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Spider Mitigation Tips......

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by PCP777, May 22, 2009. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. PCP777


    Joined May 19, 2009
    36 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 25 TR/FK
    US Bayview Marina, Lake Ray Hubbard Rowlett TX
    My Catalina 25 is literally spider infested, at least on the outside. They love to make webs in my rigging,on the safety lines, on the stays it's ridiculous! I sail like every 3 or 4 days and the first thing I have to when I get on the boat (after I load the cooler) is take a broom and remove all the webs. It's funny, the other Friday, we docked up and hung out in the cockpit hanging out. Within an hour or so they were back and working on their webs. How do they even know we're back? How do they even get on the boat? It seems like a coordinated effort.:eek:

    V, who loves sailing but freaks on spiders, doesn't even complain or freak out anymore. It's just part of the deal. I broom the webs and just ignore them. Then when we're out sailing in the wind, There's like all these silken strands, gleaming in the sun, all the way up the stays. It kind of looks cool.

    I've heard the orange based cleaners help....anyone have any ideas?

    Simon Sexton likes this.
  2. lake sailor

    lake sailor Guest


    Down here in Austin we have the same problem. Citrius based soap works a little. Be happy, last weekend the owner across from us found two water snakes that were mating in his mailsail cover!!!!!! It caused a pretty big fuss for a little bit.

  3. PCP777


    Joined May 19, 2009
    36 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 25 TR/FK
    US Bayview Marina, Lake Ray Hubbard Rowlett TX

    I guess the spiders cut down on the bugs....

  4. kloudie1


    Joined Nov 6, 2006
    8,039 posts, 602 likes
    Hunter 34
    US Mandeville Louisiana
    Really a problem at our marina in the pine trees. In addition, we have a streetlamp close by which attracts bugs so the spiders build mega webs in the rigging to catch them. Every spring, I scrub the underside of the rubrail/hull/deck joint with a brush; they seem to accumulate there…. then liberally apply a commercial spider killer to the underside of the rubrail. Makes me feel better… I don’t know how much it helps.. sorta keeps them at bay. Those buggers like to make nests in the zipper closures of the bimini and are tough to get out. I have seen them flying on webs 6-8 MILES offshore.. they catch on the standing rig and you can see em flagging in the wind. Yes we have snakes and 'gators in the marina too. and beavers and muskrats.. They generally do not board boats!

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  5. George H260

    George H260

    Joined Aug 11, 2006
    1,446 posts, 1 likes
    Hunter H260
    US Traverse City
    Another view: I know the spiders crap all over your boat but they won't hurt you and the spots are easily cleaned up. Spiders are benificials that feed on flying insects and rarely bite people. You can't avoid or defeat them, don't even try; they were here long before we swung down from the trees and they'll be here long after we are gone. Just learn to live with them, it will keep your blood pressure under control.

    Besides if you used your boat more often, you would not have so much mess to clean up...:):)

  6. JerryA


    Joined Oct 17, 2004
    512 posts, 18 likes
    Tanzer 29 Jeanneau Design
    US Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie
    WM - Spider Kills

    I use the product from West Marine, Spider Kills. Comes in a spray bottle, I've had the same one two years. Spray a bit into every open hole & gap, under the rubrail, outboard motor, and dock lines. The first time I used it, I had spiders crawling out everywhere doing dances to their death. After that a little here and there keeps them in check. It's kind of expensive at WM, and I've been told you can buy at the hardware store for less. Works on garage doors too.


    Will Gilmore likes this.
  7. sailaway78


    Joined May 11, 2005
    3,431 posts, 15 likes
    Seidelman S37
    US Slidell, La.
    I'll trade you

    I'll gladly trade someone, their spiders and webs, for my bird poop. I have a pair of doves nesting close by, and they love to sit on the spreaders. Also a lot of grackels. So, will gladly trade. Spider poop has got to be smaller spots than that from the birds.

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  8. dvideohd


    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    261 posts, 0 likes
    MacGregor Mac26D
    US Richardson, TX; Dana Point, CA
    Texas sailing....

    Fire ants in the Bilge... Snakes in the Mainsail Cover... Spiders EVERYWHERE....

    You had not mentioned mosquito... I am sure that is coming...

    I have seen the air almost SATURATED with spiders being blown along at LRH. I like bug bombs for my boat.....

  9. Ross


    Joined Jun 15, 2004
    14,693 posts, 11 likes
    Islander/Wayfairer 30 sail number 25
    US Perryville,Md.
    Bissel carpet cleaner in a spray bottle seems to be lethal to all manner of non-vertibrates. It will kill ants faster than anything else I have tried.

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  10. sinnettc


    Joined May 23, 2007
    1,303 posts, 3 likes
    Catalina Capri 22
    US Albany, Oregon
    Does it work on wasps? We've got little spiders, which I can live with as long as they stay outside. It's the @#$@ wasps and yellowjackets that give me the heebiejeebies.

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  11. Ross


    Joined Jun 15, 2004
    14,693 posts, 11 likes
    Islander/Wayfairer 30 sail number 25
    US Perryville,Md.
    Probably because ants and wasps are first cousins. However wasps are not aggressive away from their nest while they are foraging. Just keep them out of your canned coke.

  12. Mulf


    Joined Dec 2, 2003
    401 posts, 3 likes
    Hunter 410
    US Chester, MD (Kent Island)
    Nice N Easy: try this...

    I strung heavy fishing line along all of my spreaders about 3 inches above them. No more birds sitting and ......

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  13. Ross


    Joined Jun 15, 2004
    14,693 posts, 11 likes
    Islander/Wayfairer 30 sail number 25
    US Perryville,Md.
    Re: Nice N Easy: try this...

    Mulf, You should take a ride down to Swan Creek and watch the ospreys playing on the boats equiped with bird scaring strings and ribbons. There is even on osprey pair nesting on a bimini.

  14. Cpt. Jon

    Cpt. Jon

    Joined Dec 9, 2008
    426 posts, 3 likes
    1980 Hunter 30 "Denali"
    US Seaford, VA
    I've done a little air-to-ground combat with the massive wasps this year. I like to keep the boat open when weather permitting and they seem to like the boat as much as I do, but they didn't chip in :naughty:

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  15. MrBee


    Joined Dec 30, 2008
    425 posts, 1 likes
    Irwin 34 Citation
    US Middle River, Md.
    Don't want to change the subject but....Maybe YOU "Swung down from the tree's"
    But me and my family DID NOT.

    Have a nice day and a safe and happy sailing season..


    Hayden Watson likes this.
  16. PCP777


    Joined May 19, 2009
    36 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 25 TR/FK
    US Bayview Marina, Lake Ray Hubbard Rowlett TX
    I use my boat all the time. Used it Sunday, slept aboard, came back Monday afternoon to sail again and already my rigging was web city. It's not a big deal, it just bugs my fiancee more than anything else. :)

    Many boats in our marina get hammered with bird crap, luckily we don't see that as much.

    So far we've been pretty lucky with mosquitoes as well.

  17. Ctskip


    Joined Sep 21, 2005
    723 posts, 5 likes
    other 12
    US wet water
    There's a product that can be bought at Home Depot by the gallon. It's called Bug Off by Spectracide. Just spray it all around inside and out and the spiders leave. It doesn't stain. Do it again two days after the nests have matured and it'll get them also. and you'll be good till the next downpour. It takes five minutes to do. I spray my life lines and stanchions and under the rub rail and the sail cover and bimini. No spiders. I even do the dock around me. Below, I do around the floor and in and around the hatches and in the corners. No spiders anywhere.
    Spiders actually fall out of the sky. They travel half way around the world frozen in space, then thaw and fall to earth. It really does rain spiders. Lose the bugs and you'll lose the spiders.
    For birds hang old CD's with fishing line and it'll keep most birds away.

    Keep it up,

  18. druid


    Joined Apr 22, 2009
    837 posts, 62 likes
    Ontario 32
    CA Pender Harbour
    If you have mosquitos you don't have enough spiders! :D

    druid - a good 25knot wind will dislodge most spiders. If not, a wave over the bow will...

  19. DougM


    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    1,525 posts, 143 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Manistee, MI

    I had spiders on the outside of the boat 24 hours after launch. The birds that nest in my seawalll probably attracted by the ready food supply- crap all over my newly cleaned teak.

    Its an annual event! I use spider spray along the toe rails, inside the sail cover, and on the coiled lines and that helps until it rains.

    Inside the boat and lockers ... No problem. I just keep a fresh supply of dryer sheets, one sheet in each storage area, and no bugs! Evidently they don't like the "fresh" smelll.

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  20. Dan Johnson

    Dan Johnson

    Joined Oct 14, 2005
    2,191 posts, 1 likes
    1983 Hunter H34
    US North East, MD
    Every weekend...

    I'm on my boat. After dark I do a "spider patrol" armed with a flashlight and a can of insect spray. The industrious little buggers get caught in their webs by the flashlight and sprayed on the spot. The drop on deck and head for the rail where they fall over and become fish food--perfect recycling!

    I then go around the boat with a wire wheel scrub brush and remove all the webs I can reach. The next morning I check for new webs and flush out the hold-outs with a shot of spray. After a couple of weekends the spider population comes under control and becomes mearly an annoyance.

    Even boats out on our moorings get spiders so there is no permanent relief, but the temporary one is most satisfying!

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