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.
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.