Color: Varies in shade from yellowish brown to tan
Size: 2-4” (20-100 mm)
Legs: 4 pairs of legs and a pair of pinchers
Shape: Segmented, long tail with stinger at the end
Region: Arid southwest and southern part of the United States
What is a scorpion?
Scorpions are nuisance pests that are closely related to spiders, mites and ticks. There are about 1,200 scorpion species in the world and 70 species in the United States. Of these, the most dangerous species is the Arizona Bark Scorpion, which is found in the American southwest and in Northern Mexico. Keep reading to learn more facts about scorpions.
What do scorpions look like?
This nuisance pest comes in a variety of shades of yellowish brown and tan. They have segmented bodies with a long tail with a stinger at the end, 4 pairs of legs and a pair of pinchers.
Scorpions live in dry habitats, usually preferring deserts and semi-arid regions. Many species dig burrows in the soil and hide under rocks, logs or debris. During periods of hot weather, scorpions may enter homes through wall voids and take shelter in cool, moist areas like crawl spaces and attics.
Scorpions are nocturnal pests, so they hide during the day and are most active at night. They feed primarily on insects, especially crickets and cockroaches, and they also feed on spiders. However, they can survive for months without food if water is readily available.
While sometimes referred to as a “scorpion bite,” scorpions actually sting as a defense mechanism or as a way to kill prey. Humans will usually experience mild symptoms that are similar to that of a bee sting, such as temporary pain, a burning sensation or localized swelling. However, there are a handful of species around the world that possess more dangerous venom, which can be potentially fatal to humans. The Arizona bark scorpion in the U.S. can deliver such fatal stings.
The key to preventing scorpions is to eliminate harborage sites around the property including woodpiles, trash and debris. Homeowners should remove stones and landscape timbers from the property, and store firewood at least twenty feet from the home and five inches up off the ground.
Since scorpions can enter structures through torn screens and holes and cracks in building exteriors, it's equally important to seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home with caulk and repair any damaged window and door screens. Scorpions can also enter homes through poorly fitted garage and entry doors. If light can be seen streaming into a darkened garage from the exterior, the seal beneath the door should be repaired.