Have you ever put hours into mounting your security cameras just to wake up in the morning and review hours of spider video triggered by motion alerts?
If you can relate to this post on Imgur, then we can help. We’ve compiled the best ways to get rid of spider webs in one place for you to try.
In this post, we’ll cover the following:
Why do spiders love security cameras so much?
To fix the problem, it helps to understand the root cause.
First, spiders don’t love cameras.
They love bugs!
And bugs love your cameras. If you’re lost, just give me a little rope here.
Many nocturnal bugs like moths use the light of the moon and stars to navigate and are also attracted to infrared light. Yes, the same infrared light that your cameras use to illuminate things outside at night.
So, as long as the infrared LEDs are enabled on your camera, you are going to have problems with attracting bugs, and therefore, the spiders that eat them.
Couple that with most cameras being sheltered under eaves from rain with handy places to attach a web, and you’ve got a dandy place for a spider to set up shop.
Why not just use pesticides on your spiders?
Well, for one, some people have pets and small children around and don’t want to take the risk of poisoning a loved one.
Aside from that and compounding our problem, spiders are notoriously tough to poison.
It turns out that spiders can tiptoe through pesticide barriers, getting very little exposure to the chemicals. Then, they don’t groom themselves to ingest poisons on their legs. So, they rarely die from the exposure.
The Best Ways to Keep Spiders Away From Cameras
Alright, enough about the whys, let’s get into the hows. As in, how to get rid of them.
Just be forewarned:
Most of these techniques are going to be temporary, and you may have to reapply as needed.
I’ve divided them up so that if you choose, you can escalate your level of response and avoid some pretty nasty and persistent chemicals. Or, just go nuclear winter from the start, your call.
For those that don’t want to play around, you can start with the heavy stuff first.
Pro Strength Pesticides
The first recommendation is often used by farmers around livestock barns. Take a clue that its recommended use is far away from people. Country Vet CV-80D is designed to be potent and long duration.
Bifen (or Befenthrin) is often used against fire ants and is restricted to low concentrations. It also has the longest residual time in soil of insecticides on the market, so it’s nasty stuff that can hang around a while.
Ortho Home Defense Max pairs this with other chemicals to help it persist longer where it is applied, but it is also available as Transport, Brigade, Torant, and Zipak. All of them should give you decent persistence for a camera under your eaves. Exposed to the rain, good luck.
Import nuclear cooling water from the Fukushima nuclear plant. I read they are pumping it out and storing it into huge tanks and stacking them all over the plant. I’m sure they could use the extra space.
OK, had to throw at least one in to keep you awake!
For those that don’t want to go all out on the first salvo, there are some other options available that aren’t as persistent or poisonous.
You can also try using a fan to deter spiders. It will make it tough for them to build webs and also keep flying insects from coming too close.
No food = no spiders
What you may be able to do is to get a cheap computer fan and connect it to your camera’s power connector. Obviously, you’ll have to check for compatible voltages, but the low current draw should not cause you trouble drawing too much power.
Flea and Spider Collars?
If they work on fleas, why not spiders, right?
Why not try looping a flea and tick collar around your camera. I’ve seen in some forums where people had good luck with them.
Spontaneous Breakdancing May Occur
Many, many sources recommend some type of lubricant to deter spiders. You can use silicon or Teflon spray to cover the body of the camera.
Just be sure to keep it off of your lens. You can use a paper towel to cover it while you spray it. Or, use a brush or rag to rub it on the camera.
Another recommendation that will hang around for longer and is cheap is Vaseline.
As anyone who has run rodents out of a house knows, moth balls can be very effective deterrents for animals. Simply toss a few in an old pair of panty hose or spare screen material and use a zip tie or rubber band to attach them to your camera.
They should buy you a few months if they’re out of the rain.
For the Monks Among Us
Don’t want to hurt the cute, little spiders?
You may not be totally out of luck, even if you are out of your mind.
If you want them to stick around and catch mosquitoes but not perform for your camera, these ideas may be just right for you.
Static Free = Spider Free?
Attach a drier sheet around the cameras. The strong smell will keep spiders away from cameras as long as it lasts. One helpful tip is to use a rubber band to hold it on and then you know you need to change it when the rubber band breaks.
Vinegar, Cleaning and Bug Deterrent Wonder Liquid
Popular as a cheap, non-toxic cleaner, vinegar can also be good at deterring bugs. But, this one will depend on which insects your particular spider is feasting on.
Supposedly, vinegar can smell like rotting fruit and attract some types of flies.
In other words, YMMV!
Surrender! Wait a minute . . .
Since the IR LEDs are attracting the bugs, why not just disable them? If you buy a low lux camera, then you may not miss the extra light from the IR LEDs.
If you don’t know what “low lux” is, check out our camera buying guide.
Why not just relocate your problem?
If your camera allows it, you can disable to IR LEDs on the camera and mount an external illuminator several feet away. If you buy a quality unit (here’s a well rated one), you’ll get better performance (illumination distance) AND avoid the spider problems.
One natural remedy that I’ve seen is a solution of white vinegar, horse chestnut oil and peppermint. Mix it together and use a bottle to spray it around the area.
Be sure to avoid the actual camera because the oils and plastic may not play nicely together, brush a thin layer of solution around the outside of the camera and surrounding area. Spiders hate it and will stay well away. I successfully got rid of my epidemic using these things.
Fight Them with . . . Lemons
Citrus oil is also a good fix for a few months. Again, it may react with plastic so be careful where you put it or test it in an inconspicuous area first. If you’re putting it on brick siding, it may be the best natural solution for you.
Another out of the box idea is to make a new home for your spider. Gardeners use spider houses to control where spiders built and still control pests. So, there’s no reason you couldn’t give your spider an attractive home nearby.
The house can be any round(ish) structure about 12″ across with a small roof to protect the web from rain. Once you get an alpha spider living on your “house,” he’ll do the work of keeping the other spiders away.
Just be sure it’s out of the elements and there’s plenty of bugs around to eat and your spider may be content to stay out of the limelight.
Swarm Attack . . . er, Defense!
Finally, if nothing else you try works, just increase the camera to spider ratio. That way, not matter what night it is, you’ll always have at least one unobstructed view of any perps sneaking through your yard.
Though after seeing this picture, you may decide that you’ve underestimated their ability to cover all of your locations.
I'm ready to go full nuclear on spiders
Hi, I’m Jody. I graduated with honors with a Masters of Science in Computer Engineering and have over 15 years of experience working as an engineer with electronics products. I’m a lifelong learner and tinkerer and enjoy automating things around the house so I can solve bigger problems than getting out of bed to check if the garage door is closed . . . like too little sleep!