Keep Pests At Bay With A Boat Pest Control Service

Boat Pest Control Get Rid Of Stowaways

A good side of being in the pest control trade is you get to spend time in some nice locations at times. Let’s face it time by the water is great whether you’re at work or not. And this particular job was right on the water at Manly boat harbour in Brisbane.

The owner of this very nice boat was having a problem with cockroaches on board. A pest problem on a boat isn’t what many people would expect but they do happen.

A regular pest control treatment is required for boats just as they are for homes and offices. If treatments aren’t done every 12 months there’s a good chance of a pest infestation starting.

Here at Sunnystate, we have done plenty of treatments onboard various boats of all sizes. It’s not just the big boats that get a pest problem; rats, for instance, can cause serious damage to any size boat.

Rats have been known to chew through electrical wiring and water pipes leaving the owner with big repair bills.

Big commercial shipping companies have regular pest treatments carried out on their ships. If they didn’t all manner of pests from cockroaches to Rats would soon overrun them.

The last thing paying guests want to see on their cruise of a lifetime is rodents and other pests. So in order to keep pests under control commercial liners have routine maintenance pest control schedules carried out.

Routine pest control is also a good idea for owners of smaller boats. Many boat owners arrange for the marina where the boat is moored to organise their regular pest service.

Choosing a pest control company that understands how to correctly treat a boat is your best chance of keeping pests out.

Who’s Responsible for the Pest Control?

A pest problem on board a boat at a marina is the responsibility of the owner of the boat. A pest problem on the grounds of the marina is the responsibility of the management of the marina.

Most marinas have a 12-month pest control treatments carried out to keep pests at bay. The most common pest near waterways would be rats.

Rats are great swimmers and will make their home in the banks of waterways. They will also harbour on board boats and around jetties.

A rodent pest management plan will have to be implemented at a marina to keep rats and mice under control. Regular checks of rodent bait boxes will have to be carried out for the longevity of the treatment.

Having an appropriate rodent plan in place is the only way to keep rodents at a controllable level. Rodents are just a part of life in Brisbane and this is more so near waterways.

How Pests Get On Board a Boat

One would think that boats spending most of their time in the water would be safe from rodents and cockroaches. But these pests can board a boat or ship in many different ways.

One very common way for pests to get on board is via the mooring ropes. When a vessel is in the dock the mooring ropes are tied to the harbour jetty. It’s at this point pests have a super highway to boats and ships. The mooring ropes are a very easy access point for these very clever pests.

So the mooring ropes would be the most common way for pests such as rats and mice to get on board a boat. But for pests like cockroaches, they can do it in a number of other ways.

As mentioned cockroaches can easily gain access via the ropes but they can also do it by flying and hidden in cargo.

Yes, cockroaches can fly and this makes them a super pest if left untreated, they can enter all manner of buildings and boats this way. But they can also be stowaways; that’s right they can hitchhike a ride in boxes and food goods.

The big commercial ships are constantly resupplying and it’s at this point when cockroaches can be unknowingly taken on board.

Although the best efforts are made by the commercial shipping companies to keep pest out it often doesn’t work. This is why they have regular pest control treatment plans put in place.

So next time you’re on the cruise of a lifetime don’t worry too much about pests. If the pest control has been done properly you shouldn’t see any.

Treating a Boat for Pests

Doing a boat pest control is carried out in pretty much the same way as a pest control service in a home or office.

The main difference is that we need to be extra careful not to get any insecticides in the waterways. If the waterways become polluted it can harm the fish and the delicate ecosystem.

A boat pest control service would only ever be for the internal areas. There should be no need to ever spray the external areas of a boat. This situation would change if doing a pest control service on a commercial ship. On bigger vessels like commercial liners, certain external areas would be treated during a pest treatment.

The main areas of concern would be in the kitchen areas and down in the hull of a boat. These two areas are where pests such as rats, mice and cockroaches can breed.

The same products can be used during the treatment and rodent baits and traps can be set much the same as for residential pest treatments.

The boat in the picture has 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and it’s own engine room so all of these areas had to be treated.

Getting the right products into the right places is crucial if treatments are to be successful

Being Safe Around Water with Chemicals

As mentioned earlier when spraying around waterways extreme care must be taken. Local laws and council authorities will come down heavy on anyone that pollutes the waterways.

To make sure you stay on the right side of the local councils and bylaws it’s best to hire the services of a licensed pest control company.

A licensed pest controller will know what chemicals can and can’t be used around boating marinas.

Boat Pest Control Warranty

A warranty is an important part of a professional boat pest control treatment. If the service is carried out by a licensed professional a 12-month warranty should apply.

Just because the pest service is being carried out on a boat doesn’t mean it can’t come with the same warranties as a home or office does.

The products used today in the pest control industry are designed to last for 12 month periods. This is provided they are applied correctly and at the mix rates of the label.

In a commercial situation, more frequent treatments are usually put in place. A Commercial pest control service will also come with a maintenance plan.

The maintenance plan will outline the types of products that have been used and where they have been placed. Any business that cooks or serves food has to have a pest management plan in place to satisfy food health and safety standards.


So after reading this post, you should by now understand the importance of a general boat pest control service.

If rats or mice get into an engine room on a boat they can cause significant damage. Rodents will gnaw through wiring harnesses and fluid pipes.

Rats have what is known as incisor teeth, these teeth constantly grow. So in order to keep them at a manageable size, they gnaw on various materials and objects. This is why rats and mice are known as such a destructive pest. Between them, they cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage each year.

Boats are an expensive toy and to keep them in good working order takes some scheduled maintenance.

Bigger boats like the ones at the Manly Boat Marina would have a 12-month service carried out. So why not schedule your boat pest control service at the same time to help keep rats, mice and cockroaches away.

Owning a boat is meant to be an enjoyable past time don’t let bugs get in the way of that. Arrange for your pest service and take your boat out without any unwanted guests onboard.

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Jason Neale Owner of Sunnystate Pest Control customer advice about Covid 19

About author

Jason Neale is the owner of Sunnystate we are a professional Pest Control and Termite company servicing customers throughout Brisbane – Ipswich – Gold Coast and have been in the industry for over 20 years and is also a keen blogger.