Scorpion stings are reported regularly to poison control centers throughout the Southwestern U.S., and while systemic health problems or deaths rarely occur, it can be a rather painful experience.
In this informative guide to scorpion control, our experts teach you:
- How To Eliminate a Scorpion Infestation
- How To Prevent Them From Entering Your Home
- How to Correctly Identify Scorpions
- The Dangers of Scorpions and What To Do if You Are Stung
How To Get Rid of Scorpions in Your Home
DIY scorpion control involves the same techniques the pros use. Unfortunately, since this stinging pest is a challenge to get rid of, no shortcuts are currently available.
Professional exterminators start with a thorough inspection, and so should you. It is the only way to identify whether you have a scorpion infestation.
Start with these areas of your home:
- Crawl spaces
- Dark places, including closets and storage rooms
When sifting through piles of clothes, use welder’s gloves to protect your hands from stings. Also, since scorpions are excellent climbers, it is best to check hanging clothing as well.
Dead roaches with dismembered bodies can indicate a scorpion problem. Likewise, any live ones caught on sticky traps will help you identify possible nesting locations.
3. Outside Treatment
Once you identify the problem, it is time to clean out the infestation. The best way to do that is by knocking each nest down using a residual insecticide spray.
Fortunately, you do not have to locate each one. The liquid active ingredients will penetrate where scorpions hide. All you have to do is ensure enough coverage throughout your property.
Start with a 10-foot perimeter spray around the entire house. Be sure to get between the foundation and the ground. Next, switch to a two-foot-wide spray to cover the outside window sills, door frames, and patio trim.
For scorpions, the wider the defensive perimeter, the better. For that reason, be sure to treat garages, storage sheds, and decorative rock gardens according to label directions.
4. Indoor Treatment
Spot treat plumbing access areas to fill in gaps around pipe entry points. Also, be sure to get behind toilets, appliances, and underneath washing machines.
Diatomaceous Earth for Scorpions
The use of diatomaceous earth to kill scorpions is a best-kept secret among professional exterminators. This naturally occurring product contains diatoms mined from dry lake beds. It works by tearing the scorpion’s exoskeleton, causing it to dehydrate and eventually die.
Use a Bellows Duster to apply diatomaceous earth into cracks, crevices, and wall voids. In addition, you can utilize it as a broadcast insecticide for attics and crawl spaces. To do that, use a large pump duster to treat fiberglass insulation where scorpions like to nest.
5. DIY Scorpion Repellents
Natural scorpion repellents are available as an alternative to chemical pesticides. They typically contain essential oil ingredients, including:
You can also make your own. Add one drop of each oil into a 32-ounce spray bottle full of water and shake well. Next, treat these common problem areas:
- Exposed plumbing areas
- Window sills
- Outside perimeter
6. Follow-up and Monitoring
Check at least once a week for live scorpion activity. You can use a blacklight to aid in their detection since they give off a fluorescent glow at night. In addition, you can employ sticky traps throughout the home for widespread monitoring.
How to Keep Scorpions Out of Your Home
It takes an integrated approach to keep scorpions out of your home. Here, our pest control experts show you how to accomplish exactly that with minimal effort.
1. Limiting Food Sources
Scorpions eat a variety of crawling insects, spiders, and other scorpions. Use a granular insecticide bait containing boric acid for broadcast applications outdoors. These products target many types of insects, limiting the scorpion’s food sources.
Also, spray the outside perimeter with a wettable powder insecticide spray. For a longer-lasting residual effect, employ a microcap product instead.
2. Habitat Modification
Scorpions are ambush predators, so they use any cover they can for that purpose. They also have an inherent need to hide from their enemies. For those reasons, scorpions constantly seek shelter.
Here are the simplest ways to keep them from taking refuge inside personal items:
- Avoid leaving shoes and other clothing outdoors
- When swimming, be sure to shake out your towel before drying off
- Rotate stored items in boxes regularly, especially within attics
- Keep linens, shoes, and clothing off the floor
- Clean and organize closets
For outdoor areas, follow these guidelines to limit scorpion hiding places around your home:
- Store firewood outdoors, away from your house. Also, be sure to check for scorpions before bringing it inside.
- Remove yard debris such as trash, logs, and mulch. Scorpions also love to hide under pine needles, so it is best not to let them accumulate.
- Trim tree branches to limit access to your roof. This step prevents rodents and wildlife from entering attic spaces as well.
- Repair outdoor plumbing leaks since scorpions are attracted to moist areas, especially within desert environments.
3. Exclusion Methods
Scorpions enter houses through several openings. To seal them out, follow these steps:
- Make sure weather stripping fits tightly around windows and doors.
- Seal pipe entry points where scorpions travel along plumbing lines.
- Seal cracks along foundation walls.
- Caulk around window sills and door jambs.
- Switch to yellow outdoor lighting to attract fewer insects, which are the favorite food of scorpions.
Glue traps work well for scorpion monitoring as well as for other crawling pests. Mice glue traps are a good choice. Just be sure to fold them over per label directions, protecting them from dust, pets, and curious children.
Set them up in these locations inside your home:
- Under beds
- In closets
- Behind toilets
- Under sinks
- Attics and storage rooms
- Basements and crawl spaces
Finding one or two scorpions per year is not usually enough to signal an infestation. However, full glue traps in more than one room means you have a severe scorpion problem.
5. Chemical Barriers
Liquid pesticide barriers help seal the gaps that mechanical exclusion techniques miss. Choose a pyrethrin-based, residual insecticide with a micro-cap formula to achieve the best results.
Spray areas between the foundation and the house. A band 10 feet wide around the entire structure is optimal. Likewise, apply it to entryways, windowsills, and patio areas to obtain maximum coverage.
How To Identify Scorpions
Identification is the first step to eliminating any pest, including scorpions. Here, we show you their basic identifying features, habitat, and behaviors.
You can find scorpions mainly in these five states:
- New Mexico
Scorpions are predatory arachnids that feed on several crawling bugs, including:
- Other scorpions
They also, on occasion, bring down vertebrate animals, such as:
Scorpions are nocturnal, meaning they are primarily active at night. However, when a nest experiences population pressure, you can see them during the day as well.
Scorpions grow between one and three inches in length. Depending on the species, they are light yellowish-tan to dark brown. Regardless, no matter where they come from, they all have one pair of pincers, four pairs of legs, and a long tail with a sharp stinger.
Scorpions burrow into the ground, nesting under rocks and other natural objects. They are attracted to swimming pools and irrigation systems due to the high moisture content. In addition, they seek out easy access to attics, crawl spaces, and closets.
They also inhabit these locations:
- Tree bark
- Under loose boards
- Palm trees
- Pool equipment boxes
The majority of scorpion species found in the U.S. mate during spring or fall. Gestation typically lasts two to three months, on average, and one female can produce a brood of between 25 and 35 young.
Scorpions go through a live-birth process. When born, they look like a smaller version of the adults. One exception is, they do not yet possess a stinger.
Also, they ride on their mother’s back until their first molt. After that, they molt up to five more times while becoming increasingly independent each time. Despite that, they will continue seeking the safety of the mother, especially when threatened by predators.
It takes about two years for scorpions to reach sexual maturity. After that, they can live up to 15 years or more as adults.
Are Scorpions Dangerous?
Arizona bark scorpions have the most potent venom of any scorpion species in North America. Still, they prefer to use their pincers to overpower their prey. This strategy conserves venom, which can take up to two weeks to replenish.
Humans who are stung typically recover within about 30 minutes. Symptoms include localized pain and swelling.
With that said, a painful sting from a bark scorpion can be serious for those allergic to bee stings. Also, small children are equally at risk for health complications. That is why vulnerable people must seek medical treatment immediately.
Since antivenoms are widely distributed throughout the U.S., treatments are readily available. As a result, there have only been a few deaths from scorpion stings reported in the last 50 years.
What To Do if You Are Stung:
- Clean the local area of the sting with soap and water
- Ice the area for 10 minutes. Then, take the ice off for 10 minutes. Repeat the process one time.
- Keep the bite area still to prevent the spread of venom
- Administer a mild antihistamine if permitted by a physician
Seek immediate medical assistance if any of these symptoms are present:
- Difficulty breathing
- Excessive drooling
- Increased heart rate
- Incontinence (difficulty holding urine)
- Muscle spasms
- Anxiety or seizures
- Abdominal cramps
Scorpions burrow into the ground, nesting under rocks and other natural objects. They are attracted to swimming pools and irrigation systems due to the high moisture content.
One Last Thought
Now, you are armed with the essential information pest control professionals use to get rid of scorpions. But keep in mind, there is a lot of work involved. Further, controlling them can be an ongoing chore if you live in an area where scorpions are a regular menace.
Therefore, it may be worthwhile to seek the help of a professional, especially if you have better things to do than fight scorpions on the weekends.
Be sure to find a qualified pest control company that is licensed, bonded, and insured in your state. In addition, your local branch of the Better Business Bureau can provide you with all kinds of great information.
Likewise, you can go here to find out what our expert reviewers have to say about the top-ranked pest control companies in your area.