Learning to quickly spot the signs of scorpions is the key to halting a scorpion infestation in its tracks. It’s a crucial thing to know, especially if you live in scorpion territory.
Because your home is your sanctuary and nobody wants to live with the threat of scorpions lurking in your shoes.
Unless you’re an evil genius. If so, you might welcome having a few scorpions around the house to scare off unwanted intruders and suave British super spies.
Plus, they make great mascots for a diabolical mastermind. Just think how great a scorpion logo would look on the uniforms of your henchmen.
On the other hand (or pincer), if your career is less focused on world domination, the idea of having scorpions in the house might not have the same appeal.
So obviously, you want to get rid of them. And to do that, there are a couple things about scorpions you should know.
Are Scorpions Dangerous?
Common sense would tell you that scorpions are indeed dangerous. But the truth is that scorpions as a species have a reputation that far exceeds the actual threat they pose.
Of the 1,500 types of scorpions worldwide we currently know about, only around 30 of them have venom that is toxic enough to kill a human. And if you live in the United States, the number of deadly scorpions you may encounter goes even lower, all the way down to one.
Yup, in the United States, it is only the Arizona bark scorpion that is venomous enough to be deadly to humans.
But just because the scorpions in your home may not be deadly doesn’t mean they don’t pose danger. Even when mostly harmless, scorpion stings are still painful and best avoided.
And when it comes to smaller pets, young children, and the elderly, scorpion stings can lead to serious complications and even death.
So if you suspect you have a scorpion infestation, it’s wise to take it seriously.
Where Do Scorpions Live?
One of the most obvious signs you may have a scorpion infestation on your hands boils down to location, location, location.
Generally speaking, location matters a lot: the climate, the terrain, the weather and even just the condition of your yard and neighborhood. All of these elements can combine to create a perfect habitat for a scorpion society, if optimum conditions are met.
Most scorpions species frolic in very hot, dry and shady locations – given that they thrive in the heat and hunt in the dark. If you live in a country or state with arid weather, lots of bugs and insects and plenty of dingy, dark corners…you’re much more likely to be sharing some real estate with a scorpion family.
6 Sure Signs of Scorpions
If the thought of sharing your home with hordes of nasty insects that can hurt you and your family bothers you (and really, why wouldn’t it?), you might be wondering how you can tell if you have a scorpion infestation in the house.
Luckily, help is at hand. In the form of this article. I’m here to help, is what I’m trying to say.
Here are the tell tale signs of scorpions.
You found a scorpion
Here’s a fairly obvious sign of scorpions: Have you actually seen a scorpion in your home? Finding a scorpion in the house doesn’t necessarily mean there is an infestation.
But it does mean two important things. One, that a scorpion found your house attractive enough to sneak into. And two, there were entryways that allowed the scorpion to get in.
If your house was appealing and accessible enough for one scorpion to get into, it could have invited many more in.
There’s evidence of scorpions
Some of the most tell tale signs of a scorpion infestation are the little clues the critters can’t help but leave behind. Namely, scorpion droppings and the skins they shed as they molt.
So what do scorpion droppings look like? Check for patches of dry, white powder that looks a bit like sand.
As for scorpion shed skins, these look like tiny dead scorpions. Scorpions typically molt around five or six times during their life cycle so if you have an infestation on your hands, this is a useful sign to look for.
You have other bugs in the house
If you live in scorpion territory and your house is home to lots of bugs, you are basically living in a scorpion buffet. A scorpion’s primary food source is other insects.
So if your home has issues with ant, crickets, cockroaches, flies, beetles or other creepy crawlies, it might not be long before a scorpion decides to move in. After all, who can resist a free meal?
Not scorpions. They are blessed with an incredible sense of smell that they use to find food. If there’s plenty of these food sources in your home, a scorpion infestation is a matter of time.
Which brings us to our next sign of a scorpion infestation…
There are citrus trees on your property
One little known but useful fact is that citrus trees can spell trouble. Nothing beats a cool glass of lemonade on a hot day, but citrus trees provide great habitat for some species of scorpions, namely the deadly bark scorpion.
Not only that, but the fruit often attracts other bugs, which provides more food for the local scorpions. It’s a vicious cycle.
If you live in scorpion territory and are blessed with citrus trees near your house, the chances you may have a scorpion infestation are good.
There’s construction nearby
When it comes to more subtle signs of scorpions, it’s also worth considering practical issues such as any heavy construction or municipal work going on nearby. Work that consists of unearthing old ground can cause the creepy crawlies to flee the danger.
This also applies to new, recently built homes in the desert. Although they might seem like pristine, clean structures, they’re very often a hotbed for things like scorpions which had been living in the footprint long before your beautiful home came along.
Your house is scorpion-friendly
The most important thing you really want to ask yourself is: Does your home provide good scorpion habitat?
Although they love heat, scorpions need shade to survive. They are nocturnal hunters and tend to hole up during the day. A human home can be the ideal place to do this. Especially if the house offers plenty of dark, damp, and quiet places for a scorpion to hide.
Do you have a wood pile next to a rarely used fireplace? Or a laundry room that’s mostly isolated from the rest of your home? Even a storage closet that is stacked with off-season clothes can be a good home for scorpions.
And it’s not just the inside of your home. If your lawn and garden are scorpion-friendly habitats, it’s just a matter of time before they find their way indoors. Do you have a big, shady yard in a hot, dry climate? Even better, does your lawn have rock piles, wood piles, or spots with damp foliage and mulch? If so, you might have scorpions. After all, that’s a great place for them to hide and fester.
How to Stop a Scorpion Infestation
So, now that you’ve gone through the most common signs of scorpions – do you have a scorpion infestation on your hands? And more importantly, how can you make sure your home is safe from a scorpion infestation?
Luckily, there’s quite a lot you as a homeowner can do to reduce the chances of seeing a scorpion in your home. It all comes down to preventative measures designed to make your property less attractive to these terrifying pests.
Here’s what you can do to make your home as unfriendly to the local scorpion population as possible…
Get rid of other insects
One of the smartest things you can do is to reduce the population of other bugs. Scorpions eat insects, and if there’s nothing to eat, they won’t stick around.
So if you have a recurring problem with cockroaches or insects or ants, now might be the time to get rid of them. Regular pesticide applications don’t have much effect on scorpions, but reducing their food source definitely will.
Shut them out!
Lots of scorpion species are very small and can fit through tiny gaps. But it never hurts to try and restrict entry to your property for things that sting in the night. Install door guards under exterior doors. Seal around pipes and dryer vents that enter or exit the walls of your home.
Caulk around doors and windows. Fill in any cracks in your foundation. Not only will this help to keep scorpions out, it will also restrict the entry of other pests, such as spiders, cockroaches, crickets, ants and even mice.
Set traps and monitor
One easy, affordable, and mostly passive way to both check for and get rid of scorpions is to lay glue traps.
Get them before they get you
If you’re feeling brave, you can go on a scorpion hunt. This is, of course, for the more adventurous. After all, scorpion hunting isn’t for everyone. A good way to start, though, is to check the shady areas around your home.
Grab a flashlight that emits black light to help you find them, because scorpions fluoresce under UV light (which is a fancy way of saying they glow in the dark). This will make it much easier to spot them. To find them easily, think like a scorpion. Check any place that provides shade in the heat of the day. Wood piles are a favorite spot, but also check underneath structures like sheds and gazebos.
Try to minimize any debris around the outside of your home. Move that wood pile far away, if you can’t get rid of it completely. Clear out that leaf pile. Don’t let ideal scorpion habitat build up around your house.
The same goes inside, too. The cleaner and neater your house is, the less likely you are to have insect problems, which in turn means fewer scorpion problems.
One thing people often overlook is pet food. Don’t leave it out too long, or it will attract all kinds of insects. And that, in turn, will attract scorpions. The same goes for household garbage. And watch that recycling! Empty soda, beer, and wine bottles are notorious for attracting insects. Clear them out regularly to keep your house bug free, and scorpion free.
If you’re worried that you might have a scorpion infestation on your hands, try the tips above to see if you can get it under control. And if you’re just too freaked out and feel the need to hire a professional, go ahead and do that. Scorpions are scary. No one will blame you, least of all me.