Monday, October 10, 2011

Bugs and Mold

Well it's been a while since I put up a post since I'm home in the US and Mark is in Australia. He has safely (finally!) made it and is enjoying Brisbane. While chatting with my mom the other day we were discussing some of the things that I do before closing up the boat that Mark will have to do this time around. When I told her three of the home remedies I have come across that, as far as we know, have worked wonderfully she asked why I hadn't ever told her about them so I thought maybe they would make for a good blog post. So my three things that I do to ensure we don't end up with bugs or mold while we are gone...

1. Cinnamon: I boil cinnamon sticks on the stove and then wipe down all the counters and especially around all the cabinets that have food in them. Ants supposedly won't cross a line of cinnamon and so far we haven't had an ant infiltration so I think I'll keep doing this one. Besides if it doesn't work it sure does make the boat smell good. I learned this from a woman in Puerto Rico while I stood in front of the spices in the Walmart mulling over which Bay Leaves I should buy - which brings me to #2.

2. Bay Leaves: As I've mentioned before I put them in everything that I repackage. I don't care what it is. I make sure they end up in all my pasta, rice, flour, pancake mix, etc. I vacuum seal them right in. I've never had a problem with anything taking on a funny taste but figure I'd rather have that than bugs. We haven't had many bug issues on the boat but the bugs we have gotten have only gotten into one bag of food on the boat and it was a bag of pasta that I had not repackaged or put bay leaves in. Most of the time I'll also throw a bay leave or two in my cabinets somewhere as well but definitely do it before we shut down the boat - even with our canned goods.

3. Bleach: The first time I did this I didn't really put enough. I came back to crystalized bleach in the cups I left in our sinks. Since then I have used our larger glasses and filled them a little over half full of bleach and left them in our three sinks. The purpose is for mold. The bleach attracts the mold so it goes to the bleach instead of to your walls or upholstery. I think this has worked for the most part. I did find that a couple of pairs of Mark's pants had gotten a little moldy in the closet but they washed right out and we haven't had issues with the walls or cushions.

Hopefully some of this will help even those of you who are living on land.
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