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Old 07-06-2015, 11:04 AM   #1
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Unhappy Help! Critters in the bilge

Checking the bilge and pumps. I see black wiggly things in the water and wiggling on the damp places in the bilge. They appear to be like little leeches and no longer than 6-7 mm. Very small diameter and pointed on both ends. No mosquitoes or flying insects observed and they appear to be harmless to the touch. We have been down the St John's river in brackish water. What can we kill them off with short of flamethrowers? Any experience with these critters?
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:17 AM   #2
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Don't know what they are but I would clean the bilge out.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:43 AM   #3
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Sound like mosquito larvae. Pump the bilge dry soon. If I'm right, you will have a boat full of mosquitoes if you give them a chance.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:46 AM   #4
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Sound like mosquito larvae. Pump the bilge dry soon. If I'm right, you will have a boat full of mosquitoes if you give them a chance.

That's the absolute definition of hell. I'd die.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:52 AM   #5
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use a bit of clorox in the bilge water and then clean it up.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:58 AM   #6
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Call Mosquito Control. They will come to your boat and take care of the problem.
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:07 PM   #7
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I've said for years that a wet dirty bilge is a stagnant primordial swamp...this proves it! CLEAN your bilges.If your nose hasn't already begun to let you know they need it, the larvae do. Just pouring in some bilge cleaner and/or bleach and letting the bilge pumps do the rest won't clean anything....would you just pour some dish soap into a sinkful of greasy dirty water, pull the plug and expect to have a clean sink??? Of course not...so why would so many people expect to end up with a clean bilge by doing what amounts to the same thing?? A good strong detergent bilge cleaner, a power washer and plenty of clean water to flush all the dirty water out is what's needed to make sure your boat doesn't turn into a mosquito hatchery that smells like the Okeefenokee.
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:15 PM   #8
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I beg your pardon Peggy! My bilge is clean, does not smell and does not contain more than a gallon of water. The sump in question is a collection point for AC drain and shower. The critters were not there last week and then and now the water is clear enough to see the white painted bilge. I did find this link that was helpful as the picture IDs the critters in my water. Identify mystery small black worm/leech in standing water • HelpfulGardener.com
I need help identifying the bug and how to kill it not cleaning tips, Thank you!
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:18 PM   #9
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I got bit by a small stone crab in the bilge of my old wood snapper boat. While cleaning out bilge reaching between frames. I don't freak out easily, but I sure did then.

My present boat has a dry bilge. Not sure why I find it important.

Back to waiting for stupid building permits....
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:19 PM   #10
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I would think the Clorox or bleach idea would work. Or maybe iodine if nobody is allergic to it.
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:28 PM   #11
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I wouldn't worry about what they are, I would bleach the heck out of them and suck everything out with a wet n dry vac. Then you can relax and surf the web to satisfy your curiosity....
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:02 PM   #12
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I beg your pardon Peggy! My bilge is clean, does not smell and does not contain more than a gallon of water. The sump in question is a collection point for AC drain and shower. The critters were not there last week and then and now the water is clear enough to see the white painted bilge. I did find this link that was helpful as the picture IDs the critters in my water. Identify mystery small black worm/leech in standing water • HelpfulGardener.com
I need help identifying the bug and how to kill it not cleaning tips, Thank you!

I stand corrected...you're one in a million!
But how clean is the sump? Even if clean, any water left standing in it for days can become stagnant and a breeding ground for critters.
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:10 PM   #13
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A friend of mine got infected with hook worms by standing in stagnant bilge water (of an international freighter).
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:18 PM   #14
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I appreciate all the advise. Looks like we all agree on Clorox and a clean bilge.
Roger that!
I got it!!!
Now what are the critters? I posted a link to a picture of them I think.
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:10 PM   #15
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Now what are the critters? I posted a link to a picture of them I think.
I don't have a clue but over the years in FL, various bug species seem to show up and then disappear over short periods of time. A couple of years ago, it was white flies. The year before that, crazy ants. Different types of lizards and spiders also come and go. I suspect after you treat for your pest, you will never hear of it again.
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:02 PM   #16
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Auto-if the critters you have are really 6-7cm, they are not mosquito larvae. Mosquito larvae are 1cm or less, barely visible. They are hard shelled, have legs, and a head end and a tail end. If yours are soft, they are probably some sort of slug or leech especially given that you are in brackish water. As to killing them, as most here mentioned, bleach to clean out the bilge is a good start. Oddly enough, plain old table salt sprinkled directly on them (other than ones completely immersed) will kill them pretty quickly. Dries them out. Most slug killing stuff is some form of metal salt that does just that. If you want to spend more than just table salt, something like Sluggo or similar should also work. Let us know how it goes, you're the first I have heard of with a potential leech infestation!
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:55 PM   #17
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Auto-if the critters you have are really 6-7cm, they are not mosquito larvae. Mosquito larvae are 1cm or less, barely visible.
The dangers of metrication! He said 6-7mm, not 6-7 cm.
I have a sump in the drainage system for my driveway, once found mosquito larvae there, classic fix is tiny amount of kerosene(not sure what the US calls it), which spreads over the surface,the little wretches can`t breathe, and die.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:47 PM   #18
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The link you posted to the leeches fits your description of the critters better than my guess of mosquito larvae. Mosquito larvae have a head at one end and you mentioned tapered ends.
I noticed today that I've got a good crop of mosquitoes growing in my outboard test tank. Back in the days of 2 cycle outboards, that could never happen. There was always a slick of oil on top of the water. Four cycle outboards are increasing the mosquito population!
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Old 07-07-2015, 05:59 AM   #19
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Images for silverfish bugs

?????
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Old 07-07-2015, 06:34 AM   #20
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This wasn't in the bilge, which is clean and dry. We docked in Deltaville Friday afternoon and I opened one of the Laz hatches to retrieve the hose, then opened the starboard hatch to get the shore power cord. As the starboard hatch was lifted about a foot out of the corner of my eye I saw a tail hanging over the lip that catches rain water. As the hatch was continued up, lifting with left hand, my eyes still focused on the cord, the tail darted for the scupper and my brain registered what I'd seen; SNAKE. Now I'm hoping I saw it disappear back down the scupper, I did not hear it slap onto the teak grate in the bottom of the laz. My wife saw me clear the hatch (who says old white men can't jump) and inquired as to my sudden evacuation of the Laz. Now her concern was, can that thing get into the cabin?
We keep the boat on a creek of the Potomac and have seen a few water snakes swimming around, usually avoiding people. I'm guessing one made his (her?) way up thru a stern scupper drain, it does have a flapper but may not stay closed (need to check that, maybe I can talk my wife into doing it). The design of the lazy hatch with the drain lip probably would keep the snake in that channel.
One of you guys want to help inventory the spares kept in the laz?
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