Scorpions are common in Arizona, with around 55 different types of them roaming the lands. Of these 55, only 3 are common around people. And of the 3, the most dangerous scorpion in all of North America is also the most common– and that’s the bark scorpion.
But during winter months, scorpions disappear and people assume that like many other creatures, they die off during cold seasons. This is a common misconception, and they’re just actually hibernating even in places like Arizona where winter is mild.
Whenever food becomes scarce, scorpions can easily go into a state where their metabolism is almost entirely suspended – this allows them to store precious energy, and they can survive on as little as 1 insect meal for a the whole year. During this time, their metabolic rate is actually the lowest for all invertebrates!
But food scarcity isn’t what pushes scorpions to hibernate during winter. While they’re extremely resilient and are able to survive extremely cold temperatures, they would much rather prefer to wait it out and hibernate somewhere warmer. And this often means hiding somewhere in a human dwelling where it’s guaranteed to be warm.
While scorpions are considered to be solitary creatures, it’s during these colder months that they will often gather together in clusters of 20 or even 30 to huddle against the cold.
When warmer months come, you’ll see scorpions out and about again – and you may even see them in greater numbers at first, since they’ve just gathered during winter and will be slowly dispersing again back to their more solitary lifestyle.
Scorpions are attracted to human dwellings for several reasons – we have shelter from the sun, food and water sources are readily available, and our homes are a reprieve during cold winter months. Of course, making your home less attractive for scorpions is the first step in making sure they don’t call your home their home.
- Scorpions can live for several months to a year without food, but only around 2 days without water. Make sure you eliminate any readily available water source by fixing leaking plumbing and get rid of any standing water
- Scorpion diet consists of a lot of pests, so getting rid of all these other bugs means less readily available food which may make scorpions want to look elsewhere. Crickets, spiders, lizards, and even other scorpions make a tasty meal for them
- Scorpions love hiding out in undisturbed places, so inspect cabinets, closets, and other places that may be seldom disturbed in your house. Scorpions will usually try to run away when they perceive danger, and that may just mean running right outside of your house
- Scorpions can hide under rock piles, wood piles, leave piles, and other debris in your yard – clearing these away helps make your property less attractive for scorpions that may eventually find themselves closer and closer to your home
- Remove clutter around your house and eliminate hiding places for scorpions
A lot of pest control companies offer scorpion exclusion services – this is when they seal all possible entry points so scorpions (and other pests) can no longer get inside.
- Install or repair screens on windows
- Install mesh screens on vents (bathroom and exhaust vents are common scorpion entry points)
- Seal cracks and crevices along the foundation, baseboards, and walls of your home
- Install weatherstripping to close gaps on doors and windows
- Inspect the walls around pipes to make sure there are no gaps found
- When bringing inside boxes or other storage containers, give them a quick look to make sure you’re not also bringing in a hitchhiking pest
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- When clearing away debris whether you’re indoors or outdoors, wear thick gloves
- Shake clothing and other items, especially shoes, before picking them up
- Wear shoes when walking at night, especially if you’ve spotted a scorpion on your property
- Seal from the inside, as scorpions may already be in your walls
If you have scorpions inside the house, prevent them from coming up your bed by doing the following:
- Don’t leave anything hanging from the bed like blankets which they can use to climb up
- Scorpions are excellent climbers, and are able to latch on to anything except smooth surfaces like glass – so be sure to move your bed away from the walls
- Place glass jars (with the bottom cut out) on the feet of the bedframe so they’re not able to climb up
- In houses where there is a scorpion infestation, you may even spot them scuttling up your ceilings. To have peace of mind while sleeping, you may want to place a smooth surface on top of your bed. The idea is that if they’re crawling up on your ceiling and fall to the bed, they’ll hit the covering instead and slide off harmlessly on to the floor
Of course, if your house is infested by scorpions, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional pest control company for help! Professional pest control technicians are trained and will know exactly what to look for. They also come with proper equipment, and may use black light technology (which makes scorpions “glow”) to effectively and safely locate scorpions hiding in your property. Many companies also offer exclusion services, so you don’t have to worry about missing a possible entry point and having scorpions again inside the house.
For more information on scorpions, check out our Scorpion Archives!