10 things to try when wasps are eating your boat

Wasps are eating my boat

So it’s another stupidly hot day on the boat. And off the boat. And everywhere. Yes, I know British people are supposed to complain about the weather but this heat is just too. damn. much. I did find a USB fan hanging around, which helps a little as I’m sitting here at my laptop. But it doesn’t help enough.

The trouble is British people aren’t ever ready for the weather, unless that weather is rain. Rain we can cope with. We’ve got most of the relevant equipment to hand. But extremes of heat or cold…

I can’t do it.

Especially when I’ve got stuff to do.

Anyway, the last thing I want to have to cope with in this heat is wasps eating my f&cking boat.

Say what? I hear you gasp.

Yes, they’re doing that. Wasps are eating my boat.

TFW wasps are eating your boat

I’ve constructed a kind of desk out on my stern deck, using a solid (albeit hinged) piece of oak that was once a folding table inside the boat. Now this worked fine for a little while but now it’s got too damned hot to sit out there. I’d decided that the bit of wood probably needs to come back inside for the dinette I’m dreaming of having constructed in the middle cabin. (Well, hopefully you’ll see that turn into a whole-other-post.)

Yesterday though I went out onto the stern deck and noticed a black fly on the underside of the desk. And well, it… I thought… well, I thought it seemed to be… eating.

Yes, it was eating the desk.

It had eaten a little hole and there was another little hole nearby.

Oh. My. Goodness.

I could see its little jaws methodically moving. I had seen that kind of jaw action somewhere before. Now where was it…

Oh yes. I had seen it on wasps. I’d seen wasps polish off bits of meat – some ham from a sandwich and the corpse of a mouse left by some cat or other – with exactly that same purposeful, mechanical munch. But this wasn’t a yellow and black wasp. It was just black. And kind of small. Smaller than a standard wasp, anyway.

Would wasps eat wood though

Listen, I’ve told you before that I’m no entomologist. But whatever this creature is, I’m a million per cent sure it’s some kind of wasp. And when I tried shooing it away it had the same sort of buzzy-floaty-moves as a wasp.

I could see its little jaws methodically moving. I had seen that kind of jaw action somewhere before. Now where was it…

OK, I know I’m not describing it very well. But it’s true that wasps eat wood, I know that much. Well, alright, they chew wood. Maybe they don’t actually digest it. That’s how they make those big paper lantern nests. Creative! Excellent work, in fact. They are artisans.

But not using the wood from my boat. Please.

Is it too much if I say I feel violated?

Is it actually a wasp though

I sprayed the underside of the desk with my home-made citronella spray, and this definitely served as a deterrent; said wasp buzzed confusedly around the area where previously it had been chewing like a pro, and now was disinclined to land. But this seems like a very temporary solution. Even as I sit here typing I’m been fighting a battle with another one of the little f&ckers trying to chew my front door.

That’s how they make those big paper lantern nests. Creative! Excellent work, in fact. They are artisans.

Am I going to have to shroud the whole vessel in a veil of mosquito netting? Or should I let them eat a bit of wood here and there in the spirit of sharing? Really?

WTF, wasps are eating my boat.

So here we go, the definitive list, made up on the ‘fly’ (ho!ho!) of non-violent things to do when a wasps are eating your boat, or [insert alternative wooden foodstuff here]:

10 things to stop wasps eating your boat

Would it be a wood wasp though

Seriously though, while I’ve searched the internet for information on both wood-eating insects and small black wasps in the UK, I’ve not yet found any information that helps me identify my unwelcome visitors. Can anyone advise? Answers on a postcard please…

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hello…

I'm Victoria. Hi.

I'm afraid I write most of the nonsense on this site, apart from the stuff written by Geoff. (Geoff is the cat in orange.)

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