Forums Telescopes Spiders

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    Graeme Coates

    Unfortunately, the 8 legged kind, but it is Newtonian related…(and hopefully not too frivolous!).

    My dome seems to regularly get infested with spiders (mostly Daddy long legs spiders – Pholcus phalangioides) who seem intent on turning my observatory into some kind of Halloween, web filled mess – usually deciding to take up residence down the light path of my Newtonian. It’s a proper pain, not to mention the spider poo that lands up covering everything (primary included).

    That along with the snails that also crawl over all over the floor, walls and inside of dome…

    Does anyone else have similar issues? Is it just to do with the construction of my dome, and any tips, short of finding more time to use it and going round with a duster more often (and working out how to make a mirror cover fit…)? I’ve used several observatories before but never noticed a similar issue…

    Roy Hughes

    can’t help with the spiders but…
    The self-adhesive copper tape sold by garden centres (and of course the online market place of your choice) may provide a snail free floor.

    Graeme Coates

    That’s a good idea, thanks – I fully expect that the snails enter through the gap between dome and base looking for a cool place to hide with plenty of condensation on the inside, so potentially (after a good eviction session…) that may prevent re-entry… Certainly beats having to waste beer on a trap in the dome!

    Dr Paul Leyland

    I’d go for the cover approach: compensation not eradication. Not sure whether copper causes snails actual harm or just mild discomfort and consequent deterrence.

    My problem isn’t webs but gecko shit. Again, all I do is cover up and sweep away anything left behind.

    Both spiders and geckos do a wonderful job at keeping insects under control and I actively encourage them to live with me.

    Graeme Coates

    Already have a large cover on it when not in use, in addition to Scopeshroud covers round the truss portions, but this doesn’t seem to deter them…

    The cover may well encourage the spiders to take up residence I guess, but it’s the lesser of two evils perhaps versus protection against snail poo and any potential water ingress. I’ve used a truss newt before with a tarp over the top when not in use and don’t recall such an issue.

    No geckos to deal with in Oxfordshire however!

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