The Buzz on Boat Bugs: Galley Pests
For those of us who are lucky enough to have a galley on board, food presents another point of contact for insect pests. Keeping your galley clean helps a lot, but even clean kitchens get bugs sometimes. There are some tricks you can try to keep them out or, if they’ve already invaded, to destroy them.
Store all non-canned or non-jarred food in airtight containers. Sometimes, flour and other grain products like pasta or cereal have already been invaded by meal moths or weevils, even if you don’t see any evidence of them. Freeze all grain products (crackers, cookies, flour, oatmeal, pasta, cereal, etc.) at least several hours, preferably overnight, before placing in airtight containers or zip-top plastic bags. Use a vacuum-pack system if you’re lucky enough to have one. Instead of freezing, foods that can stand up to microwaving can be zapped for five minutes instead. Let cool, then store in airtight containers.
Fresh fruit is wonderful, but stowaways like fruit flies are not. Make a simple trap for fruit flies with a covered jar. Pour ¼ cup cider vinegar, wine, or beer into a jar, then add a few drops of dish detergent. Poke or drill holes in the lid and screw the lid on. You can also buy ready-made traps in hardware and home improvement stores. If you have fruit flies in your drains, clean your drains thoroughly and rinse with a solution of two cups boiling water and two cups white vinegar.
Several boaters advise treating all cardboard with insecticide before bringing it aboard. If you do find roaches on your boat, get some powdered boric acid (not borax) and flour. Mix equal parts boric acid and flour and add water, drop by drop, to make a paste. Roll the paste into half-inch balls and place in cabinets, lockers, and any other dark place where roaches might be lurking. You can set each ball in a paper cup or on a small piece of aluminum foil for easy removal. There are many boric acid-bait formulas out there, so if one doesn’t work, try another.