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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bug Sprays Commonly Kill Bark Scorpions

Q. I never saw a scorpion in 24 years here and now I have them on my property. This is upsetting to me since I only had to deal with Crickets and an occasional black roach. I did not want to get a pro exterminator but did not have a choice after finding 2 in my house. Can you tell me what attracts them and how they could have become a problem in this area?

Source for picture no longer available but not mine.
A. I hesitate a little bit when answering questions like this because it's a little bit out of my area. But yes, I have had a few people tell me they have had problems with scorpions in their homes and one boy I know of was stung. Stings are painful but rarely life threatening.

There is quite a bit of information out there on scorpions on the Internet and it is probably easier for me to just give you some links so you can read up on this critter.

I believe they enter homes mostly for food. They need very little water unlike roaches. And also unlike roaches they don't seem to congregate near sources of water such as laundry rooms, kitchen cupboards, bathrooms. 

I have heard rumors from people that they are hard to kill with pesticides. I have not found that to be true at all. I have found them to be very susceptible to many common bug sprays. 

 Insecticides that are used commercially for controlling scorpions are usually the synthetic pyrethroids. Fortunately these insecticides are also used to control roaches, crickets and spiders; most of their food sources in the home. Most of the synthetic pyrethroids used for insect control will have the active ingredient listed on the label ending with the suffix -thrin.

If you are looking for a chemical to use then I would select a pesticide that is labeled to use inside the home and has as an active ingredient a chemical ending in –thrin. Examples are Resmethrin, Permethrin, etc. I recently saw a pesticide on a shelf in Ace Hardware actually labeled for scorpion control. It contained a -thrin.

Follow the label directions precisely. A chemical barrier can be sprayed around the outside of the home at soil level and 12 inches above it all around the foundation. Inside the home, please read and follow the label. 

Scorpions usually come out at night. They can be detected with a black light because they fluoresce or shine when using a black light and shining it on them. They can climb walls, rough vertical surfaces and trunks of trees. They come on at night looking for food and usually hide during the day. Outside they can be in woodpiles, rock piles, anywhere they can find food. Frequently they are on the underside of things since they seem to like to be upside down. Probably a better position to be in when lying in wait for their prey.

1 comment:

  1. My strategy is somewhat different. When I moved into my home in 1993 I found two scorpions within a week or so of each other in my small bathroom, which is the furthest place one can get from any entrance to my home. Figuring scorpions can't exist in my home without a food source I bought 4 fumigation cans, opened up all drawers, cabinets and closets in my house. I opened up a crawl space into my plumbing. Then I placed one of the cans inside and fired it off spraying. Then I capped three others at different areas around the home. I had the air conditioner going wondering when to turn it off when I saw silverfish pouring out of the vents. Turned off the AC and went to a couple of movies to kill time. Came back. Turned on the AC and went out to eat. After a lengthy meal I came back to a home with a lot of dear roaches and crickets in evidence.
    I washed all clothing and bedding and dishes to remove any pesticide residue. This took several days.

    I never saw another scorpion until last year this time in the large bathroom.