Scorpions are ancient creatures. Fossil records indicate they existed over 400 million years ago, looking very much the same as they do today.
Currently there are over 1500 different kinds of scorpions throughout the world, with some nevertheless waiting to be discovered. They are found on all continents except Antarctica. There have been 90 different species of scorpions identified as living in the United States and 60 of them live in Arizona.
Every scorpion is capable of delivering a painful sting, the most deadly being the Arizona bark scorpion. Although deaths from a scorpion sting are quite scarce everyone should do their best to scorpion-proof their home.
The best way to begin scorpion-proofing your home is to eliminate the places they naturally hide in and where their food supplies (other insects) are likely to live.
Look around and remove from the outside of your home improperly piled lumber, debris on the ground, yard trimmings in piles, and other things that provide hiding places for the scorpions and their food prey.
Bark scorpions can easily climb trees and bushes. To prevent such entry to your home make sure that there aren’t any trees or bushes touching your home and providing a pathway for them to go into.
Garbage cans should not rest directly on the ground. Firewood should not be brought into the home until it is ready to go right on the fire. And any firewood should be picked examined and carefully picked up as this is one of their favorite hiding/resting spots. Excessive vegetation covering the soil should be removed or at the minimum reduced especially around the homes structure.
If there are gaps under exterior doors close them with brush strips. Gaps around windows and door framing can be sealed with caulking or weather stripping. Openings that let in wires, pipes, or other service entry should be sealed around the conduits with caulking or some other appropriate material. Vents leading to attics or crawl spaces should be effectively screened. The eaves and the roofline should be inspected to determine any possible openings leading to the attic or wall voids, and these permanently closed where possible.
For those of us living in scorpion country, especially Tucson, AZ, the following preventative measures should become a habit:
- Always shake out your shoes before putting them on in the morning.
- Check sleeping bags of beds before crawling into them.
- Check or shake out any clothing that has been laying on the floor before putting it on.
- When working in the yard, be careful when picking up anything from the ground.
- use gloves when gardening.
- Be careful when going barefoot as they deliver painful stings when accidentally stepped on.
- If there’s an infant in the house sleeping in a crib, place the legs of the crib inside large glass jars as the scorpions won’t be able to climb the glass.
Dealing with scorpions is a fact of life while living in Tucson, AZ. The time and energy invested in scorpion proofing your home is well worth the peace of mind you will gain once it is done.