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Houston Pest Guide: Scorpions

A Wood Bark Scorpion, photographed in Texas

There are over 1,500 known species of scorpion across the world, of which about 20 live in Texas. Only one of these species is commonly found in East Texas, the striped bark scorpion, and it does live in Houston.

The striped bark scorpion is a medium-sized scorpion, usually around 2 1/2 inches in length. These scorpions are pale yellow color with two broad, darker-colored bands crossing the back and a dark triangular patch near the head.

Where do they live?

Despite the image of scorpions as desert animals, striped bark scorpions prefer cool, moist environments. The striped bark scorpion's behavior is primarily motivated by a need to conserve the water in its body. Warm sunlight will evaporate their body water and kill them quickly. Because of this, they are almost exclusively nocturnal. They will tend to stay in cracks, crevices, and dark places, particularly where this is moisture to be found.

Are These Scorpions Dangerous?

Yes. The striped bark scorpion's sting is very rarely fatal, but is is incredibly painful and can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms such as swelling, muscle spasms, and difficulty breathing. Anyone allergic to bee stings or an any way susceptible to anaphylactic shock should be particularly careful to avoid scorpions. If you are stung by a scorpion, get to a hospital immediately.

How Do I Get Rid of Them?

Scorpions tend to be solitary, so while it is rare to find more than one scorpion in your home, an environment that's attractive to them will sometimes attract multiple individuals. Female scorpions carry their young around on their backs until they mature, and so if the timing is right you may find a situation where you have up to 25 nearly adult scorpions running around your home.

Limiting their food supply will limit the chances that they'll invade your home. Scorpions are predators that feed primarily on other insects. Keeping the insect population in general down around your home is one way to keep scorpions away.

Scorpions are not insects, they're arthropods, essentially stinging land lobsters. But because they are not insects, many treatments designed to work on insects will be ineffective against scorpions. Because of the danger of scorpion bites, getting professional pest control if you see scorpions in your home is usually a good idea. If you see a scorpion in your home, give Bulls Eye a call at 713-222-PEST (7378) and we'll be happy to come out and take care of it for you.

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