All scorpion species possess venom. They use their venom to kill or paralyze their prey so that it can be eaten; in general it is fast acting, allowing for effective prey capture. Scorpions vary between species, but most measure about 2 inches fully grown. They can vary widely between yellow, blue, reddish brown, and black.
Scorpions are predators that feed primarily on insects. They crawl into buildings through exterior cracks in search of food or suitable shelter. Once inside, they may wander into clothing, shoes, or a bed where someone might contact them, resulting in a scorpion sting. Stepping barefoot on a scorpion is another common way to be stung.
Scorpions are found throughout the southern United States from coast to coast. Only one species of scorpion found in the United States could be considered dangerous, and it is found in the extreme southwest in Arizona and southern California and Nevada. Still, only small children and the elderly are at risk of a fatal sting from this species. Any scorpion sting, however, can be serious to anyone that is allergic to insect stings. A physician should attend to all stings.
Some important facts:
- Most common in Greater Las Vegas area: Desert Hairy Scorpion – Hadrurus spadix (aka Black Hairy Scorpion) Also, the Desert Hairy Scorpion, which is much larger/darker than the much smaller and paler “Bark Scorpion”. The Bark Scorpion is very venomous, if stung, call Poison Control Center, and go to the nearest hospital or personal physician for antivenin treatment. Try to take scorpion with you as treatment may vary according to specie. Proper identification is very important from a medical treatment perspective.
- Scorpions are nocturnal and will be in areas around moisture or outside lights where food sources are known to gather such as beetles, cockroaches, crickets, moths, or other insects.
- NON-CHEMICAL CONTROL: Keep wood piles away from walls, check all wood carefully before bringing into your home, remove heavy shrubbery that is growing close to the structure, remove medium to large rocks that are situated next to the structure, inspect all rocks before moving them! Seal/caulk all pipes, wiring outlets, or cracks located around the outside of the structure. Stop any water from dripping (i.e. Evaporative coolers) if at all possible as they will gather around moisture sources. Keep chimney flumes closed when not in use. Keep outside lights to a minimum. Keep doors closed after dusk and until dawn. Pay particular attention to “doggie” doors as this a very, very easy way to obtain entry. Keep sealed when animals are in the home.
- Do NOT walk around the home during the nighttime hours with BARE FEET! Check all shoes, folded towels, dresser drawers, and closets on a periodic basis for scorpions. Check molding around all in door piping and repair if any holes are present. Keep all drains (tub, shower, sinks, etc) closed or sealed when not in use as scorpions have been known to come up through the drains on rare occasions.
- Screen (with a tight mesh screen) ALL floor level return air or heater ducts. Remove face plate, insert pre-measured screen and replace face plate.
- ALL IT TAKES IS AN OPENING OR CRACK NO LARGER THAN 1/16TH OF AN INCH FOR A SCORPION TO GET ACCESS TO YOUR HOME!
- CALL A PROFESSIONAL PEST CONTROL COMPANY TO PERFORM A NIGHTTIME “BLACK LIGHT SERVICE” IF INFESTATION IS DETERMINED TO BE MORE THAN A MINOR NUISANCE OR RARE OCCURRENCE.