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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so being new to the southwest, I am also new to dealing with the sometimes not so pleasant creatures we share this environment with. I have heard all about the Coyotes, Rattle Snakes, Gila Monsters, Javelina's and of course Scorpions. Its the last one that creeps me out the most, since they are the only ones who come indoors. Well last night I got my first encounter with one.

About 10pm I was watching TV and heard my fat cat make a chirping meow, I look over and he is franticly licking his paw. About a foot away from him on the kitchen floor I spotted something and had a chill instantly as I realized it was a scorpion:eek: I grabbed my shoe, tossed the cat out off the way and SMASH, one flat scoprion. These things are nasty, it was a large bark scorpion, about 2 1/2" long without the tail, and it stung my cat. Being freaked and grossed out I called the Tempe animal hospital and they told me to keep a eye on the cat for an hour and see if he has any problems breathing, walking, etc. Well, within a hour he was acting fine, but his paw was about 3 times the normal size, although he really didn't seem to care, I do. I do not want these things INSIDE my house:nono:

Ok so heres my question, what do people do to keep these things outdoors where they belong? I dont really want to spray because of other animals and kids in the area and from what I have read, it doesn't do much for scorpions anyways.

Our house is BRAND new, just build in Dec 05 and never lived in until we got it in June, everything looks like its sealed, weather stripping around the doors etc.

We have a small farm right behind our house, as well as a canal right behind our sub division, I am sure they like both.

My buddy told me to get a chicken, and as appealing as it sounds, I dont think the neighborhood assoication would like it much. So any ideas? Tricks, Tips?
 

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I think I need to Upgrade
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First MAKE SURE EVERYTHING THAT CAN BE SEALED ON THE OUTSIDE IS SEALED!! Next have a company like Truly Noleen come out and treat for crickets and other bugs that scorpions eat, if you eliminate their food source then there is even less reason for them to come into your home. Next look under the sinks at the pipes where they come through the wall, squirt expanding foam into those openings, do thin in the garage where the water pipes come into the house. Those vents that go to each room for A/C and heat, put some screening over then so if something gets into the duct work it can't get into one of the rooms.

If I come up with anything else I will post that up but that should keep you busy for a while.
 

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Black Light

In '84 my parents moved into a house on 22nd St just south of Cactus. It sits right against the Preserve and had sat empty for about a year.

The first day that we moved them in we found three scorps in closets. That night we brought my black light over and went on a scorpion hunt. Under ultraviolet light they glow a brite green making them very easy to see in the outside landscaping. I think that we killed 11 that night in the back yard and three or four inside the house and garage.

AzSpeedfreek has some good advice. I prefer a more hands on approach. After a few weeks of night time sweeps of the yard and some cleaning up of the overgrowth in the yard my parents hardly ever see a scorpion anymore, maybe just one or two a year.

I've been stung twice. Once on the heel of my hand and the other on my right cheek when I sat down on a rock at night with out looking first. For me it was painful and the swelling lasted for a few days, kind of like a bee sting.

Don't walk around the house bare footed and be careful where you put your hands. Scorps like dark places to hide in.

My exterminator friend told me that cats will kill scorps in the house. Thats not true in my house. I have found four scorps in my house since '91 and three of them were pointed out by my three cats. They just sat there looking at the scorp and then looking at me like they were saying "Are you gonna take care or this?" My house was built in '77 and is just east of P.V. Mall.

Chickens are diurnal and scorps are nocturnal so their paths rarely cross.

Hope this helps.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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exterminate the ecosystem.
 

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local trails rider
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I spent a couple of years in Mediterranean climates and each one of the few scorpions that I saw were in toilets or bathrooms. The only sting I heard about was to the forearm of a colleague who was in a toilet, too drunk to pay attention to things (or to receive medication to ease the pain...).

Not sure if those locations were just easy entries or if the bugs went in for the moisture you find in such places.
 

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Mommy's Little Monster
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That's one thing I personally don't miss about living in the Kyrene Corridor Scorpion Belt. I would have to do weekly sweeps inside and out with the blacklight. Always kept a can of aerosol brake cleaner in the other hand. It would freeze them instantly and doesn't leave a residue on most stuff. I would napalm the backyard and garage with pesticide to eliminate their food source and they eventually stopped coming around.
 

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Fragile - must be Italian
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Can't get rid of 'em

I've had scorpions in my house since I moved into it 10 years ago. I have done a lot of research on scorpion control and the bottom line is that you really can't do anything to rid them completely. But you can control them.

First and foremost, scorpions have no skeleton. They can squeeze through cracks that you cannot slide a credit card into. Your house, being new, is a stucco-over-frame house, and scoprions have absolutely no trouble getting into them. Go outside and look at the where the foundation meets the house. Your builder had 2x4's bolted down to the foundation around the exterior, which the frame of the house was built on. When the house was stucco'd over the 2x4 was covered up. But the itty bitty crack remains that was between those 2x4 and the foundation. Scorpions can crawl through this.

Your house has doors and windows. New windows are more airtight, but even the best doors have some leak in them that a scorpion can get through.

All the plumbing vent pipes in your house are open at the roof. Scorpions can crawl down those. Same with the vents for the vent fans (bathrooms).

Lastly, there are myriads of cracks in the house where plumbing and electrical enter.

There are numerous companies in the valley that offer a "scorpion treatment" service for >$1000. For this money they will caulk around the foundation, put netting on all vents on the roof, and seal up all the cracks they can find. My opinion on this service -- don't bother. Many friends of mine have paid for that service and the scorpion problem remains. Even the best treatments can't seal up all the cracks.

But there ARE some tried-and-true ways to keep the scorpion infestation to a minimum:

1) Get a cat that eats bugs. I'm not sure why your cat was so messed up by the scorpion sting. Cats are one of the few animals that are IMMUNE to scorpion venom. Mine would get stung repeatedly and it never bothered him. But the stupid cat would never eat the scorpions. Friends of ours got a veracious bug-eating kitten and the scorpion problem subsided immediately. They would find him chewing on the little critters.

2) Make sure you have no other bug problems. Scorpions are blind. The only reason they enter your house is for food. If you have crickets, cockroaches, or other bugs around...then they will attract the scorpions. Kill the other bugs and the scorpions won't hunt them.

3) Get a regular bug service. Diatemacious earth (sp?) kills scorpions dead. Have the bug company put this dust in all your windows sills and doorways. It works. We found >90% of our scorpions dead.

4) Scorpions love to hide in things -- rolls of carpet, piles of clothing, etc. I can't enumerate every place they like to hide, but after a while you'll figure it out. Make sure you shake things before wearing them if they were in an area where you have had scorpions.

5) Scorpions like to live in block walls (which are not mortared on the vertical joints), palm trees, large bushes, ground cover, and in piles of things (wood, bricks, rocks). The sun kills them, so they have to find a shaded area during the day. You can minimize their "home" potential by stuccoing your block wall; skinning your palm trees; removing any large bushes near the house; and removing any piles of debris.

Living in Arizona has many benefits, and in my mind the natural habitat is one of them. Unfortunately, that "natural habitat" includes some things that most people don't like -- snakes, scorpions, coyotes -- but the fact remains that they were here first and they will not go away.

Good luck.

Thx...Doug
 

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Something goes here...
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Wow! That's great advice Doug. I'm gonna save this sucka in Word and use it as a reference when we start looking for a house in a few months.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow, thanks for all the advice.

I am going to sprinkle diatomaceous earth around our house, and perimeter wall. I forgot we used to use that stuff in the midwest to keep bugs away from plants and it worked great. I just got took the last of our moving boxes to the recycling center this morning, I figured that they were probably a good hiding spot for critters in the garage and from the looks of it I was right, there were a few hundred dead crickets out there. I think I am going to spray the garage since the cats never go out there, as well as set up some glue traps and maybe even one of those voodoo magic ultrasonic repellers. (They may work, they may not, but for $10 I am willing to give it a try.) Last night my buddy and I had a few drinks and pulled out the old college black light and extension cord and did a sweep of the back yard as well as around the house. We did find one small scorpion in the yard but the butane torch made quick work of it.

The one thing I have been wondering though is why there are so many damn crickets out here? I never have seen this many in all my years living in Michigan and Illinois even with all the farms around :confused:
 

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Fragile - must be Italian
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sixsixtysix said:
Wow, thanks for all the advice.

I am going to sprinkle diatomaceous earth around our house, and perimeter wall. I forgot we used to use that stuff in the midwest to keep bugs away from plants and it worked great. I just got took the last of our moving boxes to the recycling center this morning, I figured that they were probably a good hiding spot for critters in the garage and from the looks of it I was right, there were a few hundred dead crickets out there. I think I am going to spray the garage since the cats never go out there, as well as set up some glue traps and maybe even one of those voodoo magic ultrasonic repellers. (They may work, they may not, but for $10 I am willing to give it a try.) Last night my buddy and I had a few drinks and pulled out the old college black light and extension cord and did a sweep of the back yard as well as around the house. We did find one small scorpion in the yard but the butane torch made quick work of it.

The one thing I have been wondering though is why there are so many damn crickets out here? I never have seen this many in all my years living in Michigan and Illinois even with all the farms around :confused:
My advice -- get a bug pro. I tried the DIY pest control for a few months with little success. Only when I hired a good bug pro did my scorpion population end up more dead than alive. Our bug guy has a little canister for the diatemaceous earth and he knows exactly where to spray it. He would spray the DE in all window frames, exterior door thresholds and trim, pocket doors (interior), under cabinets...everywhere he knows scorpions have a high percentage of moving through.

And by all means get rid of the crickets. If you found a bunch of crickets in the garage, you probably have a nest somewhere in the house or garage. A bug pro can find that and get rid of it too. Crickets are like candy for scorpions, and as long as you have crickets you will have scorpions.

Have you also checked the house and yard for black widow spiders? Black widows are another fine AZ specimen that you don't want around. My first house was infested with those horrid creatures. If your house was sitting vacant for an extended period of time, there is a chance you've got black widows inside and/or out. Black widows are very private and don't like people, but once they take hold of an area they stay for good. Trust me -- you want to get rid any black widows before they proliferate.

Between black widow spiders and scorpions, I'll take the scorpions anyday. Scorpion stings hurt and can be a nuisance, but they are nowhere as painful and damaging as a black widow bite. And big black spiders are just creepy...

Thx...Doug
 

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Ouch, I am hot!
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There are certain areas in Phoenix that are much worse than others. I live at the Northern Preserve and we have scorps-o-rama. Saw a little one on the shower curtain just three days ago. It was surreal. At first I thought it was a rubber fake that my kids placed to scare the snot out of me. The damn thing was so small and looked almost like a cartoon scorpion. I just stared at it and then blew on it. Finally, it flung out its tail and I freaked. I made sure it went down the drain.

So far, my family has been lucky. Only my wife has been stung, once, in the garage, on her ankle. I have seen them in my room, in my kids' rooms, in my clothing, on the ceiling and basically everywhere. Just looking at them gives me the heebie-jeebies.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Anyone see channel 5 news this evening? People in scottsdale are freaking out because there's coyotes in arizona, and not the human kind. Some old lady was freaking out about how her house was "not safe".

People like that need to move back to their New York apartment.
 

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Fragile - must be Italian
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Dirdir said:
There are certain areas in Phoenix that are much worse than others. I live at the Northern Preserve and we have scorps-o-rama. Saw a little one on the shower curtain just three days ago. It was sureal. At first I thought it was a rubber fake that my kids placed to scare the snot out of me. The damn thing was so small and looked almost like a cartoon scorpion. I just stared at it and then blew on it. Finally, it flung out its tail and I freaked. I made sure it went down the drain.

So far, my family has been lucky. Only my wife has been stung, once, in the garage, on her ankle. I have seen them in my room, in my kids' rooms, in my clothing, on the ceiling and basically everywhere. Just looking at them gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Jeez Geoff......what a wuss. I would think by now you would be used to the scorpions. After 10 years of regular scorpion encounters, even my wimpy wife (who is afraid of everything) isn't afraid to kill them with a shoe or wad of newspaper. They don't even phase me anymore.

We've found the little buggers everywhere -- on the wall, floor (numerous rooms), ceiling (twice), in the yard, in piles of stuff in the garage...and even in my daughter's bed. Fortunately we've had no scorpion stings to report. The neighbors on both sides of us have not been so lucky - they have had numerous stings. But none have resulted in anything more than a few hours of pain.

My favorite scorpion story happened in our guest bathroom about 5 years ago (maybe I've already shared this...but here goes). I was totally sh!tfaced one evening after a big pool party. I was still barefoot with just my swimsuit on. I came into the house from the swimming pool to pee. I walked into the guest bathroom, unzipped, and started taking a whiz. Ahhhhhhhhhh. But just after I started to pee a scorpion came out of nowhere. Imagine...I'm drunk, barefoot, and standing next to the toilet peeing like a madman and a scorpion decides to bother me. I started to step on it and realized I was barefoot so I pulled my foot back. The problem was that I was peeing and couldn't stop and was not within reach of anything to kill the scorpion. The little bugger started to walk towards me and all I could do was scoot around the toilet away from it (all the while still peeing). When I got to the point I could not walk anymore I backed up and walked the other way...and the little bugger kept following me with its tail lashing. I had not peed all night so I had lots built up -- I just couldn't stop. This dance of me walking back-and-forth around the toilet trying to pee and dodge the scorion happened at least 3 times. When I *finally* finished peeing, I zipped up, walked across the bathroom and got a Kleenex...and then squished the little bugger.

The funniest part of the story is that my wife was watching the entire time. She never said anything and didn't realize that a scorpion was chasing me. She just thought I was delusional and wandering around the toilet with my wanker in my hand.

Thx...Doug
 

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Ouch, I am hot!
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dgangi said:
Jeez Geoff......what a wuss. I would think by now you would be used to the scorpions. After 10 years of regular scorpion encounters, even my wimpy wife (who is afraid of everything) isn't afraid to kill them with a shoe or wad of newspaper. They don't even phase me anymore.
Perhaps you guys are from another planet. I believe that our fear of scorpions is primordial in nature and goes to the very core of yuck with humans. I am a tough guy, I have a high threshold for pain, have seen a lot of nasty sh!t, and am convinced that if I was on fear factor, I could eat everything with joy. However, after seven years of living in scorpville, I still get shivers down my spine each and everytime I see one of the little buggers. I am getting the creeps just thinking about them.
 

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Ouch, I am hot!
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Jayem said:
Anyone see channel 5 news this evening? People in scottsdale are freaking out because there's coyotes in arizona, and not the human kind. Some old lady was freaking out about how her house was "not safe".

People like that need to move back to their New York apartment.
I was thinking basically the same thing. Coyotes my anus. My mom's place in LA was crawling with them before she moved. I told her to go out back and yell at them to go away and leave her alone. She was afraid to. I thought to myself that I would be more afraid of slipping in the shower than a bunch of coyotes in the back yard.
 

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Fragile - must be Italian
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Dirdir said:
Perhaps you guys are from another planet. I believe that our fear of scorpions is primordial in nature and goes to the very core of yuck with humans. I am a tough guy, I have a high threshold for pain, have seen a lot of nasty sh!t, and am convinced that if I was on fear factor, I could eat everything with joy. However, after seven years of living in scorpville, I still get shivers down my spine each and everytime I see one of the little buggers. I am getting the creeps just thinking about them.
These comments aren't helping your cause any. You are still a wuss.

BTW - I am now living temporarily in your 'hood. I am in between houses (sold the old one too fast and the new one on 24th St isn't done yet), so until the end of July I am living at the parents house on 33rd Way and Las Rocas. There are 5 people crammed into a 3 bedroom house with no pool: wife+me, parents, 3yr old daughter. I am not a happy man.

Thx...Doug
 

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Unrepentant Cowboy SOB
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i have a scorp story now

I just got off work and I have been eager to share this..

Around noon today I was scooping out that blown in fluffy insulation around a leaking a/c in an attic with my bare hands when this miniature scorpion darted out past my hand and froze on a stud.

I called for leather gloves and then a killing utensil (disneyland brochure) from the homeowner and dispatched it with a rather loud yell of, "DIE!"

The house was brand new.

Now what I do not understand is why anyone would be bothered by coyotes.

I like them except for one hard winter when they packed up and pulled down a 700 lb bull calf we had. The .280 made short work of one of them and the problems stopped.

Other than circumstances like that I feel a lot of guilt killing them because..quite frankly, coyotes are smart and I think very cool animals. They don't bother people as far as I know.

As for wolves..well last summer I was backpacking in the Bob and I was taking my morning ablution with my buttocks hung over a log when some wolf appeared out of nowhere and started screaming like a hyena and kicking up tufts of turf like a bull at pamplona....then it took off. My sleazy lawyer friend and I had four dogs with us so I figured it didn;t want to stick around and prance for long. I think my dog thought he was rather handsome. I did, and I;m not even from Frisco.
 

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Pro Crastinator
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sixsixtysix said:
.....I grabbed my shoe, tossed the cat out off the way and SMASH, one flat scoprion.....
someone had to say it, but you suck for purposfully taking life. you could have wisked it outside somehow. too bad it didn't sting you instead.....

FWIW i am an arizona native(28 years) transplanted into california and have been stung on several occasions in my life and still would not purposfully kill anything.....
 

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recovering roadie
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.WestCoastHucker. said:
someone had to say it, but you suck for purposfully taking life. you could have wisked it outside somehow. too bad it didn't sting you instead.....

FWIW i am an arizona native(28 years) transplanted into california and have been stung on several occasions in my life and still would not purposfully kill anything.....
We should get you together with Jayem. Maybe it would balance out.
 
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