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Post Info TOPIC: Critter Removal


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Posts: 138
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Critter Removal


Hi All,

I keep the boat stored with the tarp over it. Recently, I've been noticing footprints on the motor and now a funky odor.

Today, I went to check on the boat and heard something running around in it. When I opened the tarp, it had escaped, and I have no idea what it is. I suspecting it's a stray cat.

Does anyone know how to convince the critter to relocate itself? If not, how do I trap it?

Thanks,



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Simon Lau



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Posts: 828
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Hey Simon, maybe try something like cheesecloth pouches of mothballs on & around the boat to deter the critters. There's sprays & powders available at feed stores too.
Some pungent herbs may work as well if you can determine the species.
Remember, predators will only be there for food or shelter. If it's a cat, look to eliminate their prey.

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This time of year "critters" are looking for places to have their young. Make sure there are no nest materials in your bilge/storage area as that is the most accessible. I have had mice/rats chew the wiring, and even chewed a hole in a hose (that was a fun discovery while on the water). Ask Jeff Melton, he went to war on them at our storage.

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"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after."


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As Karl mentioned there are some things you can do to deter critters, but from past experience these methods are about 50% effective. Yes, mothballs, and sprays exist, but if you've got a determined critter or a full on infestation then you are just spending time and money for nothing.

If you suspect a cat, possum, raccoon, etc. then a trap like this will work:
www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/countyline-quick-set-catch-release-live-animal-traps-2-pack

For bait, I would use either cheap canned cat food or sardines in oil (not mustard or hot sauce as the cleanup is pretty messy). Trust me... raccoons and possums cannot resist sardines. Just be aware that skunks are active this time of year too and they love sardines. Raccoons and possums can be relocated to an area where there are no houses, if its a stray cat or neighbors cat I'd douse them good with a spray from a garden hose and let them go... that should keep them away from your house. If it's a skunk... burn down the barn and file an insurance claim... (kidding).

As far as sprays, this is the only one I've found to be somewhat effective. It says it lasts 30 days, but in reality with our humid climate it lasts about 2 weeks:
www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/havahart-critter-ridder-ready-to-use-animal-repellent-spray-32-oz

I also don't know that I'd let this get on my boat's carpet as it may stain and it will have a smell to it that you might not like.

The only truly effective means of getting rid of mice and rats, that I have found, is poison. Trapping is ok, but if you've really got an infestation you won't be able to trap them quick enough. As far as poisons are concerned the EPA has really clamped down on the regulations in the last several years. The stuff you can find and the big box stores (Walmart, Homedepot, Lowes, etc) that are marketed as "residential" rodent poison is less effective than what you find at feed stores or farm and ranch supply stores that are marked for "agricultural" use. Just compare the active ingredients lists between the two. Residential packs contain different active ingredients or they are in lower concentrations than the "agricultural" grade stuff. Agricultural/ commercial grade rodent-cide is sold in much larger packages (8lbs or more per EPA), and you can expect to pay more than the residential grade stuff. You also won't find them at your local big box stores. The trade off is... they work and they work with amazing results- 48 hours later and there is total carnage of rats. I used a brand called "Just one Bite" that I got at Woods Feeds, a small family owned feed store on Robinson Rd in Spring I think I paid about $40. What you want to look for is the active ingredient bromadiolone. This is a neurotoxin that causes swelling in the brain and spinal cord which eventually leads to a paralysis and a complete shut-down of the central nervous system. With this kind of poison, its imperative that you dispose of dead or dying rats quickly as any animal that tries to eat this rodent (dogs, cats, owls, hawks, bobcats, etc) will also be poisoned too. You, the landowner, can be held responsible for secondary poisoning.

With any of the above methods, its very important to determine why they are using your boat as home. Is it because it is close to a food source, or are they using your boat as a nest? Try, as best as you can, to remove or relocate the food source and/or disrupt the nest and remove nesting materials as best as you can from where you store your boat.

Good luck.



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Posts: 138
Date:

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Keep them coming. More information is better.

I do recall coming home late one night to find a possum walking around the boat area.

When I was getting the boat ready Friday morning for SR, I notice droplets on the passenger seat. I noticed the same spray pattern on the big motor. That's why I'm thinking it a cat marking his territory.

I have a trap at home and will set it up this weekend to see what it catches.



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Simon Lau

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