You might be asking yourself, “What the heck is a weevil?”
I found myself asking the same question. Two months after Josh had brought home Agápē we started noticing very small beetles hanging out on the boat. At first we thought nothing of it. The beetles were tiny, 2 millimeters to be exact. They weren’t menacing or gross looking, the entomologist in me found them quite cute with their little pointed snouts. We’d spot one here, and there, in a cupboard, in a sink, under the floor boards… They weren’t swarming, it wasn’t like an ant infestation, or so I thought.
Josh began noticing them more and more frequently as he worked on small projects. He’d always mention seeing them again and I’d say “Well at least they’re not cockroaches!”, and we’d leave it at that. Until one day… specifically Josh’s birthday. We were out at Santa Cruz island with Josh’s parents for a 3 day weekend birthday celebration. After a beautiful day of hiking, stand up paddle boarding and swimming we headed back to the boat to clean up and cook dinner. Julie, Josh’s mom, was in the galley prepping a salad when I went to grab the pasta noodles from our dry storage area. And there they were! All four million of them…
I know you’re thinking we probably should have seen them sooner, but up until this point we hadn’t been living on the boat much, just day sails or an over nighter here and there. Most of our time on Agape up until this point was spent working on projects, not eating. Most of the food in the dry storage area was left over from Josh’s bash up from Mexico. We figured we’d leave the pasta, rice, and canned goods on the boat for island trips. BAD IDEA! Here in Southern California we don’t have to worry about removing goods from cardboard boxes before bringing them into our homes or pantries. We don’t freeze our rice, flour and grains before storing them on our shelves. Neither one of us had given second thought to leaving packaging on the food bought in mexico or leaving dry food in storage on the boat.
Well, in the two and a half months the rice and noodles sat in the dry storage, the weevils ran rampant. They had completely devoured several bags of noodles and rice, leaving only their remains in their wake. At first I wasn’t sure what I was even looking at. I picked up a large bag of rice to get to the spaghetti noodles below when I noticed the bag littered with black dots. Mold? No.. ants? No… Those damn beetles! Once I got a good look I turned on our light above the storage compartment. Millions… millions of those once cute beetles, now became instantly grotesque invaders. I went from a calm and loving wife intent on cooking a nice birthday dinner for my husband and family, to a crazed mad woman, dumping rice and noodles over board. I dumped what I could, and doubled and triple bagged the rest in trash bags. I went on a crazed hunt to seek out and destroy any beetle I could find. All thoughts of dinner went right out the window. It was war. An hour or so later I realized it was too late, the invasion was too great. I had lost this battle. I was going to have to deal with the fact that we had several thousand unwanted guests for the rest of the weekend and pick my next battle back on the home front.
We pieced together the random snacks we had on the boat for dinner, cheese, apples, tomatoes, ham… it was definitely not the birthday dinner we had planned.
Back at home the battle with the beetles was back on! This time we brought in chemical warfare, yet we totally underestimated the resiliency of these weevils. We decided we would first remove all food and then bug bomb the boat. We bought special bug bombs just for rice weevils and set three up inside the boat thinking that would be more than enough.
We were wrong. Three days later those bastards were still climbing out of the ceiling, up from the bilge, out of the mast, I kid you not, they were still EVERYWHERE! We then launched our third attack. We decided to take everything off the boat. I mean EVERYTHING! We emptied every cupboard, drawer, and storage area. We removed every pillow, cushion and mattress. We vacuumed up every possible area we could think of and see and rebombed the boat again. While we waited we tossed almost all the food, washed every dish and container. Vacuumed each pillow, cushion and mattress meticulously. Three days later we returned to Agape, opened the hatches and finally let out a victory cry!
Too soon… At first glance, tiny 2mm casualties littered the boat, it seemed we had won the war, but upon closer inspection we found dozens of survivors. My level of frustration was through the roof. I could not believe how much disdain I felt for such a small creature. We launched our final attack. One last go with chemical warfare. We used every bug bomb we had left! Two days later we had finally won the war. We celebrated and cheered, and Josh left to go back offshore for a week. Leaving me to put our boat back together again. It took me nearly a week to clean and put everything back together. I revaccumed every square inch, multiples time. I washed the floors, cupboards, shelves and polished all the wood (basically our entire interior). After cleaning every nook and cranny, I finally started bringing our stuff onboard again. Although I hated every minute of fighting these beetles, I’m sort of glad it happened. I don’t think we would have ever taken everything off the boat and done such a deep clean of Agápē if it wasn’t for those stupid weevils. Now I know every inch of our boat, I know where everything goes and where things are stored, and I know there is not one single weevil left on that boat!