thing that crossed my mind while I had those bugs all over all in our bags of pasta was to take pictures.
Many years ago I set up this website for my late father-in-law who was a professor of entomology at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. GO BADGERS in March madness. His passion late in life was insects as a high protein food source, as recognized by many non-Western cultures. Now as for weevils, not sure what he may have said about them, but I have crunched a few bugs in my lifetime. http://food-insects.com/ Unfortunately, the website is a tad out of date (he is no longer ill) and a few other things, but the data is still pertinent. Munch on!
We have crunched on a few different species of bugs (termites we were told are a great source of protein, and they taste like carrots!) but when you are not expecting bugs in your food its a whole other thing!
The main way that you would get weevils would be through the actual box's of the pasta rice etc, best to unpack them and discard before you even bring it on board if possible, They will happily lay eggs in the cardboard packaging. sounds like you need to spend the night in a hotel and smoke bomb the hell out of your boat. I use to work in a hotel that had some delivered in a box that had dried waffle mix, i did not find out for about a week, everything ended up in the garbage, $2000 later and professional fumigation and never had a problem again, but from that time on all excess packaging was removed before even going into the dry store.
$2000! Wow that is a lot of wasted food! I dumped out several bags of pasta but that only ran us $5-10 I think. We take everything out of the boxes most of the time because of cockroach eggs, didn't know that weevils came the same way. The noodles we bought in the DR and were all in plastic bags and most of the weevils had stayed contained within their bags, it was so strange
Yikes! For ants — borax —
We have tried 4 different kinds of any killer and no luck yet, I'm going crazy!