If you live in Arizona, you’re familiar with desert predators like spiders and scorpions. What makes the bark scorpion a problem? Are they dangerous? Or just pests that look menacing?
What Are Scorpions?
Scorpions are arachnids, meaning they have eight legs. They have clawed front arms like crabs and a jointed stinger curling over their back.
As nocturnal desert predators, they benefit the environment by eating cockroaches, crickets, and spiders that could otherwise grow too numerous. That doesn’t mean you want to find one with your bare feet in the middle of the night.
What Makes The Bark Scorpion Different From Other Breeds?
- As their names suggest, bark scorpions will climb trees and hide under bark during the heat of the day. This sets them apart from the other scorpions who make their homes in the ground. Their climbing ability allows them to scale your walls and ceiling in search of their prey.
- Easily identified by their thin stinger tail and plain yellow color, they grow up to 3 inches long.
- They are attracted to the moisture in and around your home as well as by bugs that find a way inside. Bark scorpions can flatten their tail and squeeze through openings the width of a credit card, just 1/16th of an inch.
- Stores throughout Arizona sell blacklight flashlights because bark scorpion exoskeletons glow in the dark. (Since scorpions are nocturnal, you’re more likely to come across one in the middle of the night. Having one of these flashlights handy on your way to the bathroom at 2 a.m. is a good idea.)
- Unlike its burrowing cousins, the bark scorpion will hide in wood piles, rock crevices, and other shadowed cracks around the home.
- They are active in the warmer months and will hibernate during winter.
- And it’s the only scorpion in North America whose venom is potent enough to cause severe symptoms in healthy adults without allergies.
Are Stings Fatal?
Contrary to popular belief, only two people have died from bark scorpion stings since they began recording statistics in the 1960s. That being said, children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to life-threatening symptoms and should be taken to the hospital immediately to be on the safe side.
Are Baby Scorpions More Dangerous?
Baby bark scorpion venom isn’t more powerful than a grown scorpion. Still, they have less control over how much venom they use. You may get a higher dose of venom from a baby than an adult.
Are Bark Scorpions Aggressive?
No. Stings are accidental. Bark scorpions will run and hide, given a chance. If they feel cornered or startled, or if you touch them, then they will sting reflexively.
Your hand jerks away from a hot frying pan when you get burned. Your body doesn’t give you time to think about it to save you from further harm. It’s the same with a scorpion sting.
What Are The Symptoms of a Bark Scorpion Sting?
Common symptoms include numbness, tingling, extreme pain at the site of the sting, involuntary muscle movements, rapid breathing, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
Call your doctor if symptoms become distressing, but symptoms should lessen in 48-72 hours. (Pay special attention to those with compromised immune systems, the elderly, and children. Their condition could change rapidly.)
If you see the following symptoms, however, then it’s time to call 911.
- Foaming at the mouth
- Swelling of the airway/difficulty breathing
How To Get Rid Of Scorpions In The House
The two most effective methods are preventing them from coming in and calling pest control for scorpions.
Unlike mice, scorpions can’t live on hidden crumbs in your pantry. But they can live on the bugs that go after the crumbs. Effectively eliminating the bugs in your house will starve the scorpions, and they will leave on their own.
- Clean the space regularly.
- Call an exterminator if the bug problem persists.
- Seal cracks and gaps where the scorpion might enter.
If you’re feeling brave, you can lower a glass over the scorpion, slide something under it, and carry it away from the house.
Ensure the item you’re sliding under the glass is sturdy enough to hold and thin enough to get under the glass edge without letting the scorpion escape. You should also make sure that the item you slide underneath can be lifted up without the glass shifting, or you may get stung.
If this all sounds a little too risky, call your local pest control company. Some professional-grade treatments can kill scorpions despite their armor plating. The exterminator can inspect your home to verify there aren’t more critters hiding out till nightfall. And they can show you how to prevent them from coming back.
While bark scorpions are generally non-lethal, their stings can be painful. If you have any doubts as to your ability to remove a scorpion from your home safely, call a professional scorpion exterminator in Phoenix.
We specialize in natural treatments that won’t expose your family members or pets to toxic chemicals, and you can count on our signature polite service from start to finish. Whether you need scorpion control in Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Phoenix, or Scottsdale, contact our professionals today.