One of the most frightening things you may ever see in this world is a mother scorpion scuttling on the ground and carrying her babies – on her back! It may not look like it, but scorpions actually have great maternal instincts and are excellent caretakers of their brood as far as arthropods go (unless she gets too hungry… in which case, a mother scorpion has been known to snack on a baby or two, but only as a last resort, thank goodness). She carries them for several days and protects them until their first molt — shortly after, these baby scorpions will learn to hunt for themselves and leave to make a life of their own.
Baby scorpions are called scorplings, and unlike most arachnids, they are born alive and are even born one by one. While scorpions usually give birth to 20 to 30 babies, they can have as many as 100 babies per brood!
Scorplings are born with a very soft and light-colored exoskeleton which leaves them vulnerable to predators, and will climb on their mother’s back one by one for relative safety where they’ll stay for about 2 weeks.Once they molt, these exoskeletons will be replaced by another exoskeleton that is much harder, and this process will repeat a number of times throughout a scorpion’s life as it grows older and changes size.
A young scorpion will have a lighter color, and while they’re not able to sting as babies, once they’ve molted and have left their mothers they’ll have stings as painful (and as dangerous) as an adult’s. If you find one wandering your home, chances are its siblings, and possibly their mother, is still nearby.
Treat it as you would an adult scorpion and handle it with care. Make sure you’re wearing protective gear like gloves. If you’d like to release it outside, make sure to put it in a secure container to keep it away from your hands while you’re walking. Otherwise, insecticides will do the trick, and you’ll want to spray on cracks and crevices where more could be hiding.
Glue traps also work for catching scorpions and their food sources – which, by the way, you’ll want to get rid of as well if you don’t want scorpions in your house. They eat a number of insects, spiders, lizards, other scorpions and even small mammals like mice! Taking away their food source will make them want to move to more fertile lands.
You’ll then want to seal possible entry points into your house, such as cracks and crevices they can come into from outside. Put mesh on your outside vents, and screens on windows.
Note that scorpions would rather flee than attack you, but studies have shown that a mother carrying babies on her back may be more aggressive – this is likely because fleeing with her brood on her back makes for a slow escape, so she may want to take her chances with you head on. Handle with extreme care, or better yet, call a professional exterminator!