Hornets in Boat

In less than two weeks, hornets (or wasps or mud daubers, never really got close enough to see!) have set up house in my boat. As soon as I moved the boat cover, they began flying out of a small hole in the cover. Fortunately I wasn't planning to sail that day anyhow. Does anyone have a relatively simple method of dealing with them? I'm hesitant to fog them because my main is still on the boom and flaked in the cockpit on the port side. Also my PFDs are one board so I really don't want any of them smelling like bug spray for the rest of the summer. Right now my plan is to get a tennis racket, thump the side of the boat and as they fly out of the small hole, wack 'em. Once they stop coming out, carefully remove the boat cover and prepare for hand-to-hand combat. Any and all suggestions welcomed. Thanks in advance.


Wasps nest and spider webs are signs that you need to sail more often. [:D] Unfortunately I encounter them as well. In my case it was just one or two wasps that started to build a nest. First I made sure that the wasp flew far away or I killed it and then I removed the started nest.

I think removal of the nest is what you are after. Killing each of them is probably not necessary. The problem is getting the wasps away without attacking you. How many wasps are in your boat? Where exactly is the wasps nest? Could you spray it with a water hose, while not getting attacked by the wasps?

Claus FS5074 Ames, IA

Actually I sail almost every Saturday. I missed one Saturday because of lack of wind and that is apparently when they moved in. (Other frequent sailors in our club have also experienced them over the last couple of weeks. Must be the time of the year!) I really don't know how many there are. When I started to remove the cover last Saturday, my face was close to the small tear and when they started flying out I reverted to Plan B; resecure the cover, move to a shady area, and have a beer or three. I may give the water hose a try. Thanks for your response.


Our club is notorious for all kinds of tropical 'things', including hornets/mud-dobbers and here is what we do.

Take an old butter tub, punch holes in the lid / put moth balls in the tub / put cover back on and place one in the front of the boat and one in the rear. We don't even take them out when sailing.

Really works !

Using mothballs also keep mice out of boats, campers, etc.

Thought I'd close the loop as to what happen to the wasps in my boat. A week ago I went to the lake and very gingerly removed the boat cover. A few wasps flew around but never got real aggressive. I gave them all the space they required. I removed the main from the boom and removed my PFDs and anything else I could remove with an extended boat hook. I replaced the cover all except the last zipper and a few snaps. I plugged any openings between the cover and the boat with rags, set off the fogger, and zipped the cover up. This past Sunday when I returned, there was not a wasp to be seen. The product I used was Deep Reach Fogger by Raid. No, I don't work for Raid nor do I own any company shares. The fogger is sold in a set of 3 small cans (about 1.5 oz)and one can was sufficient.
I also took Dennis' suggestion and placed some moth balls in small plastic containers and put one in the front and one in the rear of the boat to discourage any future inhabitants.
Thanks for everyones help.