- WHERE DO SCORPIONS LIVE?
- SCORPION INFESTATIONS
- HOW TO TREAT FOR SCORPIONS
- HOW TO TREAT INSIDE THE HOME FOR SCORPIONS
- USE A BLACK LIGHT TO FIND SCORPIONS AT NIGHT
- SCORPION TRAPS
- BEST SCORPION SPRAY FOR LIVING AREAS
- HOW TO KEEP SCORPIONS OUT OF THE HOUSE
- DON’T FORGET TO TREAT ATTICS AND CRAWL SPACES
- THE BEST DUST FOR ATTICS AND CRAWL SPACES
- CONTACT US
Scorpions are found in most parts of the United States. It used to be that they were only considered a “southern pest”, but in recent years have been found in many northern tier states. This is most likely due to them being relocated, along with nursery stock, since it is highly unlikely they have migrated any significant distance. Though scorpions are mobile and will travel several hundred feet during their lifetimes, interstate relocation’s would not be possible without the help of man.
WHERE DO SCORPIONS LIVE? ^
Many shrubs, plants, flowers and trees are commercially grown in the south and then sold to markets in northern states. It is not uncommon for some unwanted “hitchhikers” to travel with such stock when sold and during this time, many pests will be relocated to areas where they normally don’t exist. Though the weather may be too harsh for most of these pests, some will find refuge in heated malls and other facilities which have controlled environments. Some will eventually find their way into homes and other buildings where they are able to establish themselves and start to reproduce. Though this is happening around the United States, the bulk of scorpion infestations are still most common in the mid to southern states and extend from the west coast to the east coast.
SCORPION BIOLOGY ^
Scorpions are generally a nocturnal animal; they prefer to be active during the night. They have poor eyesight yet thrive in the dark relying on their strong body, pinchers and stinger as a way to both defend and navigate any hostile environment. Scorpions have been referred to as “land lobsters” because they resemble something you would expect to see in the ocean – like a lobster – rather then a land dwelling insect.
Scorpions have a three part body comprised of the cephalothorax (head), their main body or trunk which has 7 segments and their tail, which has 6 segments. The last segment of their tail works like a universal joint with a stinger attached. Scorpions are able to maneuver their tail in any direction and though most people think of them stinging in the classic “C” position with stinger over their head, scorpions will sting anyway possible when danger is present. Scorpions have 8 legs along with a set of pinchers up front which are quite strong and agile. They use these pinchers for hunting their prey, self defense, grooming and maintaining their young.
LIFE CYCLE OF SCORPIONS ^
Scorpions bear live young with litters containing 25-50 on average. These babies will climb onto the back of the mother scorpion where they will feed and grow for 1-3 weeks before moving off and out into the real world. Scorpions take a long time to develop. It is estimated that the average scorpion will molt several times during the first few years of life and reach maturity after 3-4 years. They will then go on to live 5-10 years in the wild; longer in controlled environments which are not so harsh.
There are several species of scorpions in and around the United States. Some of the more common ones include the Black and Stripe Back Scorpion as well as the Bark Scorpion. The Southern Devil and the Slender Devil are also native to the States. These all have a stinger which can deliver toxins and poison which is in line with the sting of a wasp or bee. Like bee and wasp stings, there will usually be some pain followed by swelling and discomfort for several days. However, the sting of the Sculptured Scorpion can be more of hazard. These stings can be deadly and have accounted for many deaths over the years.
The Sculptured Scorpion resides in Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Texas and California. It happens to be among the smaller sized scorpions reaching 2-3 inches at best. One key to identifying this species is the length of their pinchers. The pinchers on the sculptured scorpion will be quite long compared to other species. As with all scorpions, you should not handle them or touch them. If you live in an area where they are present or a home which has scorpion activity, take care to avoid contact with them. This video shows what the common Pine or Black Scorpion looks like.
WHAT DO SCORPIONS EAT? ^
Scorpions are predatory by nature and feed on a wide array of insects. Their strong pinchers, along with their venomous sting, enable them to be fierce and effective hunters. Scorpions will be active mainly at night choosing to rest and hide during the day. Prime locations where they might nest or hide includes under rocks, mulch comprised of pine straw, wood chips or compost, logs, flower bed coverings made of vinyl and other weed reducing material, railroad ties, patio slabs and just about anything found in and around the home which is part of the landscape.
At night, scorpions will forage looking for food and mates. Though scorpions have 2-12 eyes, they don’t see well. Instead, they rely on their strong yet sensitive pinchers to both feel and grab their prey. Prime food targets include roaches, ants, grasshoppers and other ground dwelling insects. However, most any scorpion will readily accept a termite if they had to make a choice. This is thought to be true since termites are so fleshy, nutritious and bountiful. For this reason, scorpions tend to be attracted to areas which are moist, shady and full of insects – classic conditions for most any insect population – especially termites !!
SCORPION INFESTATIONS ^
Scorpions present a hazard both in the yard and in the home. They love to reside where it is moist and irrigated lawns and landscaping will naturally attract them. It is thought they are coming for the other insects on which to feed but regardless of why they come around, once they are found in the grass and turf some will undoubtedly find their way inside. For this reason it is important that you address outside populations on a regular or maintenance type program.
As is the case with many perimeter invading pests, by keeping outside populations in check, you can dramatically reduce the risk of any getting inside local structures. This will help to reduce contact with people which in turn will help to minimize the chance of anyone getting stung. Around the home, scorpions love to nest in flower beds, mulch piles, under wood chips or pine straw and in garages which store a lot of boxes or other items on the floor. The scorpions flat body lends itself well to being able to crawl under most any object. This ability to crawl into small cracks and crevices is what makes the scorpion a common invader to our living environments.
HOW SCORPIONS GET INSIDE THE HOUSE ^
Scorpions are great climbers and will readily scale brick, wood, stucco and most any siding on a house. This means if you let them live around the home, some will invariably move inside. They do this seeking both warmth and refuge and once inside, will require extensive treatments to exterminate established populations. Treating them outside is both easier and less costly and should be done on a regular basis if you reside where scorpions are present.
HOW TO TREAT FOR SCORPIONS ^
Controlling a scorpion problem involves treating the main nest sites and keeping a “scorpion free” zone around the home. If you preventive treat for scorpions, you can many times reduce the population living around the home so few if any come inside. This is by far the best approach. So if you’re seeing some in the yard, don’t wait. Treat now and in the long run it will prove a lot easier to get rid of them. Once inside the home, there are various products and methods needed to deal with the locations they’ll most likely want to nest.
FIRST APPLY GRANULES AROUND THE FOUNDATION ^
There are two types of preventive maintenance which should be done around the home. First, apply DELTAMETHRIN GRANULES around the home quarterly. Use them monthly for active problems; once every 3 months to make sure they don’t return.
Deltagard should be applied at the rate of 5 lbs per 2500 sq/ft of mulch, grass or flower beds. Treat at least a 10 foot band around the home; a house 40 ft deep by 60 feet wide would require 5 lbs to treat this 10 foot band.
A good push behind fertilizer spreader can be used to apply the Deltagard. For landscaped areas, you might find our GRANULE SPREADER to be easier to use.
Deltagard granules pose no hazard to people or pets when applied properly.
NEXT SPRAY OVER THE GRANULES AND OVER THE FOUNDATION ^
Since the Deltamethrin Granules are slow acting and need a week or so to “kick in”, the use of a liquid material over the turf will be needed if you want immediate knockdown. CYKICK CS is an excellent material for this type of application. Use 1 oz per gallon of water and use the mixed spray over 1,000 sq/ft of turf.
Cykick is unique in that its a time released microencapsulated formulation. This is important and very much needed when treating for scorpions. The active won’t be absorbed by the turf or concrete but will instead lay on treated surfaces ready to be picked up by foraging insects like scorpions. Retreat monthly for active problems; once every 2-3 months to make sure they don’t return.
You’ll need a good PUMP SPRAYER to apply the Cykick; make sure it can provide a nice wide “swath” when spraying. This will insure proper coverage and uniform dispersion.
For treating the whole yard, the 20 GALLON HOSE END SPRAYER. will prove easy to use and efficient. This is the type of sprayer that connects to your garden hose. Add 4 oz of Cykick and fill it 1/4 to 1/2 of the way to cover up to 5,000 sq/ft of turf. Using the water from your garden hose will prove easy and a real time saver for large treatments.
Getting the local turf, flower beds and mulch areas soaked will insure you penetrate down where scorpions like to hide. Be sure to spray the sides of the home with it as well. Direct the spray at the foot of the foundation and come up at least 3 feet. Since scorpions will regularly climb up just about any building, treating the side of the home is important and should be done a regular basis. Just keep children and pets away when the application is done but they will be able to safely access the treatment sights once all areas are dry. This will usually be within an hour of the application.
HOW TO TREAT INSIDE THE HOME FOR SCORPIONS ^
Anyone with current nesting and scorpions active in the home should be taking a lot of precautions to insure occupants don’t get stung. Be especially careful at night when walking around. Since scorpions are nocturnal, it is highly likely that you will encounter them when it is dark. Try to wear slippers, sandals or some other footwear to minimize the possibility of being stung when walking around.
USE A BLACK LIGHT TO FIND SCORPIONS AT NIGHT ^
Stepping on a scorpion is one of the more common ways people get stung so be careful at night! If you see scorpions on a regular basis in the home during the night, get a BLACK LIGHT to help identify where they are located. Scorpions reflect the light making them very visible and easy to see. Check out this video to see just how easy a scorpion is to see when using our Black Light.
Black Lights are a great tool to help avoid contact and should be used by children, elderly persons or anyone that is overly sensitive to a scorpion sting. For extra protection, arm yourself with a HAND HELD ZAPPER. This device is a neat little tool that can be used on scorpions, spiders, roaches, wasps, bees and just about any unwanted insect. It works by electrocuting the targeted insect and is very effective and handy to have around.
SCORPION TRAPS ^
Another great tool to help locate prime scorpion nest sites are SCORPION GLUE TRAPS. These have a unique insect smell scorpions will notice and once they smell it, they’ll want to enter. Undetectable by people, these traps should be used in any room where scorpions have been seen suspected to be living. Traps should be placed along baseboards but other key places to trap scorpions include closets, either side of any door leading outside (especially garage doors), basements and attics. Set them out every 10-15 feet and change them quarterly; immediately once filled.
Since scorpions are great climbers, it is very common for any house to get them active on the second level or upstairs. This happens because scorpions will readily climb the outside of the structure and enter around the roof line or soffit leading to the attic. Once inside, they will nest in the insulation and wood work of both attics and crawl spaces. In fact, it is very common for homes to have scorpions living in these two areas for some time before they are ever noticed. This is because attics serve host to many invaders. It is very common for wood roaches, ants, beetles, flies and other pests to enter attics and never make it to living areas.
BEST SCORPION SPRAY FOR LIVING AREAS ^
If the frequency of sightings in the home leads you to believe there could wide spread nest sites, there are a few products that should be employed. The first to use is PT-PHANTOM AEROSOL for any crack or crevice where you suspect they might be residing. This product comes with a thin crack and crevice tube that enables one to direct the material deep into spaces where scorpions like to live. Phantom will kill them slowly (about 2-4 days) since it’s not fast acting. But this is very much by design. Phantom’s unique formulation enables it to work slowly and during this time following their initial exposure, scorpions which touch the treatment can “share” it with other scorpions. This enables the treatments to have a much bigger impact.
Plus Phantom goes on dry and odorless. For inside applications, this is a big advantage. Treatments with Phantom will last 2-4 weeks when applied to non-porous surfaces. Focus your application to the baseboard molding, around door and window frames, around air flow register frames and generally anywhere there are slight voids, cracks or crevices that might host or allow scorpions to enter. Within a week, you should start finding dead scorpions. And if you treat once a month, the problem won’t be able to get established again inside.
Phantom is well suited for small homes or houses with hard wood floors. But if you have a big house and a big problem, the CYKICK CS listed above can be sprayed inside. Mix 1 oz per gallon in a good PUMP SPRAYER like the one listed above and use the mixture to spray baseboards, under furniture, etc. Cykick is odorless and does well inside for a wide range of pests like scorpions.
HOW TO KEEP SCORPIONS OUT OF THE HOUSE ^
For longer protection compared to spraying the Phantom or Cykick inside, consider the use of a dust called DRIONE. This dry, highly repellent dessicant is very different acting in that scorpions hate it and will avoid where it has been applied. For this reason, Drione is better suited for the treatment of electric outlets, light fixtures and other routes of entry to living spaces. In fact treating these locations in addition to spraying is a good idea. But you could opt to use nothing but Drione and get it applied to all baseboards instead of spraying on a regular basis. Drione only has to be applied twice a year when problems are active; once a year to make sure they don’t return. This long lasting residual makes it a good choice for keeping the inside areas scorpion free if you prefer to use something long lasting requiring less upkeep.
The only “downside” to using Drione is that its light and “white” like confection sugar so it will be visible where applied. Try directing applications to cracks and crevices where scorpions want to use for nesting or entering the room and use a HAND DUSTER to help with the treatment. They will allow you to make precise applications and to help minimize waste. Any applied which misses the target sight can be wiped up with a damp paper towel or rag. Once Drione gets wet, it loses it’s effectiveness so don’t saturate the treated areas with water.
DON’T FORGET TO TREAT ATTICS AND CRAWL SPACES ^
Since scorpions like to climb, they’re more likely to be in the attic instead of a crawl space. But once they find this good place to nest, it won’t be long before the first few living in your attic will mate and start to reproduce. Once the young start leaving their mother, they will forage out and though many will stay in the attic, others will forage down into living areas. The same thing can happen in crawl spaces.
If you have one or two scorpions being found in living areas over the course of a year, this is probably due to the local outside population which needs to be addressed with the outside treatments described above. However, if you are seeing a lot of small, young scorpions or if you see one or more adult a month, you most likely have an active population in the attic or crawl space which needs immediate attention.
THE BEST DUST FOR ATTICS AND CRAWL SPACES ^
For dry, arid attics, the DRIONE DUST listed above is well suited. But since attics and crawl spaces can be damp, DELTAMETHRIN DUST. is better suited. Its a true insecticidal dust but its moisture resistant so it will stand up well to water and heat. It is very active on a wide range if insects including scorpions and treatments will last 6-12 months. 1 lb will cover up to 2,000 sq/ft so it goes a long way too.
To disperse the Deltadust, use a DUSTIN MIZER. This device will “blow” the dust out a good 10-15 feet so if you can move about the space just enough, you should be able to get the treatment done using this manually operated tool.
But if you do not have good access to the space, rent our ELECTRIC POWER DUSTER. This will blow the dust 30-40 feet and will allow you treat large areas in very little time.
Scorpions are a pest found throughout most of the United States. Though most don’t have a sting which is deadly, at least one does so don’t touch or handle them. Since scorpions like to crawl around in the dark, people have a tendency to step on them during the night and get stung this way so be careful if you are finding them in your home. Use a Black Light to help see any which are out; the Hand Held Zapper is another good tool to keep around if they are in the home. Treat the outside with the Delta Guard Granules and Cykick CS spray to keep numbers under control but you will have to do some dusting and liquid treatments inside once they get in the home. Use the Deltamethrin Dust for attics and crawl spaces; the Drione is best suited for treating the perimeter of rooms you don’t want scorpions to enter. Phantom aerosol is handy for areas where the dust is too messy, such as under baseboards or furniture, so keep a can of it around. Use either the Lamda-Cyhalothrin or Onslaught for long term residual that can be sprayed. Both are very active on scorpions, odorless and easy to apply. Since scorpions can take a long time to develop and infest a home, it might take several months before you get the problem under control so have patience when treating. Remember to set out some Scorpion Glue Traps to help monitor activity and if you identify and treat nest sights the way we describe above, you will be able to knock them out once and for all!!
CONTACT US ^
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