Unwanted guests

Poop – that’s what we found little, oblong and black droppings. It was awful. Granted, I only found three of them, but YUCK! We had a rat on board.

I prayed our little visitor was this cute, sweet, and oh so clean – sanitary even – mouse. A little like Remy from Ratatouille. The perfect little guest aboard.

But filling my nightmares was the image of a big, ugly, dirty and chewing on everything sight rat… I was convinced that damn rat was going to burn down our boat or give us the black plague.

We had the boat on a private dock. We knew there was a chance for a little visit. It’s the lowcountry, and we have marsh rats. But those marsh rats are supposed to stay in the marsh, not pack their bags and join the crew of our boat.

So war was declared. I searched the internet. I sent out a plea to my fellow women who sail on Facebook. The ideas poured in. We made a list of death. Then I hit the hardware store. Here in Beaufort, we have the most fabulous family owned hardware and building supply store. It’s called Grayco, and it’s awesome. (Oh and it is within walking distance from Lady’s Island Marina.) I stocked up on glue traps, spring traps, borax, peppermint oil and cotton balls.

I placed cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil all over the boat. I surrounded the dock and all lines with borax. So much borax, it looked like snow.

I tested the traps. They definitely worked.  Chopped that pencil right in half.

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We used peanut butter as bait, placed the traps perpendicular to the wall in places we thought the rats were traveling (see the poop below…), and returned everyday to check our traps.

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We caught NOTHING!  (Well – I did manage to catch a few fiddler crabs on a glue trap lying under a vent.) Whether it was the strong smell of peppermint oil, the borax barrier, or simply a lack of food that moved our visitor along, we may never know. All I know is the rat is outta here – no more poop.

I now have a provision worthy store of anti-rodent supplies. Praying I never need them!

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