Why do scorpions sting themselves?

Most mysterious creepy things in this world are known to have some sort of myth or legend about them, and scorpions are no different. For scorpions, the myth is, when they are cornered or feel they have no chance to survive (for example, being surrounded by fire), scorpions will choose to sting themselves in order to commit suicide, rather than being killed. This myth has some truth to it, but in the end, it is false. When scorpions are in danger they tend to squirm around and sting vigorously around themselves, and thus on occasion, they will accidentally sting themselves. Even though scorpions may sometimes do this, their venom is not venomous to themselves or other scorpions so it would not normally kill them. This makes sense because when a scorpion tries to kill its prey, it will grab onto it and squirm around trying to sting it in order to disorientate its victim. Thus, when a scorpion comes up against an unknown danger, of course it’s going to respond by doing what it is used to doing, squirming and stinging. As far as fire goes, scorpions are cold blooded, so if they are surrounded by fire the scorpion may spasm and accidentally sting itself or it will look as though it is stinging itself. Consider this myth busted. Scorpions hardly ever sting themselves and if they do, it’s not suicide, but accidental self-defense.

 

 

 

 

Why do some things glow under a UV/black light?

What do scorpions and teeth have in common? They both glow under a UV/black light! If you think about it, we see these types of lights quite often, in amusement parks, Halloween, bowling alleys, and even pest control. The real question is why do some things glow under UV/black lights, while others don’t?

 

A black light is actually a type of UV light, there are many types of UV or Ultraviolet lights, but the one in a black light is specifically UV-A. Ultraviolet light is a type of light with a less than normal wavelength, meaning it is out of the the visibility spectrum. UV lights are the the same type of light that emits from the sun. When these UV lights hit and reflect off of certain things, interesting reactions will happen. For example, when UV rays from the sun hit your skin you could get sunburned. In the case of a black light, when the UV light hits the chemical element phosphorus, it reacts by glowing. “Coincidentally”, phosphorus is common in plasma screen televisions, certain fabrics, teeth, fingernails, and scorpions! So if you’re ever at a bowling alley and your shirt, teeth, and fingernails start to glow, the answer is phosphorus!

Where are scorpions found?

Few people know that scorpions are scattered throughout the world in every continent other than Antarctica. That being said, you are most likely to encounter one in your lifetime! Though, these creepy crawlers are mostly found in the hotter regions of these continents, the most diverse group is within North America. In the United States alone, scorpions can be found in the south in its entirety from Florida to Arizona, the mid-west from Colorado to Minnesota, and in the west from California to Washington. They are often hidden in dark places, away from the sun, some common areas are under shady plants and underneath rocks (perhaps in your garden?). Scorpions will go anywhere and do anything to find water and shade, they may enter your home through your garage, sneaking under your doors, or in any cracks they can find on your home that lead inside.  Some other common areas where scorpions may be lurking include, but are not limited to, trees and tree bark, piles of wood, under any plant pots in the yard, and any areas that allow shelter in your home/yard. Within your home, look in/under your bed, in your shoes, and in any clothing that you may have stored that isn’t jostled around often, you never know! All of the above mentioned are just common places in which scorpions may be found, sometimes you will find them on your floor, on your counter-top, in your sink, or on the walls of your home. Scorpion encounters can happen any time, anywhere, just be sure that you are prepared! 

 

 

 

3 Most Common Species of Scorpion Invaders

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

scorpion_on_rocks

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

Striped_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.

Scorpions & Scorpion Control

Today, scorpions are considered to be one of the most significant pests that afflict millions of residents throughout much of the Southwest United States.

Scorpions prefer the outdoors but will wander inside through cracks in our homes. In fact, these malevolent stingers can squeeze through cracks as small as a credit card’s width. Once inside, they often make their way into shoes, piles of clothing and beds which, increases the chance of a human being stung.

Seeing a couple scorpions a week in your home would likely qualify as a significant scorpion infestation. In cases such as this, professional scorpion control measures should be taken.

Top 10 Articles On Blog Pest Control For 2014

This busy year of 2014 has come to an end, and what a year it has been. The Ebola scare had the media outlets whipped up into a frenzy. We were introduced to ISIS. The NFL experienced what seemed like record off the field problems. People were dumping buckets of ice water over their heads in support of ALS. The situation in Ferguson, MO had us glued to our TV’s. We also lot some beloved celebrities like Joan Rivers and Robin Williams.

Top 10 Articles On Blog Pest Control For 2014

While 2014 was a busy year for all of us, it was also a busy year for Blog Pest Control. We actually set a record for the most views in a year, in a month, and in a day. So many of you are hungry for these interesting perspectives on pests, and on the pest control industry.

Here are the top ten articles on Blog Pest Control for 2014, determined by you the reader:

10. You Have To See This Gigantic Rat Caught By An Exterminator

Ratzilla

You’ve heard of ROUTS (Rodents Of Unusual Size) from the movie The Princess Bride. We’re all familiar with Splinter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame. Our next tale of a huge rat takes us to Sweden, as now we have Ratzilla terrorizing a Stockholm family. A homeowner in Sweden is breathing a sigh of relief today as a giant rat, measuring over two feet in length from nose to tail, was caught by exterminators. The enormous rodent weighed well over two pounds, and had chewed through a concrete wall before getting caught in an industrial trap set by exterminators.

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/04/you-have-to-see-this-gigantic-rat-caught-by-an-exterminator/

9. 3 Pests Often Confused For Scorpions

Whipscorpion

Sometimes the creepy-crawlies we see inside our homes or on our properties are not scorpions at all; just pests that closely resemble a scorpion. They’re still ugly, and they still look dangerous; even though they are generally harmless.

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/03/3-pests-often-confused-for-scorpions/

8. Brown Recluse or Wolf Spider?

Brown Recluse

One of the common venomous spiders around is the brown recluse. This spider is easily confused with the wolf spider, but this article helps make sure you know just what kind of pest you’re dealing with.

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/03/brown-recluse-or-wolf-spider/

7. Cuddly Caterpillar’s Sting Worse Than Scorpion

puss caterpillar

A little warning for the next time you step outside your home. Be on the lookout for the cuddly looking caterpillar that’s sending residents to the ER in record numbers this year. They are referred to as puss caterpillars (Megalopyge opercularis), or asps.

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/09/cuddly-caterpillars-sting-worse-than-scorpion/

6. Understanding A Pest Control Non-Compete- The Employee Perspective

Non-Compete Agreement

Before you start your own pest control business, first you must understand the non-compete agreement or clause you may have signed with your former employer; as many questions arise when it comes to pest control non-competes.

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/03/understanding-a-pest-control-non-compete-the-employee-perspective/

5. The 4 Scariest Insects In the World

Scorpion Fly Face

Believe it or not, some bugs can really hurt humans, and there are a number of them that can even kill you. The following four insects are some of the scariest in the world.

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/05/the-4-scariest-insects-in-the-world/

4. Elf On Shelf, Friend Or Pest? 12 Funny Images

elf-on-the-shelf-mess

We have called in the experts to try and determine whether reports on Christmas Elves becoming a household nuisance are valid. In gathering evidence we found some very strange activity by these Elves on Shelves and some funny pictures to boot.

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/12/christmas-elf-on-a-shelf-funny/

3. Mosquitoes, Bed Bugs & More: How To Identify Common Bug Bites

bedbug bites

Understanding what different bites look like and being able to identify where they came from will help you know what steps you need to take upon a bite. See the bite pictures here:

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/06/mosquitoes-bed-bugs-and-more-how-to-identify-common-bug-bites/

2. Fact Or Fiction: Bedbug High

smoking bed bugs

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler have been inundated as of late with reports of a new method of getting high… Drying, crushing, and then smoking or injecting bed bugs! Is this true or false?

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/04/fact-or-fiction-bed-bug-high/

1. Scorpion Found In Bananas

walmart scorpion

Imagine shopping at your local Wal-Mart with your two children. You pull your cart up to a box of bananas, reach your hand in looking to pick a few out that aren’t quite ripe and you feel it! A PINCH! That’s exactly what happened to a Pittsburgh area man, and the pinch was from a scorpion!!

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/08/scorpion-found-in-bananas/

Blog Pest Control 2015

All of us here at Blog Pest Control want to thank you all for your support and readership throughout 2014. Stay tuned for more informative and interesting pest control stories in the upcoming year. Let’s have another banner year come 2015.

Scorpion Found In Bananas

ScorpionImagine shopping at your local Wal-Mart with your two children. You pull your cart up to a box of bananas, reach your hand in looking to pick a few out that aren’t quite ripe and you feel it… A PINCH!

That’s exactly what happened to a Pittsburgh area man… And the pinch was from a scorpion!!

“I yanked my arm out and flung it, and this scorpion flopped to the ground,” said the unidentified man who wished to remain anonymous. “I was standing there in disbelief looking and there was another shopper there and people started to converge, and sure enough it was a scorpion.”

After feeling the pinch, and flinging the scorpion to the store’s floor, the man proceeded to throw a box on top of the scorpion and smash it as a crowd gathered to see what all the commotion was about.

Lucky for the customer, the scorpion only pinched him. If the scorpion happened to sting, the result may have been much more hazardous. With that being said, the man was not seriously injured, but was checked out by a doctor.

Wal-Mart did offer to pay for the man’s medical bills, and have since reached out to the fruit company to inquire about how the scorpion could have made the journey to Pennsylvania.

No word on the species of scorpion that was found hiding out in the box of bananas, or from what part of the world it came from. Chances are the scorpion came from Central or South America; and if that’s the case it was likely very dangerous.

walmart scorpionThe next time you’re out grocery shopping, think twice before sticking your hand into a box of bananas!

Scorpions

Although scorpions can inflict a very painful sting, the venom of most species is considered of little health consequence to humans except for the very young and the elderly. Scorpions can live five years or more. They prefer the outdoors but will wander inside through building cracks and crevices as small as 1/16th of an inch thick. Once inside, they often make their way into shoes, piles of clothing, beds, and in some cases boxes of bananas; which increases the chance of a human being stung.

Professional scorpion control is effective at keeping them out of your home.

Your Guide To Scorpion Management

scorpion stingerThe 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

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

Striped 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

Stripe-tailed Scorpion (Hoffmannius spinigerus)

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 

habitat modification

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.

Caulking windowTrim 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 

pesticide sprayingAfter 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.

Mechanical Controls 

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 

  • scorpion exterminatorIf 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.

 

3 Pests Often Confused For Scorpions

With the dreaded scorpion season just around the corner, many of us will be on the lookout for these stinging pests inside our homes. Seeing one of these malevolent scorpions scurry across our bathroom floor is enough to send us running to the nearest telephone to call a local scorpion exterminator.

Sometimes the creepy-crawlies we see inside our homes or on our properties are not scorpions at all; just pests that closely resemble a scorpion. They’re still ugly, and they still look dangerous; even though they are generally harmless.

Here are three pests we commonly confuse for scorpions:

1. Whipscorpions 

Whipscorpion

A pest control technician from Bulwark Exterminating in Mesa recently brought in a whipscorpion for me to see first hand. A customer of theirs had found it on the side of her home, and frantically called for Bulwark technician to come out. Upon seeing the thing, I can understand why she was freaking out… The whipscorpion was down right intimidating looking. It was ugly!

vinegaroonCalled by many names, including: vinegaroon, whiptail scorpion, windspider, and sunscorpion; the whipscorpion is not a true scorpion. These arachnids range in size from 3/8th – 3 inches in length. They also range in color from a dark yellow, to brown, and even black. Whipscorpions get their names because of their rapid movement… They run like the wind!

Whipscorpions are commonly confused for scorpions because of the very large pair of pinchers that protrude from their bodies. These palps as they’re called are used to grasp other insects they eat. Whipscorpions are also commonly confused for scorpions because of their tails. A long thin whip-tail sticks out of the whipscorpion’s abdomen. This tail is not dangerous, does not have a stinger, and is used as a sensory organ.

If you happen to see one of these whipscorpions inside your home or on your property, rest easy. Whipscorpions are not venomous, and will not cause serious pest control problems like a true scorpion would. This species’ main line of defense is spraying a defensive mist of acetic acid, or vinegar, from the end of it’s tail which is unpleasant to smell. They can also bite, with their bites being similar to that of a non-venomous spider.

2. Windscorpions

Sun Spider

We’ve all seen the picture going around online. A soldier in the Middle East holding up a pair of massive tangled spiders for the camera. The picture is something strait out of our nightmares. Just in case you haven’t seen the picture, here you go (right):

Military personnel in Iraq encounter a pair of...

Now that you are horrified, what you are looking at is a camel spider or windscorpion. They are much smaller here in the United States, and stories about their size, appetite, lethality, and behavior are urban myths.

Windscorpions are sometimes referred to as camel spiders or sun spiders. They are commonly found in Arizona and other Southwestern states. Although they look similar to scorpions, and are also arachnids; they are not scorpions and are not venomous. Windscorpions can be aggressive in nature. They have been known to attack for no reason at all, with attacks resulting in an irregularly shaped large bite. They also have pinchers that can pinch skin.

Windscorpions are known for their speed. They can run up to 10 mph, and can climb a variety of surfaces. This speed is used for catching their insect prey. Generally speaking, windscorpions in the U.S. measure about an inch and a half long, and are a light yellowish brown in color. I actually caught one in a sticky trap recently, and thought it was pretty cool to look at.

3. Pseudoscorpions

The Impersonator - Pseudoscorpion

Pseudoscorpions (Pseudoscorpionida) are also commonly referred to as book scorpions because they are often found in dusty rooms with books. In fact, they were first described by Aristotle as he watched them feed on the book lice among the scrolls in the library. In addition to being found among books inside homes, schools, and libraries; Pseudoscorpions have been found under tree bark, in leaf litter, in soil, in tree hollows, under stones, in caves, and within fractured rocks.

Pseudoscorpion

Pseudoscorpions look very much like tiny scorpions, measuring about three millimeters in size. Unlike scorpions, pseudoscorpions have no tail and no stinger. They are not dangerous to humans; in fact, they’re quite beneficial. Pseudoscorpions inside homes will feed on book lice, ants, mites, clothing moths and carpet beetles. Because of how small they are, they are rarely seen. When they are they get confused for baby scorpions.

Pseudoscorpions are small, flat, and shaped like a pear. Their color is described as yellowish-tan to dark brown. Their abdomens are short and rounded at the rear, and do not extend into a segmented tail like a true scorpion.

This scorpion season, don’t get fooled by these cleverly disguised pests. While these pests are definitely ugly, they are medically harmless. Still, if you don not like seeing them inside your home or on your property, it’s best to contact a pest management professional.

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Pest Of The Week: The Boll Weevil

Boll WeevilOne of the most destructive agricultural pests in the United States is the Boll Weevil. Migrating from Mexico in the late 1800’s, the boll weevil has now infested all areas in which we grow cotton. It is estimated that the boll weevil is responsible for some $300 Million in cotton crop damages annually; and has cost cotton farmers almost $14 Billion since their arrival.

One of the reasons that boll weevils are so destructive is their sheer numbers. The lifecycle of the boll weevil enables populations to expand very rapidly. One female boll weevil can lay almost 200 eggs every 10 days! Wow!

Boll weevils measure about six millimeters in length. They are brown to grayish-brown in color, and are covered in fine fuzz. One of their most distinctive features is their prominent snouts and mouthparts which are used for chewing. I always thought they looked like the videogame character Qbert. This insect only feeds and grows in cotton and other tropical plants that are closely related.

 

The Oldest Scorpion In The World

The old rocks of the Prehistoric Trackways National Monument in southern New Mexico hid a secret for some 280 million years.

The secret?

The World’s oldest known scorpion!

scorpion fossil
Photo Courtesy Of The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

Fossil Discovery: The Oldest Scorpion In The World Found In New Mexico

Scientists recently found the World’s oldest scorpion in the Prehistoric Trackways National Monument in New Mexico. This newly discovered evidence proves once again that scorpions have been on this planet for millions and million of years.

The 280 million year old scorpion fossil doesn’t look like much, but this vague rock impression has been identified as the ONLY fossil impression of an entire scorpion body ever found. The scientists believe that the scorpion rested on the rock for a short time, and then eventually scurried off. The result was an imprint of its body which eventually turned to hardened fossilized stone.

Scientists named the 280 million year old scorpion that they found Alacranichnus; which is a combination of Spanish and Greek meaning scorpion trace.

Scorpion fossils are extremely uncommon worldwide, especially in this extraordinary condition. Most of the time, these fossils are only found in small bits and pieces. In fact, there is actually a huge gap in scorpion fossil records. Currently there are no records for North American scorpions between the newly discovered Permian era scorpion (approximately 280 million years old) to scorpion fossils in the Middle Eocene era (about 45 million years ago).

The amazing new scorpion fossil will be displayed in the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (NMMNHS) museum’s upcoming Paleozoic Hall.

It has not been determined exactly what species of scorpion is represented in the newly discovered fossil.

scorpionHistory Of Scorpions & Fossils

Scorpions are the oldest known arachnids in the world. Scientists have discovered a few scorpion fossils, dating back to the Silurian Periods about 430 million years ago. These scorpions have been determined to be aquatic scorpions.

Million of years later (359 million to 299 million years ago) in the Carboniferous era, scorpions made their way out of the water, and eventually took to land.

Until this recent discovery in New Mexico, there were no other fossils of land scorpions, with fossils petering out.

Fossil Proves Just How Hardy Scorpions Are

The newly discovered scorpion fossil dates scorpions way back to the beginning of the Permian era.

This fossil confirms that scorpions have survived a lot of huge mass extinction events between then and now, proving what we already know… Scorpions are hardy creatures.

What’s more, seeing how the carbon dioxide levels in the Permian atmosphere were probably three times what they are today on Earth, it’s not likely climate change will stop these hardy arachnids either.

scorpion stingerScorpions

Today, scorpions are considered to be one of the most significant pests that afflict millions of residents throughout much of the Southwest United States.

Scorpions prefer the outdoors but will wander inside through cracks in our homes. In fact, these malevolent stingers can squeeze through cracks as small as a credit card’s width. Once inside, they often make their way into shoes, piles of clothing and beds which, increases the chance of a human being stung.

Seeing a couple scorpions a week in your home would likely qualify as a significant scorpion infestation. In cases such as this, professional scorpion control measures should be taken.