You know what a nuisance rats are to your home, but you may not realize that rats are a big problem for boat owners too. If you've recently bought your first boat, you may be shocked to take it out one weekend only to find you have an annoying furry companion on board. Whether you have a small boat parked in your side yard, a pleasure boat docked on your private pier, or a houseboat moored at a marina, you'll have to be on constant guard against rats. Here are a few tips for keeping them under control.
Apply Guards To Mooring Lines
Rats and other pests are often big problems at marinas. The rats can easily get into your boat by walking along the mooring ropes. You can buy gadgets that attach to the ropes for the purpose of repelling rats. They are affordable and usually effective at blocking rats from climbing along the rope and gaining access to your boat. Even if you have a small boat you keep covered, it only takes a tiny opening in the canvas, such as around a grommet for a rat to wiggle through. Blocking line access makes it much more difficult for a rat to get on board your vessel.
Keep Food In Glass Or Metal Containers
Rats may take interest in your boat if they smell food. Rats have a strong sense of smell, so they may even be drawn by crumbs or odors left behind after a meal. Be sure to seal any food left on the boat in glass or metal containers. These not only help block odors, rats can't chew through them to get to your food and create a mess.
Don't Leave Nesting Materials In Your Boat
If your boat will be vacant for several weeks or months at a time, be careful about leaving nesting material in it for rats to find. They may shred pillows and cushions for comfy nests even if they don't find food in your boat. You don't want rats living in your boat because they are incredibly destructive. It doesn't take a lot of damage to create leaks in a boat if the rats happen to chew on the right parts. Also, rats will leave a foul stench in your boat and contaminate it with their droppings. Lock up nesting materials or remove them from your boat so the rats won't find any reason to move in.
Get Professional Help With Extermination
A rat pest control expert may be necessary if rats have moved into your boat. Rats leave scent trails behind and odors that attract other rats, so getting rid of them can be challenging. You can't risk rat damage to your boat because you don't want to be in danger on the water. Also, you don't want to be out on the water with a boat full of rats. An exterminator can use traps, poisons, and exclusion treatments to get rid of rats and keep them from coming back. If the problem is in a small boat in your yard, then your entire property may need to be treated to get rid of the rat infestation.
Boating should be a fun experience, especially if you live part of the time on a houseboat. Don't let rats ruin your fun. Take steps to keep them off your boat and seek help quickly if you notice them lurking around your vessel.