Cockroaches Facts And Termination

COCKROACHES: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

Upon hearing the word “cockroach,” most people involuntarily grimace or shudder. These bugs don’t have a good reputation, and they’re usually towards the top of people’s “Most Disgusting Pests” lists. But are cockroaches all that bad? Let’s take a look.

THE GOOD

The truth is that the environment needs these little guys; more specifically, cockroaches (also known as water bugs) help play a large role in the ecosystem’s nitrogen cycle, where nitrogen moves from bacteria, animals, and plants to the ground and the air

“Most cockroaches feed on decaying organic matter, which traps a lot of nitrogen. Cockroach feeding has the effect of releasing that nitrogen (in their feces) which then gets into the soil and is used by plants. In other words, extinction of cockroaches would have a big impact on forest health and therefore indirectly on all the species that live there.”

THE BAD

Okay, so cockroaches aren’t all bad, but they’re not all good, either. These creatures can feed on almost anything, including (but not at all limited to) bread, beer, dead skin flakes, hair strands, glue, and baked goods

These bugs tend to target places that are unsanitary and damp or used to prepare and store food. Common sites include bathrooms, sewers, kitchens, restaurants, grocery stores, and bakeries. When they’re feeding, cockroaches “produce odorous secretions” that not only contaminate food, but can also alter the flavor of the food and leave behind an unpleasant odor, especially when there are lots of cockroaches.

 

HOW TO GET RID OF COMMON BUGS AND PESTS

COCKROACHES

Cockroaches are the most common household creepy crawlers you will encounter in Japan. There are a variety of different species, but the kind found most frequently here might be bigger than what you’re used to. Most people believe that cockroaches hang around in dirty, unclean or garbage areas because of food. But, don’t forget that they can live weeks without food. The hot, humid summer climate is perfect breeding ground for these, the most versatile of insects. Your apartment is far from dirt, but you will still see cockroaches from time to time. Cockroaches come out most, when things are moved around. So when you first move in, you may notice cockroaches coming out of hiding, but don’t panic, it’s not uncommon. They go back to hiding when things settle down and you won’t see them much again if you can keep your place reasonably clean.

Do not leave food or dishes for a long time.

If food and dirty dishes are left until night, it will be a good food for cockroaches. When cockroaches are crawling, disease-causing bacteria may spread and cause food poisoning. Cleaning frequently is probably the best form of prevention.

Let’s clean the shades

If there is rubbish and cooking waste on the back of a refrigerator, under a stove, and places where cockroaches are likely to be hidden, it becomes food for cockroaches.

Discard unhygienic items immediately.

If unsanitary items (raw garbage, dirt on the drainage port, etc.) are left as they are, there is a risk that cockroaches will carry pathogens

If you find one in your apartment, remove the cockroach as soon as you can. For that you will have to spray it and then throw away. But, keep in mind that they are really fast, they can fly.

Note that conventional bug sprays are not effective at cockroaches. Instead, you will have to use specially targeted at these bugs. There are also traps with a sticky pad where you can put food to attract them. These are pretty effective and work nicely because cockroaches are usually more active at night.

 

Facts About Cockroaches You Won’t Want to Believe

With ancestors tracing back more than 280 million years, cockroaches have been around for an incomprehensibly long time, and they’re here to stay. Because no other household pest provokes such fervent anxiety, disgust, and downright terror, we teamed up

Believe it or not, there are well over 4,000 different types of cockroaches—that we know about. Some estimates suggest we’ve discovered only about half the total number of species. Though most live in the wild, at least a few tenacious species have become uncomfortably common, extremely unwelcome guests in our houses and apartments.

Cockroaches Endure

You may have heard the myth that a cockroach can live without its head. Well—it’s true! According to the National Pest Management Association, a headless cockroach can live for weeks, moving about, reacting to touch, and exhibiting other basic behaviors. That’s because the insect breathes not through the nose and mouth like we do, but through openings along the body. Not only would the decapitated body of the cockroach survive, but, at least for several hours, so would the separated head.

Cockroaches Multiply

The German cockroach, which is brown with two stripes behind its head, ranks among the most abundant in the United States. That may be because, at any given time, a female of the species can be carrying 40 eggs. With an incubation period that lasts only three weeks, one German lady roach can hatch up to 700 baby roaches in the course of a year. Even more alarming: Some more recent generations of German roaches have shown resistance to a number of treatment options.

Cockroaches Astound

If you thought the roach you spotted last night was oversize, wait until you get a load of this: The wonderfully named rhinoceros cockroach is the heaviest in the world, typically weighing more than one full ounce. It’s also one of the longest-living of all insects, with an average lifespan greater than 10 years.

 

Why is it so Hard to Kill a Cockroach with your Shoe?

Food and Water

German cockroaches, Blattella germanica, the most common domestic roach in the United States, have been observed to live 45 days without food, and more than two weeks with neither food nor water.

Cockroaches will eat almost anything including glue, feces, hair, decayed leaves, paper, leather, banana skins, other cockroaches, and dead or alive humans. They will not, however, eat cucumbers. They are particularly fond of dried milk around a baby’s mouth.

Why is it so hard to kill a cockroach with your shoe?

Schweid observes that “when a cockroach feels a breeze stirring the hairs on its cerci, it does not wait around to see what is going to happen next, but leaves off whatever it is doing and goes immediately into escape mode in something remarkably close to instantaneous fashion.” Studies show that a cockroach can respond in about 1/20th of a second, so “by the time a light comes on and human sight can register it, much less react by reaching for and hoisting something with which to squash it, a roach is already locomoting towards safety.”

Blood

Cockroach blood is a pigments, clear substance circulating through the interior of its body, and what usually spurts out of a roach when its hard, , outer shell—its exoskeleton—is penetrated or squashed is a cream-colored substance resembling nothing so much as pus or smegma.

Brains

Cockroaches have two brains—one inside their skulls, and a second, more primitive brain that is back near their abdomen.

 

Ways To Get Rid Of Roaches

Cockroaches are one of the most hated pests in our homes, and, unfortunately, they are also among the hardest pest control jobs. It’s very hard to completely get rid of roaches, and even harder to keep them gone, especially if you live in an apartment.

Eliminate Food And Water Sources

This is a common piece of advice, and it’s good, but limited in effectiveness. Eliminating large sources of food, and especially water can reduce the number of roaches your home can support, but it’s unlikely to completely rid your kitchen of roaches. Why? Because roaches don’t need a lot of food to survive and thrive.

A single crumb of food on the floor is a good meal for a roach. Not only that, but they will eat things that you don’t even think of as food. Grease spots on pages of your cookbook, for example, can be a good meal. They are related to termites and can nibble on wooden spoons, cutting boards, and other tools that have absorbed food or skin oils.

Insecticide

Insecticide is also a reasonable approach to control roaches, but not eliminate. You can kill the roaches you see, but the ones you don’t see will still multiply. And then there’s the next generation of roaches that will be born. Even insecticides with residual action won’t kill long enough to completely eliminate roaches, which will also grow more resistant to the toxins you are using

Poison Bait

Poison baits work better than spray insecticides. Roaches eat the bait, which will kill them, but not right away, and go back to their homes. As these roaches defecate, other roaches eat their feces and get poisoned.

Scorpion Can Have FIVE Sets Of Eyes!

How to Scorpion-Proof Your Home

You may have some scorpion roommates you don’t know about. Our homes are a scorpion’s ideal climate, and many hunker down to hibernate in the winter right under our noses!

Bark scorpions hibernate in groups of up to 30, and they often hide in warm, dark places. These unexpected houseguests won’t show themselves until the temperatures begin to heat up. These tips will help you scorpion-proof your home:

  • Seal off all potential entry points. Scorpions can enter through the tiniest crack! Seal off the spots where waterlines, electrical or phone lines enter your house. Many pest control services can do this for you.
  • Don’t overwater your plants. You’re providing a water source for scorpions and other pests if you do. Scorpions can live for months without food if they have a reliable water source. For plants with sprinkler systems, be sure to fix leaks quickly.
  • Trim plants away from your home. Scorpions can gain access to your home by climbing over from surrounding vegetation.
  • Remove sheltering areas around your yard. Scorpions love the shelter that large rocks, logs, dead or decaying shrubs and untrimmed palm trees provide. They also enjoy woodpiles, and clothing or shoes left out.
  • Place potted plants on stands. Scorpions like to hide under pots, and stands eliminate this option.

 

What Attracts Scorpions to My Home?

The more you know about these arachnids, the more equipped you are to know where and when to spot them, how to know they have made it inside of your home, and most importantly, how to get them out—for good.

Scorpions have lived on Earth for over 400 million years. Found on every continent—except Antarctica—these eight-legged creatures are related to ticks, mites and spiders. There are 1,500 scorpion species found worldwide, 90 of which live in the United States and 18 that make their home in Texas. Over a dozen species of scorpions are found in Big Bend National Park alone.

During most of the day, scorpions remain hidden in the wild in burrows or crevices to avoid exposure to sunlight and heat. At night, they feed on a variety of insects, centipedes, arachnids, other scorpions and larger species even feast on lizards, snakes and mice. All species of scorpions use venom to defend themselves against predators and to immobilize and kill their prey. The arachnid’s tail includes a barb which works like a hypodermic needle to inject venom into its prey. The impact of the venom varies from mild pain to a lethal cocktail, although when humans get stung, in most cases pain and swelling goes away after an hour or two. The most dangerous scorpion, the Arizona bark scorpion, does not live in Texas. The species of scorpion Texas homeowners is most likely to encounter is the striped bark scorpion.

In the wild, the striped bark scorpion lives under rocks, in dead vegetation and inside of logs. This species of scorpion does not burrow, and can often be seen climbing, so they can make their way into your home through your attic. Scorpions often find their way inside our homes as they search for moisture, shelter and food. When temperatures climb, striped bark scorpions may descend to escape the heat.

 

How to prevent scorpions from getting in your bed.

If professional scorpion control is not an option where you live, you can prevent scorpions from getting in your bed with a few items and a little elbow grease. This is a good 5 step process to keep scorpions out of your bed… Sleep tight!

Step 1 – Your Bed

Move your bed away from the wall a couple inches and put the feet of your bed frame in glass mason jars! Scorpions can climb walls, but can’t climb smooth glass and won’t be able to climb from the floor onto your bed using glass jars this way!

Step 2 – Bedding

Make sure you keep all bedding up off the floor night and day. Scorpions like beds because they often seek shelter of bedding. There should never be anything left hanging from your bed onto the floor. Bark Scorpions love to climb, and can climb clothes, blankets, sheets, etc. from the floor into bed.

Step 3 – Hang a SMOOTH Surface

Get a piece of smooth glass or plastic a few inches longer and wider than your bed. Don’t use cardboard because it’s not a smooth surface and scorpions can climb upside-down on it. They key word here is smooth. Scorpions are great climbers as long as the surface has a little texture for them to hold onto.

Using strong fishing line or wire, hang your smooth surface from all four corners on the ceiling above your bed. The smooth surface should hang exactly over your bed but a few inches wider and longer than the bed on all sides. This will keep scorpions that are climbing on the ceiling from dropping into your bed. The smooth surface will catch any scorpions that drop, and because it’s wider and longer than your bed, scorpions falling from the ceiling fall on the floor instead of into your bed.

If you use a surface that is NOT smooth, scorpions will fall onto it then climb upside down on it above your bed and can still drop into your bed.

Step 4 – Seal Your Home

Sealing your home is another method to keep scorpions out of your home and thus out of your bed. However, scorpions easily enter homes through cracks as small as one sixteenth of an inch… That’s as thin as a credit card. This is best done by a professional contractor who knows everything about how your home is build and all the possible entry points. We like David Berrara and the professionals at We Seal It.

Step 5 – Black Lighting

Black-light scorpion inspections in the dark allow you to see any scorpions in your home or yard and then manually remove them. This will not prevent future scorpion problems, but is another way for you to sleep better at night. Mature scorpions glow a bright yellow/green under a blacklight in the dark. Scorpions can be collected using pliers and a glass jar that they can’t climb out of.

 

Tips

To help avoid encounters with scorpions in and around your home follow these prevention tips:

  • Eliminate standing water
  • Seal cracks and crevices, especially around doors and windows where they can gain access to your home
  • Inspect cabinets, closets, and other dark places on a regular basis
  • Clear away brush, debris, and woodpiles from the perimeter of your home. Keep firewood about 30 feet away
  • Scorpions feed on other insects such as crickets. You can help eliminate crickets by turning outdoor lights off at night

 

Clean Inside Your Home

Just as crucial as de-cluttering your yard is keeping your home clean and organized. Clean—because crumbs attract bugs which in turn attract predators like scorpions. Organized—because scorpions will use everything from shoes to boxes to piles of clothing to hide. Traditionally cluttered spaces like closets and underneath beds will require attention, too.

Maintain Your Yard

Keeping a clean and well-organized yard will go along way toward safeguarding your home against scorpions. Vulnerable to dehydration—and therefore extreme heat and sun exposure—scorpions require shady, cool places to hide during the daytime before emerging to hunt at night. Make sure to do the following:

  • Keep bushes and small trees landscaped. Do not allow them to overgrow and touch the outside walls of your home—scorpions use these as bridges to enter through windows or other small openings.
  • Keep grass & other vegetation short and trim.
  • De-clutter your yard, removing all unnecessary items: including brush, debris, decorative rocks, woodpiles, lawn equipment, etc.

Safe And Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Wasps

Ways to Keep Wasps Away From You

Aside from different nesting preferences, the main difference between bees and wasps is that bees feed their larvae pollen, while wasps — a category that includes yellow jackets and hornets — nourish theirs with insects. That means that wasps are actually great to have around the garden because they control nearly all types of pests.

Clove-Geranium-Lemongrass Oil Blend

Research published in the Journal of Pest Management Science found that a combination of clove, geranium, and lemongrass essential oils successfully repelled wasps. You can try applying these oils by mixing several drops of each with water and dish soap in a spray bottle and coating areas on the outside of your home where wasps like to build nests: under eaves, porch roofs, and other ledges and crevices.

Plain Soap and Water

According to Chris Walker, an eco-friendly wasp removal expert in Southeastern Pennsylvania, you can tackle small hanging nests with a mixture of about two tablespoons of dish soap in a spray bottle filled with water.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil may also be effective at repelling wasps, according to the same study from the Journal of Pest Management Science. You can try applying it as described above, or you can purchase EcoSmart Organic Wasp and Hornet Killer, which is mint oil-based, to target established nests

Wasp Traps

Wasp traps work by luring the insects inside a container with some tempting treat, like sugar water, and then preventing them from escaping. You can make one yourself in about five minutes by sawing the top off a two-liter bottle and inverting it inside the bottom, or cutting a small hole in the top like this.

 

Wasps: DO’s and DON’Ts

Wasps’ behaviour changes in late summer as their preferred food shifts from sugars to proteins. Because of this, you will more likely encounter them wherever food is consumed outdoors and around garbage collection areas.

If you notice large numbers of wasps in your home or garden, there is likely to be a wasp nest nearby. It may be in your house, in your garden or very close by. A mature nest in summer/autumn can contain thousands of wasps. When they do attack, most wasps, yellow jackets and hornets are aggressive and will sting REPEATEDLY

Should I remove wasp nest myself?

It is important to treat a wasp nest as soon as possible. Removing a wasp nest is a complex process and requires professional help. To avoid the risk of painful wasp stings (and possible allergic reactions), we strongly advise you not to try to remove a wasp nest yourself. Remember, you could cause serious injury to yourself or others if you provoke the wasps in the nest.

Paper wasps: This is an open nest with hexagonal cells. It usually has an umbrella shape and may contain fewer than 100 paper wasps.

Hornets: A hornet nest has a football shape surrounded by smooth walls.

 

How to Get Rid of Wasps

Wasps are a frightening pest for many people. Setting up their nests near homes, they fly swiftly around doors and entryways and pack a powerful sting if they feel threatened.

Yet not all wasps sting, and they are a beneficial insect in some ways. Without wasps eating insects, there would be a gaping hole in the food chain. With about 30,000 identified wasp species, some are more common pests for humans than others. All this makes it important to know what kind of wasps are causing you problems before you attempt to get rid of them — or even they are wasps at all. Learning more about bees and wasps is key in safely ridding your property of an infestation.

Differences Between Bees and Wasps

Bees have robust, rounded bodies made up of one section, whereas wasps are slender and have a tapered waist area that connects their thorax to their abdomen. Bees are hairy, while wasps are more smooth and shiny. Bees feed on pollen, while wasps feed on insects. If you see something buzzing near a flower, it’s more likely to be a bee than a wasp. Honeybees die after stinging, whereas wasps can sting and fly directly away.

Physical Characteristics of Wasps

Wasps all grow up to about 1.5” and vary in size by species. However, their bodies are all composed of a head, thorax and abdomen separated by a tapered waist. They have one pair of wings, one pair of antennae, and six legs. All female wasp species have venom which they inject into their victims when stinging them. Only females can sting, and their stingers are located at the very end of their bottom half. This stinger also doubles as a reproductive organ through which the wasp can lay eggs.

 

How to get rid of wasps: quickly and sting-free

Learn how to get rid of wasps and you’ll be able to avoid the most annoying of garden visitors. Wasps start to build their nests in spring, so if you’ve noticed lots in your garden then now is the time to get rid of them. By summer, they could have built up a nest that you’ll need to call in the professionals to deal with.

As is the case with most household pests, a wasp infestation can be pretty unpleasant, especially because of the risk of them stinging you. Luckily, there are a few things that can be done to ensure your wasp enemies stay away.

HOW TO GET RID OF WASPS

If there’s one thing guaranteed to ruin every garden sunbathing session/BBQ/afternoon siesta, it’s pesky wasps. Numbers of these annoying insects start to rise in the spring and peak in summer, which explains why we’ve started to notice so many of them in our gardens. Unlike bees, wasps don’t die once they’ve stung you and can sting many times, it means you need to be extremely careful when trying to get rid of them

Shut your bins: Open bins will attract greedy wasps looking for a sweet meal. Keep you bins away from the house if you can and make sure the lids are always on properly.

Protect your home: Keeping your windows and doors shut will stop wasps entering the house. If it’s too hot and you don’t have an air conditioning unit, consider investing in a fly screen for your doors

 

tips for waging war on wasps

Orange Crush is a good bait for wasps at this time of year, as well as cream soda. He says anything syrupy sweet works.

Toward fall, wasps will be out for blood. “As we get closer to cold weather they’re going to switch over the proteins,” said Sherwood. He finds the raw blood from ground beef attracts wasps well.

Wasp traps do work, to a point. Commercial traps and homemade traps, like the ones made out of pop bottles, work to stop wasps from sharing your picnic. But they don’t kill the colony.

Paper bags and products made to look like wasp nests will deter wasps, but they must be put up in mid-March when juvenile queens are looking to nest.

Insecticidal foam commercial products work to kill a nest. You spray some foam to plug up the opening where wasps come in and out. Then you stick a straw in the nest and pump it full of insecticide.

How To Take Control Ants In Your Garden

Eliminating Your Ant-Problems

Why do you have an ant problem?

Ants can enter your home for any number of reasons, but more than likely, they are searching for food. Your home just happens to be close to where a queen decided to set up her colony. Just like humans, ants have to eat to survive. They also have to feed their young. It’s not that they want to bother you or cause distress.

They are simply trying to eke out a living just like any other animal, insect, bug or plant on Earth. Your home represents a possible food and water source. It can also provide protection from predators and the elements, thus serving as a potential site for new colonies when they’re ready to expand. Obviously you’ll want to prevent this invasion and colonization from happening whenever you can.

 

How to Find Ant Nests

Sometimes the solution to an ant problem is getting rid of their nest. If you’re dealing with carpenter ants, which can do structural damage to your house, it’s vital that you wipe them out ASAP. Finding the nest may not be easy and takes some detective work. Ants generally prefer damp areas, such as framing or flooring that’s soft and spongy from a plumbing or roof leak. How to get rid of ants begins by looking for areas with water damage. Attics, bathrooms and exterior walls are obvious candidates. Cut small holes in water-damaged walls to track down the ant nest. (You’re going to have to repair the walls anyway.) When you find the nest, spray it with an insecticide that contains bifenthrin, permethrin or deltamethrin (look on the label).

 

Tips for Dealing with Ants

Here are some tips to help you eliminate and prevent an infestation of ants in your home.

Identify Ant Trails

The key first step in eliminating an ant infestation is to identify the trails used by worker ants to move to and from the nest. Any visible ants moving inside your home are seeking food, and once an ant finds edible material, it carries it back to the nest By doing so, the ant leaves a chemical path, or trail, for its fellow worker ants to follow to collect more food.

Use Ant Bait Indoors

Avoid the temptation to simply use pesticides to spray visible ants marching along trails in your home. Pesticide sprays can eliminate a few visible ants, but more will quickly replace them, and you’ll never make real progress to eliminating the infestation. Instead, use these worker ants as the ticket into the colony by placing ant bait for them to carry back to the hidden nest.

Ant baits are edible materials, usually sweet, sugary carbohydrates, mixed with substances that are toxic to ants but which have minimal toxicity to animals or humans. Some ant baits are primarily made from boric acid, a natural substance that is entirely non-toxic to humans.

Ant baits can be “stations” containing granular materials or liquids that are sprayed onto surfaces. Whatever form of ant bait you use, try to place it close to visible ant trails but outside the reach of pets and children. The bait will work most effectively if you keep other surfaces clean so that the bait is the only sweet substance available to attract the ants.

Use Spray Pesticides Outdoors—Carefully

If you happen to follow ant trails and identify an outdoor nest for the colony, then it may make sense to apply a heavy dose of liquid pesticide that can soak down to reach the queen. Drenching the nest with an approved insecticide spray (following all label directions) can be effective. Make sure, however, to verify that this is the colony creating your indoor infestation problem. Many types of ants are helpful garden creatures that you have no reason to kill. And be aware that these pesticides are likely to be toxic to all insects, including beneficial ones, so apply them carefully according to label directions.

Keep It Clean

Sanitation is critical for the prevention and control of any pest. Like all living creatures, ants need water, food, and shelter for survival. Ants leave the shelter of their colony to find food and water. Don’t make it easy for them! Keep foods sealed, floors swept, and all surfaces cleaned. Be especially careful to keep things clean while you are targeting the nest, as this will make the sweet ant bait the only thing available to the ants. But don’t clean away the ant trails until you have eliminated the infestation, as these trails will allow the ants to find your bait and carry it back to the nest. Once the infestation has been eradicated, then clean up the trail surfaces and keep them clean.

Seal Entry Points

Ants are tiny creatures and can enter homes and buildings through minute cracks and crevices. To minimize this, seal around windows and doors and all cable, pipe, and wire entry points. Regularly inspect foundations for tiny cracks through which ants can gain entry to your home.

 

Outdoor Ant Baiting

Using an ant bait outdoors will allow you to exterminate ants that are farther away from your structure. We recommend you use both a liquid ant bait and a granular ant bait because ants can be picky and will sometimes only accept the liquid bait or sometimes only accept the granule bait, depending on what nutritional needs they are trying to meet. You can use both bait formulations in each station at one time. You should place the stations near areas where you are seeing high levels of ant activity. Check the stations once a week and replenish the bait as needed until the ant population has been eliminated

 

Sprinkle cinnamon in problem areas

Cinnamon has been touted as a natural ant repellent. Scientific research backs up the claims, but the study that looked at this technique used highly concentrated cinnamon essential oil. Sebring cautions that household cinnamon probably doesn’t have a great enough concentration to be truly effective, but he says it’s worth a shot. Sprinkle cinnamon on the areas where you have seen ants, or saturate cotton balls with cinnamon essential oil and use them to wipe down known trails and entry spots. But a word of caution: Essential oils can strip paint and stain surfaces, so test how your floor reacts in an inconspicuous area before you use it everywhere.

The Correct Pest Control For Scorpion

Scorpions

There are over 1,500 known species of scorpion across the world, of which about 20 live in Texas. Only only of these species is commonly found in East Texas, the striped bark scorpion, and it does live in Houston.

The striped bark scorpion is a medium-sized scorpion, usually around 2 1/2 inches in length. These scorpions are pale yellow color with two broad, darker-colored bands crossing the back and a dark triangular patch near the head.

Despite the image of scorpions as desert animals, striped bark scorpions prefer cool, moist environments. The striped bark scorpion’s behavior is primarily motivated by a need to conserve the water in its body. Warm sunlight will evaporate their body water and kill them quickly. Because of this, they are almost exclusively nocturnal. They will tend to stay in cracks, crevices, and dark places, particularly where this is moisture to be found.

The striped bark scorpion’s sting is very rarely fatal, but is is incredibly painful and can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms such as swelling, muscle spasms, and difficulty breathing. Anyone allergic to bee stings or an any way susceptible to anaphylactic shock should be particularly careful to avoid scorpions. If you are stung by a scorpion, get to a hospital immediately.

 

Scorpion

Dealing With Scorpions in Your Houston Home

With summer temperatures comes an increased chance that a scorpion may decide that your home is a great place to hide. Scorpions are not uncommon in Houston, and they deliver a painful sting when surprised. Learn more about Houston’s scorpions, the places they like to hide, the methods to avoid a sting, and the ways you can discourage them from moving into your home.

While Texas is home to many species of scorpions, only one species is common in Houston: the striped bark scorpion. Unlike many other species of scorpion, this one does not prefer hot, dry environments. Instead, striped bark scorpions like to live in cool, wet, and dark areas. This species is also nocturnal, which means they are rarely active during the day.

Scorpions, in general, will seek shade during the hot day, especially the striped bark scorpion. These types of scorpions carry a lot of moisture in their bodies and will dry out with too much sunlight.

As a result, striped bark scorpions look for a quick and easy hiding space that both keeps them cool, yet protects them from their many predators. They seek out places with easy access to insects and areas where little activity exists from humans and pets at night.

 

An Overview of Scorpions

Contrary to popular belief, scorpions aren’t insects. They’re predatory arachnids that have eight jointed legs and up to six eyes. They use the stinger on the end of their segmented tails to deliver painful blows. Their large claws help them grasp and crush their prey. Some species can live for 25 years.

Scorpions can climb trees and crawl along branches to gain access to your home’s exterior walls and roof. They get inside through small cracks and crevices, where they could build a nest in your attic. When hot weather comes, they move into the lower levels of your home to stay cool.

Since scorpions are most active at night, you might only come across them when it’s dark. Because of that, it’ll probably see you before you see it and strike if it feels threatened.

Among the more than 1,500 scorpion species in the world, only a few have venomous stings that are deadly. In Houston, the sting from a striped bark scorpion is usually just painful. However, people who have a sensitivity to scorpion venom could have a life-threatening reaction.

 

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms at the site of a scorpion sting may include:

  • Pain, which can be intense
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Slight swelling
  • Warmth

Signs and symptoms related to widespread (systemic) venom effects usually occur in children who are stung and may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscle twitching or thrashing
  • Unusual head, neck and eye movements
  • Drooling
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Accelerated heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Restlessness or excitability, or inconsolable crying in children

As with other stinging insects, such as bees and wasps, it is possible for people who have previously been stung by scorpions to have allergic reactions with subsequent stings. Reactions to these subsequent stings are sometimes severe enough to cause a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis. Signs and symptoms in these cases are similar to those of anaphylaxis caused by bee stings and can include hives, trouble breathing, and nausea and vomiting.

 

FACTS ABOUT SCORPIONS AND TIPS TO PREVENT THEM

Most scorpions in the U.S. are found in the Southwest regions. They come in many sizes and colors, but are usually pale gold or tan and do not grow larger than a few inches long. They are commonly found in newer homes, especially ones built on the outskirts of metropolitan areas. Vegetation around these homes is typically less developed than established neighborhoods. Also, scorpion’s habitats are often disturbed during new construction, so their search for new shelter can drive them into your home.

To help avoid encounters with scorpions in and around your home follow these prevention tips:

  • Eliminate standing water
  • Seal cracks and crevices, especially around doors and windows where they can gain access to your home
  • Inspect cabinets, closets, and other dark places on a regular basis
  • Clear away brush, debris, and woodpiles from the perimeter of your home. Keep firewood about 30 feet away
  • Scorpions feed on other insects such as crickets. You can help eliminate crickets by turning outdoor lights off at night