General Scorpion Information
Scorpions are arachnids. The are a close relatives of ticks, mites and spiders.
There are approximately 1,300 species of scorpions worldwide. They are characterized by an elongated body and a segmented tail that is tipped with a venomous stinger.
Scorpions are very common in the Southern and Southwestern United States.
Most scorpions in the United States are not poisonous, except for two species found in the southwestern states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas.
Scorpions are commonly thought of as desert animals, but in fact, they inhabit many other habitats as well. These include grasslands and savannahs, deciduous forests, pine forests, rain forest and caves.
Scorpions have a long slender body with a 5-segmented tail that can be arched over the back.
Size varies between the various scorpion species, but most measure about 2 inches when fully grown.
Most of the scorpions that enter dwellings are not poisonous, their sting is similar to bees or wasps. It's usually better to assume that they are poisonous if you are unsure.
Striped Back Scorpions
A typical non poisonous scorpion is the common striped Centruroides vittatus, striped back scorpion.
This species is widely distributed in the southern United States. It has 2 broad, dark bands extending the length of the back, on an otherwise yellowish-brown body.
Click on image to enlarge
Photo: Courtesy of Jim Kalish,UNL Entomology.
However, certain species in the desert Southwest can be poisonous.
The US species, Centruroides exilicauda , (Bark Scorpion-pale yellow in color)is found over much of the Southwest.
Click on image to enlarge
The venom of this scorpion may produce severe pain and swelling at the site of the sting, numbness, frothing at the mouth, difficulties in breathing (including respiratory paralysis), muscle twitching, and convulsions.
The Bark Scorpion is very venomous, if stung, call your local Poison control center and go to the nearest hospital or personal physician for treatment.
Scorpions are nocturnal, predatory animals that feed on a variety of insects, spiders, centipedes, and other scorpions.
The larger scorpions occasionally feed on vertebrates, such as smaller lizards, snakes, and mice. They locate prey primarily by sensing vibrations.
Although scorpions are equipped with venom to defend themselves, scorpions fall prey to many types of creatures, such as centipedes, tarantulas, insectivorous lizards, birds (especially owls), and mammals (including shrews, grasshopper mice, bats).
Scorpions feed mainly on insects and spiders and can survive without feeding for six months.
During the day scorpions hide under stones, in piles of rocks, in cracks in masonry, in wood piles and under the bark of trees.
Scorpions enter structures seeking water and shelter.
Inspection for the scorpions is made easy with the
UV Tracker Light
Recommended Measures for Scorpion Control:
1. Remove outdoor harborages e.g. piles of trash, stones, boards, firewood on the ground and the landscape timbers.
2. Points of entry into buildings, e.g. siding, windows, doors, pipes and wires, should be sealed.
The use of a residual insecticide such as wettable powders (WP).
Both Demon WP and Cyper WP are wettable
powders, that may leave a visible residue that can be seen against dark
Both Demon WP and Cyper WP are wettable powders, that may leave a visible residue that can be seen against dark surfaces.
The next best alternative is:
These products last just as long and cannot not be seen against dark surfaces. However, wettable powders work better against scorpions.
A convenient duster for dusting the attic area is a garden duster like the Dustin Mizer. It holds one pound of dust that you are able to crank out easily.