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Scorpions sport those trademark lobster-like pincers and curved tail with menacing stinger at the end. But are their stings dangerous to humans? Where should you watch out for them? Learn more about different types of scorpions, what they eat and where they live, and how to prevent them from coming inside your home.

Get help with your scorpion problems by calling the scorpion control pros at Hawx Pest Control! Dial (888) 372-9514 today.

What Are Scorpions?

Scorpions are in the arachnid family, meaning they’re closely related to spiders and ticks. Well known for their large stinger-crowned tail and painful venom, these pests are common in desert environments and, sometimes, for their penchant to wander inside homes.

Scorpions have six legs, two large pincers, and a long, segmented tail with a stinger. Their coloring can vary from tan to yellow to brown, and sometimes even red, which allows them to camouflage themselves effectively in arid, desert climates. Typically around 2-6 inches in length, there are some newly discovered scorpion species that are on the larger side and also produce a hissing noise to intimidate predators.

Where Do Scorpions Live?

Scorpions can be found worldwide. They prefer scuttling in the sand or chilling in dark, secluded areas within their hot and dry environments. While they love desert climates as well as rainforests and caves, scorpions are also quite happy making a home for themselves in your house, in spaces that are dark and secluded, such as:
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Curtains
  • Attics
  • Crawlspaces
  • Potted plants
Pro tip: Scorpions light up under black light, so you can use a black light flashlight to find them pretty quickly around your home in the dark.

Types of Scorpions

There are 35 types of scorpions around the world. Here are a few of the most common types of scorpions you might find in the U.S.

Arizona Bark Scorpion

Native to Arizona, the Arizona bark scorpion has a highly-potent venom that can cause severe symptoms. This scorpion shows up fluorescent when exposed to ultraviolet light, but is tan in color in normal circumstances. It is around 2–3 inches long and is considered to be the only lethal scorpion in the region. They thrive most in desert climates, but only have a noticeable presence in Arizona and the Grand Canyon.

Arizona Hairy Scorpion

These yellow scorpions can be found in Arizona and Southern California. They’re generally 5–7 inches long and sometimes have darker coloring on their backs. They also have small brown hairs that cover their bodies. These scorpions sting and although it is venomous, their venom is not very strong.

Stripe-tailed Scorpion

These scorpions are also sometimes called the devil scorpion. They are also found in Arizona and Southern California as well as other southern states. They are light brown in color with stripes on their backs. These scorpions are a bit smaller, at 2.5 inches in length. They are technically considered venomous but aren’t classified as dangerous.

Northern Scorpion

This is the most cold-tolerant scorpion found in the U.S. It is tan with dark stripes on its back and can be found in most of the western and midwestern states near sandstone cliffs. They are also venomous but their stings aren’t very dangerous.

Common Scorpion Behavior

Scorpions give live birth to their babies; they don’t lay eggs. The scorpion babies live on their mother’s back until their first molting (scorpions shed their skin similarly to the way snakes and other reptiles do).

As these nocturnal creatures grow, they can become cannibalistic as well as predatory toward other species. Their aggression is what keeps them alive and instills fear in humans and other small mammals alike. When it comes to their prey, they aren’t much of a match without their stingers and venom, which paralyze their food and allow them to eat it slowly due to their weak jaws. Scorpions typically eat:
  • Lizards
  • Mice
  • Beetles
  • Wasps
  • Centipedes
  • Spiders
  • Katydids
  • Other scorpions (likely an attempt at population control)
There is an assortment of larger insects and mammals that eat scorpions. As scary as scorpions appear, they’re no match for these larger (and often surprisingly aggressive) animals. Predators of scorpions include:
  • Centipedes
  • Owls (and some other birds)
  • Tarantulas
  • Lizards
  • Bats
  • Shrews
  • Grasshopper mice

Are Scorpions Dangerous?

Certain types of scorpion bites can be fatal, depending on the species, and are responsible for as many as 3,250 deaths per year worldwide. But, with the exception of the Arizona bark scorpion’s sting, which can cause severe reactions, other U.S. scorpions don’t have very potent venom. In fact, their stings tend to produce symptoms like spider bites.

While most scorpion bites are not deadly, if you live in a climate where scorpions are part of the landscape, it’s important to keep scorpion populations under control in and around your home.

More common symptoms of a scorpion sting include:
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Some swelling
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • High blood pressure
If someone has an allergic reaction to a scorpion sting, symptoms can range from anaphylaxis, trouble breathing, nausea, and vomiting. Even though less than 5% of scorpion stings are dangerous to your health, there are certainly risks that come with scorpion contact, especially if you get stung more than once (which is how allergies can develop).

How To Treat a Scorpion Sting

The best at-home treatment for a non-lethal sting is similar to how you’d treat other bug bites or skin irritations. Start by cleaning the affected area, then apply a cold compress. It can also be helpful to keep the stung part of the body above your heart. You can also try an over-the-counter pain killer paired with an antihistamine to reduce swelling and irritation.
If you think you’re having an allergic reaction or are concerned about what type of scorpion it was, seek medical attention.

How Do I Get Rid of Scorpions?

The key to getting rid of scorpions in or around your home is to make your home and yard uninhabitable for them. Since they prefer wet areas, clean up any standing water around your home to detract them from the area. Here are some other things to clean up to deter scorpions:
  • Objects they can hide under
  • Compost heaps
  • Other pest infestations (scorpions love feasting on other bugs)
For any pest control prevention, it’s always smart to seal up any cracks or openings to your home that might allow unwanted guests inside. 
If scorpions keep showing up on your property or inside your home, calling a pest control professional may be the best option. They may recommend a topical treatment to apply at the infected areas around your home to ensure all entry points are addressed and scorpions can’t find food or shelter.

Read more about scorpions

Need help with your scorpion problem in Atlanta east, Atlanta westCharlotteRaleighRiversideSacramento, or beyond? Contact Hawx Pest Control today!


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