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One of Dallas’s Most Unwanted House Guests: The Scorpion

Scorpions are one of the most fearsome pests in Texas. These venomous arachnids crawl around homes under the cover of night and pose a serious threat when disturbed. Texas is home to 18 scorpion species, but only one is found in the Dallas area. Fortunately, none of these scorpions are known to cause fatal stings. The most common species in Texas and the only species in Dallas is the striped bark scorpion, which has two striped bands running down its back. These scorpions only measure 2 inches long, but their venom is packed with neurotoxins that cause intense pain and swelling.

Scorpions at Night

Closely related to ticks and spiders, scorpions have evolved to withstand desert-like conditions. To conserve moisture and regulate their temperatures, scorpions hide in dark places during the day and prowl for food at night. Because scorpions are nocturnal, infestations often go unnoticed. One of the best ways to identify hot spots is by using a black light. This method is ideal for detecting outdoor populations, as well as scorpions that are living in attics and indoor spaces. Scorpions living in attics are especially dangerous because they migrate into air conditioned spaces as the weather changes.

Managing Scorpions

The first step to keeping your family safe is removing leaf litter and materials that scorpions inhabit. The Texas Agricultural Extension emphasizes outdoor prevention measures because scorpions are difficult to control with insecticides. To protect your property, remove dead vegetation, lumber, logs and leaf litter promptly. Trim all grass and vegetation around the foundation. Place garbage and recycling in sealed, elevated containers. Homeowners are also urged to repair window screens, replace weather stripping and caulk cracks around pipes, window frames and eaves.

Exterminating Scorpions

Scorpions are not easy to exterminate. Therefore, it’s advisable to hire a Dallas pest control expert to address the problem. Scorpions are difficult to treat with insecticides because they hide in deep cracks during the day and adults have a thick exoskeleton that gives them additional protection. To reach the entire population, regular insecticide applications are required. Exterminators apply a perimeter of powerful insecticides to the foundation and exterior walls. They’ll also treat windows, door frames, eaves and other entry points.

Scorpion Stings

To avoid a venomous sting, always wear protective gloves and full-coverage shoes when working outdoors. If anyone is stung by a scorpion, apply ice to the sting and have the victim stay still. Monitor the sting victim for signs of an allergic reaction. The Central Texas Poison Center instructs residents to call their local branch if they have been stung or have questions. Only call 911 if the victim cannot breathe or is having a serious medical emergency.

If you have noticed scorpions in or around your home, call ABC Home & Commercial Services promptly. As temperatures rise, these venomous arachnids will be making their presence known. Protect your home by making the first move now.

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