Springtime means scorpions…

Springtime means scorpions… It’s been awhile since we discussed the subject of scorpions here at Meryl’s Termite & Pest Control. What a better time than the spring since springtime means scorpions? And a rather wet spring to boot. That means more scorpions.

The first thing we’ll talk about in our springtime means scorpions article is that scorpions have adapted to a wide range of environmental conditions and can be found on all continents except Antarctica. There are three established species of scorpion in the state of Florida. These include the Florida bark scorpion, the Hentz striped scorpion (which is the smallest and most common Florida scorpion), and the Guiana striped scorpion(which is found in south Florida and outside our range). Here are some tips from Meryl’s Termite and Pest Control for lessening your chance with an encounter with this pest in and around your home. In this springtime means scorpions article, we’ll also talk about the control procedures.

Scorpions in Florida

Scorpions are a fairly easy pest to recognize. They look similar to a lobster but have a tail with a menacing and fearsome looking stinger at the end of it.  All scorpions have the capability of inflicting a painful sting(out of 1750 species, only about 25 have a sting powerful enough to kill a human being), however, the species found in our range(central Florida, Ocala, Lady Lake and surrounding areas) do not normally inflict a fatal sting unless the victim has an allergic reaction to the venom. Although they seem to have more in common with crustaceans such as crayfish, lobsters, and crabs(mostly due to their claws and exoskeleton) scorpions belong to the family of Arachnida and  are directly related to spiders and ticks. Their claws are small and will not inflict the same painful pinch as lobsters or crabs. The claws are used to hold and immobilize their prey while their stinger finds it’s target. Their stinger is also used for defense and usually when a person gets stung, it’s due to inadvertently coming into direct contact by stepping on them, or rolling over in bed at night. The sting is usually similar to that of a wasp, and can be treated as such. We do not usually come across major infestations of this pest like what you may see on Animal Planet’s hit television program Infested. Here in our range, they are usually considered an occasional invader.

Springtime means scorpions and many other pests. Are you prepared?

Scorpions, like spiders are carnivorous hunters and feed on small insects, arachnids, and the like. By knowing this information we can begin with our prevention and control strategy. Some tips on keeping your home and yard less attractive to this pest are lessening their food source by way of general pest control with perimeter residual sprays, trimming back branches so they do not hang over the house and by keeping shrubs from touching the outside walls, place trash piles and trash cans on blocks to keep them off the ground, by keeping firewood outside until it is ready to be used keeping it dry by covering it (be sure to use gloves when moving it, and inspect before bringing it inside), and by maintaining screens without holes, and use caulk to seal cracks, and seal door openings with weather-stripping while making sure pipe openings that lead into the house are sealed. On the control side, we can use a combination of Integrated Pest Management techniques depending on where the problem is and to what degree their numbers are. Besides sprays, pheromone traps can also be used. It is important to remember that they are nocturnal and in some cases of rare severe infestations Meryl’s Termite and Pest Control may have to conduct an evening visit to figure out exactly where the problem is coming from. We do not recommend bombing in cases like these as they can actually spread the problem and make it worse.

We’ve already mentioned how springtime means scorpions. Scorpion control is similar to that of spider control. Often prevention is the main key and by reducing their food source will lessen chances of encounters. However, in the state of Florida there are exceptions to the rules when dealing with just about all pests, and anyone can have an encounter at any time with these arachnids. It’s a small price to pay for living in such a great state with mild winters. Just remember when the warmer weather begins to roll in that springtime means scorpions.

Meryl's Termite and Pest Control treats spiders, scorpions and more!