Adult scorpions are about 2-4" (20-100 mm) long. Their body form characteristics include cephalothorax (fused head and thorax) elongated and dorsally shieldlike (carapace), abdomen distinctly segmented, anteriorly elongate with last 5 segments taillike, and ending in a sting (telson) usually curved upward. Cephalothorax with anterior pedipalps large and pincerlike, with small chelicerae between their bases; eyes (ocelli) 0-12, usually 2 dorsal submedian eyes and 1-5 eyes on each front lateral corner. Scorpions have 4 pairs of legs, 1 pair ventral comblike sensory structures (pectines) just posterior of last pair of coxae; and 4 pairs of ventral spiracles.
Scorpions give birth to living young from the ventral genital opening. These whitish nymphs immediately crawl up a leg onto their mother's back where they remain until their 1st molt, which is usually 7-30 days later. They then descend, scatter and feed. Nymphs average 6 molts before reaching maturity which may take several months to possibly 4 years. Adult coloration is not attained for 2-3 months. Adults may live for several years, 1-6 or more.
Mating takes place in the autumn and in the late spring to early summer. The gestation period is about 8 months. Litter size averages 35 (range 20-47). The 1st nymphal molt occurs 3-7 days after birth. Time required to reach maturity is about 3-4 years. Parthenogenesis (reproduction without fertilization) occurs in scorpions, although not commonly. Regeneration of lost appendages takes place in scorpions, although sometimes the regenerated part is malformed.
Common Striped Scorpion:
The sting of the common striped scorpion causes only:
- temporary local pain
- some localized swelling or tenderness
- sometimes black-and-blue areas
- comparable to a wasp or bee sting.
In most cases, all signs and symptoms subside within 24 hours. However, some people develop an allergic response that can be life-threatening.
Stings by the sculptured scorpion can be fatal. Stings are often very painful and are usually followed by immediate (few minutes to 24 hours) distress, including:
- numbness around the wound, which rapidly spreads to the entire extremity
- weakness or even paralysis of the injured part
- hyperactivity and anxiety
- profuse salivation
- difficulty in speaking and swallowing
- respiratory distress
- and, in some instances, convulsions
The sting site does not swell or become discolored as it does with less dangerous species. The injected venom is a neurotoxin and if death occurs, it is caused by respiratory paralysis and other complications, usually within 2-20 hours after the sting.
There is an antivenom which is effective when administered within 2 hours of the sting, so if the stung person is within the known distribution and/or there is no swelling or discoloration about the sting site, get them to a physician as quickly as possible. The physician should be aware that morphine products, such as Demeral, should be avoided because they have a synergistic effect with the venom of the sculptured scorpion. It is important to note that the victim should be kept calm to minimize absorption of the venom. Use of an ice pack can reduce the pain.
Locating Scorpion Infestations
Scorpions are nocturnal feeders. Scorpions feed mostly on insects (especially crickets and cockroaches) and spiders, but they can be cannibalistic. After large or active prey is caught in the pedipalps, it is stung repeatedly. The chelicerae then macerate the food into tiny particles, which are packed between the coxae of the pedipals and a liquifying secretion is added. The scorpion then ingests the "juice" produced and the resulting dry pellet is discarded. If water is available, they can survive for months without food.
During the day, scorpions usually hide either in or beneath something. Outside, it may be a burrow, under a rock, log, or debris, etc. This behavior helps to conserve water loss. Around structures, scorpion problems are usually found in crawl spaces and in the attic, which enter via the wall voids. They favor attics with air conditioning ducts, which provide cool temperatures and more harborage; otherwise, they move downward as the temperature increases to above 100 degree F/38 degrees C. If door thresholds are missing and/or unscreened windows are left open, they may enter directly into the living space.
Scorpions seek water and can sometimes be found in sinks and bath tubs in the morning because they could not climb out. When sunrise occurs, scorpions seek shelter in the first available harborage, which may be in shoes, pants/shirts, jackets on a chair, folded blankets, etc. Ground scorpion infestations, which are those other than Centruroides spp., frequently burrow into children's sand boxes or gravel banks where they can remain buried for up to 6 months.
How to Get Rid of Scorpion Problems
Getting rid of scorpion infestations can be tricky since they tend to build their nests in unique places. Our green scorpion control experts will assess the scorpion problem and any scorpion threat prior to using scorpion control plan, providing you with peace of mind when it comes to these potential unwelcome scorpion infestations. And because Critter Control Eco-Wise Pest Services’ methods for scorpion control are environmentally friendly and organic, there is no concern for your family and pets.
Critter Control Eco-Wise Pest Services has the knowledge, equipment, and skills to take care of all your scorpion problems and will show you how to get rid of scorpions for good! Call today: 1-877-ECO-WISE