Scorpions are those frightening little arachnids with dual pincers and proportionally long stingers. No one wants to come across these horror movie rejects at night, let alone during the day, but sometimes we just can’t help it! Why is it that we often see scorpions at night and where do they go during the day?
Scorpions are primarily nocturnal, meaning they sleep and hide during the day in burrows, under rocks, under tree bark, or other natural crevices. They’re active after dark and hide just before dawn. You can also find scorpions in dark, moist areas of your home, in shoes, garages, or basements.
Since they are mostly hidden during the day, people often find these stinging menaces by surprise. By understanding where scorpions like to hang out and live during the day, we can hopefully avoid and prevent scorpions from living in your house with you!
What is a Scorpion?
Scorpions are segmented, eight-legged tanks of the insect and arachnid world, which also have a pair of pincers, and a curved tail topped with a vicious stinger. Some people keep them as pets, but not this guy.
Scorpions have been around for millions of years. Scientists have found evidence scorpions have walked the planet since way before the earliest signs of human life, and some in the prehistoric age grew to be over three feet long! Talk about a living nightmare!
Do Scorpions Come Out During the Day?
Scorpions rarely come out during the day. There are too many predators searching for a juicy meal like a scorpion, and the heat from the baking sun can dry out scorpions.
9 Places Where Scorpions Are Found During the Day
Despite being one of the meanest kids on the block, scorpions have plenty of predators who will eagerly make a meal out of them. Over millions of years, they have adapted and evolved to be nocturnal to hide away from most of their predators.
Scorpions are most active after dark and will stay active until around dusk. Then they seek a place to hide from diurnal (daylight dwelling) predators, as well as to find a cool place away from the desert heat.
Remember, your house is not a scorpion’s natural habitat. Their habitat is in your yard around bushes, in cracks in brick walls, and landscaping such as loose bark around palm trees.
When the sun comes out and lights up the world, scorpions often scurry away and hide away from the warm rays of the sun.
So, where do scorpions hide out during the day? These places include, but are not limited to:
- Stacks of firewood, leaves, or other yard debris
- Thick mulch beds
- Under rocks
- Under tree bark
- Under garden furniture
- Inside dark, moist areas in your house
- Garages and basements
- Inside shoes
- Pools and outside drains
Scorpions seek cool, moist, dark areas to hide during the day, and often these places can be found inside your home. If this is an area other insects scorpions regularly prey upon enjoy, then it’s an extra incentive for these stinging meanies to move in.
We will go over each of the above areas, why the area is attractive to scorpions, and ways to prevent them from hanging out there.
1. Stacks of Firewood, Piles of Leaves, and Other Yard Debris
Piles of firewood are especially attractive to scorpions for many reasons. There are plenty of dark places to hide, providing natural protection from more of the larger predators. Also, firewood stacks—especially if they are not disturbed often—will attract prey insects.
Firewood piles check all the boxes for a perfect scorpion, daytime hideaway.
Leaf piles and other yard debris, much like firewood stacks, are more areas scorpions like to hide in. Leaves often stay cool and moist and also attract a lot of insect feed for scorpions.
It is difficult to keep scorpions out of woodpiles because there are so many small areas they can climb into. You could plant lavender around your woodpile, or add cedar shavings because their scent will repel scorpions. If you are burning your wood for heat in the cool months, then you don’t want to spray the wood with pesticides, as the chemicals could enter your house when you burn the wood.
The best way to keep scorpions away and to keep yourself safe with woodpiles is to rotate your stock of wood out so it doesn’t decay and attract other insects. Also, whenever you are gathering firewood, make sure you wear thick gloves, long sleeves, and close-toed shoes.
When you pick up a piece of wood, tap it a few times on the ground or another piece of wood. If an insect or scorpion is clinging on, this might knock it loose before you bring it inside.
Keep piles of leaves and other yard debris cleaned up. The best way to prevent scorpions from hiding out in the first place is to not have areas they like to gather.
2. Thick Mulch Beds
Thick mulch beds are a great place for scorpions to create dark, damp burrows. The mulch’s job is to protect the roots of plants, and prevent moisture from evaporating too fast. This kind of environment is exactly what scorpions are looking for; dark, cool, and humid hideouts.
Redwood mulch especially attracts scorpions. Cypress and cedar mulch repel most insects, and if there are no insects, scorpions are less likely to move in. You could also try using small gravel mulch, or inorganic mulch such as recycled rubber and plastic.
If scorpions live in your area, you should always wear protective gear such as thick gardening gloves, and use tools when working in your yard as an extra layer of protection.
3. Under Rocks
Do you have a rock retaining wall, walkways lined with rocks, or large rocks layered in your yard as an ornamental garden piece? These areas could be daytime hiding places for scorpions. They provide small cracks and shade from the harsh sun.
Often these areas are left alone unless you are pulling weeds. Always be careful when working in or around rocky areas. You don’t want to roll a rock over or pick it up to be greeted with an angry scorpion.
Again, tools, gloves, closed shoes, and long clothing are best for working around rock beds.
Under Tree Bark
In the US, the bark scorpion is the most dangerous species of scorpion, and it gets its name from where it likes to hang out during the day. These scorpions are smaller in size, which makes them even more of an issue. They are hard to see and can hide in the smallest of crevices.
Rotting trees or trees with loose bark are perfect hideouts for smaller scorpions, especially the bark scorpion. If you live in areas where scorpions also reside and have trees with loose bark, or they are dying, the best thing to do is to leave them alone.
If the tree needs to be removed, it is best to contract professional tree removal services. They are experienced in the types of critters potentially living inside the rotting trees and know what to look out for concerning problamatic pests.
4. Under Garden Furniture
Bark scorpions will often like to hang out during the day on inverted surfaces. These areas are usually shaded and are out of the way. People like to have garden furniture around the pool—which is another attractant for scorpions—outdoor furniture is also often found around the garden, or on porches.
You can check these areas for scorpions by turning them over and looking in little dark corners before having guests over. You could also contact your pest control center if you live in an area known for having scorpions. They will go over where scorpions can hide and provide treatments if you have these pests in your house.
5. In Your House, Around Dark Humid Areas
Your house, my house, and your neighbors’ house all have plenty of places for scorpions to hide in the daytime. They will seek small crevices, holes around pipes and wires, as well as gaps in doors and windows in search of refuge from the sun.
There are also many humid and dark areas inside a house. If there are insects associated with these areas, then it’s even more enticing for scorpions.
Dark places like closets will attract scorpions. Also, areas under sinks, as well as wall cavities under tubs and showers, will hold humidity where scorpions like to gather.
If you find a scorpion in your home, check out our aticle on the 4 things to do if you find a scorpion in your house for next steps!
They will also like to hide out in areas of clutter because these areas probably do not get disturbed much and have plenty of dark hiding places. Scorpions have also been known to hide out in damp clothes piles.
Keep these areas clean, organized, and clutter-free to prevent scorpions from chilling inside. Also, seal any cracks, or entryways insects and other pests can use to enter your house.
You can also use black lights to search for scorpions. When it’s dark, or after turning all the lights off, use a black light to scan an area. Scorpions will light up extra bright when a black light is shone on them.
This Escolite UV Flashlight Black Light is a wonderful option for this exact purpose. It covers a large area and is perfect for indoor and outdoor use!
6. Garages and Basements
What better place is there to hide away from the damaging rays of the sun, and from predators such as owls, toads, lizards, shrews, and others than inside a human house? This is the way scorpions look at it. Garages and basements are a few more areas scorpions like to hide in during the day.
Garages are usually cooler than the searing sun in the desert and have plenty of dark corners to lay in wait for night. Inside the garage, scorpions can hide out in cardboard boxes, tool boxes, around water heaters, under large tools, or nearly anywhere else they can squeeze into.
The same goes for basements and crawlspaces. These areas are more humid, dark, and often attract crickets and other insects scorpions go in search of when it’s time to hunt.
To prevent scorpions from making a home in your basement or garage, make sure you seal off any cracks or gaps insects and scorpions can enter through. Keep any cluttered areas clean. Wear shoes whenever you enter these areas, just in case.
Before reaching into boxes or drawers, give them a good visual check to make sure nothing is lying in wait for juicy insects. They may mistake your hand for something edible or threatening.
7. Inside Shoes or Gloves
If you keep pairs of shoes outside, in your garage, or work shed, always, always (it bears repeating), check them before putting them on. This is doubly important if you do not wear the shoes every day. Yard boots, snowshoes, shoes hiding in your closet for a certain day, maybe rain boots, all need to be checked before slipping your feet inside.
Tap the heel of each shoe sharply on the ground a few times to see if anything lodges loose. It may take a few seconds longer, but you’ll be sorry if there is a scorpion inside there and starts stabbing your tender toes with its stinger.
So, regardless of where you live, if you leave any kind of footwear or gloves either outside or in areas like a garage or shed, always make sure there isn’t anything inside them. I always check my lawn shoes and garden gloves before I put them on.
With gloves, get in the habit of smacking your gloves on a hard surface, and squeezing/smashing each finger and thumb. This way, if something found its way in there, it will not be alive to harass you.
8. Pools and Outside Drains
Pools and other water sources will always attract insects, especially in arid regions where water is often scarce naturally. As we have discussed, where there are water and insects, scorpions probably will not be far behind.
To help prevent scorpions from hanging out poolside and dining on cricket appetizers, keep your pool clean and properly treated. Scorpions don’t seek water to drink because they get nearly all of their water needs from the foods they eat, but they will follow the other insects to water.
If you see a scorpion in your pool, please resist the urge to pick it up with your bare hands. It could still be alive even though it’s not moving. Scorpions are very resilient and difficult to eliminate. They can live in water or drains for two days.
It could just be exhausted while floating in the water, so instead of picking it up with your hands, use a scoop to get it out. Then eradicate it once it’s safely away from all the swimming guests.
Scorpions can fall into drains, or hide out into tub and shower drains and then climb back out when they get wet or uncomfortable. This can give the impression that scorpions are coming up from the sewers, but it is a highly unlikely scenario. The moist areas of showers and tubs attract them and are probably hanging out in the dark drain, waiting for an unsuspecting meal.
If there are cracks in the drain big enough for a scorpion to enter, they can come up that way, but usually, pipes are too slick for a scorpion to climb up.
Do Scorpions Stay in one Place?
Scorpions are opportunistic hunters. They often lay in wait, completely motionless, like spiders, for something to come near them. They have poor eyesight, but they can sense vibrations from the ground, and in the air. When they sense something they can eat, they will chase it a short distance.
If there is ample food, a good hiding place or burrow, and safety, then a scorpion has no reason to move. They are not usually nomads and don’t travel far. There are so many insects to be found, so even in the deserts, scorpions don’t have to travel long distances for food.
They also are mostly solitary creatures. Some scorpions will hide out in small groups or hibernate with others if there are no abundant hiding places, but this can be dangerous for them because if there isn’t enough food to go around, scorpions will cannibalize each other.
If a scorpion is moving around in the daytime, it will search for a cool, dark, damp place to hide and try to get there quickly. They prefer to come out at night and hunt for food in the dark, so if you see one out during the day, it was probably because its hiding spot was compromised.
Scorpions are Very Hardy
It can be difficult to get rid of a scorpion because even most insecticides will take days to eliminate a scorpion. They do not drown easily either, so flushing them down sinks or toilets is not a good way to eliminate them. It could return a day later, or end up somewhere else in your house.
Scorpions do not have to eat every day to survive, either. They have very efficient digestive tracts and extract the maximum amount of nutrients and water from the prey they eat. Scorpions only eat about 10 to 50 times a year.
In colder regions, scorpions even go through a sort of hibernation where they slow down their metabolism and don’t eat again until the temperatures get warm enough for them to hunt again.
That’s A Wrap!
I know this one has been creepy and probably a little scary, especially thinking scorpions can jump out at you from near about anywhere. However, knowledge is power, and knowing where these creepy-crawly arachnids can go and live during the day will hopefully keep you and those you care about safe.
Luckily, in the US, scorpions are not very prevalent, and only very few of those are very dangerous.
By keeping your house clean, clutter-free, insect-free, and by understanding where scorpions will hide and live during the day, you can be safe and help to keep your family safe from these eight-legged, bad attitude carrying, insect hunters.
Yamashita, T., Polis, G. Geographical analysis of scorpion populations on habitat islands. Heredity 75, 495–505 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1038/hdy.1995.166
Waterman, J. A. (1939). Some observations on the habits and life of the common scorpion of Trinidad. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 33(1), 113–118. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0035-9203(39)90168-9
Roantree, W. B. (1961). Scorpion Stings. British Medical Journal, 1(5236), 1395. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1954494/
Polis, G. A., & McCormick, S. J. (1986). Scorpions, spiders and solpugids: predation and competition among distantly related taxa. Oecologia, 71(1), 111–116. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf00377328
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
Download My Free E-Book!
Take a look at my guide on Pest Proofing Your Home In Under a Day! I get into the nitty-gritty on the most common types of pests you’ll see on your property including BOTH insects and wildlife, along with the specific signs to look for regarding any pest you have questions about.