By the time you start looking for tips and tricks on how to kill scorpions, it’s established – you’ve had one eight-legged intruder too many to chalk it up to happenstance and the hot weather you’ve been getting lately.
You have a scorpion problem.
As Macbeth said: ‘full of scorpions is my apartment – it’s driving me crazy!’… That’s what I took from Shakespeare anyway.
Either way, there’s a scorpion storm brewing and you want to bring the fight to them.
How to Kill Scorpions
It’s understandable, even if it does make me squeamish to think about fighting all those legs and pincers – so here is a breakdown of some of the most effective scorpion killers you can throw at them!
Seek and destroy
Let’s start with the nitty, gritty. You don’t want to just pick off the odd straggler that stumbles into your kitchen; you want to take them out at the source.
The best way to do this is to methodically search them out and kill each scorpion as you come across it.
Now, as we all know (from reading up on must know scorpion facts), the stingy creatures are reclusive and tend to hang around tight/hidden spots for safety and comfort.
This means you’ll have to do some waiting… but only until it’s dark, then it’s time to grab a high powered UV light, like this one, and hit them with both barrels of some pesticides, like Terro Scorpion Killer spray. This scorpion spray is hardcore effective and a must have.
Tip: It might be worth checking the skies before you head out to do some nocturnal arachnid head-rolling, however. Bear in mind that UV light will work best the darker it is.
This goes for the scorpions themselves, too; the darker it is, the more active they are, which is why we advise waiting until a new moon or less than half-moon night before heading out to hunt scorpions.
Cold, stormy or otherwise unpleasant nights, weather wise, will make it much more difficult to find any hidden scorpions, too. They might be horrid pests, but they have common sense. If it’s raining outside, they’ll prefer a cosy night in! Pick a hot, humid night for the best chance of catching them out and about.
Pierce through the body
Simple and to the point – if you want to get more hands-on with your scorpion disposal, you can do so with the right tool. Before approaching, however, you want to make sure that you’re protected by your clothing from any stings (wear pants, long sleeves and thick gloves) and that you’re not running the risk of stinging yourself while killing scorpions.
A long pair of tweezers or forceps from a hardware store can be perfect for holding a scorpion in place, from a safe distance, which then allows you to either chuck the critter out of harm’s way or to pierce with a sharp knife.
However, be very careful when disposing of the body, as the stinger can still puncture the skin and potentially poison you (plus, many scorpions are known to play dead as a safety mechanism)!
Use diatomaceous earth
It might sound like something from a sci-fi film, but diatomaceous earth is actually a fairly rudimentary and safe method of ridding yourself of pests generally and scorpions specifically – well, actually any pests with a hard, outer shell. Which is why it usually makes its way onto every “best scorpion killer” list.
That said, it’s a fairly indirect method of killing them, requiring the scorpion to wander into the wrong neighborhood, essentially.
Diatomaceous earth is a powder which works by affixing itself to the outside of any wandering scorpions that happen to trample through it and then dehydrating them from the outside in. Once the powder has attached, time does the rest.
Here’s how to kill scorpions with Diatomaceous earth:
Find the Scorpions’ Favorite Places
First, you want to locate the most heavily trafficked areas of your home or yard (it’s probably best to dabble in a little bit of night-time UV hunting to do this), as well as searching for any gaps and entryways into the house through window ledges etc.
Scatter the DE
Once you know where the scorpions are coming from: spread the DE liberally – the more the merrier. Don’t worry about any harmful side effects; the powder is completely naturally occurring and has zero effect over humans as long as you don’t go inhaling it.
Given that the powder doesn’t have an immediate effect on the scorpion, it’s best to cover as much ground as possible with the DE to ensure that the critters will pick up the granules. Spread evenly, with the help of a DE duster like this one…
Rinse and repeat the above process, making sure to return to some of the favoured scorpion spots to check the results. If successful, you should begin to find fewer culprits using your yard or home’s arachnid highways.
Re-coat problem areas as often as is necessary, even if the scorpion epidemic seems to have abated. There’s no harm in having a little extra insurance and keeping the pests at bay!
Clean Up the Bodies
Always remember to be extra careful when disposing of any dead bodies you find – even in a deeply dehydrated state, the carcass of a scorpion can still be dangerous to any exposed flesh!
Use boric acid
Similar to diatomaceous earth, boric acid is a powdered deterrent. However, rather than being an indirect scorpion killer like DE, boric acid is an active insecticide which will begin to work its destructive magic as soon as the unlucky scorpions cross paths with it.
It’s a fairly ‘weak’ scorpion pesticide, in regards to its potency; but it’s still strong enough to cause irritation and some other side-effects if it gets in contact with your skin. With that in mind, you want to be wary of where you spread the stuff.
Boric acid can also be dangerous for pets if inhaled or ingested so do not go this option if you have cats and dogs living with you!
Generally, it’s great for dusting and covering harder to reach areas, and some of those more obtuse cracks, gaps and crevices around the home (the ones that you or your children are unlikely to go rooting around in, but that might make a nice front door for a nomadic scorpion).
All the same stipulations about handling corpses apply!
Invest in glue traps
Those pesky scorpions are going to meet a sticky end. Or at least, a sticky middle-ground until you sweep in for the killing blow: glue traps are a fantastic method for catching mice, spiders and scorpions around the home – but they won’t kill them.
Always be wary of throwing away used glue traps, as it’s very likely the culprit is still alive and very, very angry at being stuck to the floor all night long.
A handy tip: scorpions and the like tend to favor corners; so toss a few of these down in some of the dark, dingy corners if your home and you might be surprised by what you find in the morning. Don’t expect the surprise to be pleasant.
Many retailers will also stock scorpion and creepy crawly bait which you can use in tandem with your glue traps; but failing that, you might find success in setting them up in bathrooms and kitchens where water and plumbing is usually found.
Use scorpion insecticide
If you’re like most people and would rather stick sticks in your eyes than actually approach, handle or otherwise interact with a scorpion, then scorpion insecticides may be the answer for you.
There are a great many different pesticides on the market that deal with scorpions effectively, each with different chemicals, ingredients and claims to natural elements.
It really depends on how much you want to spend, where you want to use the insecticide and how bad the scorpion problem is.
Two effective, popular brands for dealing with scorpions are the Cy-Kick CS pesticide which can be used both indoors and outdoors and lasts a fairly long time as well as the Onslaught FastCap Spider and Scorpion Insecticide.
Most insecticides will come with their own in-depth instructions for appropriate handling and distribution of the chemicals (you may have to purchase the actual dispensary equipment separately); but some ground rules are:
- Purchase and wear safety equipment. You don’t want to skimp on this part. Go for the full uniform: safety glasses, rubber boots and gloves and at the very least, some long-sleeved shirts and pants, if not a full boiler suit!
- Always follow the dilution and measurements that your chosen brand recommends – don’t try to gauge it by eye or guesswork as this could be dangerous, or result in an ineffective mix.
- If using outside – don’t spray the toxins on a windy or rainy day, as this could spread the insecticides into unwanted areas and cause problems for neighbors or other animal life.
- Always spray in a well-vented area and take appropriate precautions to make sure you’re not breathing in anymore of the chemicals than is necessary (even if the brand claims to be safe for humans and pets!).
- Always wash both your hands and the equipment thoroughly after use – many of these pesticides can be quickly absorbed through the skin, so it’s best to eradicate any risk as soon as possible.
- Only use as frequently as the brand instructions dictate. It can be tempting to keep liberally applying the chemicals in the troublesome spots, but overdoing it can have adverse effects for the environment and your safety. It’s best to consult the instructions and only reapply when it’s safe and recommended to do so.
And, above all else: do not use external-only pesticides within the home! It isn’t worth the risk.
Hire a scorpion pest control expert
If you’re particularly phobic, don’t have the time or just want to make sure that the job is done correctly, you could always hire a professional exterminator or pest control service to do the job for you.
Although this might wind up being the most costly option, it at least comes with some degree of guarantee and professionalism and spares you the time and effort that you’d need to spend to solve the problem on your own.
Plus, it shows the scorpions you mean business. You’re a fool if you don’t think that they all get together and gossip about us behind our backs.
And last but not least, there are some creative solutions you can use to kill scorpions…
Invest in some burlap bags!
We know by this point that scorpions love a good, heavy, dark shelter – which is why it’s always recommended to clear away any outside clutter such as potato sacks and construction bags which tend to get left over.
However, you can use this predilection for coarse materials to your advantage! A moistened burlap sack or some other heavy material will present a wonderful opportunity for any scorpions looking to settle in for the night.
Come the morning, simply (but carefully) dispose of the bag or material… Or stamp all over it like a kid in mud. The choice is yours.
Hire a bouncer
This is a semi-controversial tactic and (obviously) one with very inconsistent results: get a cat. Or a chicken.
Any owner of a hyperactive cat that loves to hunt will know that once it sets its sights on a disgusting insect/bird meal, there’s little you can do to stop it. So why not take advantage of this? Now, of course, if a cat is to get stung by a particularly skilled scorpion, it will hurt it something awful, but it’s unlikely that anything more deadly or serious will happen as a result (your mileage may vary!).
Apparently, another option is to keep chickens. Chickens are like smaller, feathery pigs in that they don’t fly and will eat just about anything you set in front of them. A free range chicken will gobble up insects and bugs like they’re going out of fashion – which puts a halt to the scorpions’ food source. Some particularly brave chickens have also been known to eat the scorpions themselves…
Great idea for a movie: Mega Chicken versus Giant Scorpion.
There you have it: although scorpions can be an unholy pain to keep at bay, there are many creative ways to kill them off when they become a problem. You can get as technical or medieval as you wish – or simply call in the professionals to get the job done.