Keeping critters and pests out of kayak

I will be storing my Dagger Specter sea kayak down at my backyard pond when not travelling to more exciting destinations. That way I can go for a nice exercise paddle each morning.

I have a nylon cockpit cover but it is not real tight. Alos, the hatches on the Specter are VERY loose. They are just composit cutouts with straps.

I plan to keep the yak off the ground in some sort of rack - probably using my Malone J brackets. I’ll also treat the boat with some sort of UV protectant.

I am worried about critters getting into the boat. Mice would be the most likely big pests but spiders and WASPS are certainly going to take up residence.

Any thoughts on how to keep all the critters out? I’m not sure if mothballs would work but I do know they would stink up the boat real good. There must be a better solution.

Hmmm…maybe a snake to catch the mice and some frogs for the bugs.

Kayak dwellers.
Wish I had an answer for you. I had a kayak in a boat bag during a wet period. When I hoped in, I was covered with a million ants! Had to flood the yak to rid of them. Good luck.


Moth balls won’t work !
I tried them in the furnace compartment of my travel trailer.

They are supposed to be a deterrent to keep mud wasps from building their tubes in the venturi, and a spider built a web/nest right next to them.

Why not just roll the kayak in a el cheapo blue tarp or cover it with one.

I have two perceptions that are stored outside that way.



This is a real problem.
I had to store my boats outside one year and we live on a small lake. You get flies, ants, spiders, frogs, and wasps among other things. I even had a ferret (neighbor’s pet) get in one of my WW boats and chew up the foam. There is nothing like setting out for a paddle and then feel something crawling along your leg. Both spiders and ants will bite in that circumstance. Keeping the boats off the ground will help, the higher the better. But it won’t eliminate it. Careful inspection may be the only answer.

neoprene covers
I have a neoprene cockpit cover that fits very tight. It could keep out unwanted wildlife. Neoprene covers for your hatches might also work. Many boats with hard hatch covers have neoprene under covers – both my Elaho and my wife’s Squall have this combination. They would also seal better than the hard hatches alone.

I store My Specter outside
under a roof I leave the covers on the hatches and got a cheep cockpit cover and have not had a problem? No bugs no spiders no mice? If you paddle all most every day I’m sure that most things won’t find it homey enuff to stay anyhow.


netting and cord
I have been draping a double layer of inexpensive netting from the fabric store over the cockpit, then securing with shock cord that has a single overhand knot in it to form a circle. This has kept out all critters, is cheap, and allows water to evaporate. The shock cord is not quite as thick as my little finger, and the nettng is comparable to window screen in the size of the holes. If I were a seamstress, I could be more specific about the netting.

I recently neglected to cover the cockpit of the inside boat while several were stacked only to have a large wren nest to clean out!

We have the same problem here
in NC. I have to store the two kayaks outside and I do that in a rack that I built attached to the rear side of a shed out back. We have lots of critters and they seem to be able to find their way into almost anything. Neither one of us likes the idea of finding spiders in the cockpit once we are out. We have a few that we dont even want to get close to.

Our solution was to sew boat covers. We bought an outdoor nylon and put together essentially a sock to store the boat in. There is a six foot plastic zipper at one end to seal it up. We put nylon screen vents in to allow some air. These covers double by keeping the direct sun off the gelcoat.

I looked around before deceiding to make our own and did not find anything that was within the realm of reason.

good luck,


funny critter story
I stored a canoe wrapped in a tarp for the fall and winter. It was sitting on an old camper next to a bunch of crabapple trees. Come spring I took off the tarp, and slid the canoe off the camper and onto the truck. At the put in, as I took off the canoe, I tilted it up so I could see where I was walking, and I hear a funny noise. I look up into the canoe, and at the same time felt my right hand being hit by something, and immediately after that there was something on my forehead! I pulled my hand off and started slapping at my head, nearly dropping the canoe.

The funny noise continued to happen for a second, and I couldn’t figure out what it was. I looked at my feet and saw about 50 old dry crabapples… Turns out a squirrel had put a winter stash of crabapples in there, and as I lifted the canoe off of the truck rack, some of them rolled down the gunnel (from where they were stored ‘above’ the deck) and bumped into my hand before they were deflected by the hand and bounced off my hat.


Don’t know what to suggest about loose
hatches, except perhaps boat replacement. But any properly selected nylon/bungee cockpit cover should keep everything out. I store boats under our deck, protected only with nylon/bungee covers, and I have not had bugs, spiders, ants, or anything get in. Even if they COULD get past the bungee, why should they? There is nothing to attract them to the space. Too little flux of other critters to eat.

Now, wrens nesting in inverted open canoes… That is a problem !

Do not paddle with friends or family
Best way to keep pests out of kayak is not paddle with friends or family, they have a way of sneaking into your boat and not letting you paddle it.

Same here once


More critter hijinks
I have my canoe stored outside temporarily until our mini-barn gets delivered (OK, it was the whole winter) on 10" high sawhorses wrapped in a tarp.

I went to take her out for a spin a few weeks ago, and found that one of my girlfriend’s cats had been using it apparently as a brothel — there were swatches of different colored cat hair all over the tarp inside the canoe. He does stuff like this…

They say that a true canadian is someone who can make love in a canoe — I guess kitty is a canadian!