Scorpions are relatives of spiders, ticks and mites and are most often seen in the warmer parts of the country, particularly the South and Southwest. They range in size from 1 to 5 inches, depending on the species, with colors ranging from yellowish-brown to black. Scorpions do not usually attack man unless directly or accidentally provoked. Their food includes spiders, small insects, centipedes, other scorpions or earthworms.
These menacing creatures have stout bodies which are elongated in front, with a large pair of pincers and 4 pairs of legs, followed by a slender, segmented tail-like abdomen with a stinger at the tip. Do not worry about the large pincers, which are used for capturing and holding food. Worry about that bulb-like poison gland (located at the tip of the tail) that is equipped with a stinger. For more info on stings and stingers, see the Bites and Stings web page.
Life History: The mother gives birth to living young which climb on her back and remain there for five to 15 days. The young scorpions molt in three to six days. Maturity is probably attained in three to four years. The female scorpion produces an average of 32 young.
All may produce painful stings and the stings of two species may be fatal, particularly to small children and older persons. Although individual reactions to the stings may vary, it is important to seek medical assistance immediately if a person particularly a child, has a severe reaction to a scorpion sting. Ice packs or alcohol swabs applied to the sting area are normally the suggested first-aid treatments.
Scorpions are normally found outdoors and search for food at night. During the day they may be found under the bark of trees, under loose stones or in moist areas under boards or debris. They may invade homes in search of moisture (or to elude rising waters during or after floods) and hide during the day in bathrooms, closets, garments, shoes or bedding.
Sanitation is the first step in scorpion control. Loose boards, wood piles, rocks, and debris should be eliminated from areas about homes, particularly near foundation walls. Insecticides should also be used in such areas. We recommend Talstar for spraying indoors and outdoors, as well as Drione Dust for cracks and crevices. This will also reduce populations of insects fed upon by scorpions. Scorpions may be trapped under moist burlap and later destroyed. Care should be used in handling boards or other objects under which scorpions may be hiding. Alternatives: Cypermethrin EC, Delta Dust.