We’ve had an influx of calls in recent weeks regarding scorpions invading peoples’ homes and yards, so we figured we’d put some information out there for those who know little about this creature. Since ancient days, scorpions have been the fodder for disgust, contempt, and fear. For the most part, this is an unfair label. First, we must consider that scorpions have been around for over 420 million years, with little change to their morphology (or body makeup). If a species did not have a beneficial niche in this world, it could not survive for that long.
There are approximately 1,500 species of scorpions that have been identified, and only about 20 of those are toxic enough to cause serious injury in humans. Parts of Africa and South America appear to have the largest concentration of potentially lethal scorpions. Although there are a lot of scorpions in this area, I don’t remember hearing of any serious injuries due to stings. Scorpions do eat live prey, and if they are seen at all, they are usually in search of a meal. Humans are not part of their diet, so any problematic encounter with a scorpion is typically because they are trying to defend themselves from an obviously much larger opponent, us. Have you ever seen those videos of guys eating live scorpions? Go find them on YouTube if you want to be a little grossed out!
Some species of scorpions can spend up to 97% of their lives inside their burrows, only adventuring out to find meals. Their neurotoxins are believed to target specific kinds of prey, usually different species of insects. For humans, a scorpion sting is typically less painful and agitating than a wasp, or bee sting. Not that we all want to run out and get stung by a scorpion to find out, but it’s important to understand they are not as lethal as some folks believe. If you are stung by a scorpion, it is recommended that you wash the area with soap and water, ice it down, then elevate the area to minimize swelling. If symptoms worsen, visit a medical facility where they can treat the sting with modern techniques.
Although we are trying to dispel some of the myths about scorpions so they don’t seem so scary, we still don’t want them in or around your home. If you suspect you might have, or see scorpions, here are some things you should consider.
- Do not stack, or pile rocks, wood, or anything else next to your house. Scorpions love these piles and can find harborage in the many different cracks and crevices.
- Be mindful of reaching your hands into places you cannot see, especially if you have seen scorpions around before.
- Treat all the places you inhabit.
Remember, where there is one, there are usually many more. Even if you do everything you can think of, scorpions are resilient enough to find a way, especially if you live in a heavily wooded area, or rural setting…remember 420 million years! Luckily, there are proven methods of scorpion control to eliminate any infestations and prevent future ones around your home, just call a pest management professional.