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Unwanted passengers

With these we have lots of experience.
They exist in many colours and sizes and the Canary islands are their favourite spot. They hide in warm and dark places (near the engine, in an electricity cupboards etc.) e
and they prefer to show up when it's dark. They run like madmen, especially when they see the big human cockroach killers. A complicating factor is that they spray their eggs immediately when they are in a lifethreatening situation. So trying to beat them to death results surely within 3 weeks in 50 more tiny little baby cockroaches. The best way to fight them, is with coackroach spray. If you want to kill a cockroach you have to have serious weapons, such as the spray which is horrible stuff and you almost choke to death yourself while spraying. You can also buy special cockroach traps: they are called "cockroach motels" and these are small black boxes where the cockroaches walk in or through, and underway they dip their feet in poison.

You have to be continuously on guard. They hide themselves in boxes and cartons and they really crave glue. To ensure the future of the species, the preferred spot to place their eggs is behind loose labels. So you have to unpack your shopping bags on the pontoon and get rid of all packagings before bringing any food on board.
Take your shoes off before coming aboard.
On the street you may have picked up the eggs on the soles of your shoes.

What you can do against cockroaches:
- spray: spray in the cap and place the cap over the cockroach; by doing this, you protect yourself from choking to death
- spray your mooring ropes when you stay somewhere for a longer period; and do it again after a rain
- cockroach hotels: replace the type with insecticides every three months; the type with sticky glue should be replaced as soon as a cockroach is caught
- mix borax powder and condensed milk; cockroaches crave this and tit makes them explode
- and finally our favourite insecticide: Blattanex Gel, a Bayer product. They are immediately gone. We found this product in only one shop: Pesticidos Canarias S.A., C/ Victor Hugo, 30, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Of mice and rats
We haven't seen them yet, but other sailors suggest to use large drinkwaterbottles. The 5 liter type can be of great use.
Cut the top off and make a small hole in the bottom to lead your mooring ropes through. Mice and rats can't climb over the fence so they will eventually go somewhere else. 
Helga and René (Vagebond) caught a mouse with the aid of a piece of cheese as bite on a creaking bag; place a bowl upside down over the cheese and to create a window for the mouse put something underneath the bowl; attach a string, wait in your foc's'le and as soon as the bag makes a sound you pull the string and the mouse is caught.

Scary animals in the tropics
We are not very fond of cockroaches, but in the tropics you meet really scary animals. Such as poisonous snakes of 2 meters length. They swim in rivers or lie asleep on "floating islands": heaps of grass and branches that float on the current up and down river. Snakes climb on board via your anchor chain and nest in a warm spot. For instance under the cover of your mainsail. So be on guard, especially when you remove covers or try to clear your anchor chain.

Updated 09/2006
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