Arizona’s stunning desert landscapes and warm climate come with their own unique challenges, and one of them is dealing with Arizona scorpions finding their way into your home. These creatures, while fascinating in their own right, can be unwelcome guests when they invade your living spaces and surprise you in the middle of the night.
Arizona is home to four distinct types of scorpions, each with its own behaviors and characteristics—although they are often hard to tell apart at first glance. Luckily, there are some effective strategies and preventative measures you can take to keep these scorpions out of your house and maintain a pest-free environment.
Types of Arizona Scorpions
Before diving into the strategies for keeping Arizona scorpions out of your home, it’s important to understand the four distinct types of scorpions commonly found in the region. Each of these scorpions have their own markings, habitat, and levels of harm to humans. Knowing which is which can help you identify scorpions that you see around your house so that exterminators can find an effective solution to your problem.
As with any wild animal, it is important to be cautious around them, not to get too close, and let the removal of the pest be handled by professionals in order to avoid getting hurt.
Arizona Bark Scorpions
Appearance: Arizona bark scorpions are typically light brown,yellow, or tan in color with slender bodies and two narrow pincers.
Habitat: These scorpions are often found in and around homes. They seek shelter in cool, damp areas, such as crawl spaces and under rocks or debris usually through access points like cracks in walls, in the foundation, and weep holes.
Harmfulness: Arizona bark scorpions are the only scorpions in Arizona with a potentially dangerous sting. Their stings can cause pain and discomfort, but they are not life-threatening. They can, however, be more serious in children, elderly adults, and those with allergies.
Striped Tail Scorpions
Appearance: They are identified by their striped tails and have a pale yellowish to light brown coloration.
Habitat: Striped-tail scorpions prefer to stick within their desert climates, but will occasionally make their way into homes, usually through access points like cracks in walls and in the foundation.
Harmfulness: Their stings can be painful, but should not cause any reaction unless you have an allergic reaction, like a bee. If you have an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately.
Giant Hairy Scorpions
Appearance: These are among the largest Arizona scorpions and are dark brown or black in color.
Habitat: Giant hairy scorpions are less likely to be found in your house than other types of scorpions, but can be found outside in your yard or driveway. They like to hide in burrows or under rocks and plants to shield themselves from the hot sun.
Harmfulness: Although they can be scary looking, giant hairy scorpions do not have a venomous sting and will only cause discomfort if stung, unless you are allergic.
Yellow Ground Scorpions
Appearance: Yellow ground scorpions are yellow to light brown in color and are often confused with Arizona bark scorpions.
Habitat: As with other types of scorpions, yellow ground scorpions like open desert areas, with dry, sandy environments. They can often wander into homes and landscaping areas that mimic their habitats.
Harmfulness: They can cause painful stings, but are not dangerous to humans unless you have an allergy to them which may cause a more severe reaction including redness and more pain.
How to Identify Common Arizona Scorpions
Telling Arizona scorpions apart can be tricky as they all have similar body shapes and general appearances, with the exception being giant hairy scorpions who stand out due to their dark color and large size. In spite of this, there are some key characteristics that can help you tell each Arizona scorpion type apart.
Arizona bark scorpions, for example, have a distinct segmented tail and long, slender pincers. They are often found climbing walls and ceilings, rather than scurrying across the ground like yellow ground scorpions. Bark scorpions, though, have a unique feature that sets them apart from the rest: they glow under UV light, helping you to find them at night.
Striped tail scorpions have medium-sized pincers compared to other scorpions, and their stripes are usually what identifies them, standing out against their yellowish bodies.
Yellow ground scorpions are less likely to be found in small spaces, but rather open areas, and have a robust body shape instead of the usual slender of the Arizona bark scorpion.
While these characteristics can help you differentiate between the common scorpion types, it may still be challenging to make an accurate identification, especially in low-light conditions. If you do see a scorpion around your house or property, it’s important to call exterminators so that they are able to remove it without incident.
Arizona Scorpion Behavior and Habits
Understanding scorpion behavior and habits is important to managing and preventing encounters with them.
Nocturnal Creatures: Scorpions are primarily nocturnal, meaning they are most active during the night, which is when you are likely to see them around your home. They have adapted to low-light environments.
Food: Scorpions are carnivorous, eating mostly insects and small arthropods, using their pincers to grab prey, while their stings help immobilize it. They may be found around insect-ridden areas, looking for their next dinner.
Shelter: In order to avoid the bright light of the sun, scorpions seek shelter during the day. This means they will hide under rocks, logs, debris, or cracks in walls. You might find a scorpion anywhere that is cool, dark, and protected.
Climbing abilities: Although it doesn’t seem like it, scorpions are excellent climbers. They can scale walls and any vertical surfaces with ease, including ceilings and upper walls of your home.
When threatened: Scorpions are not usually aggressive to humans, but if they feel threatened, they will use their stingers as a defense mechanism. While most Arizona scorpion stings will only hurt, the Arizona bark scorpion is venomous and can cause harm to certain populations like children and the elderly.
Maintaining a Scorpion-Free Environment
Maintaining a scorpion-free environment in scorpion-prone regions like Arizona is essential for peace of mind and safety. To make sure your home is protected from scorpions, start by sealing all potential entry points into your home, such as any gaps in doors, windows, and cracks in walls or the foundation. Scorpions can squeeze through tiny holes and make their way into your home to find shelter.
The following can serve a check-list to help scorpion-proof your home.
- Inspect and repair any damaged screens or weather stripping.
- Keep your living spaces clean and clutter-free; like cockroaches, scorpions are drawn to hiding spots created by clutter.
- For the outside of your home, store firewood, rocks, and other debris far away from your home to get rid of potential hiding places for scorpions. This also means trimming back any vegetation near the home.
- Use yellow bug lights outside to help minimize insects at night, which are a scorpion’s main food source and can draw them to your front porch.
When to Call a Professional Exterminator
Despite your best efforts, Arizona scorpions still may find their way into or around your home. While most scorpions aren’t harmful—only painful—it’s better to get rid of them for peace of mind and safety for children and those with allergies
If you notice a scorpion in your house, it’s time to call a professional exterminator. At House Doctor Exterminating, we have the knowledge, tools, and experience, to safely eliminate scorpions from your living spaces. We conduct thorough inspections, identifying all entry points, and implementing treatments to get rid of scorpions and their hiding places. Don’t hesitate to seek out assistance to get rid of any type of Arizona scorpion.