Pest Resources

How to keep ants out of trail cameras


This brief article will answer the question, “How to keep ants out of trail cameras” We will also discuss why ants are on your trail camera and what action you can take to prevent ants on your trail camera.

Let’s get started!

How do I keep ants out of my trail cam?

People who have been out with their trail camera in the summer when ants are in full swing and discovered an ant infestation would tell you how difficult it is keeping ants out of the trail camera.

Knowing exactly how to keep ants out of trail cameras and the electrical components inside the trail camera is the key to a successful day. We will show you how to keep ants out of trail cameras, so you are left with nothing but clear photos and videos further on in this article.

Why are ants attracted to trail cameras?


Why ants are attracted to a trail camera is still not fully understood. Trail cameras can be left in the woods for up to six months, plenty of time for an ant colony to move in, create a nest and lay eggs in trail cameras. It is thought that they are attracted to the heat produced by the trail camera’s electromagnetic fields, in particular batteries.

Ants can get in through small holes. Once inside the main housing, they can damage rubber seals and audio input, lay eggs in the housing and cause short circuits. If an ant dies in the battery compartment, you may be aware it sends off pheromones attracting other ants.

We feel we should advise you that the manufacturers’ camera warranty does not cover damage caused by ants to a trail camera.

Below are our tips to prevent damage to your trail camera by ants and techniques to stop ants from getting inside your own trail camera.

How to keep ants out of trail cameras without scaring off deer

We have found that Deer and Elk can be very cautious of unfamiliar smells; they see them as danger. You may have noticed a drop in the amount of deer you find. Therefore, spraying a pesticide around a tree is not a good idea if you want a deer to stay around.

Duct tape /Fly strips and dead insects

Dead insects attract an ant infestation to your trail camera because the ants are attracted to a food source. They must be removed before you use your trail camera again. Open the casing and Sd card and carefully dust off the dead insects with a small brush.

Sticky traps work well on flies, ok they do not look pretty full of dead insects, but they work. Wrap some fly strips or Duct tape around the middle of the tree and below your trail camera; it will stop ants from going up and down the tree. They will need replacing over time as moisture affects the stickiness.

Bay leaves

You will find Bay leaves repel most ants. The easiest way to keep ants away is by hanging Bay leaves from the camera. It will not kill ants, but they will stay away, and Bay leaves will provide some camouflage for the camera.

Bay leaves have a poor odor, but they are a natural smell for foraging animals like Deer and a better alternative than a pesticide, so you can still capture amazing photos of them.

Dryer sheets

Putting half a dryer sheet in the housing of your trail camera works. The trick is to use dryer sheets that are scent-free. You can buy them in hunting stores. It should stop the ants from chewing into the electronics of the camera housing.

We are unsure whether the hint of chemicals or the texture keeps the ants away, but it works.



Another easy method is to use Vaseline. One thing ants do not like is crawling through is Vaseline. Use a coat of Vaseline outside the camera case and on the mounting brackets.


Seal off openings on the Camera housing

Most trail cameras have holes in addition to the water-tight seals at the bottom of the case; an ant can gain access through them. Close any holes on the camera housing using silicone, Duct tape, electrical tape, or Vaseline.

How to keep ants out of trail cameras using Insecticides

Now the holes are closed, it’s not ideal due to scaring off Deer, etc., but you can use an insecticide on the tree strap of your trail camera. A product containing Permethrin is a popular choice. Also, spray above and below the trail camera directly on the tree and ground level.

An alternative is to spray insecticide onto cotton balls. Once they are dry, place them inside the camera housing and replace them regularly to ward off a foraging ant from your trail camera.

Some people place their trail cameras in steel boxes that can be sprayed with Permethrin to protect them from ants, bears, spiders, and squirrels.

How to keep ants out of trail cameras using Borax and sugar

Mix 3 parts sugar to one part Borax add a drop of warm water to make a paste. Soak some cotton wool balls and place them at the base of the tree.Borax-mixture

Foraging worker ants will be attracted to the sugar, so pick it up and take it back to the nest and colony, where it is fed to the entire colony. When ants eat the Borax, it damages the digestive system, killing the ants.

How long does Borax take to kill ants?

It requires patience; it can take two to three days for the entire ant colony to die.

Warning: Borax will also cause death to other insects in the area it is placed in.

 How to get rid of ants inside the trail camera

If you already have ants inside your camera, you may wonder how to get rid of them without damaging the camera. Most cameras can cope with low temperatures. Check first before following our advice.

Take the batteries and SD card out of the camera. Seal the camera in a freezer bag and place the bag in the freezer. The cold will kill the ants and their eggs inside the camera within one hour.

To remove any dead ants inside the camera after freezing, use a brush carefully in every nook and cranny of the camera.

When the hunting season has finished, take home all your game cameras and clean them in the ways suggested above.

And finally,

In the article, “How to keep ants out of trail cameras,” We presented a few DIY ways of fighting ants on trail cameras. Remember to use sticky fly or duct tape and remove dead ants and insects. Use repellents and seal off openings. Place the camera (if ok to do so) in the freezer. You should now be able to enjoy using your trail camera ant-free.

Good luck!

Ronald has 25 years of pest control experience under his belt. He scrutinizes each control method, product and process to prevent infestations effectively. 

Read more here.

Most Popular Articles