How to avoid the big, bad scorpions

PHOENIX - Did you know one of the largest scorpions in North America lives right here in Arizona? 

It's called the Arizona Desert Hairy Scorpion. It sounds scary, right? But good news is according to Dean Andrews, "The Scorpion Equalizer" , they aren't the ones you need to worry about entering your home.  

"Due to their size, they are less likely to get into homes. They rely more on size and strength to overcome their prey, so they do not need strong venom to survive," Andrews said.

These are most often found in desert areas in loose, sandy soil. The scorpion we do need to worry about is called the Arizona Bark Scorpion.

It's a very small, skinny scorpion, somewhat yellowish or straw colored. They can be found outside near cracks on walls in many Arizona subdivisions. They are excellent climbers and if they get inside your house they can often be found under furniture, on walls or even ceilings.

"Bark Scorpion venom is the most toxic of any scorpion found in the United States," Andrews said. "If stung, most people have extreme pain lasting several days. However, infants, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems can have severe reactions causing hospitalization and possibly death." 

So who should be worried?

"People who live in communities near the desert, or that back to a mountain, a park or a wash are most likely to have scorpion problems," Andrews said.

Tips for eliminating scorpions in your yard from the Scorpion Equalizer:

  1. Remove scorpion food (bugs) from your yard.  Although, if you are going to spray pesticides in and around your home, hire a licensed exterminator. Don't be out spraying pesticides unless you wear gloves and remove clothes before you track chemicals into your house. More people have medical problems from exposure to toxic chemicals than from scorpion stings.
  2. Seal your house. Scorpions can crawl into cracks thinner than a dime. Sealing a house can reduce scorpions that get inside, but it kills zero scorpions.
  3. Purchase glue traps for inside the house.  They are inexpensive and work 24/7, 365 days a year. At a minimum, place near exterior doors and in the corners of bedrooms.
  4. Get a black light and regularly hunt for scorpions at night. They glow a bright lime green under the UV light. Purchase UV goggles to protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation. Dead scorpions can't get into your house and can't reproduce. Get them BEFORE they can get you or your family.
  5. Get help. Buying golf clubs doesn't make you good at golf. Buying a black light doesn't make you good at scorpion hunting. The Scorpion Equalizer can remove scorpions for people or can come out and train families how to better defend their homes.

When do you know it's time to call an expert?

In the summer, bark scorpions can give birth up to 30 babies at a time. If you find a teeny tiny baby scorpion in or around your home, you might have a few dozen more that you have not found. By eliminating just 1 to 5 scorpions a month from your yard every month, you are reducing the potential for hundreds of scorpions in your yard and possibly your house.

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