Scorpions are easy to identify. They have four pairs of legs and pincers that look like little lobster claws. At the end of their long tails, they have a venom bulb. Although they come in many sizes and colors, most are usually pale gold or tan in color.
With over 1,500 species worldwide, 90 scorpion species exist in the U.S. and about 50 of them are dangerous to humans. According to a survey from HomeTeam Pest Defense, 68% of homeowners say that scorpions are the scariest pests. Although they are perceived as dangerous, the Arizona Bark Scorpion is the only species with venom that is deadly enough to kill a human. The stings of other scorpions most often result in swelling, numbness or tenderness of the area. The Arizona Bark Scorpion lives in the western U.S. from southern California, through Arizona and western New Mexico. It is usually yellow-brown, straw colored and less than 3 inches long.
Scorpions are nocturnal and can be found hiding in dark places throughout the day like lumber piles, brush and debris. A scorpion’s exoskeleton contains a protein that fluoresces and glows under an ultraviolet light. Black lights are great tools for identifying scorpions at night, when they are the most active.
Like most pests, scorpions are attracted to water and warmth. If you see a scorpion in your home, proceed cautiously. You may want to consider removing it with an empty container to avoid getting stung (remember to wear protective gloves), or call a pest control professional.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO PREVENT AND TREAT A SCORPION INFESTATION:
- Seal cracks and crevices around your home where a scorpion may be able to gain entry, and especially around doors and windows.
- Inspect cabinets and closets. Scorpions rest in dark places throughout the day and journey during the night.
- Clear away all brush, debris and lumber piles around the perimeter of your home. Keep firewood at least 30 feet away.
- Repair any leaky air conditioners and other outside water sources.
- Crickets are one of scorpion’s favorite foods. Eliminate crickets in and around your home to keep scorpions away. One way to do this is to turn off outdoor lights at night.
- Because of the nocturnal and cryptic nature of scorpions, treatment products may not always provide fast relief but can assist with long-term management. Consult with a local box retailer about the best type of product and treat active or suspected harborages, such as lumber piles.