What to Do When Mice Make a Home in Your Boat
Mice can make a home out of anything. Here are some tips to prevent mice from getting into your boat.
Congratulations, you have your dream boat, one that will take you out on the water and give you many years of happy memories. You initially fall in love with every aspect of your boat until that one fateful day when you notice something running around inside your motor compartment.
This can be a nightmare for any boat owner. The last thing you want is to deal with mice eating up all the wiring in your motor, causing it to break down, or worse yet, getting into your helm and chewing on the plugs rendering it useless.
Why Mice Will Choose Your Boat for a Home
There are many reasons why mice will choose your boat for a home.
The first reason is that they like dark, damp spaces that you can't see into or reach very quickly. Your boat provides them with this type of space.
The second reason is that you have food around, probably stored in boxes or containers that they can chew into and find something yummy inside.
They also like the insulation of the walls on some boats, which makes it perfect for them as they can nest here comfortably
Also, they love to climb, so if there's something nearby for them to grab onto and climb the rest of the way, they will. This is why you often see them up in the helm area, where it's warm, and there are a lot of wires to chew on.
What You Can Do to Get Rid of Them
Once you have identified a mouse problem, you need to get rid of them.
Tell-tale signs of mice will be droppings, chewed wires or insulation, and nests. Mice dropping generally resemble dark rice. Mice also make squeaky noises as they move around, so listen for that if you're unsure.
If you come across any of these signs, make sure to clean the area thoroughly and apply a disinfectant such as bleach to kill off any germs they may have left behind.
There are many ways to get rid of mice, but mouse traps or poison are the most common. If you go the poison route, be careful where you place them and ensure that your pets and children cannot get to them.
If you choose to use traps, make sure to place them in areas where you have seen the mice activity. There's no point in putting them somewhere they are not going to go, or in fact, can't get to.
Some common areas where mice are usually seen are the bilge, engine room, around stoves and refrigeration units, under steps leading up to the helm, and behind any storage compartments you have on your boat.
You can also use repellants. There are many different types on the market, but peppermint oil is effective and affordable. You can buy a bottle or make your own by soaking cotton balls in peppermint oil and placing them in strategic areas. Refresh as needed.
If you have a cat on board, that's excellent news, as cats love to hunt and kill mice. Just make sure you keep him away from the bilge, as a cat can easily fall overboard and drown if he gets tangled up in all those wires down there.
How to Prevent Mice from Getting into Your Boat
A single mouse can do a lot of damage to your boat, so it's essential to take some preventative steps to stop them from getting in the first place. Practice these precautions, and you should have a happy boat for years to come.
Seal Holes and Spaces Where Mice Can Squeeze Through
Put a seal around any areas in your hull, including hatches and doors where you see the mice might be able to fit through. Mice can squeeze themselves in small spaces, so it's important not to think that just because they're not there now, they won't get there eventually.
Clean-Up All Food Debris
If you have mice on board, it's because you have food around. So, remove anything that they can depend on to eat. This means storing your food in containers with sealed lids. Also, don't leave any plates or cutlery out on the countertops or anywhere else, for that matter.
Remove Boxes and Cartons That Mice Like to Use for Nests
Mice love boxes and cartons, so remove anything from your boat that they might use to build a nest. This would include any empty bags or packages left on board. Also, if you have a lot of cardboard anywhere on your boat, store it in a container with a sealed lid.
Bring in a Pro
If you have tried all of these things and still can't seem to get rid of your mouse problem, it might be time to bring in a professional. Pest control companies have the knowledge and tools to get the job done quickly and effectively.
Mice can be a real nuisance on boats. Prevention is always the best policy, so take all of these steps to eliminate mice on board before they ever get there. Then you will never have to worry about them running amok on your boat again.
Start from the Dock
Mice will pass through your dock to get to your boat. If you have a dock, there are some things you can do to minimize the chances that mice will use it as a pathway. Make sure there is no food for them to find as this will attract them, and make sure your dock isn't cluttered with anything like old chairs, crates or tires as these too are attractive mouse hangouts.
A professional docks service can also help to keep your dock clear of these types of attractants. VW Docks is a reputable company that can help to keep your dock and boat free from rodents. From installing ultrasonic repellents and any other accessories on your dock to giving practical tips on keeping rodents away, we will help you get rid of the problem as quickly as possible. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.
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