Ever had a scorpion crawl inside your house from nowhere? You turn around and there it is. Creepy, very creepy. Often people will jump at the sight of a live and crawling scorpion. Why? Maybe it is because of the knowledge that they sting. No one likes being stung; stings are painful, yet some people even keep scorpions as pets. Scorpions are only a problem for households in the dry southern states such as Arizona, Texas and a small part of California. While there are many different types of scorpion, just knowing that they could be in the house is too much for many. So, if you have scorpions nearby, don’t worry; we will tell you how to get rid of scorpions from your house for good.
What is a scorpion?
Scorpions are arthropods with eight legs, two pedipalps (pincers) and a tail that has a venom-injecting barb. These animals have adapted to a wide range of environmental conditions, and now inhabit every continent in the world except Antarctica. Though extremely painful, scorpion stings are often harmless to human beings.
Just like spiders, scorpions have an exoskeleton instead of bones. The exoskeleton is made from a substance called chitin and is similar to the shell of a shrimp. Also, scorpions possess two poison glands that produce venom used for self-defense and hunting. They usually hunt insects, arthropods and in rare cases small vertebrates. The harsh living conditions have made them adapt to slow metabolic rates. For example, a desert scorpion can survive on one insect for a whole year!
Different Types of Scorpions Found in Texas and Arizona
About 20 different types of scorpions found in Texas and Arizona. However, the most commonly seen and encountered one is the striped back scorpion, scientifically known as Centruroides vittatus. This scorpion is pale yellow and can be identified by two dark stripes on its back. This color enables them to camouflage from predators and prey naturally.
This striped back scorpion can be found in vegetation, under rock and surface debris. They spend a lot of time on the ground. The scorpion stings, and in Texas, thousands of people have been stung by the striped back scorpions. Their venom is rarely deadly, but it is painful and causes temporary swelling, muscle spasms, and paresthesia.
Another common type of American scorpion is the bark scorpion. It is the most lethal scorpion in the US. The Bark Scorpion is one of only a few varieties of scorpions in the world that can kill a person especially if the person is elderly or a young child.
The bark scorpion is a smaller type of scorpion, growing only a few inches. ‘Can scorpions climb’ is a common query for those scared of these arthropods and unfortunately, the bark scorpion can climb. It is capable of climbing trees, wall or any rough surface. Even stranger still is that it prefers being upside down and will rest hanging beneath a garden chair or table. Unfortunately, this is why bark scorpion stings are reasonably common.
The Arizona Hairy scorpion is the largest type of scorpion in America and can grow to a length of over 6 inches. The large size enables this scorpion to prey on snakes, lizards and other scorpions. The scorpion is a pale yellow with a dark brown top for its abdomen, with enlarged pincers which are reminiscent of a lobster’s claws. You won’t be surprised to find out that, given its name, it is covered with short hairs that enable the scorpion to sense vibrations from insects and other animals. This extra ‘sense’ make the scorpion a much more efficient predator.
Why Scorpions Enter Houses
The better question here should be what attracts scorpions to your house? Well, there are three major things that a scorpion could be searching for in your home: food, shelter or moisture. Scorpions feed on insects; therefore if there are bugs in your home such as roaches, you become a potential scorpion host.
So if you are usually disorganized and untidy, do not be surprised one day when you dress up and find a scorpion crawling up your sleeve. Avoid piling up clothes on the floor and shoes all over the place. Thirdly, scorpions will invade your home especially if you have water pipes leaking all over the house. You should always keep your house floors and basements dry.
How to Get Rid of Scorpions in your House
As luck would have it, there are many remedies to get rid of scorpions from your home Which one works for you will depend on why or how they found their way in.
Scorpions can enter your home through an opening the size of a credit card. Therefore you should take a preventive measure of sealing the windows, doors, and foundation. Ensure that your windows close tightly and the screens should be sealed. Also, fill in cracks and holes in your walls and foundation using caulk or cement.
Scorpions would often hide in dark places, especially during the day. Therefore, to get rid of scorpions from your home, do away with structures in and around your home that could be the possible hiding places. For example, always keep all your rooms neat and organized as scorpions can hide in piles of clothes on the floor. Also, store boxes on shelves and trim bushes that scorpions can hide under outside your home.
You can plant it in your home garden or around the perimeter of your home. Lavender smells wonderful and is at the same time a deterrent to scorpions. Moreover, the plant is easy to grow and maintain. This can serve as a long-term remedy. Therefore, you should use other ways in the meantime to get rid of scorpions.
You’re probably wondering what animal kills scorpions that you would want in the house. Well surprisingly, cats, even with their playful nature, have been known to hunt and kill scorpions around the household. However, do not force a pet to catch a scorpion because when they do so willingly, they will have the courage to do what is needed. Dogs also are a good scorpion killer. However, if you want to know what animal is the best scorpion killer, and an animal you may be less inclined to consider a family pet, then the award goes to chickens. If your yard needs clearing of scorpions, chickens will peck away at any stray scorpion that crosses its path. Chickens are awesome scorpion killers.
Yellow lights do not attract scorpions as much as the white lights do. Therefore, switch your outdoor security lights to yellow to reduce the population of scorpion invasion. Buying yellow bulbs would be appropriate.
Cedar oil is the best natural insecticide for scorpions. It is effective against all insects and arthropods and it is an especially efficient remedy to get rid of scorpions. The oil causes the scorpion to suffer from osmotic dehydration and suffocation. Additionally, cedar oil emulsifies the scorpion’s body fats and finally kills them. (2) You can spray the home and basement with cedar oil solution or for outside, cedar wood chippings can be used in flower beds and any other wooded area that you want to get rid of scorpions from.
Neem oil is another great essential oil that has effective insecticide properties. You can use it to get rid of scorpions alongside cedar oil as it has a different mechanism compared to other insecticides. Basically, the compounds found in neem oil enter the insects’ bodies and destabilize the functioning of the insects’ hormonal system. Consequently, the scorpions top eating, and mating (3). Their whole life cycle is disrupted.
Boric acid is another favorite home remedy to get rid of scorpions. Easily attained from a hardware shop, it is strong insecticide and can be sprinkled liberally across the home without fear of toxicity to humans or pets.
If you’re wondering what attracts scorpions, the short answer is food. Scorpions feed on insects, therefore if there are any infestations in your home, you will have a difficult time chasing away the scorpions. Follow these tips to get rid of crickets, or these to get rid of spiders which are scorpion food favorites. But as a rule, get rid of the bugs and the scorpions will follow.
Scorpions are mostly active at night. Therefore, a fast way to get rid of them is to hunt them at this time. However, you have to be courageous for this task. You will need a black ultraviolet light to search them out and something to squat them with. If they are hiding in a crevice, use tweezers to prize them out. Shine your UV lamp across your yard, in your basement etc. The scorpions will glow blue and are easy to spot.
Diatomaceous earth is another natural insecticide that kill scorpions by desiccating or scorching them. The powder can be sprinkled liberally across the home (as you would use boric acid) as it is harmless to pets and humans. Remember to put on a mask/respirator during application so as not to breathe the powder. (6)
If you have leaves and firewood piled up in your back yard, the chances are that these could be the Scorpions’ entry points. Therefore, always clean up your yard. The garbage pit should be far away from home, as well as the firewood store. If you can’t clear your firewood, sprinkle cedar wood chipping liberally over the logs.
Ok, man traps may be a little on the large side for scorpions. Try glue traps instead – traditionally used for mice and rats, but they work a treat on scorpions. What’s more, scorpions are creatures of habit and will stick to well define ‘runs’ along the corners of the wall. Strategically placed glue traps will pick them off one by one. Another solution (I would argue less effective) is a burlap trap. Scorpions will seek out damp dark places in the day and a wet burlap sack provides an enticing resting place. Just remember to empty the traps in the morning.
- Seal your house to prevent scorpions from slipping in.
- Dry up floors and basements to create a repelling environment for the scorpions.
- Adapt to yellow outdoor bulbs to reduce scorpion attraction to your home.
- Keep all your rooms neat and tidy so as not to create a favorable environment for the scorpions.
- Do not pile up debris and firewood in your backyard.
- Do not ignore broken pipes that cause leaking inside your home. Repair them as soon as possible.
- Do not go hunting for scorpions without the necessary equipment.
- Do not spray harmful insecticides at night or when children and pets are around.