Critters eating foam in boats

I have stored my boats for years in my shed without problems, but discovered something has been chewing up and digging out the foam parts of my boats. Seats, foamed bulhead, etc. Any suggetions ???

Do you have rats or mice?
Are the chunks disappearing? Something may be using them for nesting/bedding puposes. Check for critters.

Chunks are disappering and
ending up shredded in boats. Have had a small problem like this with some old life jackets in the past, but that always took place in the fall. If I had to quess it is squirell size . Do have a trap, but also wondered if there is something I can spray on the foam to take whatever cusine flavor they find in the stuff out of it for them. Our 15 year old one eyed cat no longer seems up to the task. Hate to use the travel covers as I think they will just chew through them as well.

I’ve had racoons…
Break into my powerboat while stored and eat the cushions and swim noodles as well as the floatation… GH

Same thing happened to my buddys bass boat.

It was flying squirrels and woods rats.They ate his boat cushions and life vests and carried off pieces for nests.

I told him to get some mesh bags and put mothballs(large)in them and place them throughout the boat inside storage areas.The more the better.It worked fine. Mothballs will shrink over time so keep adding to bags.

Remove bags when using boat.

moth balls
Moth balls if you can deal with the smell. It’s probably mice. Either get some pellets to kill em or use moth balls. In some areas where porkiepines are a problem knawing at car transmission lines people throw a few balls near the lines at put ins. My neighbor uses moth balls in her garage for mice.

Get a kitty
We have an old house with a stone foundation which means mice in the fall. So, we also have three furry balls of mouse-beheading fury named Simba, Jake, and Westfield.

The mice don’t stay long in the basement. Now what they did to my car two winters ago is another story…


Claw marks suggest larger then mice

– Last Updated: May-28-05 9:45 PM EST –

I made some pouches out of old nylons for the moth balls and dropped them into all of the boats. Also set a Have-A-Heart trap so see what happens. Spent the day replacing or repairing foam seats, foam under the fiberglass seat pans and on my foamed out fiberglass bulkhead. You can see their claw marks and it is larger then a mouse or small rodent. Looks to be squirel size or slightly larger.

The only plus is that I had just traded a poly boat that had three foam bulheads for a poly boat with welded plastic bulkheads. I sure would hate to try to replace or repair a foam bulkhead. Not even sure how to go about it. Has anyone had that happen?

Got one
He’s 15 and as of this week the vet said he is down to one eye and he moves very slooooow so I don’t think he is better then a one bladed kayak paddle.

Avoid poison pellets at all costs
they usually contain warfarin which basically is a blood thinner, makes the critters bleed out internally. But, worst of all, the smell is something you’ll never get rid of if the critter dies in or near your kayaks or shed. As for spraying the foam with something, you might try mixing up a pepper/water formula. It’ll burn the critter’s mouth. Garden books sometimes have good recipes for the sprays. Usually, they use cayenne pepper. I know you don’t want to use your covers because of them possibly getting chewed. What I’ve done is to take plywood slightly larger than the length/width of the kayak cockpit opening and bungied it down to the kayak. Works well.

Tabasco sauce will deter a lot
of things. Back when they were building the Alaska pipeline, I remember hearing that the pipeline people were having major problems with insects eating the insulation off wiring. Some of the workers from Louisiana came up with the idea of coating the insulation with tobasco sauce from back home. It supposedly solved the problem. I imagine pepper spray might do likewise.

Yes, avoiding poisons
Decades ago my cousin who also was my college roomate showed up with a pet raccoon after a trip to do errands (long story) and after we caught it chewing on everything including the electric appliance cords we coated everything with tabasco sauce. That worked. As stated here, I’m also considering coating the foam with some sort of pepper based concoction. All though I have had boats stored out there for almost 15 years with very little problem, I now am surprised I haven’t seen this on the board before as many people have boats stored outside in a country enviroment. I’m wondering if anybody has had a foam bulkhead chewed out?

another commercial spray
is available for pets to keep them from chewing things. As I recall, it sort of acts like alum, makes their mouths pucker up. But, if you foam is the styrofoam type, lots of commercial products could eat up the foam.

Critter is a good do everything boat
"8-P Ya Baby!

Napthalene is in mothballs and is
hazardous to humans and our pets. I used mothballs in the past as a pest deterrent, but with my new knowledge of napthalene, I would avoid them now.


May have the answer.
A few years back I had the same problem and it was a squirrel. It would chew/claw out the foam and use it to pad its nest. I generally keep my boats inside and out of harms way these days.—Rich

One good thing about squirrels
is they make a good stew. You could save on your food bill if you trap them.

home-made pepper stuff
I get the very hot Indian peppers, inexpensive at the Indian food store. Fill a jar, then fill the balance with vodka. Wait about a week, turning the jar twice daily. NASTY hot stuff, much hotter than Tobasco.

Strain through a coffee filter, put into a spray bottle. Do not ever use this spray bottle for anything else again.

Good for cooking, too if you can tolerate the heat.

Doesn’t leave a sticky film like some of the oil based pepper extracts.

Good on plants or at base of plants being chewed by cutworms and stuff, too.


Val in CT

Living in Texas, I’ve developed a taste
for the hot stuff, wonder how the vodka would be to drink? Maybe as a bloody mary? Sounds like a good solution but a bit expensive with the vodka. Water might work just as well.

How about a cockpit cover??