Outdoor PestsBugs

How To Keep Bugs Away From the Boat at Night

How To Keep Bugs Away From The Boat At Night

Bugs love invading at night, especially when lights switch off and humans sleep.

You can say they are more of nocturnal animals, but it’s also common to see bugs and insects lurking around during the daytime.

One fascinating thing about bugs is that they are fond of anything, regardless of the place. This includes your boats, especially when parked and steady at night.


Like any other device or equipment, boats are investments you’ll want to take care of. You paid for them, so you’ll want to keep them as protected as possible. Or else, you might get a new boat just after a quick while.

Bugs love invading boats because these are potential areas where they can get many food sources. They are also determined to find moist and warm corners where they can nest, lay eggs, or simply survive.

Depending on the type of bug, you might need to reconsider and utilize different ways to get rid of these pests and prevent their reinfestation.

This guide explores various ways you can do to ensure your boats are marked safe from bugs and all other pests at night.

Let’s get started.

Keeping Your Boats Safe From Drywood Termites

Keeping Your Boats Safe From Drywood Termites

Drywood termites are one of the most aggressive bugs when it comes to invading your boats. They are not picky eaters and can invade almost all types of boats, including the following:

  • Modern fiberglass boat.
  • Vintage boat with teak and mahogany.

Once these bugs have successfully found a food source, they will do whatever it takes to approach it and thrive there, especially when a boat has exposed wood.

So, to make your boat safe from drywood termites, you’ll want to check out the following:

  1. Paint or stain all exposed wood surfaces.
  2. Always be on the lookout for termite swarmers.
  3. Repair or replace splintered and cracked wood right away.

6 Ways To Keep Bugs at Bay From Your Boats

Ways To Keep Bugs At Bay From Your Boats

Aside from drywood termites, any bug can invade your boat and cause many problems. They can even disturb your boating sessions.

With this, it’s important you know what to do to prevent their infestation and ensure your boats are safe and protected.

Here are effective hacks to keep bugs at bay, especially at night.

1. Remove Any Cardboard on the Boat

Remove Any Cardboard On The Boat

Cardboards are potential places where bugs and roaches can lay their eggs and multiply. Moreover, they can also be places where filth and dirt can accumulate.

This is why we don’t recommend taking any cardboard onboard. But if you really need to, spraying insecticides or essential oil solution on them can help prevent bugs and other tiny pests from feeding on cardboard materials.

2. Wash and Clean All Produce Right Away

Wash And Clean All Produce Right Away

If you’re bringing produce onboard, wash and clean them thoroughly. Dirt and soil accumulated on the produce can be potential food sources for bugs, which can lead to their infestation.

We recommend using bleach and water solution in cleaning the produce. Mix one full cap of bleach into one to two gallons of water.

After washing, don’t forget to dry the produce. Doing this ensures all crops are thoroughly checked and cleaned.

Aside from getting rid of the bugs and preventing their infestation, thorough washing also prevents the possibility of acquiring foodborne diseases.

3. Hide and Contain Anything Sweet

Hide And Contain Anything Sweet

If it isn’t obvious, most bugs, like ants and insects, love anything sweet. So if your boat has one, make sure to contain them or seal them in airtight containers.

If sweets are placed in bottles, always place these sealed bottles in resealable plastic bags for double protection.

After drinking or eating anything sugary, dispose of their containers properly by placing them in plastic bins. This confines the mess, preventing ants from marching toward your boat.

4. Use Essential Oils

Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are effective too. And because they have intense scents, they will work well with bugs, ensuring they don’t return and invade your boats.

If you choose essential oils, we suggest diluting them in distilled water, so the scent won’t be too strong.

The following essential oils should work against bugs and other pests:

  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Cardamom
  • Citronella
  • Lavender

5. Set Up Traps and Bug-Proof Lockers

Set Up Traps And Bug-Proof Lockers

You can also try installing bug-proof lockers with cloves and bay leaves inside. These effective anti-bug ingredients will have your boat pest-free in no time.

But it would be best if you remembered to change them regularly every three months so the scent stays fresh.

It would also help if you placed roaches and ant traps inside. This guarantees any chance of bug invasion will automatically be eliminated.

Traps with boric acid will also work. This chemical has always been proven effective in getting rid of various pests. Mix boric acid with powdered milk or coffee creamer to form a paste-repellent.

6. Cleaning Is an Essential Tool

Cleaning Is An Essential Tool

And finally, the root cause of any pest infestation is dirt and filth.

Bugs love anything dark, warm, and moist, and garbage is one of their priorities during the invasion. This is why cleaning your boats before vacating them at night is essential.

Always ensure you’ve picked up all trash and placed it inside the bins. The bins should be as airtightly sealed as possible, preventing any animal from breaking in.

After performing your nightly cleaning routine, it also helps to spray insecticide on your entire boat. This gives your equipment double protection so that bugs near your boat are instantly killed.

Keep Your Boats Bug-Proof

Bugs can literally feed and thrive on anything, including your boats.

And when you leave them at night, without proper care and attention, you can expect these pests to invade your boats and feed on wooden surfaces.

Before you start having major problems with bug invasions, start protecting your boats by painting wooden surfaces and eliminating all kinds of food sources.

Insecticides, bug repellents, essential oils, and traps can work too.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Natural Ways To Keep Bugs Away?

Aside from essential oils, placing intense-smelling plants is also a natural way to keep bugs as far away from your boats as possible. These plants include lemongrass, eucalyptus, tea tree, and catnip.

What Gear Can You Wear To Protect Yourself From Bugs When Boating at Night?

Hats, neck gaiter, and long sleeves can help protect you from getting painful bug bites and causing itching. Wearing night glasses is also helpful, so it’s easier to see when bugs or insects are fast approaching.

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