Few things in life can make my skin crawl; one of them is a scorpion. Thankfully I have not come across scorpions many times, but I have heard of people battling scorpion infestations. I was under the impression that scorpions are solitary creatures, so what can cause a sudden scorpion infestation?
A sudden scorpion infestation can be caused by drought. Because they need water like all animals, they will move indoors to survive instead of facing water and food shortage in their natural habitat. Moisture and darkness inside will be the main reason for their nesting and infesting your house.
Understanding the natural habitat of a scorpion will be vital to help you identify the reason for the sudden infestation. It is not rare or odd to find a solitary scorpion in your house from time to time, especially if you live in an arid area. Scorpions love to burrow and live mainly in darkness, so with that in mind, let us explore why you might have an infestation and what you can do to remedy it.
Things That Attract Scorpions
There can be several reasons for a sudden infestation, but we can take a look at the following four main attractions for scorpions:
- Moisture. Scorpions love moisture and, like any animal, need it to survive. In scorching summers, they will often move indoors, searching for water. They can make their way through the plumbing or drainage pipes. That is how they end up in the bathtub or kitchen sink.
- Darkness. Scorpions are nocturnal creatures. They mainly hunt and night, and this also helps them to preserve energy and water. A house has many dark places for a scorpion to hide. This is why you will find them in shoes or under cupboards.
- Food. Because scorpions feed on other insects, they will migrate after the abundance a house can offer. However, if they do not need to work hard to hunt, they will stay.
- Shelter. Logs, rotting plant matter, and rocks are familiar hiding places for scorpions. Removing these from your yard can cause scorpions to look for alternative sheltering. In addition, crevices and gaps under doors will allow easy access to your house.
Generally, most homes will have an attraction point for scorpions; you can start preventative measures if you can identify them.
How Do I Prevent A Scorpion Infestation?
Preventing a scorpion infestation is relatively simple. If you start using the four points of attraction as a reference, you can identify the most critical area to remedy. Once scorpions move into your house, they will not move out unaided. Scorpions can multiply rapidly and mate all year round. They give live birth and can live up to 25 years.
Start by walking around your yard and taking note of any rubble, plant material, and piled-up rocks. Always wear garden gloves if you suspect scorpions to be around; you don’t want to get stung. Next, make a note of any crevices, deep cracks, and exposed drainage or water pipes. Access points to your basement need to be inspected as well.
Here are some easy, necessary steps you can take to prevent future infestations;
- Sealing entry points. Using a sealant or filler, close all access points where a scorpion could fit through. They only need a tiny aperture or opening to fit through.
- Inspect inside. Looking in cupboards and closets regularly is a good idea. Shake out shoes before putting them on, thoroughly clean, and shake out clothing cupboards often.
- Remove rubble. Periodically clean out leaf and plant debris. Keep firewood logs away from the house.
- Repair pipes. Replace or repair any leaking pipes outside. Constant dripping and water access will encourage scorpions to move in. They can quickly gain access through the plumbing system as moisture is a big attraction for them.
- Crickets. Scorpions love crickets, and it is one of their favorite foods. By eliminating crickets around your house will be a sure way to discourage scorpions from moving in.
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Are Scorpions Dangerous?
Not all scorpions are venomous; however, their sting is quite painful. Therefore, children are always more susceptible to adverse reactions. There are around 30 of the 1500 species that can cause a fatality if they sting a human. In the USA, only the bark scorpion is considered to be poisonous enough to cause a reaction.
Here are some facts about scorpions that you might want to know as a home-owner;
- Glow in the dark. Scorpions have a hyaline layer in their exoskeleton that causes them to glow in the dark, and you can effectively find them in the night using a black light.
- Empty houses. You are more likely to find scorpions in newly built vacant homes. They will also be more prolific in areas outside of the metropolitan area.
- Long life. A scorpion can live between 3 and 6 years in captivity and up to 25 years in the wild.
- Solitary creatures. If scorpions are found to be grouping together, it might be out of desperation and circumstantial. They are usually solitary and prefer to live by themselves.
- Climbing. Scorpions cannot climb vertically on some smooth glass; they do not have hair on their feet for grip like spiders.
- Live birth. Scorpions can multiply fast and can have 100 babies in a single birthing, so you can very quickly have an infestation in your house with just one female.
Although most scorpions are not dangerous or deadly, care should still be taken when handling them; their sting can cause a localized reaction like a wasp sting. In addition, some people can be allergic to their venom even if it is not a venomous species.
What To Do If You Accidentally Get Stung By A Scorpion
There is always a chance that you can get stung by a scorpion; not only will they hide in obscure places, but they also love shoes and climbing in between sheets. If you do end up being stung, here are some basic suggestions you can follow. Keep in mind that children can react more severely:
- Wash and clean the site of the sting with soap and water.
- Use a wrapped ice pack and apply it to the site. This will help reduce swelling.
- If you experience difficulty breathing or swallowing, please go to the nearest ER.
- You can take over-the-counter painkillers.
Because individual animals like scorpions can carry the Tetanus bacteria, ensure that your tetanus shots are up to date.
How Do I Effectively Kill Scorpions?
Identifying and finding the scorpions’ entry points is the first step; preventing them from re-entering is the second. Now you have to look at how to eliminate the infestation. Here are some things you can do to kill them effectively:
- Conduct a thorough search. Doing an inspection at night with a black light will help you find scorpions more effectively.
- Kill them on site. You can use your shoe or a strong swatter to kill the ones you find immediately.
- Spray insecticide. You can mix and spray insecticide that is designed for scorpions either on contact or as a prevention. Spray an area of about 6 feet around the house, on the walls and perimeter.
- Scatter synthetic insecticide dust. This powder can be scattered around the house, in the basement, and will still be useful even if it becomes wet. This is a suitable prevention method.
- Cats and chickens. You can introduce cats and chickens to your household as a more natural control mechanism. Both cats and chickens love to hunt and eat scorpions.
- Cinnamon. You can sprinkle the ground cinnamon powder around your house. It is a very effective deterrent against scorpions and very safe for children and other animals.
- Professional extermination. If you have done everything possible to eliminate the scorpion infestation and have no success, it would be best to call a professional pest control company to assist you.
Although scorpions are not a common pest or particularly dangerous, they can become quite a nuisance. Changes in the climate that brings on droughts will be one of the main reasons for a sudden scorpion infestation. However, there are several ways you can immediately remedy the problem and use helpful hints to prevent future re-infestations from occurring.
If you don’t have any small children or other animals, the insecticide route will be the simplest and most effective way to rid your home of scorpions. However, if you prefer a more natural, environmentally friendly approach, you can harness the help of chickens, cats, or cinnamon. All you need to do now to be safe is stay clear of that stinger.