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Wind scorpions are relatively large eight-legged creatures found mostly in warm climates such as deserts. Due to their fierce appearance, wind scorpions are often believed to be more dangerous than they actually are to humans. They are classified as arachnids and help the environment by keeping ground-dwelling arthropods and small animal populations in check.
As long as wind scorpions are found in their natural habitats, they are of little significance to humans. Still, when they find their way onto your property or inside your home, they become a nuisance that needs to be dealt with for the safety of your family and pets. Learning all you can about how wind scorpions survive can help you maintain a safe environment inside and outside of your home.
Wind scorpions are classified under the order Solifugae and the class Arachnida, but they aren’t scorpions or spiders. These strange-looking critters are somewhat of a mix between scorpions and spiders and have many names such as camel spiders, sun spiders, and solifuges, to name a few. A wind scorpion’s appearance is often startling and can invoke fear among humans, but they typically shy away from humans and other large mammals.
Their appearance fits well with their attitude as wind scorpions are extraordinarily aggressive and opportunistic hunters. Their primary prey is ground-dwelling arthropods such as darkling beetles and termites, but wind scorpions have been known to feed on rodents, snakes, birds, and small lizards. Wind scorpions have very keen senses attuned to their surroundings, helping them navigate rugged terrain and capture prey.
Male wind scorpions have a smaller body than females but typically have longer legs. They only reproduce once a year. Female wind scorpions will eat to fatten up in preparation as they do not eat as they guard their eggs before hatching. The female digs a burrow and lays between 50 and 200 eggs.
The wind scorpion’s aggressive nature is backed up by their impressive abilities, with large, powerful mouthparts called chelicerae that are much like the pinchers of a crab and sensational land speeds for their size. The estimated top speed of a wind scorpion is thought to be comparable to half of the fastest human sprinters’ top speed. This averages out to around 10 mph and can make for an intimidating display if you were to unexpectedly encounter one of these out in nature, on your property, or in your home.
Wind scorpions are very distinct in how they look, but they do sometimes get mistaken for giant spiders when observers aren’t familiar with them. They have eight legs, but due to a set of leg-like appendages called pedipalps, they appear to have five pairs of legs. The pedipalps serve as sensory organs and are more comparable with an insect’s antennae than legs.
They typically have two forward-facing eyes centered on the head, but some species have laterally facing eyes that are rudimentary. Their mouth consists of chelicerae, having two pinchers that are much like those of crabs. Wind scorpions use their chelicerae to capture prey and prepare it for ingestion. Their pinchers are sharp and powerful, used to remove hair and feathers, slice through skin, and cut through thin bones.
Their front pair of legs are relatively thin and are used more for sensory input to supplement the wind scorpion’s pedipalps. The back three pairs of legs are primarily used for locomotion, especially when running. They have two body segments, which include the cephalothorax and prosoma. Wind scorpions in the United States are typically reddish or light brown, with their posterior body segments often cream or grayish.
In the United States, wind scorpions are predominantly found in arid, dry climates such as areas with deserts or grasslands. Though these are their most notable habitats, they have been observed in forests and scrublands as well. They are most abundant in the United States’ Midwestern regions, such as in Flagstaff Arizona, Tulsa, Oklahoma, or Las Vegas, Nevada.
If you are in these locations and dealing with wind scorpions, Bulwark Exterminating is an excellent resource for learning how to get rid of them. Wind scorpions are primarily nocturnal and are usually found dwelling underneath ground covering debris or in burrows when observed in their natural habitats.
Though they look frightening, wind scorpions pose no significant threat to humans. They typically avoid humans and will only bite out of self-defense. They are not venomous, and bites are of no medical concern. Regardless of having no venom, bites can be painful and are best avoided if possible.
They prefer the natural cover offered outdoors but can find their way inside your home through open windows, doors, or garages in search of their next meal. If trapped indoors, wind scorpions will most likely not survive if they don’t have access to ample prey.
If you live in an area indigenous to wind scorpions, it is nearly impossible to keep them off your property, but you can take measures to reduce areas that are favorable for them to live. During the day, wind scorpions take shelter under rocks, logs, and other ground covers. Removing items such as landscaping rocks, timbers, and mulch from close proximity to your home can help keep wind scorpions at bay. Keeping them out of your house is as simple as using screens when leaving windows or doors open.
Maintaining your home and property as a safe environment for you, your family, and pets can be a daunting task with pests such as wind scorpions. Let Bulwark Exterminating help you protect what matters most when faced with infestations of any pest.