semi-OT: deterring critters in the obsy

Dale Ghent

I've been running my club's domed observatory for a while now and one of the things I've added is a large machine/tooling dust cover to the setup while it's not in use. It's breathable (there is always air circulating in the obsy with a dehumidifier) and the intent is to keep the various bits of dust and debris that blow in under the dome ring from settling on the OTA and mount. The occasional mud dauber will also find its way in and start constructing its nest on the underside of the dome, raining dirt down on things below. All in all it has been working great for that and the OTA and mount remain quite clean.

One thing I've noticed, though, is that spiders also like the cover and I now find myself having to clear out webs and bits of spider silk more often than I've had to in the past. I like our spider friends as they keep other insects in check, but I just don't like them using a TOA-150 and 1200GTO as a frame for their constructions. I've been thinking of chemical deterrents and have thought of hanging a cotton bag with a block of camphor in it underneath the rig, but I'm not sure if that's the best maneuver or even wise given the outgassing of camphor. Mothballs are right out due to all their carcinogenic reasons. Has anyone had this problem before and have found a suitable deterrent?


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