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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
How do you keep scorpions out?
      #5604629 - 01/04/13 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?

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Mirzam
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: CMacD]
      #5604641 - 01/04/13 11:57 AM

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

JimC


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Binojunky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/25/10

Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5604656 - 01/04/13 12:11 PM

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

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1965healy
The Snarkster
*****

Reged: 06/23/07

Loc: San Antonio, TX
Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5604698 - 01/04/13 12:33 PM

Quote:

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.


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korborh
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5604717 - 01/04/13 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.


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: korborh]
      #5604811 - 01/04/13 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.

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korborh
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: CMacD]
      #5604937 - 01/04/13 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).


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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: korborh]
      #5604993 - 01/04/13 03:05 PM

Quote:


...ultrasonic sound will not affect critters.




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


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: mich_al]
      #5605021 - 01/04/13 03:24 PM

Quote:

Quote:


...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.


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: mich_al]
      #5605035 - 01/04/13 03:33 PM

Quote:

Quote:


...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

Edited by CMacD (01/04/13 04:07 PM)


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: CMacD]
      #5605439 - 01/04/13 07:38 PM

Quote:

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.


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CharlesW
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5605493 - 01/04/13 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.

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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5605596 - 01/04/13 09:17 PM

Quote:

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 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?


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1965healy
The Snarkster
*****

Reged: 06/23/07

Loc: San Antonio, TX
Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: CMacD]
      #5605905 - 01/05/13 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.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: 1965healy]
      #5605964 - 01/05/13 02:46 AM

What exactly is this rig? House trailer?

-Rich


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1965healy
The Snarkster
*****

Reged: 06/23/07

Loc: San Antonio, TX
Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5605980 - 01/05/13 03:29 AM

Quote:

What exactly is this rig? House trailer?

-Rich




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


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: 1965healy]
      #5606170 - 01/05/13 09:23 AM

Quote:

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.

Quote:

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?


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: How do you keep scorpions out? new [Re: CMacD]
      #5606310 - 01/05/13 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.

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korborh
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Re: How do you keep scorpions out? [Re: csa/montana]
      #5606402 - 01/05/13 11:38 AM

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

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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: How do you keep scorpions out? [Re: csa/montana]
      #5606510 - 01/05/13 12:32 PM

Quote:

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?


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