Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Great Spider War

When we got back to the boat, I anticipated a big clean-up due to mold. You just can't leave a boat closed up in a tropical environment and not have mold develop. Heck, it develops in the boat even when we're aboard.

Icky Spiders in My Cupboard

Amazingly, the mold was not too bad. What I didn't expect was that the spiders would move in while we were gone. Every cupboard had several spider webs. And each web had a large female with an egg sac and a smaller male hanging about. Yuck!!

Mommy Spider Is Very Protective of Her Egg Sac

(Size perspective--the female's body is about the size of a pencil eraser, so they are not huge. Just icky).

It appears that they have been feasting on the small "pantry moths" I already had in my cupboards. Every louvered door had a pile of moth bodies underneath the louvers.

So I spent the last 2 weeks emptying all the stuff out of each cupboard, checking expiration dates, throwing out old or contaminated stuff, cleaning things up, killing the spiders, wiping up the moth bodies, and laying down a light film of RAID. I also bought a few more plastic storage boxes in town, to keep all my dry goods from becoming a moth feeding/breeding ground. Ziplock bags don't seem to keep them completely out of the things they like.

I marked all the cans in Magic Marker with the expiration year on the top of the can, so it's easy to see the oldest cans. And then re-loaded them into the can cupboard with the oldest ones--only a little expired--in the front. We'll use these up in the next couple of months before we reprovision for our trip through Kiribati to the Marshall Islands.

THEN I attacked the mold with a rag and a spray bottle of white vinegar. I am just about finished, and the boat looks pretty good. This has reminded me how much I hate housework!! (My motto: Dust if you must, but don't let life pass you by while you're doing it).

I'm not sure we've totally eradicated the bugs, but we've made a big dent in them. We do a "moth patrol" inside the boat every night with an electric mosquito-zapper (looks like a racketball racket). We get a satisfying sizzle out of every moth we kill.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear that the spiders and moths moved in - yikes. Always something with a boat. Glad you are back aboard though!