Scorpions, Pest Control Enemy #1

Bark Scorpion

Bark Scorpion

Pest control clients obviously don’t like bugs, but Scorpions are actually feared for a good reason.  Tucson’s local bark scorpion is highly venomous. Bark Scorpions are between ¼” – 3” in size and light tan in color, this is the most common scorpion in southern Arizona.  The venom in this scorpion contains a potent neurotoxin.  Bark scorpions can be easily identified by its two slender claws and a tiny black dot above its stinger.  The bark scorpion is an excellent climber.  This scorpion is commonly encountered running up walls or on ceilings in structures.  Some favorite resting areas for this scorpion is under tree bark or palm fronds.

The bark scorpion is nocturnal and is active in Arizona year round.  It will feed on many different soft bodied insects and arachnids including other scorpions.  Female scorpions give birth to live scorpions that stay on her back for a short period of time.  A quality scorpion control program is a partnership between the homeowner and the pest control applicator.  Pest control operators will focus on strong pest control practices.  Practices include treating harborage areas, utilizing specialized products labeled for scorpions, applying wider chemical barriers, concentrate on entry points, and make recommendations for homeowners.  Homeowners can improve their pest control program in two critical areas that includes smart landscaping and actual physical exclusion.

ID-Desert-Hairy-Scorpion-2Smart landscaping is basically sanitation for the yard.  Don’t store anything next to the foundation of the home, these areas provide excellent scorpion harborage areas.  This includes minimizing landscape debris, wood piles or other areas that can provide shelter.  Any trees touching the structure must be cut back, because scorpions are excellent climbers.  This also includes trimming or shaving palm frond stems a favorite harborage area of bark scorpions.

Exclusion is limiting the potential entry points into the home.  Doors and door sweeps need to be tight fitting.  A simple rule is if you see light coming from any area around the door, it is open for scorpions to walk in.  This also includes windows and vents. In addition cracks, crevices, gaps, and voids must be sealed off with caulking and fine screening to limit any other potential areas of entry.  This includes the gap next to the drip screed under the stucco (the gap between the stucco wall and the stemwall).  But, be carefully some openings shouldn’t be sealed like a dryer vent (damage the dryer) or drip screed drainage holes (doesn’t allow moisture to drain from stucco after it rains).

Bark scorpions are a challenging pest.  Despite their scary looks and potent sting they can be controlled.  Essential Pest Management can solve any difficult scorpion problem utilizing our Power Pest Program.  Our service specialist will utilize the latest in technology and make recommendations to provide long term control.