Before I could effectively combat my home scorpion problem, I had to learn the fundamentals. I was so motivated by my scorpion obsession, that I learned all I could and became an expert on scorpions. I want you to know the basics about scorpions, so that I may help you rid your Arizona home of these pests.
Scorpions are predatory arthropod animals. They have eight legs and are easily recognized by the pair of grasping pedipalps (pincers) and the narrow, segmented tail, carried in a characteristic forward curve over the back, ending with a venomous stinger.
Scorpions are widespread and can be found on all continents except Antarctica.
An outer layer on the body of scorpions makes them fluorescent green under ultraviolet light.
Scorpions have a variable lifespan ranging from 2-8 years on average. They are nocturnal, finding shelter during the day in the relative cool of underground holes or undersides of rocks, and coming out at night to hunt and feed.
Birth and Offspring
- Newborns are birthed live (not hatched from eggs).
- They climb onto the mother’s back for 3-14 days and remain there until their first molt
Other Notable Reproductive Characteristics Include:
- Litter average is 20, but could be 7-42.
- Gestation is 2-5 months.
- Scorpions can birth year-round.
- Females will court while carrying young.
Scorpions are opportunistic predators of small arthropods and insects. They use their pincers to catch the prey initially. Depending on the toxicity of their venom and size of their claws, they will then either crush the prey or inject it with venom.
Scorpions are effective predators, yet can survive many months without food. The females are often cannibalistic toward males after mating.
Scorpions are nocturnal and “time minimalists” with low-level surface movement. The total subsurface scorpion population is quite large, so for every one scorpion that is actively out and moving -- there are many, many more that are not active and hidden. Scorpion activity level increases or decreases based on several factors:
- higher temperatures
- spring and fall
- new moon phase (dark)
- higher humidity levels
- first hours of the night
- low temperatures
- winter and mid-summer
- full moon
- lower humidity levels
- Very poor eyesight
- Good hearing
- Strong sense of touch
- Body hairs detect slight air and ground vibrations
DANGER TO HUMANS
Most scorpions are relatively harmless to humans; stings produce only local effects (such as pain, numbness or swelling). A few scorpion species, such as the Arizona Bark Scorpion, can be dangerous to humans. Bark Scorpions have adapted well to the urban environment as the city has grown. Look for scorpions in:
- Trees and Vegetation
- Cinder block walls
- Frame Wood, Block and Brick home and other structures
Bark Scorpions also:
- Aggregate and are NOT territorial like other species of scorpions
- Follow pheromones of other scorpions
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