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Pest Control in the Desert: Scorpions

front yard photoWhether you’re an Arizona native, or new to the Grand Canyon State, there are some unique things which with you’ll have to contend as a homeowner in the Sonoran Desert.  Residents of the Midwest don’t have to worry about such things as scorpions, black widow spiders, rattlesnakes and packrats.  However, taking a few simple steps will make it much easier for you to coexist with the less desirable desert inhabitants without having to resort to chemical removal.

Scorpions are one of the most common, and most dangerous, pests that homeowners in the desert will encounter in and around their homes.  One of the most crucial steps you can take as a homeowner is to seal off any openings to your home.  Scorpions can enter cracks as small as 1/16th of an inch, so caulk and seal any cracks, pipes or wiring outlets on the exterior of your home.  Doggie doors are a very common method of entry so check that these exits are sealed when your animals are inside the home.  Put tight mesh screens on any and all return air or heater ducts that are on floor level. Be sure to clear any shrubbery or piles of wood that are next to your home.

Scorpions are also attracted to moisture, so repair any drips that result in standing water. Keep all interior drains (especially in bathrooms) closed or sealed when not in use as scorpions have been known to come up through the drains on occasion.  Also, keep outside lights to a minimum as scorpions, and other pests, are drawn to lights.  These other pests are food sources for scorpions.

As Arizona natives are aware, never walk around barefoot after dark. Shake out shoes and piles of clothing that are near the floor regularly, as scorpions like these hiding places.  Periodically inspecting the interior of your home with a black light (flashlights are available at any hardware store) will reveal any scorpions who have made entry into your home. The exoskeleton of scorpions contains a fluorescence that causes it to glow under UV light.

Taking a few of these simple steps should make it much easier for you to enjoy the beauty of our Sonoran Desert surroundings where it belongs, outdoors!  We’d be happy to give you referrals to recommended pest control experts as well.

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