Scorpions as Pests

scorpions

Scorpions can be dangerous pests in arid environments

Scorpions are technically arachnids and are related to spiders, mites, and ticks. They are known for their characteristically large, claw-like pedipalps as well as their curving segmented tail which ends in a venomous stinger. Thanks to human commerce and trade, scorpions can now be found on every continent in the world, except Antarctica.

Despite their frightening appearance, scorpion stings are usually harmless to humans, and further treatment is usually not necessary for a healthy adult. Scorpion stings can prove to be quite painful, however, and may result in localized pain or burning, swelling, numbness interspersed with tingling sensations, and severe muscles cramps.

Scorpions prefer very dry climates and can be found in large numbers throughout the American southwest. They are very sensitive to moisture loss, and prefer to spend daylight hours in shady, secluded locations. Scorpions obtain most of the water they need to function from their prey, which include insects, spiders, lizards, and other scorpions. While scorpions can survive for months without food, they need to constantly maintain their intake of fluids.

Scorpions will hide under boards, rocks, logs, and other clutter in order to keep out of the sun. Likewise, many species will spend daylight hours in burrows. These burrows, usually only accommodating one scorpion, provide an appropriate level of moisture and temperature. Some species prefer to ambush prey at the mouths of their burrows.

They are most active at night, although they can sometimes be seen during the day when conditions are cool and moist. Scorpions have the ability to detect the vibrations of their prey as it moves, allowing the scorpion to lie in wait for an insect or lizard to cross its path.

Scorpions are capable of crushing small prey with their powerful pincers, though they will inject larger prey with their venom—a complicated mixture of paralytic neurotoxins. In addition to hunting prey, they will also use their venom to protect themselves from threats.

Signs of a scorpion infestation are hard to spot, and they leave behind almost no evidence of their activities. These creatures usually only enter homes if they sense that there is better access to food or more hospitable conditions. They usually use ground-level openings to enter your home, which include cracks in doors, windows, openings around plumbing pipes and utility lines, and various cracks and crevices. Occasionally, scorpions will also hide out in crates, stacks of firewood, and potted plants, which may then be transported indoors by unsuspecting humans. Once inside your home, these pests will usually be drawn to out-of-the-way areas like basements, bathrooms, garages, and closets.

In order to prevent your home from playing host to scorpions in the first place, you can implement a number of exclusion methods including making sure that cracks around doors and windows are sealed with caulk or cement. While there are only very few truly dangerous species of scorpion in North America, international travelers to Asia and Africa should take special care to avoid native species of scorpion, which can administer venom much more potent than that of their North American counterparts.

If scorpions have made an unsightly appearance on your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced pest control experts.