Scorpion Black Light Searches
Scorpion behaviors are affected by many conditions. One significant condition noted by scientists is the lunar cycle or moon phases.
Scorpions are best hunted or collected on nights when the moon is new or less than half full. There are two reasons for this. First, scorpions are known to have a greater surface activity level during darker nights compared to a full moon or brighter night. Second, UV lights will detect scorpions at a greater distance. Additionally, scorpions that are well hidden in a crack, crevice, under a leaf or other hiding area can best be detected if only a pincer or other body segment is barely visible.
Scorpion Florescence under UV Light
Scorpions glow a bluish-green under an ultraviolet or black light. Scorpions glow under these lights partially because of the beta-carboline in their outer cuticle. The intensity of their glow is a combination of how dark it is, the type of UV light and based on sclerotisation, which is the hardening and darkening of the exoskeleton. Scorpions molt or shed their skin (exoskeleton). After molting, the outer cuticle will be more supple and light in color. During this time, they will not glow. As the exoskeleton hardens it will begin to glow under the UV light. Often scorpions can be found in plain sight with the specialty flash lights. However, they are often hidden under leaves our between block or cement structures.
Scorpion Black Light Search Tools
REVEAL UV Flashlight — This is a 4 Watt LED flashlight that operates of 3AA batteries and is 1000% more intense than a traditional fluorescent black light. We have been recommending the high quality lights available from Neutek and that can be found at www.scorpionhunter.com. Also available are protective goggles and 12″ tongs with protective, glow-in-the-dark tips. Other black lights will work too, but for the same price, the REVEAL is the better option.
Terro Scorpion Killer — This is an insecticide spray that should be used for contact kill, meaning, spray a scorpion directly. The can provides for a two-way method of wide spray or stream. The stream method provides a better targeted application to the scorpion and is very useful for the creatures that are found in cracks or crevices.
The weather and seasonal changes have a significant impact on scorpion activity as does the moon phase. During cold winters, with freezing temperatures, scorpions are not likely to be found no matter the moon phase. In contrast, during the hot and humid season, scorpion activity can be seen nightly whether a new moon, full moon or somewhere in between. However, the greatest surface movement will be on the new moon nights when all other variables are the same. To maximize efforts and results, watch the weather patterns and do your searches new moon nights.
Scorpion Hunt Precautions
The best times to hunt scorpions is on dark calm nights. However, there can be a number of other creatures that can pose threats. In the cities, Black Widow Spiders are very common. Use caution to not accidentally walk into their webbing. The webs can often be found around structures or between a house and a trailer that has been parked for some time, as an example. Since spiders and their webbing don’t fluoresce they cannot be easily seen. In dessert areas, snakes and wild animals can also be a threat. Caution should also be used based on the terrain and obstacles on the property or in the area that you are searching. Be very mindful of your surroundings and good preparation on the property, during the day can be beneficial in safety issues. Proper attire should also be worn. Pants and long sleeved shirts are best. However, that can be quite uncomfortable during an August night. At the very least, closed shoes should be worn and always avoid flip-flops, sandals or other opened toed shoes.
There are professional services around the Valley that can help. From time-to-time we will offer black light search services. However, we know for the most part they need to be done on a regular basis for full benefit. This can get very costly. Therefore, we typically recommend using our scorpion sealing service if you are considering to purchase a home and if the findings will affect your purchase decision.
The least expensive method is to do it yourself. The next least expensive method is to hire an older kid or teenager. Many boys and some girls actually have fun searching for them. If you don’t have one of your own that’s eager and willing, maybe a neighborhood kid could be a resource.
When hiring a professional, it can be beneficial to hire your pest control spray service to do an occasional black light search and a night time spray. This will get you the most “bang for your buck”. There are also several professional companies that do nothing but the black light searches and we are happy to give referrals based on the area of town you live.
If you decide to forgo the black light search or scorpion hunt strategies, not to worry. You’ll just need to make it up with other strategies such as sealing, landscape maintenance, the use of repellents and pest control spraying.
If you do decide… Happy Hunting in working towards a scorpion free yard!