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How do you keep scorpions out?

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#1 CMacD

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:48 AM

If I plan to move my trailer to a dry southern state I will have to contend with scorpions and tarantulas correct? Do they come out at night and attempt to enter trailers and observatories? What if the walls are low? Is it possible to keep them out? (I am glad that I will not be there most of the time - but they could make a mess, chew wires or something could they not?) What is the best way to deal with these little critters?

#2 Mirzam

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:57 AM

Use conduit to protect exterior wiring. I think the greater hazard will be mice, rats and maybe porcupines.

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#3 Binojunky

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:11 PM

A flame thrower,claymore mines also do the trick, :dabomb:DA.

#4 1965healy

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:33 PM

Use conduit to protect exterior wiring. I think the greater hazard will be mice, rats and maybe porcupines.

JimC

Insects such as fire ants, smaller spiders, wasps, bees etc are probably more apt than scorpions and tarantulas to try and make a home in or on your rig. The other concern would be birds who are attracted to anything that's shiny or may find your wiring attractive. The tighter it's sealed when closed and the fewer points of contact you have with the ground the better.

#5 korborh

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:44 PM

I have experience with scorpions and black widows which inhabit my backyard in sub-urban Phoenix. The spiders come out at night and only stay on their webs. Scorpions are somewhat more adventurous, but will not damage wires or chew on anything. Both are quite harmless in that regard, just sitting and waiting for prey to ambush. You need to eliminate their food source (cricket/roaches).

I use a UV flashlight to check an area to be sure its free of scorps. The only insecticide I have found working for scorpions is Cy-kick CS.

#6 CMacD

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 01:33 PM

I plan on making the rig as tight as possible. I will put nice tight screen on the air intake and exhaust. The exterior will be very shiny though - untreated aluminum. My only concern would be things either flying or crawling into it at night while the scopes are active. Are there any types of ultrasonic devices that are effective at keeping pests away? Seeing as how no humans will be in the vicinity it doesn't really make too much difference to me if the trailer is a bit noisy or not.

#7 korborh

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:39 PM

No, ultrasonic sound will not affect critters. Scorpions can get through amazingly tight spaces so you might have to seal every crack/crevice in the building. Along with spraying the perimeter with a good effective insecticide.
If you can keep the roaches/crickets out, that would go a long way. Those critters that are the most active in exploring and attracting the venomous ones. Small spiders may still find their way in and its hard to get rid of them.

I had my equipment out all summer in the yard but to my surprise never found critters going up the tripod. They hand out in the ground going about their business. The scorpions stay away from flat clear ground and prefer rock/crevices (hiding places).

#8 mich_al

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:05 PM

...ultrasonic sound will not affect critters.

True dat for mice. I don't know how they get away with advertising them as a repellent!

#9 Lorence

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:24 PM


...ultrasonic sound will not affect critters.

True dat for mice. I don't know how they get away with advertising them as a repellent!


There's a sucker born every minute.

This topic came up recently on another forum. Evidently the manufacturer knows the product doesn't work. They offer a money back guarantee to cover their butt. 700,000 sold 700 returned for a refund.

Another successful graduate of the Phineas Taylor Barnum school of Marketing.

#10 CMacD

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:33 PM


...ultrasonic sound will not affect critters.

True dat for mice. I don't know how they get away with advertising them as a repellent!

Devices like that are being used in donut establishments to repel the youth. The Mosquito I think they call it. Seems reasonable to me that something similar could be used on non-humans. About a month ago I had to leave a Tim Horton's because of one - man it was loud and annoying. Alas - another invention that they just haven't perfected :)

How about moth balls? They seem to last a long time and I know they keep mice away from my snowmobile :lol:

#11 csa/montana

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:38 PM

Are there any types of ultrasonic devices that are effective at keeping pests away?



I had zero luck with these devices for mice.

You might consider sticky traps around areas you are concerned about; just be sure no pets can reach them.

#12 CharlesW

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:10 PM

Crickets will be a far bigger problem. And sand dust. Blowing sand gets into everything, no matter how well it's sealed up.

#13 CMacD

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:17 PM

You might consider sticky traps around areas you are concerned about; just be sure no pets can reach them.


Sadly there may be no one around for months at a time with the trailer being remote and all. Sometimes I wonder if it would be easier to send a robot to the moon then make a remote trailer for earth :help: I wonder if there are things that work on the concept of a scarecrow? I have seen people put tin pie plates in trees to keep birds and such away?

#14 1965healy

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:31 AM

If you're going to park a few thousand dollars worth of equipment on an easily stolen trailer in the middle of nowhere the last thing you want to do is draw attention to it with shiny surfaces and moving objects. If you managed to get it to where it's parked someone else is apt to stumble across it, don't make it easy for them to spot. Still feel your best bet is to find a fellow astronomer who'd be willing to keep a close eye on it for you.

#15 Starhawk

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:46 AM

What exactly is this rig? House trailer?

-Rich

#16 1965healy

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:29 AM

What exactly is this rig? House trailer?

-Rich


Picture at beginning of thread about how many clear dark skies per year.

#17 CMacD

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:23 AM

If you're going to park a few thousand dollars worth of equipment on an easily stolen trailer in the middle of nowhere the last thing you want to do is draw attention to it with shiny surfaces and moving objects.

One problem at a time Rich! :) The aluminum surface is so it can track the ambient temperature well and provide better astronomical seeing. I actually considered painting it camouflage but seeing as how I would like to create the best mobile observatory first I decided to deal with the problems on an individual basis and possibly double up on feature/function where appropriate. As far as easily stolen is considered there are other features of the trailer that make it more difficult than just hitch up and drive away. Motion sensing security camera will be a first line of defense. The Foscam cameras allow you to video chat with people on the spot. I find most people are reasonable when you can talk to them "if" it ends up being in a place where others may "discover" it. There will be active GPS on board so I should be able to track it should it go on the move. The tires will be taken off when just sitting there and a lock mechanism will be on the front hitch so it will not be easy to attach. People steal million dollar works of art and break into bank vaults so theft is not outside the realm of possibilities for any of our observatories really.

Still feel your best bet is to find a fellow astronomer who'd be willing to keep a close eye on it for you.

You are preaching to the choir here. As I have mentioned before this is my first desire - however not so easy to acquire.

So, Have you ever tried moth balls as a means to deterring rodents from a piece of equipment before?

#18 csa/montana

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:52 AM

The sad part is if the wrong group stumbles across your setup; if they can't steal anything; they will amuse themselves with destroying it to the limit. I would never consider leaving equipment in a remote place unattended. If you got it in there, others can also access the site.

#19 korborh

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:38 AM

Unfriendly critters of the human kind was my biggest deterrent for going unattended.

#20 CMacD

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:32 PM

The sad part is if the wrong group stumbles across your setup; if they can't steal anything; they will amuse themselves with destroying it to the limit.

Yep. Agreed - very sad. Scorpions and rats are less destructive than human beings. :( Ultimately I will not be putting this anywhere that I feel is not safe.
I still need to keep pests out though. Mothballs?

#21 1965healy

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:50 PM

Mothballs might work, I'd research the effects of naphtha on optical coatings, electronics etc. The outgassing may be detrimental in a confined space under high temps. You could put them on the ground under/around it but they would probably degrade quicker or get washed/blown away. I'd also worry about their accidental effect on more benign critters.

#22 Littlegreenman

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:43 PM

Korborh posted: "The only insecticide I have found working for scorpions is Cy-kick CS."

Scorpions and spiders are not insects, but arachnids. Think lobster. Your typical insecticide is not very effective on them. The problem is the chemciclas that are effective also tend to be more toxic to humans. But if this is going to be a remote site without contant human precence, that is less important. But, apply with care.

We have few scorpions or tarantulas where I've live, but we do have lots of black widows. The danger is reaching into a nook or cranny and hitting their web. Usually they will scoot away.

LGM

#23 korborh

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:29 PM

Yup, arachnids. The insecticide is to kill their food (roaches/crickets) but probably does not affect the scorps directly. When the food is gone, the scorps tend to go away too. Other insecticides I have tried are very temporal only acting for a few days, while Cykick works for months.

#24 Mike E.

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:35 PM

Although probably not environmentalty correct, I would create a moat around the access points into the trailer.

1.) Pour a thin concrete slab with a brick high curb around each location, or perhaps use some type of appropriate size metal pans, etc.
2.) Set the trailer wheels and hitch stand, high up on blocks inside these moats.
3.) Fill the shallow moats with used oil, etc. creating a nasty barrier.

Of course, if your expecting rain, then you need to put in small plumbing traps to drain any water away from the bottom of the moats; water is heavier than oil after all.

Bugs don't like oil, at least thats my experience.

#25 CMacD

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

Although probably not environmentalty correct, I would create a moat around the access points into the trailer.
Bugs don't like oil, at least thats my experience.


Mike, that is a really neat idea. I like it a lot. The trailer sits on 4 jacks that can lift it as high as 3 feet above the ground. With a large bowl of motor oil at the foot of each jack that might just do the trick for all the crawly critters. The only real issues would be water, snow, and evaporation - if motor oil even evaporates. Up here in Canada we undercoat the bottoms of our cars with different formulations of oil to keep the rust at bay for all the salt that is put on the roads during winter. That might even be a good idea too.






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