The Arizona Bark Scorpion, also known as centruroides sculpturatus, is species of scorpion native to the Sonoran Desert. Bark scorpions are small in size and light brown in color, and reside in arid and semi-arid regions.
If you’re a resident of Phoenix, Arizona, it’s important to understand the Arizona Bark Scorpion and what you’re up against as a homeowner. You should also know the signs of scorpions in your home and on your property.
In this blog post, we’ll outline the top things you need to know about the Arizona Bark Scorpion—and about dealing with them with effective scorpion control.
Have you seen one in your home? Call us here at KY-KO Pest Prevention. We offer free scorpion inspections!
Here’s everything you need to know about bark scorpions
There are a lot of myths and tall tales out there about bark scorpions. The truth is that bark scorpions are a very unique pest, and there’s a lot of about them that’s different from crickets, roaches, and other insects. Let’s dive in:
1. They’re nocturnal hunters
Bark scorpions are nightly predators, on the hunt for some of their favorite foods: crickets, roaches, spiders, and more. When they find their prey, they use their stinger to disable it and begin feeding. Humans most often encounter scorpions during the night. They have poor eyesight, so they often travel along baseboards in search of their next meal. They can go days without eating.
During the day, bark scorpions generally retreat to places of hiding—block walls, river rock in your yard, or in various nooks and crannies around the home. True to their name, they also like certain types of trees. Humans encounter scorpions during the day when this hiding place is accidentally disturbed. This leads to our next point…
2. Most scorpion stings are accidental
Put away the old Hollywood idea of a large, dangerous scorpion chasing people through a crypt. Bark scorpions are typically non-aggressive, and seek to avoid human contact. A vast majority of stings occur when people accidentally brush up, step on, or touch the scorpion. The sting is a reflexive means of protecting the scorpion from predators.
3. Does whatever a scorpion can
Remember how we mentioned that bark scorpions like trees? That’s probably why they’re the only type that can not only climb, but also suspend from ceilings and crawl across them. This only amplifies scorpions as a nuisance in the home: they can get to virtually anywhere at night while on the hunt.
The scorpions are also able to get where they need to go because of their ability to flatten their stinger and squeeze into some tight spaces. In fact, bark scorpions have been known to squeeze between gaps less than the thickness of a credit card. This means that any cracks, gaps, or weaknesses in your doors, windows, or walls can act as an entry point for scorpions.
4. Enjoying that summer living
Bark scorpions might be the only thing in Phoenix actually enjoying the summer. Ok, that’s not true: their prey—such as roaches and crickets—also thrive in the warmth of summer, especially after the monsoon rains arrive. Summer is bark scorpion season in Phoenix.
Homeowners typically will see an uptick in scorpion activity and hunting in July and August. It’s not unheard of to see scorpions in other times of the year; however, they’re generally inactive and in hibernation throughout the coldest months of the year.
5. The pest that’s hard to kill, but not impossible to stop
The Arizona Bark Scorpion, like all scorpions, is from a long line dating back before the dinosaurs. Hardy survivors, scorpions boast an armor that can resist most insecticides. Roaches are famous for being nuclear survivors, but bark scorpions were found relatively unaffected at ground zero after atomic tests in the Nevada desert.
Here at KY-KO Pest Prevention, we do have insecticides capable of impacting scorpions. However, generally, the strategy we recommend is using pest treatments to kill off the food source. We call this making your home unfriendly to scorpions.
Scorpions can’t subsist on crumbs: if they can’t find their prey in your home, they’ll typically leave. Partner that with our home sealing to block off all points of entry, and you’re on your way to being scorpion-free.
6. A dangerous, painful sting
Let’s start by saying this: bark scorpion stings are very rarely fatal. There’s been two recorded fatalities in Arizona from scorpion stings since stats began being kept in the 60s. That’s with the population of Phoenix increasing and people moving into new scorpion-filled areas. While infants and the elderly are most at risk from venom, a sting is most likely not a death sentence. It’s important to remain calm.
What makes a sting severe or not?
The severity of the sting can depend on a number of factors, including:
- Scorpion age: Adult scorpions inject the exact amount of venom they need to disable their prey. They can also control venom distribution when defending themselves, so stings from adult scorpions can vary from the equivalent of a bee sting to something far more painful. In contrast, baby bark scorpions lack this self control, so their stings can often contain more venom.
- Allergies: Rarely, some people have an allergic reaction to the scorpion sting, which escalates the threat of the sting.
So, what is the average sting like, then?
On average, people who are stung by bark scorpions experience acute pain for anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. This includes a tingling sensation, numbness, and pain in the impacted area. Other symptoms can include nausea, convulsions, or vomiting.
It’s important to seek immediate medical treatment for scorpion stings. Most adults are fine, and can call poison control for next steps. Children, the elderly, or those with an allergic reaction should be taken to emergency services.
5. You can easily find this pest in and around your home
Bark scorpions have a unique protein in their armor that causes them to glow a bright neon blue when exposed to UV light, such as that from a blacklight. Against a dark wall or floor, homeowners using a blacklight flashlight—here in Phoenix, available at almost any hardware store for this exact purpose—can easily spot scorpions.
For more information on bark scorpions, call KY-KO Pest Prevention
KY-KO Pest Prevention is the Valley’s leading source for scorpion control services. Our experts can help you find and deal with bark scorpions—for good. In fact, we offer free scorpion inspections here in the Phoenix metro.