Contending with scorpions around your property feels unnerving but is common in certain regions, especially arid areas like Texas. This guide covers gently keeping scorpions away from your living spaces using strategic deterrents and barriers rather than lethal methods.
- Facts about scorpions and their habits
- How scorpions find ways into homes
- Effective prevention and exclusion methods
- Safe physical and chemical deterrent options
- Trapping techniques for catch and release relocation
- When professional assistance may be needed
- FAQs on repelling scorpions humanely
Arm yourself with knowledge for protecting your home rather than defaulting to harmful options when scorpions encroach.
About Scorpions and Their Behaviors
Around 90 species of scorpions live across the southern United States. They thrive in warm, dry areas like deserts but also adapt to backyard edges meeting their needs.
While their venomous sting seems threatening, less than 30 species found within the U.S. possess potency medically significant to humans. The Bark scorpion common in Arizona and Texas rates the most dangerous.
Facts about scorpions relevant to home encounters include:
- Nocturnal habits – They hunt insects and smaller prey more actively at night relying on senses, not eyesight. Staying still relies on sensing vibrations, so avoid stomping footsteps when active.
- Sensitivity to vibration – Their specialized sensitive hairs detect the slightest vibrations which alert them to hide or be aggressive. Minimize ground and structural vibration.
- Prefer tight spaces – As ambush hunters inhabiting crevices near food supply, they gravitate toward cramped spots near foundation walls, weep holes, and crawl spaces seeking shelter. Carefully inspect and seal these access points.
- Avoid light – While not completely blind, they strongly favor darkness. Maintaining exterior lighting repels, while reducing outdoor harborage by tidying debris piles that allow hiding and hunting draws them away.
- Attracted to moisture – Dry out damp areas which can attract both scorpions and insect prey. Fix plumbing leaks promptly and improve irrigation runoff drainage from your home.
- Cannot climb smooth surfaces – Install barriers using slick materials like metal and plexiglass that steeply slant outward at top if height is insufficient to fully exclude passage.
- Thrive in mulch and wood – When possible, replace organic matter allowing infiltration with gravel, sand, cinder blocks or concrete around your home’s perimeter while maintaining proper moisture drainage.
Understanding scorpion instincts helps motivate them to reside well away from your living spaces as we’ll now explore.
How To Kill a Scorpion in Your House
Killing a scorpion should be done with caution. While it’s possible to kill a scorpion by smashing it with a heavy object like a book or a shoe, this method can be risky, especially if you’re not wearing protective footwear or if you miss and provoke the scorpion. Scorpions can move quickly and might sting if threatened. Here are some safer alternatives:
- Long-handled Tools: Use a long-handled tool, like a broom or a mop, to maintain a safe distance while trying to kill the scorpion. This reduces the risk of being stung.
- Insecticide Sprays: There are insecticide sprays specifically designed to kill scorpions. These can be a safer method as they allow you to maintain a distance. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully and use the spray in a well-ventilated area.
- Glue Traps: Placing glue traps in areas where you’ve seen scorpions can help capture them. Once trapped, you can dispose of them without direct contact.
- Professional Pest Control: If you’re dealing with a scorpion infestation, or if you’re unsure about handling scorpions yourself, it’s wise to contact professional pest control services. They have the expertise and equipment to safely and effectively deal with the problem.
Remember, safety should always be your first priority. Wearing protective clothing, especially thick shoes, is recommended when dealing with scorpions. It’s also important to keep in mind that scorpions are more active at night, so be extra cautious during this time.
How Scorpions Find Their Way Into Houses
Scorpions gain indoor access through surprising tiny openings we often neglect. vigilantly excluding entry prevents need for removal later:
Common scorpion access points include:
- Gaps under doors allowing only 1/16 inch clearance
- Foundation slab cracks and spaces surrounding pipes/vents
- Gaps around attic vents, roof eaves and fascia boards
- Weep holes designed for masonry wall moisture drainage
- Josses between the home and additions like sunrooms
- Openings for wires, cables and plumbing permitting passage
- Untrimmed shrubbery or trees touching exterior walls
Inspect thoroughly at night with a bright flashlight covering all sides paying particular attention near ground level. Utilize a flexible filler like silicone caulk for minor gaps where vibration occurs, and rigid fillers like concrete or mortar for more stable joints. Steel wool makes useful temporary filler to test if resolving access resolves sightings.
Taking time sealing every crevice scorpions exploit denies their ingress far more effectively and permanently than attempts trapping them once gaining footholds indoors.
Physical and Household Deterrent Methods
Implement tactile deterrents making your home’s environment uncomfortable for scorpions to traverse while removing exterior attractions:
- Spines/textured surfaces – Attach abrasive doormats, duct tape, shelf liners or abrasive caulking along walls and potential access points that irritate delicate foot pads.
- Vibrations – Portable vibrating pads, battery-powered toothbrushes, or music speakers with heavy bass placed near suspected entry paths disturb with unsettling motion.
- Desiccant dusts – Diatomaceous earth powder or amorphous silica gel desiccants both physically abrade and rapidly draw moisture from scorpion bodies when crawled through. Apply dust perimeters indoors along walls. Reapply after cleaning.
- Pesticidal dust barriers – Repellent dusts like diatomaceous earth or amorphous silica gel function outdoors preventing refuge along foundations. Reapply after rain. Some brands add pyrethrins.
- Rock areas – Cover dirt crawl spaces with smooth-faced medium rocks denying underground access.
- Veggie garden buffers – Frame vegetable plots with copper tape, sand barriers or crushed glass denying burrowing passage.
- Direct lighting – Brightly illuminating hideaways with floodlights, ambient hardwired of battery-powered motion sensor lights upsets harborage sites.
Altering terrain with tactile friction agents encourages scorpions to nest well away from homes. Maintain remedies vigilantly noticing if, when and where sightings persist despite deterrents.
Chemical Scorpion Repellents and Insecticides
Repellent chemicals discourage arthropods wandering into treated areas:
Indoor repellent options include:
- Clove oil – Naturally derived clove oil sprayed along interior foundations and potential touchpoints deters passage using scent aversion without toxicity.
- Insecticidal dusts – Lightly applied layers of dusts containing pyrethrins or pyrethroids repel while providing residual kill upon direct contact. Products include Cimexa Dust, Delta Dust and Temprid Ready Spray. Reapply dusts every 2 weeks indoors.
Outdoor barrier treatments include:
- Liquid concentrates – Treat along a band of exterior walls with products containing lambda-cyhalothrin, deltamethrin or permethrin based on product labels up to several feet wide, avoiding flowering plants beneficial to pollinators. Reapply liquid sprays after heavy rain per label guidelines.
- Granular spreads – Roughly broadcast coverings of granules featuring active ingredients like fipronil, bifenthrin or tefluthrin around landscape perimeters denying infiltration under debris piles. Replace granules every 2-3 weeks.
Both passive mechanical alterations and strategic chemical dissuasion provide additional influence encouraging scorpions not to colonize your living space or its prime hunting grounds. Monitor results closely and notify experts if infestations worsen.
Trapping Techniques for Capturing and Removing Scorpions
While sealing, deterring and repelling aim to prevent colonization proactively, unexpected sightings still occur requiring removal using humane trapping techniques:
Actively pursue and safely capture scorpions using thick gloves and a narrow-mouthed, clear plastic container allowing you to seal and transport without threat of sting. Center the container over them, herd the scorpion inside gently without crushing appendages, and quickly seal the lid. Release the captive unharmed away from populated areas urgently.
Insect monitor glue boards strategically placed against walls capture wandering scorpions traversing surfaces allowing safe release by carefully peeling them off still stuck when discovered daily. Dispose of glue traps often since dead insects can attract new ones.
Luring wandering scorpions nightly using battery powered handheld blacklights which fluoresce scorpion bodies against dark backgrounds for easy safe collection with gloves and sealable chambers facilitates temporary captures until releasing them far from homes. Conduct blacklight sessions routinely to remove stragglers bypassing other safeguards.
Scorpions play vital roles controlling insects in environments worldwide. Using catch and release relocation preserves their contributions while protecting your peace indoors through synergizing vigilant prevention, deterrence and trapping collectively.
When to Call Pest Control Experts
Generally scorpions only appear singularly around homes by chance rather than in reproducing groups internally. But under certain scenarios, expert intervention proves advisable:
- Visible pregnant scorpions suggest an uncontrolled breeding source on or very near your property requiring investigation and elimination. Each birth can deliver over 30 surviving young intensifying hazards rapidly.
- Recurring sightings indoor after sealing typical entries indicate a large accessible space exists possibly requiring major repairs that pest controllers can isolate using specialized tools like fiber optic scopes.
- Members of your household experiencing unusually severe reactions to scorpion stings should avoid individual removal attempts given medical risks. Venom sensitivity varies.
While following prevention fundamentals denies most pest species successfully colonizing your living space, scorpions barely inch long adapt to amazingly tight quarters. Carefully consider expert remediation should populations appear multiplying against efforts to passively repel them.
Frequently Asked Questions About Scorpion Deterrents
What time of day are scorpions most active?
Scorpions forage most actively dusk through dawn avoiding daytime sunlight hours using night vision senses seeking cooler spaces. Peak sightings occur within 2 hours after sunset and before sunrise.
Can scorpions crawl up walls?
Most species rarely climb up vertical walls lacking textured surfaces allowing finger and toe pad grip. Some tree bark species can cling well to rough wall finishes when essentials compel climbing.
How can I safely identify dangerous scorpions?
Carefully observing markings and body features helps distinguish dangerous Striped Bark scorpions from harmless species prevalent in your region using reputable guides before considering removal. Avoid handling altogether by assuming risk until ruled out.
Where can I relocate trapped scorpions?
Release well beyond 500 feet from human structures minimizing return potential to prior detected points allowing better ongoing control through maintained barriers denying reentry. Avoid releasing near high foot traffic areas.
How can I find and seal scorpion access points?
Inspect all foundation walls and penetrations with bright flashlights after full dark seeking potential gaps. Use flexible fillers for minor cracks where vibrations occur. Apply rigid mortar compounds, concrete, copper mesh, or steel wool for larger holes.
With mindset shifts from reactive approaches toward proactive prevention, scorpion intrusions become rare requiring only occasional gentle removal maintaining balance in your corner of the world.
Scorpions only reside indoors by chance, not choice. So responsibly denying them conducive access and habitat makes coexisting safely with them while respecting their important ecosystem roles quite achievable. Prioritize meticulously sealing passages and discouraging colonization opportunities using the least toxic means tolerable. Execute prompt, careful removal and offsite relocation only when necessary using humane capture techniques preserving lives all around. This sustainable, ethical system maintains homes scorpion-free without environmental harms, benefiting residents and arid land arthropods alike through understanding and innovation.
Let us know about your experiences controlling scorpions! Our experts stand ready to help assess your property for improvements if warranted.