Scorpions are the creepy crawlies that nightmares are made of. Still, despite their appearance and inherent dangers, scorpions are actually very beneficial to the environment because they keep other pests in check. They have a voracious appetite and continually anticipate their next meal. Scorpions also have a ferocious demeanor and are incredibly deadly hunters. Besides keeping other pests at bay, they also provide an abundant food source for many different animals, such as meerkats, bats, and owls.
Though humans aren’t on their list of prey, scorpions have a venomous sting that can prove lethal in certain circumstances. They are a significant threat to the welfare of your family and pets. When you find scorpions have invaded your yard or, even worse, your house, you will need to take quick actions to eliminate the threat and prevent future infestations. Learning about their behaviors can help you keep your home safe and scorpion-free.
Scorpions are a class of arachnids, and they have an erect segmented tail with a stinger, a segmented body with two claws or pincers on the front, multiple sets of eyes, and eight legs. They feed on an array of critters, such as roaches, spiders, and crickets. Scorpions are nocturnal creatures that shy away from light, but you can spot them in daylight on rare occasions.
Most scorpions are considered ambush predators because they dig burrows where they can wait to ambush and capture their prey. However, the burrows are also for protection. These burrows can measure up to a meter deep, and scorpions often sleep in them during the day unless otherwise disturbed. The crescent or oval shape of a scorpion hole is a telltale sign that you have scorpions on your property.
When actively hunting outside of their burrows, scorpions can be found taking refuge under logs, rocks, boards, clutter, and other types of ground cover. However, you might also see the bark scorpion clinging to trees and other vertical surfaces, waiting for unsuspecting prey. Bark scorpions are considered to be the deadliest species found in the United States. Regardless of what type of scorpion you are dealing with, these pests are a nuisance best left to the professionals when they get out of hand.
Scorpions are composed of a head, eyes, a mouth or chelicerae, pedipalps or claws, a tail with a stinger, four pairs of walking legs, and the carapace over the body. They use their prominent claws for seizing prey and protection. Scorpions vary in color, but they are predominantly black, brown, yellow, or a variation of these colors. They are also known to have more exotic colorations, including blue and bright orange.
Scorpions consist of two main body segments: the cephalothorax and the abdomen. The cephalothorax is the anterior of the body, which includes the head, legs, and pedipalps. Scorpions have an extremely tough outer layer or cuticle that provides them with protection against predators. This cuticle has fluorescent chemicals that glow a greenish color when exposed to ultraviolet light.
Scorpions prefer warm habitats but have adapted to live in differing environments, such as savannahs, plains, mountainous pine forests, deciduous forests, caves, and rainforests. They are typically found all over the United States but are more populous in the southwest, midwest, and southernmost regions. When they are on your property, they can be dwelling under rocks, logs, or landscaping timbers. They also reside in burrows and on trees.
When scorpions invade your home, they find cover in dark and tight places, such as in corners, under cushions and furniture, in bedsheets, under pillows or piles of clothes, and even inside shoes. If you live in an area that is predisposed to scorpions and notice signs of them living in your yard, checking all of these places can help you, your family, and your pets avoid a nasty scare and potential venomous sting. Ultimately, scorpions prefer the outdoors, but they will gladly move in and stay as long as they can if your home has ample prey.
Scorpions often migrate in numbers and can quickly invade an area when food is abundant. This includes your yard and your house, making these pests an imminent threat when left unchecked. Though most scorpion stings aren’t deadly, they are extremely painful, causing numbness and localized swelling. Children, the elderly, and those who are allergic to venomous stings are more susceptible to symptoms like severe vomiting and trouble breathing. In extreme cases, death can occur when someone experiences anaphylactic shock due to a scorpion’s venom.
Scorpions also pose a threat to your pets. When threatened, these arachnids will attack in self-defense and sting multiple times if necessary to dispel their threat. Keeping them out of your home is the best line of defense against scorpion infestations. You may still need to consult a professional pest control agency such as Bulwark Exterminating when the situation is dire.
The best way to keep scorpions outdoors is to eliminate their food sources, including insects and spiders. By doing this, the inside of your home will have no appeal, and they will seek prey elsewhere.
Leaky faucets, faulty pipes, and moisture issues also attract scorpions, so correcting problems like these will also help deter them from entering your personal space. It’s also a good idea to take away access points for scorpions and other pests by sealing cracks, crevices, and holes in the foundation, around doors and windows, and in flooring.
Scorpions are a pain to deal with and can become a significant issue, especially if children or elderly family members live in your home. Professional exterminators can identify pests like scorpions, eliminate them, and implement preventative measures to protect your home from them in the future. Knowing how scorpions survive, what they feed on, and other behavioral traits will help you fight to keep your yard and home free from these pests.