The following article is intended for pest control professionals and homeowners alike, who are in need of some answers when it comes to identifying, and treating scorpions.
Knowing a little more about these scorpions can help homeowners and pest management professionals take some preventative measures to minimize scorpion’s impact. If you fear that you may have a scorpion infestation, please enlist the help of a licensed scorpion control professional who can administer the proper insecticides.
Identification: The 3 Most Common Types of Scorpions
Before you can treat for scorpions, it is helpful to know which species are infesting a home or property. Here are the three most common species that threaten US homes:
Arizona Bark Scorpion
Arizona Bark scorpions are considered the most venomous scorpions in North America, with the number of Bark scorpion sting victims in Arizona alone estimated to be in the thousands each year. These scorpions measure an inch to inch and a half in length, and are a pale yellow in color.
Striped Bark Scorpion
The Striped Bark scorpion is the most widespread scorpion in the United States. The scorpion is a smaller species of scorpion, measuring a total body length of 1 to 1.5 inches. This species has a powerful sting, which often results in pain comparable to that of a wasp; that can last for several hours. They are distinguished by their orangish brown color, and the black striped that run vertically down its back.
Striped-Tailed (Wood) Scorpion
The Striped-Tailed Scorpion is sometimes referred to as the Arizona devil scorpion or Wood scorpion. These scorpions measure about two inches in length, are a tan to dark brown in color, and are a little thicker or stockier than the bark scorpions. They infest homes in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Mexico.
*** Note *** Desert Hairy scorpions are also commonly found in the Southwestern U.S., but these scorpions rarely infest homes to the extent of the above mentioned.
Integrated Pest Management For Scorpions
Proper Integrated Pest Management for scorpions includes five important steps: 1) Inspection (thorough approach is needed), 2) Identification (have tools and resources available), 3) Assessment (putting together a plan), 4) Remedial Tactics (executing your plan), 5) Evaluation (did it work?).
After an inspection, and properly identifying the species of scorpion you’re dealing with, it’s time to put together and execute a plan.
Here’s a plan that should be followed to best manage a scorpion infestation:
Habitat modification is crucial when it comes to scorpion management. Remove trash, logs, stones, bricks, firewood, etc. from around an infested property. Never store firewood inside or directly adjacent to structure.
Trim branches away from the home, and mow grass or weeds near the foundation. Tree branches can provide a path to a home for scorpions. Installing weather stripping around all doors and windows will help keep the little buggers out. Plugging holes and entry ways into a property with copper wool, nylon pads, foam or wire screen will also help keep them out; as will caulking around all pipes, eaves, and other cracks found around the home or property.
You should also store garbage containers in a frame that allows them to rest above ground level.
Remedial Tactics To Control Scorpions
After habitat modification tactics have been employed to combat a scorpion infestation, it’s time for some remedial tactics. Since scorpions are very difficult pests to control, it is going to take a consistent effort of both mechanical controls, and pesticides.
Manually removing or killing the scorpions you see is a start. When you see a live scorpion, safely and carefully squash it. Vacuuming is also effective; given you have a way to kill them after sucking them up. A shop-vac filled with a solution of water and vinegar should suffice. Sticky boards or glue traps are also effective in areas of high scorpion traffic. The habitat modification method mentioned above is also an effective mechanical control that can be used to eliminate scorpions.
Pesticides For Scorpions
Pesticides can be very effective when it comes to managing scorpion populations for two reasons. First, pesticides will kill the roaches, beetles, crickets, and other insects that scorpions like to eat. Without an abundant supply of food, scorpions will have less interest in a home or property.
Second, there are also some pesticides that are effective at exterminating scorpions. Microencapsulated (ME or CS), Suspension Concentrates (SC) and wettable powders (WP) can provide longer residuals, and sit up on surfaces for better scorpion interaction.
A few effective pesticides for scorpions are as follows:
ALPINE DUST applied with a hand duster into cracks and voids at the equivalent rate of 10 g / sq. m.
CYHALOCAP CS and Temprid SC applied by broadcast; mixed at 1 gal / 1000 sq. ft.
Scorpion Chemical Control Recommendations
- If you are a pest management professional, these are scorpion control best practices;
- Provide thorough & extensive insecticides to reduce food populations for scorpions and numbers of scorpions.
- Apply Cyhalocap CS at high label rate (0.06%) and use enough water to penetrate habitats we find scorpions. Play close attention to mulch, rocks, wood chips, etc.
- Utilize enhanced performance of SmartCap Technology by rotating to Cy-Kick CS early and late in season to provide scorpion mortality and to reduce and prevent infestations of a broad spectrum of pests.
- Apply insecticide dusts to reduce food sources to all accessible voids, including crawl spaces, attics, etc.
- Apply granular residual insecticides on perimeter areas of landscaping
- Landscaping baits can help reduce insect/prey populations.
- Treat voids where scorpion activity is suspect with Phantom SC (can foam)
- Every other month services are needed
Professional Scorpion Control
If you are a homeowner who is weary of battling scorpions, take some of the above habitat modification and preventative measures. After taking these steps, enlist the support of a scorpion control professional to perform the chemical control recommendations listed above.