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Old 03-20-2021, 02:54 PM   #1
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Silverfish and Roaches

Do you remove all purchases from their boxes while still on the dock before loading things onto the boat? One couple I met unload everything and do not transfer boxes from store-to-dock-to-boat. e.g.- a case of canned goods will be removed can at a time and loaded into a clean plastic tub before loading onto boat. They say it's to keep control over silverfish and roaches.
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Old 03-21-2021, 06:37 AM   #2
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This works but is less needed in 1sr world shopping. 3rd world , very worthwhile.

Back in the day it was common on sailboats to dip the canned goods in old varnish , label and all to ID cans and keep them from rusting.

We are in FL , land of Bugs and Drugs , so as a precaution, would lock up tight and use a bug bomb or 3 before leaving for months . After a day the ventilation would be restored. No problems.
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Old 03-21-2021, 08:32 AM   #3
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Not many silverfish or roaches on the great Lakes but my wife sure hates hem when they do appear.

We have spiders though, lots of spiders! We spray, make our own deterrent, sweep, etc. Still a hassle.

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Old 03-21-2021, 08:45 AM   #4
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When we took delivery of our then brand new boat, I was determined not to let a single stow away bug aboard. To that end, I insisted that everything coming aboard be removed from cardboard boxes or other secondary packaging. My wife sort of scoffed at the idea, so I told her a little story (fib) about how the International Space Station had become overrun by cockroaches because the Russians failed to practice that same hygene. My young daughters were listening and that made an impression on them, at least.

As luck would have it, a few days later my wife was assisting with one of my daughter's field trips to the Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL). While there, they viewed exhibits of the ISS and received a little lecture about it, after which it was opened up to Q&A. My wife asked, very innocently and sincerely, whether the cockroach problem had ever been resolved. The tour guy said he knew nothing about that, so my wife shared the details about the Russian's being to blame due to their poor hygiene. The tour guy said that was the kind of thing that is generally kept quiet, but that he would try to find out.

When my wife told me the story, I fessed up. But, we have never seen either a silverfish or a roach on board. Hope I am not jinxing myself.
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Old 03-21-2021, 09:27 AM   #5
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when we took delivery of our then brand new boat, i was determined not to let a single stow away bug aboard. To that end, i insisted that everything coming aboard be removed from cardboard boxes or other secondary packaging. My wife sort of scoffed at the idea, so i told her a little story (fib) about how the international space station had become overrun by cockroaches because the russians failed to practice that same hygene. My young daughters were listening and that made an impression on them, at least.

As luck would have it, a few days later my wife was assisting with one of my daughter's field trips to the jet propulsion labs (jpl). While there, they viewed exhibits of the iss and received a little lecture about it, after which it was opened up to q&a. My wife asked, very innocently and sincerely, whether the cockroach problem had ever been resolved. The tour guy said he knew nothing about that, so my wife shared the details about the russian's being to blame due to their poor hygiene. The tour guy said that was the kind of thing that is generally kept quiet, but that he would try to find out.

When my wife told me the story, i fessed up. But, we have never seen either a silverfish or a roach on board. Hope i am not jinxing myself.

best story ever!
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Old 03-21-2021, 09:32 AM   #6
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I don't unload groceries, everything comes on board, however, we often shop with out own bags.
For bugs I occasionally spray with Permethrin, use it in the house, garage, hangar, cars, boats, wherever......


and spray on everything, except food. Wet, it's toxic, dry, it's fine. And it can be used to make bug proof clothing.


Just don't spray on metal, it will corrode, fast.


Does a good job of getting rid of pests, and usually kills them or scares them away.
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Old 03-21-2021, 12:09 PM   #7
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I did this religiously in the tropics. No cardboard especially , but also no other outer packaging - plus wash incoming produce with a mild bleach water solution.

It served a double purpose as it was difficult to stow or dispose of packaging/extra trash.

In the northern US, it's more just for the latter reasons.
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Old 03-21-2021, 12:23 PM   #8
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How do you find everything after removing all the labelling? After provisioning enough for a big trip to the problem areas, I would be forever sorting through near identical cans to find the beef soup. Hand written labels would help a little but wouldn't be nearly as visual as the printed labels.
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Old 03-21-2021, 04:37 PM   #9
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How do you find everything after removing all the labelling?
For cans we used a permanent sharpie and wrote the item name and date purchased, and sometimes added a little drawing (of a peach or whatever). As it happened, we stowed cans with the top facing up and not the side, so regular labeled cans you couldn't see the labels anyway.

For packaged items that had an outer "cardboard" box and then an inner bag, we would sometimes just cut out a small section of the box to keep with it - that could also include instructions for something like a mix or whatever.

Then too, we'd put veggies separate from fruit, baking supplies all together, etc. So that was another clue.

It sounds like a lot of work, but I guess it didn't seem that bad because when doing a big provisioning, even if you weren't doing that part, it was still a giant mountain of stuff to buy, get back to the boat, stow, maybe add it to a list (if one is kept), etc. So taking a minute to write on it was no big addition. Also, having the date purchased was helpful (nowadays some [all?] cans have dates on them though).

PS: An additional motivating factor: I crewed on a boat once where they were not so careful about these things. Lying in the bunk on your offwatch and having cockroaches crawl across you (or turning on the galley light to see them scuttling away) was NOT my idea of fun. Somehow being "trapped" at sea with them seemed even worse than having them on land!
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Old 03-21-2021, 05:56 PM   #10
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We have not removed cardboard for bugs but we have done it to conserve space in the chest freezer. By throwing away all the cardboard packing we were able to get between 30 to 40% more in the freezer. For microwaveable foods we cut out the directions of each type of food and kept it for reference when cooking to know how long to nuke it.
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Old 03-23-2021, 12:15 AM   #11
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Back in the days of widespread paper bags, the paper bags from the grocery store was a very common way to get roaches into your house. They liked to lay their eggs in the folds of the bags. In a pinch, the roaches could even eat the paper. People would empty the bags and then put the away in a closet or cupboard to reuse later. Cockroach heaven!

The production and packaging of plastic grocery bags probably help prevent this in addition to the plastic bags being a worse medium for growing cockroaches.

I'm sure that cockroaches are fine laying eggs on cardboard and I bet food packaging factories have roaches crawling all over the place looking for tidbits.
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Old 03-23-2021, 05:40 AM   #12
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Just a note for folks visiting FL.


There are NO roaches in FL, there called Palmetto Bugs.
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Old 04-05-2021, 02:16 PM   #13
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We did this when we were on our sailboat in the Caribbean. However, I haven't done it in the States on either our sailboat or now, our trawler. Never had a problem with bugs on either boat.
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Old 04-05-2021, 08:06 PM   #14
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Just a note for folks visiting FL.


There are NO roaches in FL, there called Palmetto Bugs.

The FLORIDA WOODS COCKROACH IS also called Palmetto Bug....same thing !
What do you call the German cockroach that lives in Florida?Wienerschnitzel Bug?
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Old 04-05-2021, 08:19 PM   #15
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It is a public relations issue. Call them palmetto bugs instead of cockroaches and it doesn’t sound as bad. However we lived in Florida back in the 70s and the palmetto bugs were absolutely just as disgusting as the cockroaches.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:42 AM   #16
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Folks in a marina we stayed at in Mexico went to far as to take off their clothes before getting back on board after visiting a boat that was suspected of having roaches. Sometimes not a pretty sight.
We got a bad case and had to move off and totally empty the boat so it could be fumigated. After that we got very careful.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:13 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by phillippeterson View Post
Do you remove all purchases from their boxes while still on the dock before loading things onto the boat? One couple I met unload everything and do not transfer boxes from store-to-dock-to-boat. e.g.- a case of canned goods will be removed can at a time and loaded into a clean plastic tub before loading onto boat. They say it's to keep control over silverfish and roaches.
When we loaded stores in the US Navy, all cardboard boxes were immediately removed from the ship as it was always assumed road eggs were contained in them.

Whenever I suspected bugs had achieved some sort of living arrangement aboard my trawler here in Florida, I used Raid Max dry foggers (aerosol foggers are a mess) to run them off. I once used them to run a rat or mouse off the boat - better to let it escape the unpleasant fog than kill and and put up with possible odiferous after effects.
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:35 PM   #18
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The Admiral and I back in 1991 were backpacking around the world and got to the Galapagos for a one week low budget trawler tour. Got on board our 45 ft trawler named Lobo del Mar with 6 other pax. The small up and down cabin we had reeked of Black Flag insecticide, for good reason as we found out while trying to sleep. Cockroaches the size of rats (oK maybe mice) got real busy at night and danced on our bodies. We took to sleeping on the foredeck under the stars and renamed the vessel Cucaracha del Mar!
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:39 PM   #19
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We have not removed cardboard for bugs but we have done it to conserve space in the chest freezer. By throwing away all the cardboard packing we were able to get between 30 to 40% more in the freezer. For microwaveable foods we cut out the directions of each type of food and kept it for reference when cooking to know how long to nuke it.
not onboard a boat...but my wife loves to depackage stuff like that. It absolutely drives me nuts! Generally thinks are so much more easy to organize in the package, and you can tell what it is, read directions, know which one you liked so you can buy it again, etc....
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Old 04-12-2021, 02:45 PM   #20
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Do you remove all purchases from their boxes while still on the dock before loading things onto the boat? One couple I met unload everything and do not transfer boxes from store-to-dock-to-boat. e.g.- a case of canned goods will be removed can at a time and loaded into a clean plastic tub before loading onto boat. They say it's to keep control over silverfish and roaches.
My wife formerly worked at a corrugated box company; critters were commonly found in the corrugations of the raw board stock- particularly certain types of roaches.
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