We assume you’re not Google-ing scorpion facts out of intellectual curiosity. Nope. Most of us become interested in facts about scorpions because we need to deal with a scorpion infestation. Pronto.
The good news is that you’ve clearly got an advantage. For starters, you’re smart enough to know that finding out more about these nasty little arachnids is going to help you defeat them. You’ve also got the Internet, man’s great resource.
Sun Tzu – famous for constructing The Art of War and for his smaller pest control business – said it best when he told us to ‘know the enemy’.
So let’s take you on a journey through some of the most frequently asked, screamed and begged questions about these buggers – and some tips on how to handle them.
So, just what the hell are these weird scorpion things?
What do scorpions look like?
Although I called them arachnids, it’s just as pertinent to label scorpions arthropods, which means they have exoskeletons and no actual bones or vertebrae.
This makes squeezing into incredibly tight and dingy spaces a veritable walk in the park for them. And unfortunately your house’s tight and dingy spaces might be just the holiday home your local scorpions are looking for.
>>>How Do Scorpions Get In the House? (And How to Keep Them Out)
What do scorpions eat?
A scorpion’s main diet consists of insects like crickets, roaches, spiders and similar creepy crawlies. However, some species have evolved in such harsh environments that they’re actually capable of drastically lowering the speed of their metabolism.
Some have managed to cut their diets right down to one, single, itsy bitsy insect per year. All while maintaining the energy to strike with a vicious anger if the opportunity allows them.
Another interesting note – scorpions were the original smoothie dieters, thanks to their messed up digestive system.
They can only properly digest meals through ‘external digestion’ in liquid form. This means that they vomit the digestive acids and juices onto their dead prey and then drink it back in once it’s melted into a sort of liquidy mish-mash of dead bug.
To date, no scorpions have been awarded a Michelin star.
What eats scorpions?
Ah, I see how your mind is working. You want to know what eats scorpions in the hope that another creature may get rid of your scorpion problem for you. The enemy of my enemy is a friend, right?
Well, not entirely. The truth is that scorpions have a lot of natural predators, like:
- Mammals like meerkats, mongooses, shrews, grasshopper mice, bats
- Birds such as owls, hornbills, and even chickens
- Reptiles like tarantulas, large centipedes, lizards
- Even humans eat scorpions in some parts of the world
The problem with relying on scorpion predators to do your pest control is two-fold. For starters, many of the animals that eat scorpions probably don’t live in your part of the world. On top of that, many scorpion predators aren’t ones you want on your property anyway.
Which is why it’s best to stick to the tried-and-tested ways to kill scorpions.
Where do scorpions live?
In short: scorpions live on every continent, except Antarctica.
Most scorpion species thrive in very hot climates, which is why scorpions and deserts go together like ice cream and sprinkles. But they can also live in tropical rainforests, grasslands, savannas, and even at high elevations like in the Himalayas and the Andes mountains.
How long do scorpions live?
Compared to other, similar creatures, scorpions tend to live to a very ripe age of around 2-6 years on average.
Naturally, some species are known to last longer and others much shorter. But generally speaking, it takes around 1-3 years for a scorpion to reach maturity.
How many babies do scorpions have?
You might remember your mother carrying you around in a sack-like contraption as a baby. But her efforts are embarrassing compared to the average scorpion mother who can birth up to 100 babies in one session. With such an astonishing birth rate, it’s not surprising how a scorpion infestation can get out of hand. Quick.
When new born, scorpions cling to their mother’s back like a bus. They are transported for free until their first exoskeletal molt. After that point, they’re on their own.
How many types of scorpions are there?
There are roughly 2,000 different types of scorpions around the world.
The types of scorpion species vary by area so it may be worth looking up which species are prone in your local area. This means you’ll be better prepared for any nasty intruders in the home.
Are scorpions deadly?
Scorpions certainly look like they could be deadly.
The obvious, is of course, that bulbous stinger – the dorsal fins of the scorpion world – that delivers venom. Scorpion venom tends to act on the neurological side of things, by either paralyzing the prey or shutting its bodily functions down all together, making for an easy meal. Even baby scorpions can pack the same stinging punch as their mother.
And let’s not forget those characteristic pincers on the end of the frontal pedipalps, aka the crab-like snappers at the front. These appendages are perfect for grabbing, holding and fighting prey before the stinger sweeps in to do the business.
But looks are deceiving. Scorpion stings may be painful, but they are rarely deadly. In fact, of the 2,000 types of scorpions around the world, only around 30 have venom that is toxic enough to kill an adult human.
And in North America, that number drops to just one. The Arizona bark scorpion is the only scorpions species in the United States that is venomous enough to be fatal.
Are all scorpions poisonous?
Yes, all scorpions are poisonous but the range of potency varies a lot.
So the better question is actually, “how poisonous are scorpions?”
It’s important to note that all species of scorpion have a venomous sting. But only a relatively small proportion carry venom that is lethal or harmful to humans. This is why it’s important to know which species of scorpions are most common in your area.
Another interesting note: Bigger isn’t always scarier. Although an incredibly unscientific rule to abide by, sometimes the heat of the moment only allows the brain to remember silly, vague snippets of information.
So if you suddenly find yourself face-to-mandible with a scorpion and don’t know what to do, remember that it’s generally the smaller species that are more dangerous. Which isn’t to say there aren’t exceptions. But it’s worth keeping in mind, if only to give you the courage to flee the room!
So, all of that being said, you can see why it’s in your best interest to learn how to get rid of the beasties.
What to do if you find a scorpion?
Here’s something they don’t teach you at school: what to do if you find a scorpion. And it’s something that you need to know in advance because scorpions have a habit of showing up in your life when you’re least prepared.
It usually goes something like this. It’s night time. You’re lying in bed in your fluffy pyjamas, basking in the comfy glow of your happy place. Everything’s quiet. Peaceful. Calm. And then you feel it. That familiar feeling that says you need a visit to the bathroom.
Sighing at the injustice of the world, you click on a lamp and swing your legs reluctantly out from under the covers. And that’s when you see it. Some prehistoric monstrosity crawling out of the darkest recesses of your closet, its many eyes glinting with evil delight as it scurries towards you. You scream, but screaming won’t help you now, my friend.
It’s just you and the scorpion. Here’s exactly what to do.
What do I do if a scorpion stings me?
The first thing to do is wash and clean the affected area to clean out the ‘wound.’ Then, apply cold to the injury (even if it’s just those frozen peas you were saving for dinner) to try and reduce any swelling.
You can also try one of the most effective home remedies for scorpion bites.
In general, most scorpion stings don’t require medical attention. But it’s still wise to keep an eye on your symptoms and phone a poison control helpline for further diagnosis. A professional can better help identify what species stung you and whether you should be alarmed about your symptoms, if there are any.
From there, either nurse the wound yourself or take the recommended steps to have yourself checked over by medical professionals. It’s always worth getting a professional opinion on something as risky as a sting.
Note: Smaller children, pets, and the elderly are at higher risk of complications so make sure to get them medical attention.
How do I find scorpions?
If you’re particularly stubborn, adventurous or experienced, you might want to take the fight to them and hunt out any pesky scorpions living around your home before they become a nuisance. It may seem a crazy venture but hunting them down on your own terms is better than finding one in your bed.
Jokes aside, this is a very risky thing to do if you don’t know your species from one another and even then, knowledge doesn’t mean you’re any less likely to get stung.
If you’re still determined to hunt them out, however, there is a useful tool at our disposal: UV light. Due to their skeletal make-up scorpions will actually glow in the dark when a UV light source is shone upon them.
We also have a full guide on how to hunt a scorpions without incurring any harm on yourself.
>>>Scorpion Hunting 101: How to Find and Kill a Scorpion
Keep in mind that scorpions are nocturnal so you’ll probably be doing the hunting at night. Make sure you wear proper shoes and preferably gloves.
How do scorpions see?
Here’s another case of quality being more important than quantity. Scorpions actually have a great number of eyes – between six and twelve, on average – but incredibly poor vision all the same.
Their main sensory input comes from scents and vibrations in the ground, which they use to source food and welcoming habitats. This is why they’re best suited to night-time endeavors.
What keeps scorpions away?
There are a lot of scorpion repellents and deterrents that works surprisingly well to keep scorpions away.
>>>What is the Best Scorpion Repellent? How to Keep Scorpions Away
But if we had to choose just one options to truly keep scorpions out of the house, we’d pick physical scorpion deterrents. Scorpion deterrents are so effective that everyone living in hot, arid scorpion territory should make use of them. The premise is simple: to prevent scorpions from getting into your home, block off their entryways.
Think of all those minuscule spaces around windows, pipes, doors and air vents. Yeah, I’ve got you squirming in your seat now, huh?
Holes in interior walls are often even more poorly sealed than those in the exterior of the house. Check around the pipes under your sinks and tubs, and around furnace and air conditioning vents. Pay attention to gas fireplaces and under your kitchen stove.
Even a small gap under a door can be enough to let them in.
Basically anything that might lead to the inside from the outside. It’s work, we know, but it’s in your interest to take some time and truly seal your house up as best you can. The basic rule is this: if you can slide a credit card in the hole, it’s big enough for a scorpion to squeeze through.
Unfortunately this can become a very time consuming and frustrating battle, especially if you live in a very hot climate, but if you put the effort in, the results will be huge.
How much does scorpion pest control cost?
If you’re particularly phobic, don’t have the time or just want to make sure that the job is done correctly, you could always hire a professional exterminator or pest control service to do the job for you.
Scorpion pest control is not cheap but at a nationwide average cost of around $250, it’s also not out of reach for most homeowners.
Although this might wind up being the most costly option, it at least comes with some degree of guarantee and professionalism and spares you the time and effort that you’d need to spend to solve the problem on your own.
Plus, it shows the scorpions you mean business. You’re a fool if you don’t think that they all get together and gossip about us behind our backs.
Hopefully this guide to some of the most commonly asked questions and a few obscure facts about the not so humble scorpion will help you to better understand what you’re up against if you live in an arachnid-rich area.
And let me be the first to say, if you do live in an arachnid-rich area: I’m so, so, so sorry for you. May God have mercy upon your soul.
Just kidding. Scorpions are a challenge to get rid of but it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to rid your home of them. Check out our full guide on how to get rid of scorpions for good!
1 thought on “15 Scorpion Facts and FAQs Every Homeowner Should Know”
Thank you for briefing me on something that i didn’t know before.