Rat On Board

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Rat On Board

Postby Batchski » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:23 pm

Well when I thought my boat challenges this year were over, we discovered an unwelcome visitor had moved in. A rat. On my boat. I couldn't believe it, but during my week away from the boat, somehow a rat climbed aboard and found his way into the cabin. We have soiled and ruined bedding, a chewed mattress, and he's still there somewhere. We are setting traps today. Has anybody ever had this happen? I'm still stunned it happened and can't understand how he got in. It doesn't take much space for them to get in, but I still can't imagine there is a path to the cabin. The boat sits in a slip year-round, so he had to crawl on a dock line to make it aboard. I guess I can block the lines going forward. Any tips from anybody that has experienced this?
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Re: Rat On Board

Postby Rpontual » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:28 pm

Did you ever wonder what these plates are for? :mrgreen:

60A89B66-F6B7-4E30-9E7A-7B62C5541679.jpeg


Amazon has a product called OFFBoard that should suit you.
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Re: Rat On Board

Postby Kikaboo » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:06 pm

That totally sucks. What makes you think it's a rat and not a mouse?
I guess you will know for sure once you catch the invader. What type of trap did you set?
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Re: Rat On Board

Postby Batchski » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:12 pm

Kikaboo wrote:That totally sucks. What makes you think it's a rat and not a mouse?
I guess you will know for sure once you catch the invader. What type of trap did you set?


The size of the droppings and the 3" hole eaten into the king bed mattress, led me to think it's a rat. We have several old-fashioned traps set up. Also found some droppings inside the port side lounge storage, so we are wondering if he gained access to the cabin somehow through that area.
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2014 Regal 32 Express, Mercruiser 5.7's, Axius Premier
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Re: Rat On Board

Postby britsurf » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:30 pm

That sucks. I've had more experience with rats than I care for, on my last boat, and in various houses.
Don't use poison or bait boxes...they could die somewhere inaccessible and leave a stink for months.
I had good success with glue traps. Put them along the edges of walls, under / behind the fridge, inside cabinets (along the back wall) etc. They like to run along the edges where walls meet floors. A dab of peanut butter or some dry dogfood in the middle of the trap may help. Don't assume it's just one rat...keep setting traps and baiting until there is definitely no more activity. They are most active at night.
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Re: Rat On Board

Postby Batchski » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:22 pm

Thanks for the replies. The Offboard pieces arrive tomorrow, so I can keep the little jerk off the boat hopefully. I have had traps set for a week now with no sign of him. Yesterday I removed nearly everything from the boat. I bleached every surface I felt could withstand the bleach, and cleaned everything else. There were signs he made it topside into the engine room (no discernible damage), portside storage lounge where he made a mess of several wetsuits, snorkel gear, towels etc.. Below decks he chewed a big hole in the king mattress, while somehow getting underneath the 2" latex mattress topper, he ruined all of our bedding and most of the Regal applied pillows. He also managed to get under the lounge seat storage and chewed up and soiled multiple things, including chewing up my Regal briefcase with the manuals! He even soiled my extra vacuum bags for the onboard vacuum cleaner.

I think I have figured out how he got in and I am guessing he moved into the cabin door track where there is a cutout hole that Regal left that provides access ito the inner parts of the boat.
IMG_0135.jpg
Access hole inside sliding door track


Below decks, he dropped to the king bed courtesy of some movement on a covered piece that pulled away from the bulkhead next to the head. This piece just sort of sits there, and must have opened up a gap on its own. Inside, I can see wiring and plumbing, and there is access above from here. I'll have to figure out a way to seal this so it doesn't move again.
IMG_0134.JPG
Covered piece dislodged away from wall


Hopefully after all this cleaning I don't see him again. What a mess!
Bruce
2014 Regal 32 Express, Mercruiser 5.7's, Axius Premier
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Re: Rat On Board

Postby Kikaboo » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:44 am

Wow, I can't believe all the damage that was done by the rat. That's insane and sucks. Hopefully it's all in the past.
On a side note, I once had some mice in my attic so I set a bunch of traps only to find the peanut butter missing at each trap without them being triggered. I was stumped and eventually used a glue trap. The next day I found a bat in the glue trap. I felt really bad but was amazed the bat was able to eat/take the peanut butter without setting off the snap traps and also amazed the bat seemed to eat peanut butter.

In terms of the boat, I'm always nervous we might get mice over the winter as we store our boat. Before we shrink wrap it, I really empty everything I can think of and clean so there is no food, crumbs or any sort of enticements for the mice. We remove the bedding and pillows as well.
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Re: Rat On Board

Postby rebsmith » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:41 am

OH....rats are a menace. Do look after the electronic equipments, rats don't leave them either.
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Re: Rat On Board

Postby Batchski » Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:15 pm

It's been a couple weeks, and the rat has not resurfaced, thank God. I've installed all new bedding and pillows, and managed to wash most of the Regal pillow covers and replace the pillows in them. I have looked everywhere now, and see no sign the rat chewed any wires. But he was definitely around them. After I posted the earlier messages here, I found he had been behind our cockpit fridge and grill area, and there is a huge and exposed wire run in there. I scanned everything and it looks like he just cruised around looking for food. I can see now that the onboard grill is a potential attraction for these scoundrels. Fortunately, ours was spotlessly clean as I had scrubbed it out after the last use. He chewed up all sorts of odd things, like a dust pan, spare vacuum cleaner bags, a spare windshield wiper, the plastic ties near the on board vacuum (but didn't chew the vacuum parts), and a nice big hole in my Regal briefcase as well as my flare bag! So annoying. Hope I don't have to go through that again!
Bruce
2014 Regal 32 Express, Mercruiser 5.7's, Axius Premier
2005 Regal 3060 Window Express, Volvo 5.7's (Sold)
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Re: Rat On Board

Postby TechRider » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:33 am

Glad to hear you are pest free!

What an ordeal.

Did you replace with regal bedding or just get something from a local store? Wondering if it will be more comfortable than the standard bedding.
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Re: Rat On Board

Postby Seven » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:39 am

Glad its gone but now to prevent from returning...
I use bounce dryer sheets for winter storage to keep the mice out. We used to park my cruiser at a farm with lots of mice. Not sure if it was the dryer sheets that worked but never saw one on board and at least they make the cabin smell fresh. Might work for rats but not sure.
I also put moth balls in the engine compartment, I didn't want moth balls in the cabin.
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Re: Rat On Board

Postby gofast24 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:56 am

Seven wrote:Glad its gone but now to prevent from returning...
I use bounce dryer sheets for winter storage to keep the mice out. We used to park my cruiser at a farm with lots of mice. Not sure if it was the dryer sheets that worked but never saw one on board and at least they make the cabin smell fresh. Might work for rats but not sure.
I also put moth balls in the engine compartment, I didn't want moth balls in the cabin.


Many years a go my mother used "naphthalene" nuggets to keep both moths and rats/mice out of our winter bedding over summer. Only problem is in a boat the oder lingers for several months after airing out the cabin in spring. How about a rat trap with some nice fresh Wisconsin cheader cheese in it?
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Re: Rat On Board

Postby Batchski » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:44 pm

I did try the bounce sheets. Sprinkled them around several areas. Something stronger in the engine room might be a good idea, especially since I'm typically slipped stern in. Keeping a trap set all the time is a bit of a pain, so I'm hoping this was just a freak thing. We've been there more than 3 years and never even considered a rat a possibility. I did hear from a dock neighbor that he had a rat as well. I'm guessing the same one just moved on since we didn't have any food. I also learned that rats can jump 3 feet horizontally so my rat guards on the lines are useless. He only has to jump about 10 inches and I've got about 50 square feet of padded swim platform for him to land on!
Bruce
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Re: Rat On Board

Postby Best Matt » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:06 am

Batchski wrote:
Kikaboo wrote:That totally sucks. What makes you think it's a rat and not a mouse?
I guess you will know for sure once you catch the invader. What type of trap did you set?


The size of the droppings and the 3" hole eaten into the king bed mattress, led me to think it's a rat. We have several old-fashioned traps set up. Also found some droppings inside the port side lounge storage, so we are wondering if he gained access to the cabin somehow through that area.

OMG, these rodents are a hell on earth once they decide to invade. Do look after the electronic equipment, rats don't leave them either. I had mangle my fingers for long thinking of how to eradicate them. I had five mattresses that had very disgusting holes from their bites. The three mattresses that remained unused in the house actually seemed to be their residence. A neighbor advised me to consider https://hovement.com/best-inflatable-mattress/ mattresses as a control measure amid other eradication means. To cut the long ordeal short, it seemed to be so resistant to their bites, not to mention the fact that it was far much comfortable compared to the rest.
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Re: Rat On Board

Postby Seven » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:59 am

I would recommend not using bait on the boat if its gone. You are better off try to keep them away verses attracting them to catch. They are smart and if the trap doesn't work you now invited them in again.
If its gone I would put bait traps near the dock but far enough away that they don't use your boat as shelter. You can buy those disposable bait traps at hardware stores or you might want to tell the marina they have a rat infestation and get them to put out the bait traps. If they don't get rid of them then they will bread on other peoples boats and might come back.
If there is one there are many many more near by.
--2002 3880 Regal Flybridge | Twin Merc 8.1HO| **Seven**
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Re: Rat On Board

Postby Batchski » Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:06 pm

Well, it was a month or so of clean boating, and the rat came back! My marina manager tells me that he sees them whenever we have higher than normal tides. Who knows. Anyway, he came back to sully the clean stuff I finally put back on the boat. But the good news, is I finally figured out his travel pattern and I got the little jerk. We have an overnight planned in a few weeks, and I'm not quite sure if we will feel comfortable enough to do it! Let's just hope there aren't any friends. All indications are it was a loner, but I've learned they are hard to outsmart. I've also learned that there are tons of access spots. Basically every cutout that is tucked away behind the cabin seats is an opportunity for a rat to get in. Also, in this boat (and the 35SC I think), the way the front berth is done creates some gaps where the bed actuator comes out. It doesn't take much space and they can get in. I'm going to keep the traps set for a couple weeks more now.
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Bruce
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