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Bark Scorpions: Here’s your guide to the Arizona Bark Scorpion

Get to know the Arizona Bark Scorpion.

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.

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!

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Here’s what you need to know about 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 and review some crucial scorpion facts local homeowners need to know:

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 scorpion 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. They enjoy summertime living.

Bark scorpions might be the only living thing in Phoenix actually enjoying the summer.

Ok, that’s an exaggeration: 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. 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. It’s the best way to deal with and prevent scorpions.

Unlike the roaches and crickets they hunt, scorpions can’t subsist on crumbs: if they can’t find their prey in your home, they’ll typically leave.

Pair that with our home sealing to block off all points of entry, and you’re on your way to being scorpion-free.

6. They pack a dangerous, painful sting.

Let’s start by saying this: bark scorpion stings are very rarely fatal. There’s been a grand total of two recorded fatalities in Arizona from scorpion stings since stats began being kept in the 60s. That’s with the metro population of Phoenix booming into the millions and more and more 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. Most stings are painful, but not dangerous. It’s important to remain calm.

What makes a scorpion sting dangerous?

The severity of the sting and your symptoms from it can depend on a number of factors, including:

The scorpion’s 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. For this reason, being stung by an infant scorpion can be more painful or dangerous.

Your age or medical condition

Scorpion stings are more dangerous to infants, children, and the elderly than they are to healthy adults. If your child is stung by a scorpion, call their pediatrician, the poison control hotline, or a qualified medical professional to get further guidance.

Scorpion stings can also affect people with compromised immune systems more severely. Talk to your doctor for guidance on whether or not you need to go to a hospital for treatment.

Your allergies

As with all insect stings or spider bites, an allergic reaction greatly increases the medical severity of the situation. If you’re experiencing abnormal symptoms after a sting—difficulty breathing, vomiting, or the loss of consciousness—call a medical professional immediately.

What is the average sting like?

Scorpion stings can vary widely in their impact. Some healthy adults experience pain on par with a bee sting, and self-treat the sting at home with over-the-counter pain treatment until the pain subsides.

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.

As discussed above, more serious symptoms can include nausea, convulsions, or vomiting. If you or a loved one is experiencing these, it’s important to contact your doctor or seek immediate medical treatment. Generally, children, the elderly, or those with an allergic reaction should be taken to emergency services as a precautionary measure.

7. They glow in the dark.

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.

If you’re looking for signs of scorpions in or around your home, using a blacklight can be an effective means of finding them at night when they’re on the hunt.

We offer free scorpion inspections.

Suspect you might have a scorpion problem? Have our experienced scorpion experts out to your home to take a closer look. We offer free scorpion inspections here in the Valley.

Click the button below and fill out the form to set up your free inspection. Or, give our team a call. We’re ready to help bring your scorpion nightmare to an end.