Even folks who are not from the desert are familiar with the trademark shape of a scorpion. The unmistakable long, narrow body silhouette with eight legs and two pincers in front is a sight that may produce an alarm if you see the insect in your home.
Vicious and intimidating to many, the most common type of scorpion in Arizona is the bark scorpion, which is pale yellow or golden brown in color. They are nocturnal and carnivorous, dining on small insects and even other scorpions, all of which are abundant in our Sonoran Desert. Scorpions are never out of a food supply.
Scorpions take on the valuable role of keeping certain insect populations balanced, but you can still do without them in your home, and one thing leads to another when it comes to how scorpions can be invited in. Preventing other pests from besieging your lovely manor will in turn keep scorpions at bay. Here are a few tips for monitoring and controlling the scorpion population in and around your home:
Keep your home decluttered- Stacks of paper, piles of clothing on the floor, and heaps of collected items are all fair game for scorpions to hide out since they love dark places.
Organize frequently- Make sure you reorganize cupboards and drawers regularly. Keeping these contents stirred up and organized will discourage scorpions from making a home there, but take this step with care. Vacuum storage spaces before you return their contents in case there are babies you can’t see. Baby scorpions are tiny and particularly dangerous since they can’t control the amount of venom they inject into their prey.
Be alert to their favorite places- Closets, under beds and furniture, and even your shoes, are cool, dark hangouts for scorpions. Some Arizona residents are in the habit of checking shoes before they put them on for this reason.
Watch for their predators – If you notice an unusual population of rodents and birds hanging out in certain parts of your property, this could signal a problem with pests such as the myriad of desert bugs and scorpions.
Keep an eye on your pet’s water dish- In our present dry spell, every creature, including scorpions, is looking for a source of water. If your pet likes to get up during the night for a snack and a drink of water, lurking nocturnal scorpions can pose a threat.
Get a scorpion light – Scorpions luminesce in the dark. You can invest in a UV penlight to spot them in dark areas and avoid stings.
Schedule routine pest control- Most homeowners opt for an annual contract with a pest control specialist, but individuals with pronounced sensitivities to venom may want a biannual barrier of protection applied.
Taking these measures certainly help with keeping the scorpion population in check, but they are challenging to combat, particularly if you live in a newer development close to a less populated area. It may seem like a blessing in disguise that scorpions eat bugs, but the trade-off is that they are not choosy about who they sting. If anyone in your household is allergic to their venom, it can cause fatal anaphylaxis. If you get stung and it’s your first time by a scorpion, you may need to seek medical attention.