You open the garage door to go inside and look down in time to spot a striped bark scorpion scurry into a pair of shoes left by the door. What do you do? Grab the closest object you can find and whack it? Run inside and grab the bug spray? Or run inside and forget you even saw a scorpion in the first place?
There are over 1500 species of scorpions, and according to Brittanica, they are most prevalent in desert-type settings. So, here in Arizona, you are bound to see a scorpion or two in your lifetime. The good news is that while most scorpion stings invoke only mild irritation, some swelling, and pain, the wounds heal on their own. The bad news is that one of the most common scorpion species found in Arizona – the Arizona Bark Scorpion– has a sting that can be lethal to humans. So back to the question. What do you do if you notice the arachnid, or arachnids, invading your home with the knowledge that a sting from some of them can have serious repercussions? To answer that, we must first understand what type of animal they are, where they live, and what they eat. Because pests only want the basics in life– food, shelter, and water.
Though closely related to insects, they are actually a part of the arachnid family. In the wild, they have an average lifespan of 3 to 8 years. They can be found all over the world in various habitats. They are nocturnal and most species are "sit and wait" predators that can go up to 12 months without food; they count dark and quiet places as their favorite hide-outs. Their diet includes small insects like spiders, crickets, and roaches; since they are so good at metabolizing what they eat, they rarely consume water. And with general information...here are 4 tips for getting rid of scorpion infestations.
Bug proof your home and your lawn. Scorpion infestations can be a lot to deal with so start small. Scorpions feed on small insects so professional pest control is a good idea. If you prefer DIY methods, visit your local hardware store to pick up some pest control basics. Think lawn treatments, and outdoor treatments to control insect populations. Be sure to take preventative measures to keep infestations from reoccurring. That means regular visits from the professionals or sticking to a treatment schedule that you create.
Nice and tidy lawns can help with scorpion control. Keep low-trimmed grass with minimal ground vegetation and tall weeds. Make sure drains and gutters are clear of debris. Move compost and woodpiles away from the house, or get rid of them altogether. Remember these creatures rest during the day so, debris like leaves and woodpiles are the perfect shelters for the little invaders.
Seal it uptight. Even the tiniest of cracks is an open invitation for critters to move in. Walk around the outside of your home to identify problem areas. Replace broken screens, damaged weather stripping, and door sweeps. Also, caulk crevices and cracks in the foundation of the house. This prevents new bugs of various types from joining the warm comforts of your home.
So far, you have taken away their food source, outside refuge and denied them access to the inside of your home. The only thing left is to remove the stragglers. Use black UV lights to identify hot spots and set sticky or bait traps to round up lingerers. Aerosol sprays like Terro Scorpion Killer kill scorpions on contact for a more direct approach.
Gertsch, W. John , Clarkson, . Jesse Dunsmore, Polis, Gary A., and Culin, Joseph (2020, October 29). Scorpion. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/animal/scorpion
National Geographic (2021). Scorpion. National Geographic online.
Mayo Clinic Staff (2019, September 06). Scorpion Sting. Mayo Clinic online.