Have you seen one or more scorpions shuffling around your home or other parts of your property? While these wild arachnids aren't as common a pest as ants or roaches, they make up for it with their distressing appearance. Those big, crab-like claws and curved, stinging tails are sure to alarm anyone, especially when they mostly come out at night. Let's go over how to get rid of scorpions and all the information you'll ever need on these fearsome-looking creatures.
Contrary to what people often assume, scorpions are not insects but arachnids, like spiders. They belong to the order Scorpiones and are predatory, meaning they pursue, kill, and eat prey such as smaller insects. Unlike other pests, such as weevils, they do not feed on material or stored goods inside a person's home. Most species are solitary, nesting and hunting only for themselves.
In general, scorpions use their stingers and the venom inside to subdue their prey, although some species evolved to catch and kill prey with their claws. Depending on the type of scorpion, either the claws or tail will be used for hunting, while the other feature will be used for defense. Scorpions also live quite long, some up to six years.
Image via Flickr by M Hedin
Like spiders, scorpions have eight legs. Their bodies are long with the segmented tail in the back and two claw appendages in the front. In terms of size, they can vary dramatically, with species ranging from 1 inch to over 7 inches in adult length. As for color, scorpions range from light yellow or even whitish to a dark brown or black. If you look at their heads, scorpions also have two small movable jaw appendages, or pedipalps, just like with spiders.
In general, you shouldn't assume that a larger scorpion is more dangerous. One of the most potent species is the striped bark scorpion, which is not particularly large. It has a slender, pale body with two dark stripes.
Due to their adaptation and wide variety of species, you can find scorpions just about anywhere. Scorpions most likely originated in arid regions before getting indirectly distributed through ship trade. Still, scorpions are mostly associated with deserts. There are stories of travelers in the Old West shaking out their boots while out on the road before putting them on, just in case a scorpion made its home inside overnight.
For the most part, scorpion venom is mild toward large animals and humans. While a sting may be painful, the venom is unlikely to be dangerous to people except for small children, the elderly, and those with immunity problems. The main reason scorpions can be found in the home is due to their preference for tight, dark spaces. Once a scorpion wanders into the home through a crack or an open window, they will make their way into shoes or other suitable nests.
Although only about 30-40 species of scorpions are dangerous to people, that doesn't mean you should let them move into your home. If you're dealing with scorpion control problems, the first thing you should do is discourage them from entering by removing possible entrances. Foundation cracks or poorly-sealed windows should be fixed, and the members of your household should try not to leave windows and doors open when not necessary. Scorpions only hunt at night and will normally avoid bright places such as homes, so keeping the lights on throughout the night may also help repel them.
If scorpions have made a stubborn presence in your home, or you suspect they may have, then professional pest control methods may be the best option. Unlike pests that use the house and its resources for food, such as ants, scorpions like houses for the dark and secure areas. For that reason, pest control might be best focused on basements, attics, garages, and other areas that are darker and have less foot traffic. Contact Bulwark pest control today to get an assessment for your specific home and situation.
There are over 2,000 known species of scorpion across the world divided into 13 distinct families.
Currently, the largest known scorpion species is the giant forest scorpion, or Heterometrus swammerdami. Adults reach up to 9 inches in length and can weigh up to 56 grams. It is found in Sri Lanka and India. Despite how imposing it may look, its venom is not very strong. The species hunts primarily through catching and crushing prey with its claws, rather than relying on a paralyzing sting.
Unlike many insects and arachnids, scorpions do not lay eggs but give birth to live young instead. A female can birth up to 100 young. The young nymphs do not have any sort of larval stage and have the same claws, stinger, and other body parts that they will have as adults.
While sexual cannibalism can occur sometimes, it isn't especially common with scorpions. It only really occurs with species that prey on each other to begin with. What's more interesting, however, is that scorpions enter a kind of "dance" in order for the female to judge the male's suitability. During this dance, the male and female lock claws and the female tests the male's strength. If the male impresses the female, she relents, and the male deposits his sperm on the ground, pulling her over to it.
Scorpions are an important part of the ecosystem, preying on many small insects to keep their populations in check. However, scorpions are no welcome sight in anyone's home, shed, or other places, and the prospect of getting pinched or stung can make them more unsettling than ants, roaches, or other common pests. If you know or think you are dealing with a scorpion infestation, fill out our easy online home assessment form and our team will contact you to find a permanent and smart solution.Schedule Pest Control Service