What are Scorpions?
Scorpions are classified as arachnids, much like spiders, mites, and ticks and they also possess 8 legs. Living anywhere between 3 to 5 years, but also reaching 10 to 15 years, they are sensitive to moisture leaving their body, and hide in the shade during the day. The history of the scorpion goes back 430 million years ago, and thus they have adapted to a huge range of living conditions and have made themselves at home on every continent except for Antarctica.
There are about 1750 different types of species, with only about 25 of these species having venom that can kill a human being. Otherwise, the stings of a species found in the United States are painful but normally harmless and no medical treatment is needed for healthy adults. If a child or elderly person is to be stung, medical attention must be sought.
These bugs may be found in many different types of habitats, and are actually found on every major landmass except Antarctica. Though not native, scorpions now inhabit Great Britain, New Zealand, and some islands in the Oceania region as they have been introduced by accident through human trade and commerce. Found in virtually every terrestrial habitat, scorpions inhabit anything from high-elevation mountains to caves and intertidal zones. Some exceptions are boreal ecosystems (the tundra and high-altitudes like permanently snow-capped mountains). More specifically, scorpions can live in the ground, in trees, in or under rocks, and even in sand.
Identification of Scorpions
Scorpions have a pair of extremely strong pincers, four pairs of legs, and a tail that is elongated and segmented, having a large segment at the end that is responsible for the scorpion’s mighty sting. These guys have two eyes that are at the middle of their head, as well as a few more on the sides. Despite this, scorpions do not have good eyesight. More often than not, they will navigate the environment through touch, as they can sense the vibrations when prey approaches.
A common scorpion is the bark scorpion, and this one can reach up to 7.6 cm in length and they have a very slender tail. This scorpion is yellow with two dark stripes running lengthwise on its body. These types live under rocks, in tree bark, as well as other areas.
The Arizona striped-tail scorpion is a burrowing scorpion species that gets up to 2.5 inches in length and has stripes on the upper portion. In general, scorpions are easily recognizable.
Scorpions actually glow a bright blue-green when they are exposed to a certain wavelength of ultraviolet light, like that of a black light. This is because fluorescent chemicals are in the cuticle, one of which is beta-carboline. Many scientists use a hand held black light when doing night field studies on these animals.
Scorpions do prefer areas where the temperatures range from 68 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit but may actually survive in areas where the temperature fluctuates from below freezing to desert heat.
Removal and Preventative Procedures
Removing debris around a home such as rocks, fallen trees, stacks of wood fire, and plants in pots can help to reduce the risk of having a scorpion infestation. Checking attics, crawl spaces, sheds, and barns can also help to reduce the risk. Keeping a lawn mowed close to the ground and keeping decorative or landscaping plants more than 2 feet away from the foundation of the house. Areas under doorways, screens, areas around pipes, and utility lines must be sealed to make sure that scorpions cannot enter. It is also important to be sure that scorpions are not brought into the home by way of potted plants or boxes stored on the outside.
Chemical Application and Pesticidal Removal of Scorpions
The chemical applications must be targeted into the scorpions’ homes; otherwise the chemical treatment will not be effective. Pest control professionals will have the most up to date information on treating a scorpion infestation, as well as the proper chemicals that must be used. These professionals will also know the areas to look for the infestation and to check the vulnerable areas of a home, on the inside and outside. Because scorpions prefer well-hidden areas, it may be impossible for a homeowner to accurately locate the source of an infestation and completely eradicate the problem.