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Author Topic: What are these small black things? Termites!  (Read 535 times)

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Gint

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What are these small black things? Termites!
« on: December 07, 2021, 02:01:39 PM »

I've only ever seen these on some boats that have not been cared for. I hope it is not termites or anything like that. Does anyone know what these are and what I need to do if it is bad...



« Last Edit: December 08, 2021, 01:15:37 PM by Gint »
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1987 C34 "Space Cowboy"
San Diego, California

Ron Hill

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Re: What are these small black things?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2021, 02:30:17 PM »

Gint : If they are on the gelcoat put some Fiberglass Stain Remover or rub some Bar Keepers Friend on them and see if they don't go away.

A thought
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Gint

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Re: What are these small black things?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2021, 03:20:55 PM »

Gint : If they are on the gelcoat put some Fiberglass Stain Remover or rub some Bar Keepers Friend on them and see if they don't go away.

A thought

They are like little balls / egg shaped (not stains) and this is in the cabin, above the nav station on the counter. I tried to take a better image:



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1987 C34 "Space Cowboy"
San Diego, California

Jeff Tancock

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Re: What are these small black things?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2021, 03:26:11 PM »

Hard to see.
Mouse turds?
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Jeff Tancock
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Gint

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Re: What are these small black things?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2021, 03:34:03 PM »

Hard to see.
Mouse turds?

Hahaa, I wish! That would be the smallest mouse in the world. These things are tiny:

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1987 C34 "Space Cowboy"
San Diego, California

senorquill

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Re: What are these small black things?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2021, 04:09:08 PM »

Large Cockroach droppings.
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Gint

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Re: What are these small black things?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2021, 05:05:30 PM »

Large Cockroach droppings.

SERIOUSLY! Ok I need a trap then. Haven't seen the bugger but he's there it seems!
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1987 C34 "Space Cowboy"
San Diego, California

Gint

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Re: What are these small black things?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2021, 05:09:02 PM »

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1987 C34 "Space Cowboy"
San Diego, California

Jim Hardesty

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Re: What are these small black things?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2021, 06:20:26 AM »

I would take some samples to an exterminator.  May want to make some phone calls first to find the right one.   
Happy hunting,
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
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scgunner

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Re: What are these small black things?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2021, 07:30:31 AM »

Gint,

An exterminator is probably your best option, the inspection is usually free, anything else isn't. If it is termites you'll probably need to have your boat tented. I've seen a few boats in my marina tented over the years, usually wooden boats but some fiberglass boats as well.
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Kevin Quistberg                                                 Top Gun 1987 Mk 1 Hull #273

mark_53

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Re: What are these small black things?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2021, 10:37:44 AM »

I would look above the nav table.  Looks like they are falling from the ceiling in that area.
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1989 C34 Mk1 M25XP Danforth 25lb, adjustable backstay, fin keel, EV100 autopilot, E7D Chartplotter, Navpod, Mack Pack, CDH diesel heater, Grp 75 start and 2 Grp 27 House batteries, Blue Sea ACR.

Gint

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Re: What are these small black things?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2021, 12:46:28 PM »

Thanks for all the feedback everyone. This is what happened. I went to home depo and grabbed a bottle of spay on insecticide for termites called "Terminate" by Spectrum. I sprayed it into a container and waited a few minutes for the foam to turn to liquid - it was not a dry foam. I took a paintbrush and painted the wood. It is water based so did not stain or affect the color of the teak.



By morning the pellet production (termite poop) had decreased by roughly half. I repeated, but they still kept coming. I called Lloyd Pest control and they said I needed to drill into the wood every few inches and apply it that way. NO WAYS - So, I decided to try the heat treatment. 

In comes our trusty winter heater:



I expect to get some negative feedback here about fire and danger as we progress. Yes, I had the fire extinguisher ready and I sat watching it the entire time. I also checked the flash point for fabrics and wool and I had a thermometer which I used to check the temp every 15-20 min. Please note that I have a very concentrated problem area and because I live on the boat, I saw the problem in hours of it starting. Its been a little more than 24 hours since it begun.

I setup the heater in the problem area and then covered all the areas hot air could escape with a towel and some items in the boat, making 100% sure I didn't cover the back or the front of the heater with the towel. I let this hot box sit for 1.5 hours at a temp of 180-ish degrees Fahrenheit. To kill the termites and eggs, the internal temp of the wood needs to be at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit at a minimum of 35 min. This is what it looked like:









Its been about an two hours later now and the dropping have ceased altogether. I'll keep and eye on them and if they pop up anywhere else, they will be roasted!

This was just my solution and I wanted to share it, so I'm not recommending anyone use it. It can very easily turn into a fire hazard if you are not carful. I just like to fix all issues myself, where possible, so if I've sailed to a far land and there are no exterminators, mechanics or electricians I have a better chance at getting the wind back in my sails by myself.

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1987 C34 "Space Cowboy"
San Diego, California

Dwainideus

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Re: What are these small black things? Termites!
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2021, 08:17:15 PM »

Roach droppings
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Jim Hardesty

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Re: What are these small black things? Termites!
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2021, 05:22:49 AM »

Was the problem termites or roaches? 
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
from Commodore Perry Yacht Club
Erie, PA

Gint

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Re: What are these small black things? Termites!
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2021, 08:05:18 AM »

Was the problem termites or roaches? 
Jim

Hey Jim, it was definitely dry wood termites. The heat yesterday killed about 90% of them. No droppings at all, even when checking at 11:30 last night. But this morning I found a small number of droppings. It seems like a few survived in the trim under the window (above the counter in front of the nav station) where the heat must not have penetrated the wood enough. I'm roasting them as we speak.



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1987 C34 "Space Cowboy"
San Diego, California
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