What do scorpions look like?
Arizona Scorpions can be found in residential and rural areas of Arizona. Scorpions are arthropods, have eight legs, two pedipalps, and a notorious tail with a venom-injecting barb. Scorpions have two venom glands that produce the venom they use when hunting and defending themselves from predators. Scorpions do not have had a skeletal structure, but instead, they have an exoskeleton made of chitin, which is similar to the shell found on shrimp.
Most people identify scorpions by their tail that curves up over their back with a stinger at the end they use to paralyze prey. They have large front claws they use first to capture prey. Scorpions are predators and a type of arachnid, which means they are related to spiders, mites, and ticks. Scorpions are known for having poor vision but are exceptional hunters. When hunting, they rely on touch and vibrations to locate prey. They come in a wide range of colors, including yellow, brown, reddish-brown, and black.
Identifying which scorpion is living in your Arizona yard or home is best left up to a professional. As the first sight of these arachnids on your property, call Green Home Pest Control.
Types Of Scorpions In Arizona
There are many types of scorpions that reside here, with the bark scorpion being the most common. Scorpions are closely related to mites, ticks, and spiders. Although scorpions are most often associated with desert climates, there are variations of the scorpion that are also found in moist climates like North Carolina, British Columbia, Brazilian forests, and even in the Himalayas. The scorpion has been around for hundreds of millions of years and is a true survivor of the lands.
Scorpions that regularly take over Arizona properties include the following:
The Arizona bark scorpion is slim and long, with small pincers and tail that really separates it from some of the other more solid built species of scorpion found in the state of Arizona. Out of these three common scorpions, the bark scorpion is the only one of them that prefers to climb vertical surface areas and can be found on rocks, walls, and trees. Often times bark scorpions will prefer to reside on the underside of objects like garden hoses and yard tools, and people are commonly stung as they reach to pick these objects up.
Defensive stinging by a scorpion typically consists of multiple strikes before they make a dash for shelter. Bark scorpions are attracted to moist areas and are often found stranded in bathtubs and sinks. Their attraction to moisture also makes them more likely to take up residence in your home if the opportunity presents itself. They can be seen in the evenings claiming interior walls, hanging from the ceiling, or hiding in dark places like closets and crawl spaces.
Bark scorpions are one of the three most common types of scorpion found in Arizona, but can also be found in parts of California, Sonora, Utah, and New Mexico.
The stripe-tailed scorpion is another one of Arizona’s most common species of scorpion. The stripe-tailed scorpion is a well built medium-sized scorpion that can be found burrowed underneath rocks during the day, and venturing out of their burrows in the evening to feed. They have a sturdy tail with dark ridge patterns running the length of the scorpions tail and are typically about 2 inches in length.
Giant Hairy Scorpion
The giant hairy scorpion is definitely the biggest in Arizona, and in the United States. It can grow up to 6 inches long and is a very intimidating scorpion. It can also be found in parts of Mexico, California, Nevada, and Utah. Its giant frame allows it to feed on other scorpions, lizards, and small mammals.
The giant hairy scorpion also likes to burrow deep into the earth below the desert surface where moisture lines exist. Depending on how deep the moisture lines are, the giant hairy scorpion could burrow as deep as 8 feet into the ground. The giant hairy scorpion has a very large tail and barb, it’s sting is swift and effective on prey but only causes mild pain in humans.
What do scorpions eat?
The scorpions in Arizona have a pretty versatile diet. They eat a wide variety of insects, spiders, small mice, lizards, and other scorpions. Scorpions can live for months without eating but need water to survive.
When hunting, scorpions use their pincers to capture their prey. They can crush their prey with their pincers alone and may not need even need their barbs to sting smaller insects. When they do use their stingers, they use them to inject a neurotoxic venom into their prey that temporarily paralyzes them, allowing the scorpion to feed on them without much resistance.
When feeding, scorpions are unable to ingest solids, and only consume liquids from their prey. They have a very sharp claw-like mechanism that extends from their mouth and pulls small parts of the prey apart, allowing them to feed directly on the liquids. During the Arizona summer months, scorpions become more active, often leading them indoors to hunt.
Are scorpions dangerous?
Scorpions should never be purposely handled or annoyed. Their stings are painful and venom strong enough to cause a severe reaction in those allergic. Scorpions do not go out of their way to sting people; in fact, most stings occur when we accidentally come into contact with them. Scorpion stings happen when people do things like reach into a box, sit on one, step on one, or are working in the garden.
Scorpion venom is a neurotoxin, it’s a chemical that affects the nervous system, ultimately killing or paralyzing their prey. Most scorpions in Arizona don’t have the potency to kill humans, although it is suggested that you contact your medical practitioner if you or someone in your family is stung by a scorpion. If stung by a scorpion, especially if it is the first time, it is good to seek medical attention.
Signs You Have Been Stung By A Scorpion
Arizona scorpion stings are scary, painful, and possibly traumatizing to some, but rarely are the stings of scorpions in Arizona life-threatening. Those that are threatened most by the venom are young children, the elderly, and those that may have complicated health issues.
In Arizona, the bark scorpion is the only scorpion species with venom potent enough to cause severe symptoms in the young and old alike. When scorpion stings happen in areas that don’t have easy access to medical care, death can become common among infants and the elderly. Healthy adults usually don’t need to be treated for scorpion stings. If a child is stung, the same amount of venom that an adult can withstand may have more serious results for a child. If a child is stung by a scorpion, seek medical treatment immediately.
Scorpion stings typically cause pain and throbbing in the area that was stung. Sometimes there are additional symptoms that can be quite intense, even if redness and swelling aren’t present at the location where the sting took place.
- Throbbing Pain
- Slight swelling
Signs and symptoms related to widespread venom effects that typically occur in young children and the elderly include the following:
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle twitching
- Unusual head, neck and eye movements
- Nausea and vomiting
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Accelerated heart rate (tachycardia) or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Constant restlessness and/or inconsolable crying fits (in children)
As with other sting’s from insects like bees and wasps, it is possible for people who have previously been stung by a scorpion to have an allergic reaction with subsequent stings. These stings can be so severe that they could cause life-threatening conditions like anaphylaxis. Signs and symptoms in these cases are similar to those of anaphylaxis caused by bee stings and can include trouble breathing, nausea, vomiting, and hives. It is advised that if a child is stung by a scorpion that you seek medical attention immediately.
How To Treat A Scorpion Sting
If you or your child has been stung by a scorpion, put ice on the area that has been stung to bring down the swelling. You can take or give an antihistamine or use a variety of hydrocortisone creams to reduce the inflammation and limit the itching in the area of the sting. If you live in Arizona and think it’s the sting of the bark scorpion, be aware that the venom has the potential to cause symptoms like fast breathing, a racing heart, high blood pressure, weakness, and muscle twitching.
Why do I have a scorpion problem?
When the weather outside becomes particularly hot and dry, scorpions move inside, seeking moisture. While scorpions do live in desert conditions, they also require a source of water and a cool area to survive.
Scorpions often discover the moisture and shelter they need in our yards and homes. Also, a property with lots of insects, spiders, and other prey will draw predators like scorpions to it. Tall grass, gardens, overgrown landscaping, trees, mulch, and yard debris provide insects and scorpions with plenty of places to feed and live.
Scorpions feed on other insects like crickets, spiders, scorpions, cockroaches, and centipedes. You should spray your property with other pest control agents to prevent your property from becoming a feeding ground for scorpions. For more about pest control solutions in your area contact us today. There are also some safe DIY ways to kill scorpions in Arizona, Green Home Pest Control provides scorpion removal services in the Phoenix Metro area that includes scorpion treatment services in the following areas.
Where will I find scorpions?
Scorpions are commonly found hiding underneath or between rocks, wood piles, clutter, and dense foliage. The Arizona bark scorpion is often found on vertical surfaces like the siding of your home, interior walls, trees, brick fences, and in bushes. Scorpions can nest in walls, indoors, and outdoors. If your home was built on a nest, it’s possible that there is a colony of scorpions located right under your home.
Scorpions move to areas around homes that often experience moisture problems. Leaky pipes, sinks, fixtures, and drippy air conditioners are often the cause of excess water in a home. Areas of a house where scorpions often travel are the areas that are most likely to experience water leaks and humidity problems like kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and crawlspaces.
Places that you may find scorpions in your home include:
- On walls
- In boxes
- Inside folded clothing and linens
- Under furniture or in the seams of furniture
- In sinks or tubs
There are plenty of preventative measures that can be taken to keep scorpions out of your home. Some scorpions will burrow, creating a single occupant den for them to reside in. These dens can be up to a meter deep. These dens are also used to ambush wondering insects. The entry areas of these burrows are at the surface level where inquisitive insects my wonder in for a peak, or to take of residence and find an aggressive scorpion waiting for them on the inside. Adult males will abandon their burrows for long periods of time to locate a mate.
How do I get rid of scorpions?
Partner with a professional to eliminate dangerous scorpions from your Phoenix area property. At Green Home Pest Control, our eco-minded pest control solutions solve pest problems using products safe for the environment, children, and pets. We know how dangerous and stressful a scorpion infestation is and will act fast and work around your schedule to provide the services necessary to remove them.
If you see scorpions on your property, call us today and learn more about our effective scorpion control solutions.
We provide scorpion control services in the following areas:
How can I prevent scorpions in the future?
Use the following prevention tips to avoid problems with scorpions:
- Remove excess clutter from both in and around your home.
- Fix any pipes, hoses, and fixtures that are leaking and providing the moisture scorpions are seeking.
- Secure screens in open windows and doors.
- Caulk spaces in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.
- Rake leaves, moist mulch, and other organic debris back away from the outside of your home.
- When in your yard, be vigilant and wear gloves when working in gardens.
- Wipe down sinks and tubs to remove excess water.