By the the time you start gearing up to go scorpion hunting, you’re approaching the end of your ropes and wondering what you ever did to deserve a scorpion problem.
You know how I know that? Because you’re here, reading this article.
I’d like to believe you’re here for my dazzling prose and witty banter, but we both know that isn’t true. You’re here because you’ve seen signs of a scorpion infestation and you need to attack or be attacked. It’s not an ideal situation to be in.
But hey, you are taking the initiative and for that, we applaud you. Scorpion hunting is for the brave ones among us. Regularly clearing your property of scorpions is a great way to keep your home scorpion-free but not all of us have the stomach for it. So kudos to you.
And let’s get started before the courage wears off. Here’s how to hunt scorpions and kill them – before they come for you and your own.
Scorpion Hunting FAQS
Before we get into the nitty gritty of hunting scorpions, here are couple things you’ll need to know to aid you in your endeavor.
When are scorpions most active?
Scorpions are actually nocturnal creatures – once the lights are out, they begin their evening’s work hunting down any pesky critters they can. Unfortunately, this also means they take to hiding away in dark, quiet spots during daylight hours, which is where trouble can arise with humans.
How easy is it to kill scorpions?
Scorpions rank among the species most likely to survive, well, anything. Alongside their disgusting brethren the cockroach, scorpions are able to reflect great bouts of radiation, meaning that in the event of all out nuclear war, they’re likely to survive as a relatively intact species unlike the rest of us.
Scorpions, cockroaches and Twinkies. What a world we’ll leave behind.
But this doesn’t mean individual scorpions are difficult to kill. Despite their hard, ferocious exterior, scorpions are relatively easy to kill once you know how to do so.
What should you wear to hunt scorpions?
Before you take on some scuttling demon in scorpion form, you need the right attire. And I’m not talking about those cute shoes you’ve been saving for the right occasion. Scorpions are merciless fashion critics, and you’ll need to make sure your ensemble is right.
But in all seriousness – forget about dressing to impress and focus on bundling up to save your precious skin. Jeans would be a good idea, or pants made from similar heavy fabric that can stop a stinger from reaching your skin. The same goes for your arms and torso.
The heavier your clothes, the safer you’ll be. Cover your feet with closed shoes, not sandals. And a good pair of gardening gloves will protect your hands. Ok, maybe you won’t look your best. But that scorpion will be laughing out of the other side of his mandibles once he finds out he can’t hurt you.
Scorpion Hunting in 3 Easy Steps
Scorpions are scary. Most people would rather run a mile rather than take one on, mano a …scorpiono? But you are one of the few people out there who aren’t massive cowards, and will actually stand and fight instead of run and hide at the first sign of approaching pincers.
So for the brave and crazy souls like yourself, here’s a 3-step guide on scorpion hunting without harming yourself in the process.
Step 1. How to Find Scorpions
Scorpion hunting is best done in the dark because scorpions are most active at night. In order to see them, you need to bring a flashlight.
But not any old flashlight will do. You’ll need a UV scorpion black light – scorpion’s exoskeletons contain a protein that glows under black light, making them much easier to spot. And when you’re hunting scorpions, the best tool you’ll have is the ability to see them clearly.
So a UV flashlight is a must-have. Get one. They’re invaluable when it comes to hunting scorpions.
Here are the best places to look for scorpions:
- Dark, quiet places. Check any dark place in and around your home. Crevices, corners, closets, space under furniture, even boxes of old clothes all provide lovely environments for a scorpion to cuddle up for the day.
- Water and moisture. Like all living things, scorpions need water, so water pipes and air conditioning ducts where moisture collects are a prime habitat for them.
- Other insects. Scorpions need insects to feed on, so if you have problems with other insects like crickets or cockroaches, make sure to check areas where these insects like to hide.
- Outdoor scorpion hiding spots. You might just find a scorpion on the hunt. Moving outside, check wood piles, compost bins, piles of leaves – anywhere that offers shade and humidity.
- Loose soil. An underrated scorpion hiding spot is any place with plenty of loose soil. Scorpions need to burrow and often require loose soil to survive.
- Under sheds and gazebos. Your neighbors might think it’s odd, but you’ll be the one laughing when they get stung. (Well, hopefully not. That’s kind of mean.)
If you have the time for it, you could make it a regular task to inspect your property for scorpions. This will allow you to regularly get rid of the scorpions you find as well as to monitor the scorpion activity around your home. Not to mention, you can meet the scorpion on your own terms and avoid the unpleasant surprise of finding a scorpion in your house.
This is particularly helpful if you’re using other scorpion killers – which you should – to get rid of a scorpion infestation. In that case, the nightly raid lets you know how well your scorpion efforts are paying off.
Step 2. Release or Kill
Once you find a scorpion, be careful! If a scorpion feels threatened, it may lash out to protect itself. You’ll want to act quickly and effectively.
To do so, you need to know how you want to deal with the scorpion – capture and release OR kill.
How to Catch a Scorpion
When it comes to safely catching a scorpion to release it, you have several options.
Glass jar, bowl, or container. You can capture a scorpion by trapping it with an empty container, but be sure to wear gloves and long sleeves to protect yourself. Once the scorpion is trapped, cover the mouth of the container with thick paper or a plastic placemat – something sturdy – until you can release it in the wild.
BugView bug catching tool. This is one of the most brilliant recent inventions when it comes to safely catching pests like scorpions and holding them securely until you can release them. It works similar to the container method except there’s a handle so a smaller risk of getting stung.
Long-handled forceps, tweezers, or tongs. These allow you to securely grab a scorpion without risking any harm to yourself. You can get tweezers that are 15 inches long. Or sturdy tongs that are 17 inches long. Or if you need extra peace of mind, you can get forceps that are 24 inches in length.
Broom and dustpan. Sometimes, the simplest solutions are best. If you have a broom and deep dustpan nearby, you can use this duo to sweep and scoop up scorpions and carry them to wherever you’re going to release them. If you don’t have one already, we recommend this broom and dustpan option.
Tape on a stick. If you want to go the DIY route, one option to quickly catch a scorpion is to fix a turned-inside-out piece of duct tape to the end of a stick – i.e. baseball bat, broom handle, hiking stick, etc. When you see a scorpion, firmly press the tape end of the stick onto the scorpion.
When you’ve trapped the scorpion, make sure to release it as far away from your home as possible so it has little chance of finding its way back.
Of course, if you want to make absolutely certain that the scorpion will never return to haunt your property again, there is another option…
How to Kill a Scorpion
certified lunatics brave souls who regularly engage in hand-to-pincer combat with our arachnid foes, opinion is divided as to what makes the best anti-scorpion hand tool. As tempting as it might be, I wouldn’t recommend blasting it with a handgun – it’s overkill. Setting it on fire is entirely unnecessary as well.
Here are your saner options to kill a scorpion.
Blunt force. You can bash a scorpion with a stick, a golf club, even an especially heavy shoe if that’s all you have. But be careful. Some scorpions are very good at flattening their bodies, even as flat as a coin, so that what you thought was a killing blow ends up being more of a love tap. Make sure the scorpion is fully squashed before you get too close.
Pierce it. The trick to killing scorpions is to pierce their exoskeleton, the tough outer shell that surrounds their body and keeps all their squishy bits where they should be. To do that without exposing yourself to that menacing stinger, you’re going to want to keep your distance. Here are the best tools to use:
- Long-handled tweezers. Tweezers with long handles aren’t just great for grabbing scorpions. You can also use their sharp, pointy ends to pierce the scorpion’s body and then pick it up and keep it at arm’s length while you dispose of its corpse. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of scorpion hunting. Speaking of knives…
- A sharp knife. If you’re not lucky enough to have long tweezers at hand, a long sharp knife that enables you to keep out of reach of the little beastie’s stinger will do the trick.
- DIY scorpion tool. If you’d prefer to DIY it, a screwdriver taped to the end of a long stick – i.e. old broom handle – works just as well.
Last note: If you’re planning on doing enough scorpion killing to warrant buying some long tweezers, go for ones that are at least 10 inches long. They’re low-cost and have infinite uses.
Spray it to death. Last but not least, for all of us who are a little more squeamish and would rather not do any crushing or squishing – there’s hope for us yet.
It’s also the most convenient way to kill a scorpion dead without getting too close: use a scorpion killing spray. Here are your best bets:
- Terro’s Scorpion Killer is mighty effective and kills on the spot
- Black Flag Scorpion Killer shoots a thick, foamy substance that kills instantly
And there you have it – the best ways to quickly kill a scorpion. So is the ordeal over? Well, not quite. Scorpions are known to play dead as a safety mechanism. You want to make absolutely sure that it is, indeed, dead.
Ok, so you’ve triple checked. You’ve prodded and poked its body. You’ve insulted its mother, and the scorpion still didn’t stir. You’re sure it’s dead. But hold on there, killer. Just because it’s dead doesn’t mean it’s safe. A scorpion can still sting you FROM BEYOND THE GRAAAAVE!
Stay well clear of that stinger when picking up the body of your vanquished foe. Use the tools you have on hand like a broom and dustpan or long-handled tweezer to handle the scorpion without touching it at all. This is the smartest way to avoid being stung.
Handling a Pregnant Scorpion
There is one more scenario you must be aware of: you may encounter a pregnant scorpion or a new mother with baby scorpions on her back.
Here are a few quick facts about pregnant scorpions:
- A single female scorpion can have up to 100 babies in one go
- Scorpions are “ovoviviparous” so the eggs hatch inside the mom and babies are born separately
- When scorpion babies, aka scorplings, are born, they are vulnerable with soft exoskeletons so they are carried on their mother’s back until they molt and their exoskeletons harden
- Some scorpion species, like the striped bark scorpion, spend most of their lives either being pregnant or carrying babies
As you can imagine, you need to be careful when dealing with either a pregnant scorpion or a mother with scorplings on her back. Female scorpions that are almost perpetually pregnant have been found to be much more likely to sting.
And when it comes to mother scorpions with scorplings on her back, the last thing you want to do is attempt to hit or pierce it – this can cause the little scorplings to scatter around your home and property.
This is a horrible scenario because scorplings have soft exoskeletons that don’t yet fluoresce under ultraviolet light. Finding them once they’ve scattered will be a very difficult task.
So what do you do? The best ways to deal with these scenarios is to spray the scorpion (and scorplings) with a scorpion killer spray. Another easy home remedy is to use a vacuum wand to quickly suck up the entire brood. Both of these options are the best ways to get rid of these scorpions with the lowest possibility of spreading the babies.
Step 3. How to Dispose of a Scorpion
Resist the temptation to mount your freshly killed scorpion’s head above the door as a warning to others. Despite their abundance of eyes, scorpions don’t see very well. They wouldn’t notice their cousin’s dismembered corpse on your mantelpiece.
(Yes, scorpions can have as many as twelve eyes. It’s true. The more you learn about scorpions, the creepier they get.)
So how do you dispose of a scorpion? Here are two good options.
One way to get rid of a scorpion’s corpse is to bury it. Dig a small hole in your garden and toss it in. Flowers are optional. If you want to say a few words, go ahead. But do it quietly, unless you want your neighbors to think you’ve lost your mind.
Another option is to seal the dead scorpion in a plastic bag and toss it in the trash can.
In both instances, be very careful when disposing of the body, as the stinger can still puncture the skin and potentially poison you.
Once the scorpion is gone, you’re going to need a new name and a fake passport. Buy a bus ticket with cash and…oh, wait. Never mind. I was thinking of… something else.
A dead scorpion has no forensic team out looking for it, and its relatives are very unlikely to come looking for revenge. So you can sleep soundly in your bed knowing that your house still belongs to you, and you alone.
Until the next time a scorpion shows up…
Is Scorpion Hunting Enough?
Actively bringing the fight to the scorpions living on your property provides a certain sense of satisfaction. But let’s be honest: If you have a scorpion infestation on your property, killing a scorpion (or five) isn’t going to make a big dent.
A single female scorpion can have as many as a hundred babies in one go. You can’t go around picking them off, one by one. It’s inefficient and frankly, who has the time?
This is why we recommend scorpion hunting alongside other methods to get rid of scorpions. On its own, it’s unlikely to be an effective solution to a scorpion problem.
But used together with a comprehensive plan to prevent and get rid of scorpions? Well, then it’s just a matter of time until you’ll have no more scorpions left on your property to hunt.
And, if the thought of going looking for scorpions at night scares you senseless – well, I don’t blame you. In that case, you could consider hiring a pest control professional to do it for you.