I found a scorpion in my house…are there more? This is the most common question asked by anyone who’s ever discovered a scorpion in the house.
That is, after you scream like a little girl, jump on a bed or chair, and throw something at the eight-legged home invasion. No shame in this, by the way, we’ve all done it.
But once you’ve recovered from the initial shock, you may cycle through a range of emotions. First, extreme worry that you may have a scorpion infestation on your hands. Then, hope that it was a lone scorpion who didn’t have any friends and family.
And then the fearful question: “If I found one scorpion, are there more lurking nearby?”
Before your mind wanders further to all kinds of skin-crawling assumptions about your home and the surrounding environment, let’s put this matter to rest.
Here are a couple things you need to know about scorpions.
Do Scorpions Live in Groups?
Let’s start with the good news: Scorpions aren’t social creatures. Unlike ants or bees, they don’t have a queen nor do they live in a colony. Unlike bed bugs, they don’t release pheromones that signal safe places for them to nest together.
Scorpions are lone wolf individualists who prefer to live, hunt, and sleep alone. The only times scorpions actively seek out other scorpions is to mate.
So if you found one scorpion, it’s not likely that it brought friends and family with it.
But before you break out the champagne, there is an exception: bark scorpions. Bark scorpions are the only social scorpion that’s likely to be found in urban areas.
What Time of Year Is It?
Even bark scorpions aren’t always social – they tend to come together out of necessity. For example, during the winter, they will congregate in a nest of up to 30 scorpions to hibernate together.
So if it’s approaching the colder months and the scorpion you found in your home is a bark scorpion, there is a good chance that there are more nearby.
Even during the warm summer months, bark scorpions may hunt and live alone but they tend to not venture too far from one another. After all, they’ll all need the warmth of a larger group when it comes time to hibernate.
How Do Scorpions Get in the House?
Since scorpions prefer to live and hunt alone, there is a good chance that the scorpion you found was a solitary visitor. Finding just one scorpion doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got an infestation on your hands.
But here’s the thing: if one got in, that means more can follow.
Finding a scorpion in your home is alarming for exactly this reason. It means that your house is an attractive opportunity for at least one scorpion so it stands to reason that any other stragglers that may happen by will think the same.
Where Do Scorpions Come From?
Scorpions don’t have any burning desire to see the world. In fact, these solitary creatures don’t like to stray far from their home at all.
As such, scorpions move very little in their lifetime. One observational study found that in a period of two hours, the maximum travel distance of a scorpion was 104.37 meters. That’s just a little over a hundred yards.
For the most part, scorpions don’t tend to travel far. So if you found a scorpion in your home, it probably came from somewhere close by. That means the immediate area around your home could be a hospitable place for scorpions to live and breed.
Is it a Baby Scorpion?
Last but not least, if it’s a baby scorpion in the house that you’ve found, there’s a very good chance that there are more nearby. And that’s not good news. Here’s why:
- Scorpions have give birth to a lot of babies in one brood. A single female scorpion can have anywhere between two to a hundred babies at one time.
- Baby scorpions are carried by the mother. When new born, scorpions cling to their mother’s back like a bus and are transported around until their first exoskeletal molt – after that point, they’re on their own. If this happened in your home, there may be lots of little siblings around.
- Baby scorpions can sting too. Even baby scorpions can have painful stings so even if the little scorpling may look relatively harmless, handle very carefully, especially since…
- Scorpling stings can be very painful. A baby scorpion hasn’t yet learned how to be quick and strategic when striking. As such, they can inject more venom than an adult scorpion would.
- Baby scorpions may not fluoresce. This is possibly the worst news of all – newly molted scorpions don’t fluoresce until they have aged a while, which can make finding more of them a challenge.
All in all, finding a baby scorpion in the house is a very good indicator that there are more.
I Found a Scorpion in My House. Are There More?
Just because you found a scorpion in the house, it doesn’t necessarily mean there are more. Whether you do or don’t have more scorpions in the house depends on factors like:
- The type of scorpion you found. Most scorpions live and hunt alone. The exception is the bark scorpion.
- How the scorpion got in. If your house has lots of cracks and crevices for scorpions to squeeze through, the more likely it is to attract more than one scorpion visitor.
- What’s the weather outside. In the colder months, scorpions are looking for warm, safe places to hibernate. In times of drought, scorpions are looking for access to water. A human home makes an ideal spot.
- How scorpion friendly your lawn is. Scorpions don’t travel far so if you find one in your home, that means it probably came from the immediate outdoors. If your lawn has rotting wood, plenty of insects, damp and dark places, it is a scorpion-friendly zone.
- How attractive your home is. What would convince a scorpion to move into a human home to begin with? Think: dark, quiet places, plenty of bugs to eat, and a source of water.
- Other signs of scorpions. A scorpion infestation will leave some clues so you’ll want to check if you’ve seen any other signs of scorpions around your property.
- Finding a baby scorpion. If it’s a baby scorpion that you’ve found, it’s been carried on its mother’s back along with its multiple siblings. The worst is that they may all have reached maturity in your home.
Overall, finding a single scorpion in your home does not mean you have an infestation on your hands. But it does mean two very important things: That your house and lawn is an attractive place for scorpions. And that there are entryways into your home for scorpions to get into.
We’ll get to that in a bit. But first, let’s address this matter of whether there are more scorpions lurking around.
How to Find Scorpions
Aside from patiently waiting for more to show up in your home and confirm your theory, the only way to know if there are more scorpions in the area is to find them yourself. Here are your three options to do this.
Call a scorpion professional
The first option to check for more scorpions is to call a professional in to do so. Scorpion pest control costs tend to range from $200 to $300, with $250 being the national average.
As you can see, this is the priciest choice but may be for you if you’re a rational, normal human being who is terrified of arachnids of all shapes and sizes.
In the interests of balance, though, I need to assume that some of you aren’t big chickens like myself, and would like to take matters into your own hands.
Look for scorpions yourself
If you handle the DIY route, you can definitely do a scorpion inspection yourself.
The best way to do so is to wait until dark and use a UV flashlight or other light source to scan your home and its surroundings.
Scorpions are notoriously stealthy (until one scares the daylights out of you); so this should, theoretically, catch them in the act of feeding/hunting/lounging around on your premises.
Here’s a full guide to hunting scorpions without hurting yourself in the process.
Set traps and monitor them
A passive option that can alert you to the presence of more scorpions in the house is to lay glue traps. Scorpion glue traps are a pesticide-free, effective and affordable way to catch any scorpions that may be wandering around your house.
Set the traps in dark, preferably humid, areas that scorpions are going to be drawn to and be sure to monitor them frequently.
Keep in mind that glue traps don’t actually kill scorpions so when you find a scorpion stuck in the trap, it’s going to be alive and angry. Handle with care.
What to Do If You Find a Scorpion in the House
Your tranquil evening has been ruined by an overabundance of stingers and creepy crab-like pincers. If you’re like most people, you’re going to feel an instinct to panic.
Most scorpions don’t have venom that is toxic enough to kill you. Plus, scorpions generally won’t attack unless provoked. So the first thing to do if you find a scorpion in the house is to stay calm.
The next step, of course, is to get rid of it. You have two options here: you can remove the scorpion and release it outside or you can kill it.
How to Remove a Scorpion
- Use a broom and dustpan. Not any dustpan will do – if you live in an area with scorpions, it’s wise to invest in something like this that will keep a scorpion tucked safely inside so you can remove it.
- Grab a jar or bowl. Another option is to place a container like a jar or bowl over the scorpion and then slide a sturdy piece of paper, cardboard, or plastic underneath the container. Flip the whole thing over and take it outside.
- Use long forceps. If you live in scorpion territory, a pair of long tongs is a very good investment. You can get ones that are 24 inches long so you never need to risk getting too close. Long tongs work just as well. So do long tweezers.
These are all quick and humane methods to remove a scorpion from the house. But what if you want to make sure it will never return? Well, then you’ll want to know how to quickly and safely kill a scorpion.
How to Kill a Scorpion
If you choose the kill option, make sure you’re protected. Even if you’re not directly handling the scorpion with your bare hands, wear thick gloves and make sure you’re wearing actual shoes.
When it comes to killing scorpions, you’ve got a couple great options:
- Spray it to death. There are contact sprays like Black Flag Scorpion Killer or Terro Scorpion Killer that will quickly kill scorpions without you needing to get too close. It takes a couple minutes but it’s a sure kill.
- Use tweezers. You can use the long-handled tongs, forceps or tweezers to hold the scorpion in place and then pierce it with a sharp knife or the sharp tweezers themselves.
- Smash and twist. If all you have is a sturdy shoe or a thick book nearby, you can kill a scorpion with a blunt object. Just make sure you crush and twist to make sure it’s completely dead since many scorpions can flatten themselves as thin as a coin.
Keep in mind that even a dead scorpion can still sting you. Handle with care and dispose of it properly – that means inside a sealed plastic bag before it goes in the garbage.
How to Keep Scorpions Out of the House
You’ve dealt with the intruding scorpion. Now you want to make sure no other scorpions follow suit. Here are a couple thing you can do to make your home scorpion-proof.
Seal it Up
It’s in your best interest to alter any scorpion openings by closing any gaps which lead to from the outside to the inside. It doesn’t matter how small these gaps are.
Keep in mind that scorpions are extremely nimble and can squeeze through spaces as small as 1/16 of an inch, or 1.5mm – that’s barely more than the thickness of a credit card.
Here are some of the most likely areas for scorpions to enter:
- Right under your door. A door without a solid, sturdy door sweep attached is an open invitation for scorpions and insects alike. Similarly, weather stripping your doors so they are completely sealed is a good idea.
- Ground-level windows. All windows, especially ones at ground-level, should have screens on them to prevent scorpions and their food source – insects – getting in. Also check and caulk any gaps or cracks around windows.
- Pipes and lines. Pipes can be particularly attractive places for scorpions because of the moisture that builds up. Check and repair any holes and gaps around plumbing pipes and utility lines.
- The foundations of the house. Cracks and gaps in the baseboards of the house can serve as entryways for scorpions. Seal them up with caulk.
Remove What Attracts Scorpions
But if you’ve seen a scorpion in or near your home, chances are good that there are more lurking nearby. That’s because the presence of scorpions means that your home and the surrounding area provides the things scorpions need – warmth, shade and tasty bugs to eat.
In which case, it’s just a matter of time until you have more than one unwanted guest.
So the next step is to eradicate anything that might draw flies and other food sources to your home and to clear away any clutter that might make it easy for the beasties to settle down.
Here’s a quick action plan:
- Get rid of any standing water. Standing water can be a breeding ground for pests like mosquitoes as well as a crucial source of water for desert scorpions thirsty for a drink. Remove any pools of standing water from around your property.
- Create a debris-free lawn. Scorpions love to hide in debris, woodpiles, building materials, tall brush and overgrowth. Keep it mowed, get rid of any garbage, and make sure anything like firewood is kept at least 30 feet away from your home.
- Use bug-proof lighting. Yellow is far less attractive for both scorpions and the insects they like to eat. Switch your white lights to yellow, at least for the outdoors.
- Make sure your home is pest-free. If your home offers nothing to eat, a scorpion won’t want to stay long. Identify if you have another pest problem – crickets, spiders, roaches, etc. – and get rid of it. That removes the food source that attracts scorpions to move in in the first place.
Create a Scorpion Perimeter
Killing a scorpion or two is not hard. But it does very little to put an end to an entire scorpion infestation. And if that’s what you’re dealing with, it could be time to bust out the big guns.
The smartest way to do this is to create a scorpion perimeter around your home with either professional-grade pesticides or a natural scorpion killing powder.
- Scorpion Pesticides. 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 MGK Onslaught FastCap. Both of these act as perimeter sprays and will kill any scorpions that make contact with it, effectively securing your property from these stinging critters.
- Natural Scorpion Powders. Diatomaceous Earth is an all-natural powder that kills scorpions on contact by dehydrating them to death. It doesn’t work immediately but if you place it in strategic locations where scorpions have to cross in order to enter your home, you’ll prevent another scenario where you stumble across a live scorpion.
Both of these options are great ways to effectively repel scorpions from your property.
Last but not least, a good way to give yourself peace of mind after a scorpion invasion is to stay vigilant. Every night, do a safe, but thorough examination of your home and its exterior just to put any worries to rest.
You can do this by turning all the lights off and then slowly walk around with a UV flashlight. All adult scorpions fluoresce under ultraviolet lighting so any that are hiding in your house will be quickly revealed.
Shine the light on walls, in cracks and crevices, under and behind furniture, inside cabinets, closets and other dark, hidden places. Also make a practice of pulling back your covers and checking your bed for scorpions before tucking yourself in for the night.
If you do indeed have more than one scorpion that’s snuck in, you’ll find it pretty quickly.
Once the nightly UV search continues to yield nothing, you can sigh a deep sigh of relief. Because that means you are finally in the clear.