Scorpions are certainly intimidating creatures. They have elongated bodies, two dangerous looking pinchers, and their curved tail totes a built in stinger that is filled with venom. Though most scorpions in the United States are not considered dangerous to humans, there are two species of poisonous scorpions you should know about.
Of course, even if a scorpion isn’t a poisonous scorpion, chances are you don’t want these terrifying looking critters rummaging around your home. Their sting can be painful regardless if it packs a poisonous punch, and they often hide inside our homes in places that make a sting quite possible like in shoes, behind appliances, and in the shadows of our cabinets.
Are you wondering how to identify a poisonous scorpion and how to get rid of scorpions in general? Then you’ve come to the right place. It’s scorpion season and we’re here to help protect you and your loved ones from these creepy critters.
What Are Poisonous Scorpions?
One of the most poisonous scorpions in the US is the Arizona Bark scorpion.
Scorpions are arachnids related to spiders, mites and ticks. While many people call them insects or bugs, they are actually an entirely different type of animal with unique characteristics and habits.
All scorpions could be considered poisonous scorpions, as they all have venom in their stinger that is designed to paralyze and control potential prey. In most species of scorpion, the poison is only potent enough to take out small insects and sometimes even small animals like mice or lizards.
However, there are some species of poisonous scorpions that are deadly to humans.
Experts estimate that there are around 1,500 scourpines throughout the world and 100 species of scorpions in the United States. US scorpions are most prevalent in the southwestern states and are especially prominent in states like California, Arizona, Texas, Alabama and New Mexico.
Out of the 100 species of scorpions commonly found throughout the US, there are two species in particular that are considered dangerously poisonous scorpions.
The Stripe Backed Scorpion (Centruroides Vittatus)
The Stripe Backed scorpion can reach between two to three inches in length as an adult.
Out of the two poisonous scorpions found in the US, the stripe back scorpion is considered the most widely distributed. It is found in several states including Colorado, Arizona, Illinois, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas and Tennessee.
The stripe back scorpion is hard to miss with its large size, but what makes it most distinguishable are the two dark stripes down its back. Younger stripe back scorpions range in color from yellow to tan to brown, with more mature scorpions often being a bit darker brown.
- Symptoms Of A Sting
Though considered poisonous, the symptoms of a sting can depend on your individual sensitivity. Like a bee sting, a scorpion sting can lead to an allergic reaction that can be quite serious, although this is rare. For most people, getting stung by the stripe back scorpion is more of a painful experience than a deadly one, and this is due to the potency of the venom in the tail. The symptoms include mild swelling, temporary intense pain, redness, tingling and warmth at the sting sight.
Arizona Bark Scorpion (Centruroides Exilicauda)
The Arizona Bark Scorpion is around the same size as it’s stripe back counterpart, reaching between two to three inches in length once mature.
The Arizona Bark Scorpion is less widely distributed throughout the United States and is most commonly found in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada.
This is another scorpion that is rather large and difficult to miss if you come across it. It ranges in color from yellow to light brown with a slim tail and long pinchers.
- Symptoms Of A Sting
Also known as the Sculptured scorpion, The Arizona Bark Scorpion is considered the most dangerous scorpion in the US. It may be the same size as the stripe back scorpion, but its sting is much more potent.
In fact, there was a point in time where the Arizona bark scorpion was highly feared and considered deadly to an adult human, but today experts believe the symptoms of its sting can vary and depend on an individual person’s sensitivity and how much venom was administered by the scorpion to the victim.
That said, this scorpion is responsible for some deaths, and is most dangerous to pets and small children. If you are stung by an Arizona bark scorpion, experts recommend seeking medical help immediately.
The below video further discusses poisonous scorpions and the talks about most poisonous scorpion in the world.
So, have you come across poisonous scorpions in or around your home? If so, something must have attracted it there. Keep reading to find out what.
What Attracts Poisonous Scorpions To Your Home Or Yard?
Scorpions are attracted by other insects and moisture.
For the most part, poisonous scorpions are outdoor arachnids who seek dark, moist hiding places. Scorpions are carnivores and dine primarily on other insects like roaches, spiders, and even other scorpions.
However, they also eat small animals like mice and lizards. Scorpions are nocturnal, which means they are most active and night and prefer to stay in the dark during the daytime.
Outdoors, scorpions are most attracted to areas rich in moisture and seek rotting wood like old stumps, dead trees, and lumber debris to hide.
Poisonous scorpions also like leaf litter and have been found beneath piles of rotting leaves in yards and fields. They love moisture, especially when the weather is warm, and this is one of the most common reasons scorpions enter our homes.
While scorpions can enter our homes, a scorpion infestation in the home is rare unless there are extraordinary circumstances, which often means a much larger pest problem that has attracted the scorpion to your property.
In fact, scorpions are famous for their poor eyesight and generally seek shelter, water and food outside where it is abundant. These arachnids are also solitary, and many species of scorpions are cannibals, so living in large colonies would not bode well for their survival.
Still, there are some circumstances where poisonous scorpions have infested homes, though these cases are often the result of someone purchasing a home that has long been abandoned, neglected, or has a more serious pest problem that the scorpions are feeding off of.
Most of us are more likely to stumble across a lone scorpion who entered our home by accident looking for water or shelter. In this case, scorpions are often found in dark places, beneath appliances, in shoes, in the back of cabinets, and beneath sinks.
How To Get Rid Of Poisonous Scorpions – Identifying A Scorpion Problem
Because they feed on insects, an abundance of scorpions are often a sign of another, larger pest problem.
Unlike many other home-invading pests like termites and carpenter ants, scorpions don’t cause structural damage. They also don’t transmit illnesses like E-coli or Salmonella, like roaches or mice potentially can.
That said, poisonous scorpions bring with them their own set of unique problems, including a painful sting that can be deadly to small children and pets. For this reason, it’s extremely important to be vigilant, especially if you live in areas rich in scorpion activity.
Since you’re very unlikely to come across a scorpion infestation, there are not many signs experts recommend you look for in order to recognize the early stages. Most people who come across infestations typically do so after purchasing a home that has already been infested, as we mentioned above.
If you are new to a home and are wondering if it could be infested with poisonous scorpions, look for some of these conditions that could make it more likely:
- Homes with poor or overgrown landscaping
- Properties that reside near alleyways, golf courses, or washes
- Abandoned, vacant, or neglected homes
- A home with a large infestation of other pests like roaches or spiders
- A home riddled with excessive spider webs.
Physically coming across a scorpion is, of course, perhaps the most obvious sign of a scorpion being inside your home, though that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a scorpion problem or infestation.
Still, experts agree that, unless you’re sure you know the difference between poisonous scorpions and non-poisonous scorpions, you should steer clear. For the most part, a scorpion sting will cause temporary pain and discomfort, including:
- Pain (sometimes intense)
- Warmth to the sting site
- Numbness and tingling
However, poisonous scorpions can lead to serious complications like pulmonary oedema, myocarditis, and anaphylaxis. So, how do you go about protecting your family, pets, and home from scorpions? Let’s find out.
How To Get Rid Of Poisonous Scorpions – Most Popular Methods
There are a few methods you can use to get rid of and control scorpions.
Scorpions may not be the most common pest we hear about invading homes and properties in the United States, but they do pop up more than you may think, especially if you live in regions where poisonous scorpions are present.
Considering the potential danger of a scorpion sting, it’s best to stay vigilant and use a pest control remedy year round and especially in the months when scorpions are most active to keep your home and family safe.
Some of the most common methods for how to get rid of poisonous scorpions are no different from other methods of pest control and include natural products and repellents, insecticides, home remedies, and professionals.
Though it may seem that pests as formidable as poisonous scorpions might require a more heavy duty pest control, the truth is that there are plenty of natural pest control options you can use to help repel and remove scorpions from your home and property.
Some of these products include ultrasonic pest repellers while others are dust insect repellents and poisonous that are not only effective against scorpoinios, but safe for people, pets and the environment.
Scorpions are arachnids but that doesn’t mean an insecticide won’t work on them. Just like spiders and ticks, poisonous scorpions can be easily repelled and eliminated using common insecticides when used both inside and outside of your home.
Insecticides often contain harsh chemical ingredients that can be toxic to people and pets, but if you have encountered a very large scorpion infestation in or around your home, insecticides may be required.
More and more people are finding that they can get rid of scorpions on their own using their own pest control methods at home. If you are interested in do it yourself pest control using home ingredients to get rid of poisonous scorpions, we are going to list some tips, tricks and recipes down below.
Poisonous scorpions are nothing to mess with, especially considering anyone at any time can develop a serious allergy to a scorpion sting. If you find you are dealing with a large scorpion problem on your property, you may want to contact a professional.
We will discuss when and how to go about contacting a professional further down, but for now let’s take a look at how to get rid of poisonous scorpions using natural products.
How To Get Rid Of Poisonous Scorpions Using Natural Products
Diatomaceous Earth is a popular and effective method for getting rid of scorpions naturally.
As we mentioned above, using a natural product to repel and remove poisonous scorpions from your property is an excellent and effective alternative to using insecticides that may be dangerous to people and pets.
Most natural products work by using ingredients that are safe for children, animals, and the environment and can often be used both inside and outside of your home. That said, when dealing with potentially poisonous scorpions it’s important to make sure you are using a product that is going to work.
If you aren’t sure where to begin looking for the right natural products for how to get rid of poisonous scorpions, we have listed some of our favorite products for you to consider below
Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
Diatomaceous Earth is a natural pest control agent that is recommended by experts because it’s not only totally safe for people, pets and the environment, but it is highly effective against pests like spiders, scorpions, roaches, and even bed bugs.
This is a dust insecticide made of fossilized algae. It is designed to penetrate the exoskeleton of insects and arachnids like scorpions which essentially dehydrates and kills them. Diatomaceous earth powder works well as a perimeter spray along entry and exit points and can even be used outside in gardens.
That said, it is most effective when dry and will need to be reapplied if it gets wet.
Brison Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
One way to protect your home against poisonous scorpions and other home invading pests is to invest in an ultrasonic pest repeller. Ultrasonic repellers, like the one listed above by Birson, work by emitting ultrasonic sound waves and vibrations that are harmless and often noticeable to people and pets but extremely irritating to pests.
This can not only help keep scorpions from entering your home but also repel any poisonous scorpions who are currently inside. Ultrasonic pest repellers also work to repel spiders, bats, mice, snakes, roaches, and more.
Cedarcide Indoor/Outdoor Kit
This is a pest repellent kit by Cedarcide that uses natural ingredients like cedar oil to repel scorpions both inside and outside of your home. You can use one as a perimeter spray and the other as a spot treatment for indoors.
We like that this kit is safe to use around people, pets and the environment and is still effective against repelling and eliminating poisonous scorpions, spiders, ticks, fleas, crickets, chiggers, roaches, and ants.
Harris Sticky Pest Traps
Many people use non-toxic sticky glue traps like the one above in their homes to help monitor pest problems. If you think you have noticed scorpion activity or just want to be vigilant and on top of a potential scorpion problem, we recommend investing in glue traps.
These traps can be placed around your home in areas where scorpions like to hide like in the back of cabinets and behind and beneath appliances. Simply check them routinely to keep track of and control crawling insects and pests in your home.
Wondercide Indoor Pest Spray
We like Wondercide sprays because they work so effectively against a number of pests, including poisonous scorpions. The product above is specifically designed to be used indoors and can not only help prevent and repel scorpions but also mosquitoes, spiders, ticks, bed bugs, fleas, and roaches.
This spray is safe to use in rooms where food is prepared and stored and is made with natural ingredients like essential oils.
Wondercide Outdoor Perimeter Pest Spray
Another product by Wondercide that we recommend for controlling poisonous scorpion is this Wondercide perimeter spray. This product is designed to be used outdoors and comes with a spray nozzle to help apply it around the perimeter of your home.
You can use this spray on plants, trees, and even your home’s siding to help prevent and repel scorpions, spiders, roaches, fleas, ticks and more from gaining access.
Like the other products on this list, this spray is completely safe for people, pets and the environment and is made with essential oils like peppermint oil, lemongrass oil, cedar oil and rosemary oil.
How To Get Rid Of Poisonous Scorpions Using Insecticides
Some insecticides can be harmful to people, pets and the environment but may be needed to get rid of scorpions.
Sometimes a very large scorpion problem requires a more intensive treatment. Insecticides not only work for how to get rid of poisonous scorpions around your home, but also the insects that may have attracted them there.
However, keep in mind that most insecticides use chemical ingredients that can be toxic to people, pets and the environment. Use all insecticides only as directed and with caution, and keep them out of reach of children and pets.
Are you wondering which insecticides work best for poisonous scorpions? Take a look at some of the most highly recommended products below, according to the experts.
Harris Scorpion Killer
The above product by Harris is an insecticide formula specifically designed to protect your home against poisonous scorpions. It is a non-staining and odorless insecticide that is meant to be used inside homes. It can be sprayed on fabrics, along entry and exit points, baseboards, window sills, and more.
It even comes with a trigger sprayer that allows you to target cracks and crevices where scorpions like to hide. However, the active ingredient in this insecticide is a chemical called deltamethrin. This is a toxic insecticide that can be harmful to people and pets, so use this spray only as directed and keep it out of reach of children.
Fastcap Spider and Scorpion Insecticide
Specifically designed to eliminate arachnids like scorpions and spiders, this insecticide uses the active ingredients esfenvalerate, prallethrin, and piperonyl butoxide to kill and control pest infestations.
It is highly effective and can be used on cracks, crevices, and around the perimeter of your home. Some people left reviews claiming to have used it indoors, but do plenty of research before you choose to do so. Remember, this product contains several harsh chemical ingredients that can be dangerous for people and pets so use it only as directed.
Talstar Professional Insecticide
No products found.
Talstar is a professional grade insecticide used to kill and control roaches, termites, bed bugs, wasps, spiders, scorpions, mosquitos and more. This is a perimeter spray for both inside and outside your home and includes a mask and glove for extra safe usage.
The spray is long lasting and can keep pests like poisonous scorpions at bay for up to three months when applied correctly.
Terro Insect Killer Aerosol
No products found.
For a more targeted approach for poisonous scorpions, experts suggest using Terro Scorpion spray aerosol. This spray can be used to kill poisonous scorpions on contact and can also kill spiders, roaches, bed bugs and ants.
Spray it inside along entry and exit points, baseboards, windowsills, basements, and more. While it is an effective method of pest control and works well to kill and monitor poisonous scorpions, it does contain harsh ingredients that can be harmful to people and pets so use it only as directed.
Best Home Remedies For How To Get Rid Of Poisonous Scorpions
Essential oils like citrus oil and peppermint oil can be added to water to create your own scorpion repellent.
Many people don’t realize they can actually repel scorpions using natural ingredients and items they already have hanging around their home. Let’s take a look at some of the easiest ways you can control and deter poisonous scorpions using home remedies and natural ingredients.
Many pests are deterred by essential oils from rodents to bats to insects. Scorpions are no different and are especially deterred by essential oils like:
- Lavender Oil
- Cedar Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Cinnamon Oil
- Citrus Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Neem Oil
You can make your own scorpion repellent spray by dropping 10 to 20 drops of the oil of your choice into two cups of water. Mix the solution into a spray bottle and spray it around all entry and exit points, in cabinets, along baseboards and window sills, and other scorpion friendly hiding places around your home.
Another way to use essential oils to repel poisonous scorpions and other pests is to soak cotton balls with the oils above and leave them around entry and exit points, in cabinets, along baseboards and window sills, etc. Just make sure to replace these cotton balls with freshly soaked cotton balls every two to three days.
Burlap Sack Scorpion Trap
It sounds like the title to a dark nursery rhyme, but using a burlap sack to trap poisonous scorpions is actually a trick that works. Simply wet the burlap sack and leave it open and inviting in areas where you have noticed scorpion activity.
Any scorpions in your home will be attracted to the moisture and the texture of the burlap sack and seek shelter inside of it. Check the trap (very carefully) every morning and dispose of any scorpions you may find inside.
Clean With Vinegar
Vinegar is not only a wonderful and natural cleaning agent but it also makes for an excellent repellent for both scorpions and spiders. You can mix equal parts vinegar with water in a spray bottle to make a cleaner that is both sanitizing to your countertops and repelling to pests.
Wipe down counters, tables, cabinets, and other surfaces with this vinegar spray to keep pests away. You can even add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to give it some extra pest-repellent power. Some people even spray entry and exit points and other areas around their home they think they have noticed scorpion activity.
Most people choose to use white vinegar in this regime as white vinegar does not stain and can be used on even soft surfaces. However, you can use apple cider vinegar or even malt vinegar if you wish.
How To Get Rid Of Poisonous Scorpions – When To Call A Professional
A very large infestation of scorpions is often a sign of another, larger pest problem that may require help from the pros..
Unfortunately, a very large scorpion problem in or around your home is often a sign of another serious pest issue. Remember, scorpions are carnivores and while they are not social insects, they have been known to congregate in areas where food sources are rich.
If you notice a large amount of poisonous scorpions, or a large amount of any species of scorpion for that matter, you may need to contact a professional.
Most pest control experts should be able to help you pinpoint the source of your scorpion problem and will help you eliminate it once and for all. On average, professional pest control experts charge around $100 to $500, but sometimes more depending on your region and the severity of your infestation.
Once you have figured out how to get rid of the poisonous scorpions on your property, your next step should be to come up with some preventive routines you can implement around your home.
How To Prevent A Future Scorpion Problem In Your Home Or Yard
Prevent scorpions from becoming a problem in the future by following the below methods and remedies.
Preventing poisonous scorpions is just as important as getting rid of them. In fact, keeping scorpions at bay can help save you lots of money and potentially even a dangerous sting in the end.
Some of the best steps you can take to prevent poisonous scorpions from coming onto your property and entering your home include:
Keeping a scorpion out of your home begins by keeping a scorpion out of your yard. You can help keep poisonous scorpions at bay by keeping up with proper landscaping. Mow your lawn often and keep gardens nice and tidy.
Keep trees and other plant life at least three feet from the perimeter of your home and reduce any excess water sources that attract pests like scorpions.
Decluttering Both Inside and Outside
Since scorpions like small, dark spaces to live and hide, you can help keep them away by removing any potential home for them both inside and outside your home. Poisonous scorpions are especially attracted to damp, rotting organic materials like wood, where other insects hide as well.
Remove dead trees, logs, and stumps from your property and store wood piles far away from the perimeter of your home. Rake up leaf litter on your lawn and pull dead plant life from your garden.
Inside the home, keep rooms tidy and free of clutter and debris. Clean out cabinets often and don’t allow boxes to pile up in basements, crawl spaces and attics.
Keeping Your Home Clean and Sanitized
Cleaning and sanitizing your home won’t only help keep poisonous scorpions away, but also the pests that they prey on like rodents and insects. Wipe down surfaces often using a quality cleaner, dish soap, or vinegar spray.
We also recommend vacuuming and sweeping often and making sure you routinely clean beneath refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, and other appliances.
Keeping Up With Routine Home Maintenance
Most scorpions enter our homes by accident and find their way in through cracks, crevices, or gaps in doors and windows. To prevent a scorpion from accidentally wandering into your home, make sure you routinely check the perimeter and caulk any potential entry points. Repair ripped or ill-fitting screens and make sure windows and doors shut securely.
Maintaining A Routine Pest Control Regime
While poisonous scorpions may be a seasonal pest and can be most problematic during spring and summer, the other pests they prey on may be active all year round. A roach infestation in the fall may lead to a scorpion invasion in the spring, so be proactive by using a pest control regime all year round to protect your home from poisonous scorpions.
And remember, when a scorpion gets inside your home it tends to find very inconvenient and sometimes dangerous hiding places. If you live in an area that is abundant with poisonous scorpions, be careful. Refrain from walking around outside in bare feet, especially at night. Check shoes before putting them on and be vigilant when reaching into dark crevices in the home.
If you follow the above advice and keep your eyes open, you should be able to avoid getting stung by any poisonous scorpions. Be careful and enjoy your summer!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.