There are approximately 43 known species of scorpions in Arizona and in the Phoenix area. All scorpions can sting and inject venom (they don’t bite), but only one species of scorpion that occurs naturally in The United States, and thus in Phoenix, is considered as being a potential health hazard. The Arizona Bark Scorpion (centruroides sculpturatus) is found throughout Maricopa County, frequently inside homes and other buildings.
The bark scorpion is a relatively small species of scorpion, ranging from about one and one half to two and one half inches in length at the adult stage. It’s color ranges from clear, light tan, ‘rubber band’, or even a darker golden brown, depending on it’s environment and how recently it has molted (the shedding of their outer exoskeleton layer), among other factors. As such, neither size nor color are good criteria for identification purposes . It does, however, have three distinguishing characteristics which help with identification:
1. It is the only scorpion in Arizona that climbs. It easily climbs any surface except clean glass or plastic. It can cling to the underside of a piece of wood, walk across your ceiling, climb furniture, and get into clothing and cupboards.
2. It is the only scorpion local to the Phoenix area that is able to curl it’s tail and lay it down flat next to it’s body. This maneuver allows it to become very flat and squeeze into very small and narrow cracks (1/16″ for an adult!).
3. The bark scorpion has very under-developed pincers when compared to other species of scorpions. Their pincers can be described as narrow and slight.
The notion of a ‘scorpion nest’ is a fallacy. Scorpions are live-born, usually 18 or more at a time. Newborns look like miniature adults and are carried on the mothers back until their first molt , which is when they leave and venture out on their own. The young scorpions mature within about a year, requiring several molts to do so.
As the human population in cities such as Surprise, Glendale, Peoria, Scottsdale, Sun City West and throughout the Phoenix area grows, we extend our living area out into the scorpion’s natural environment. Interaction between humans and bark scorpions is inevitable. Our infrastructure provides the perfect conditions for their success: food, water and shelter. Effective bark scorpion removal and exclusion is a critical part of any successful scorpion removal company’s offerings and will continue to be so as our urban sprawl continues.
Signs and Symptoms of a Scorpion Sting
The sting from a bark scorpion is extremely painful and can sometimes cause swelling and redness at the site of the sting. Victims describe the feeling as being similar to having something very hot and sharp stabbed into the skin. The immediate local pain and burning is usually accompanied by a feeling of numbness and tingling that can travel outwards from the site of the sting, such as up a leg or arm. These are considered natural reactions to the venom of a bark scorpion. If there are further symptoms such as visual disturbance, difficulty swallowing, the sensation of a swollen tongue, slurred speech, or respiratory distress they should be reported to the Samaritan Regional Poison Center at 602-253-3334 in Maricopa County or 1-800-222-1222 elsewhere. The Banner Health Poison Control Center will render first aid instructions and help determine if a victim needs further medical care. Visit their website for more info.
Because children under six years of age are more likely to develop severe symptoms if stung, special care should be taken if you are visiting or live in a home where scorpions are present:
1. Children should be protected in their cribs/beds. To prevent scorpions from climbing up, place the crib/bed legs in clean glass jars. Also, make sure that blankets/bedding do not touch the floors.
2. To keep the scorpions from coming into the crib/bed from the side, move the crib/bed away from the walls and be sure that the blankets/bedding do not touch the walls.
3. To prevent scorpions from dropping into the crib/bed, you can install a scorpion shield. Hang a piece of foamcore board or other flat board that is bigger than the size of the crib/bed several inches from the ceiling directly above the crib/bed. Place double-sided sticky tape on the top surface of the board, especially towards the outer edges. If a scorpion falls onto the boards it will get stuck rather than falling into the crib/bed.
4. Check the crib/bed in advance of putting the child to bed and shake out all blankets/bedding.
5. Shake out all clothing and shoes before putting them on child.
6. Have your children wear shoes at all times and be especially careful around hot tubs and pools at night.
7. Teach your children about good bugs and bad bugs. Some kids are going to want to experiment so let them pick up a cricket but teach them not to pick up a scorpion.
8. Get a professional scorpion seal done. Scorpions hide in wall voids and crawl spaces inside of your home or business. They then access your space via any gaps and/or openings that lead inside, such as the gap between the ducting and drywall, where the plumbing breaches inside walls and light fixtures. A well done home seal can make it very difficult for scorpions – and other pests – to enter from the outside.
NOTE: All of these precautions apply to adults as well!
You DO NOT have to live with scorpions. If your scorpion removal company tells you there’s nothing they can do, or that pesticides don’t kill scorpions – GET ANOTHER COMPANY! Scorpion removal requires experience, an eye for detail and a genuine desire to solve the problem. I promise there are some quality scorpion removal companies out there in the Phoenix area that offer those credentials – and many who do not.
When interviewing a scorpion removal company, ask a lot of questions and pay close attention to the answers that are given. Does the pest professional you’re speaking with display an extensive knowledge of scorpions and their behavior? Do they have a plan of action that is specific to a scorpion problem? Is their service warrantied for scorpions? I also recommend considering a professional scorpion sealing to limit access for bark scorpions to the inside of your home, so ask your pest professional if they seal out scorpions, too. If you don’t feel really good about their answers, call someone else. Before contracting any company for a pest control service – scorpions, birds, ants, bats, ect, type the name of the company into a regular Google Search bar and check them out thoroughly. You may be surprised what you find!
I hope this article has been helpful and I hope you’ll consider the Goldshot Exterminating team of Scorpion Sealing Pros as your Arizona Bark Scorpion Removal solution. Happy Hunting!
#scorpionremoval #barkscorpionremoval #arizonabarkscorpionremoval
John H. Goldshot
P.S. Goldshot Exterminating is a proud sponsor of StreetLight USA. Check them out at www.streetlightusa.org and see how YOU can help stop child rape. What if it were your daughter?