All scorpions fluoresce under ultraviolet light. Some sting with venom. Others spook us with their uncanny ability to survive the harshest conditions. Maybe that’s why scorpions are often featured in scary movies and science fiction.
But here’s a real nightmare: a scorpion infestation in your home or yard.
Summertime is peak season for scorpion pest control, according to Ricardo Plasencia, an entomologist and technical director for the West Region at HomeTeam Pest Defense. Scorpions tend to be inactive when temperatures are cool, and they’re more likely to be out and about and looking for new habitats when the weather is warm.
Scorpions are arthropods, which are members of the class Arachnida and closely related to spiders, mites and ticks. Scorpions can survive in inhospitable environments, and have a lifespan of about three years. These nocturnal predators feed on crickets and spiders – sometimes mice or even other scorpions. They can survive as long as a year having had as little as a single meal of one insect. Researchers have frozen scorpions, thawed them in the sun, and watched them walk away.
There are about 90 different kinds of scorpions in the U.S., but three species tend to turn up as pests in homes and yards:
Scorpions are typically not aggressive and won’t bite unless disturbed or cornered. There have been instances where people have unintentionally disturbed a scorpion that burrowed into a closet or under folded linens, triggering a bite.
Bites from the types of scorpions found in the U.S. are rarely fatal. “The bark scorpion’s bite is a little more severe than a wasp or a bee sting, and is most likely to be fatal only to a young or elderly person, or someone who has an allergic reaction,” Ric said.
Scorpion Pest Control
Scorpions tend to turn up in older neighborhoods that are lush with vegetation, where they can find places to hide. “Newer developments tend to drive scorpions out, but once vegetation returns, you may have more of a problem,” Ric said.
If you spot a scorpion in your home or yard, check the area for potential scorpion habitats or feed
sources. Scorpions love to climb and hide inside palm trees. Decorative boulders, which may offer moisture and shelter, are another attraction. Integrative pest management is one of the best ways to help combat a scorpion infestation, as scorpions are difficult to control with insecticides alone.
“The first line of defense is to cut off their food sources,” Ric said. “Also, remove potential hiding places. Scorpions like moisture and dark, enclosed spaces. Check areas that might harbor moisture – around pool equipment, piles of wood or lumber, or under rocks or boulders. Even if it hasn’t rained for a month, you might find some moisture in those areas.”
Here are Ric’s scorpion pest control prevention tips.
For more information on scorpion prevention, check out our video. If you have a scorpion infestation or need to remove a scorpion from your home, you may need expert assistance. HomeTeam professionals can provide the safest, most effective methods of scorpion pest control – as well as recommendations for a preventive pest control plan. Contact us today!