Finding or seeing a scorpion unexpectedly can be a scary occurrence. Your best pest prevention tactic against this nasty critter is to learn about where scorpions live, what they look like, and what you can do to keep them away from your home.
Do I have to worry about scorpions where I live?
Possibly. Scorpions are known to prefer warmer climates (average temperature range of 68- 99 degrees Fahrenheit) though they are able to survive in most American areas. They have not migrated outside of the southern United States, but they can easily be transported in plants, flowers, shrubs or trees grown in the South and shipped elsewhere. They can live contentedly in any location that can provide moisture, food (typically other insects) and shade.
What do scorpions look like?
Scorpions range in length from just one inch up to seven. They have four sets of two legs and a two-part body: the head and the abdomen, which includes their segmented tail. The tail works like a universal joint and is commonly curled around above the abdomen in a “C” position, though it can move in any direction. Scorpions are also recognized by the set of proportionally large pinchers at the front of their heads.
When are scorpions active?
Most types of scorpions are nocturnal, which means they hunt for food and water at night. During the day, they will find a cool, dry, sheltered location to rest until nighttime.
What should I do if I see a scorpion?
Scorpions will try to sting you if they feel threatened. Therefore, if you see a scorpion, do not try to touch or handle it. If you believe you might have scorpions in your house, take precautions and do your best to avoid them until you can bring in a pest control service. This means checking your shoes, gloves and clothes before you put them on. Shake out any folded clothes, linens, or anything else before heavy handling. At nighttime, always wear hard-soled slippers. A handheld black light can help you see any present scorpions in advance of your approach, as the scorpion’s exoskeleton contains proteins that will cause it to glow brightly under a black light.
What should I do if a scorpion stings me?
Most scorpion stings happen when a human unknowingly disturbs one, either while it’s resting or out hunting for insects to eat. A scorpion sting is hard to mistake. You would feel the pain of a sting almost instantly. Commonly, a large welt will appear. Though it can take several hours for the scorpion’s venom to affect your body, you should seek medical treatment at an emergency room or doctor’s office immediately, especially if a child is stung.
How do I know if I have a scorpion infestation?
If you live in a warm, dry climate and have seen more than one scorpion a month or think you might be seeing both juvenile and adult scorpions, you may have an active infestation near or inside your home. It is possible that the scorpions are nesting outside but coming inside the house in search of water or shelter.
To control the scorpions, you can try home remedies like glue traps, bug zappers or pest control sprays designed specifically for scorpions. You will also want to make sure to check your home for small cracks or openings (as small as 1/16 of an inch). Treat and seal any openings you find. Pest control treatments designed for outdoor use should be utilized to prevent the pests from living around your home. There are many types of pest control and pest prevention products available, including green pest control products, for household use. You want to make sure you get the right product for your application site in order to get the best results and protection.
However, since scorpion stings can be painful and potentially dangerous, calling in a professional pest control service is recommended. A pest control service will know the specific types of pest control that should be used for your individual situation. They will have the equipment, safety gear and pest control products needed to keep you and your household safe. Further, they should be able to help you with an appropriate pest control prevention program to help prevent scorpions from living or nesting around your house.
~Ben Anton, 2010