If you happen to live in the southwestern part of the U.S. in a dry and warm climate, then you might be sharing your space with scorpions. If they’ve invaded your property, you’re surely on the hunt for the right insecticide to get rid of them and need to know when to use it!
The right time to spray for scorpions is when you are in the presence of one or if you have recently seen one on your property.
Although it is impossible to fully cover every inch scorpions might go, you can spray places that they will find desirable, like under furniture and in closets.
This article will give you information about the behavior, elimination, and prevention of scorpions. I’ll also give you my top 5 recommendations for insecticides that are guaranteed to eliminate them. After reading, you’ll be fully prepared to keep your family safe from these scary insects!
Why Do Scorpions Like My Property?
You may find scorpions making their way onto your property if your yard is moist and regularly watered. They will nest in places like flowerbeds, mulch piles, wood chips, cracks in masonry, piles of yard clippings, underneath rocks, or any areas with lots of crevices and hiding spots, like your home.
To avoid them, you shouldn’t overturn rocks or walk barefoot outside, especially after the sun goes down.
Unfortunately, scorpions can easily get into your house because of their small sizes and flat bodies. Inside your home, you can find them underneath sinks and furniture, laundry rooms, closets, bathtubs, or in drawers. Don’t forget to check the inside of your shoes! They are incredibly sneaky.
If you’re interested, you can read about the things that attract scorpions to your home here.
Another reason that scorpions like your property is because there’s tons of food there. Scorpions will eat just about any insect or spider, so a pest problem is a sure way of attracting them to your property and potentially your house. They will be even more attracted to your house if the pest problem is inside.
How Do I Know If I Have Scorpions in My House?
Besides actually seeing a scorpion, there are a couple of signs that will alert you that one is in your house.
First, you may notice scorpion droppings in random places around your house, which look like little piles of sand.
Second, you may see their tracks. Scorpion tracks look like a group of pebbles dragging or tracking along the floor.
The last sign of a scorpion in your house is egg sacs that have been left behind. According to the University of Oklahoma, scorpions can give birth to about 14 to 100 babies at a time (horrifying!). While scorpions do not lay eggs, their live births leave the scorpion babies encased in an egg sac or a soft exoskeleton which they must break out of.
You will see a cluster of Tic-Tac-shaped egg sacs if a pregnant female scorpion is in your home.
How Do I Spot A Scorpion?
You can check your house for scorpions with ultraviolet light. Scorpions glow under UV light because of a substance that is produced in the hyaline layer of their exoskeleton.
The University of Arizona suggests using UV light to look for scorpions between the hours of 8pm and 11pm. Look under and behind everything- refrigerators, closets, couches, and curtains. If you see the glow, spray it with insecticide or call a pest control service immediately.
Another way to tell if they’re in your house is by using a glue trap. Place a glue trap around your house, especially near objects that give the scorpions somewhere to hide. Check the traps every other day and if you haven’t caught anything, move them to different places.
I suggest using the Catchmaster 72MAX Pest Trap and then a scorpion killer if you catch one. If you happen to find one this way, you can always call in the professionals!
My other article, 4 Things To Do If You Find A Scorpion In Your House, goes in-depth on what to do if you come face to face with one.
What Type of Scorpion Is in My House?
There are about 90 species of scorpions in the U.S. You can find them all across the Southern and Southwestern parts of the States. The most common types you’ll see in your yard are the striped bark scorpion, the giant hairy scorpion, and the yellow ground scorpion.
Although some of these species are venomous, their venom isn’t strong enough to have more of an effect on humans than some mild irritation and swelling.
Striped Bark Scorpions
Striped bark scorpions are the most common type of scorpion and are recognized by their orange and brown bodies with black stripes running down vertically and a dark triangular mark on the front of their heads.
These scorpions are known for making their homes in fallen logs, decaying debris, and inside houses. They can climb and many people have reported seeing them in the attic.
That’s a terrifying thought, isn’t it? Luckily, this type of scorpion wants to stay away from humans, so they will usually flee if they see you. Spray them quickly if you can!
Giant Hairy Scorpion
You’ll find the giant hairy scorpion in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, the Mojave Desert, and the Sonoran Desert. They are tan to olive-green with dark yellow legs and tail. The giant hairy scorpion can even grow to 4 to 7 inches in length!
This type of scorpion has been found in bathtubs, sinks, attics, piles of clothes, and crawlspaces. Always check your shoes before you put them on! They can get into your house underneath doors, through damaged window screens, and through cracks in the foundation.
Despite their terrifying name, giant hairy scorpions are usually docile. They stay away from confrontation unless they feel threatened or are backed into a corner. Be careful not to get too close to them!
Yellow Ground Scorpion
The yellow ground scorpion can be found in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. You’ll recognize them by their light tan to brownish bodies and the tops and the sides of the tail are striped.
Just like the other types of scorpions, they make their way into your house looking for food, water, and shelter and will hide underneath things.
Now, let’s look at the best insecticides available to keep every kind of scorpion away from your home.
5 Best Insecticides for Scorpions
Insecticide works best when it is sprayed directly on a scorpion, but isn’t very long-lasting when used for prevention (unless advertised otherwise) because it doesn’t last very long and doesn’t have a strong effect on the scorpions. They tiptoe using their tiny legs, so not a lot of chemicals can be absorbed into their bodies unless you spray them directly.
Besides a chemical insecticide, you can naturally keep scorpions away by using scent.
The most common scents used that scorpions hate are lavender and cedarwood. Put a couple of drops of essential oil into a spray bottle and spray around your home where scorpions may get in like windows and doors.
You can read more about how to repel scorpions with vinegar here.
Besides squashing a scorpion (do not recommend!), there are a number of insecticides that can properly eliminate them. Let’s go over the best ones below.
This is Amazon’s most popular scorpion killer. It will take out the scorpions once dried. You can use it on fabric and basically any material because it is non-staining. It is registered by the EPA as safe to use indoors.
You should apply this product in every place you have seen a scorpion or in its usual hiding spots, which we talked about before. It’s a good idea to use this around the bottom of the door or windows.
Delta Dust is a popular scorpion killer because it is odorless and approved for commercial food-handling, which makes it safe to use in the home. It also is water-resistant, so it won’t clump up if you put it in a wet area. This formula lasts up to 8 months, so it is one of the most effective preventative insecticides there is for scorpions.
Using a bellows duster, lightly dust the area you want to prevent scorpions from coming to. A fine dusting is all that is needed to have the effect you want.
This product is made especially for scorpions and is a popular choice because it can be used indoors or outdoors and is odorless. You can choose between a narrow and a wide spray, depending on how much of the area you want to cover. Use the wide spray to get doors and windows and use the narrow spray to get into cracks and crevices.
This brand of insecticide is effective and is a really popular choice to get rid of pests because it is long-lasting. The insecticide is a low-odor, slow-release chemical that can take out scorpions easily.
Apply the insecticide around the outside of your house near windows and doors, or any other crevices that may lead into the inside of your house. Use the spray inside in food-handling areas. You can reapply the product indoors once every 21 days if needed.
Users report really good results with all kinds of pests using the BASF product. People love it because it kills the scorpion on contact and can be used as a temporary prevention insecticide.
The active ingredient that kills the pests is protected using Exclusive SmartCap Technology, which keeps the effectiveness from decreasing by weather or porous surfaces and from being sucked up into soil. This means it’ll keep scorpions away longer than the majority of other insecticides.
Here’s When to Spray the Insecticide
You can usually find out when to apply the scorpion killer by looking at the product label. The CSI Cyzmic CS Controlled Release Insecticide can be used once every 21 days and is effective for a while. Other products, like the HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth, should be applied every time the powder has faded away.
Scorpions are most active when it is 75 degrees or higher, so use the product around those temperatures so you don’t waste any of it. This of course is null if you have actually spotted a scorpion.
The best time to spray for a scorpion is when you have actually seen one. They are very hard to find so unless they have skittered away, you should douse it with the product you’ve chosen as soon as you come across one.
As far as using scorpion killer when you don’t know where the scorpion is but you’re sure there’s one around, choose a powdered insecticide so that it lasts longer, which you can apply at any time.
4 Easy Tips for Using Scorpion Killer Products
- Always check the product label on the scorpion killer before using it for information on how and where to apply it. Some products can be used both indoors and outdoors.
- Don’t forget to look up! Some species of scorpions can climb, so make sure to apply product in the attic or the upper area of closets.
- Clear away all clutter before using the scorpion killer both inside and outside. This includes clearing away any firewood stacked against your house and piles of garbage and leaves.
- Scorpions can go a lot of places, so you won’t be able to completely cover every inch of where they go, but you can predict some of their potential paths. Think about every place that a scorpion could slink under to be protected and spray there.
If All Else Fails – Call the Scorpion Experts!
Because of their painful sting, you will be better off using a professional pest control service if you don’t find any scorpions but you know that there is still one nearby. They can handle the issue.
This website has a pest control finder service here where you can find a local exterminator to take care of the problem for you.
Keeping Scorpions From Coming Back After You’ve Sprayed
There are a lot of things you can do to prevent these unwanted guests from coming back into your yard and house. If you make your property unappealing to scorpions by eliminating shelters and food and water sources. I’ve listed some of those prevention tips below.
No Scorpion Food = Less Desirable Habitat
If you have a pest problem in your house or yard involving other creatures like spiders, crickets, centipedes, termites, lizards, and sometimes even small rodents, then your property is a very welcome place for a scorpion.
If you have a pest problem, calling an exterminator or getting rid of pests on your own is the most important step to make your property unpleasant for a scorpion.
Preventative Powder Keeps Scorpions Away
HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth, another HARRIS product, is clinically proven to work on scorpions. Diatomaceous earth is fossilized algae that has been ground down into a powder. It can be used to take care of a variety of pests both indoors and outdoors.
Using a powder duster, (the product above comes with one) sprinkle the diatomaceous earth evenly in places where you have seen a scorpion or predictable places where scorpions might go.
Once the scorpion comes into contact with it, it will slowly dehydrate until it is eliminated. This method is effective, but it takes 1-2 weeks to fully take out the scorpion.
Acid Is Your Friend and a scorpion’s enemy
Boric acid is a great way to deter scorpions and is simple to use. Since it not safe for humans or pets, you should only use it in very hard to reach places like behind and underneath appliances or furniture. It is more effective than diatomaceous earth and does not have to be applied directly on the scorpion to work.
Seal Everything to Keep Scorpions Out
Using a high-quality silicone caulk, seal every entrance a scorpion can use to get into the house. This includes sealing cracks and crevices around windows, doors, and anything that comes in from the outside into your home like cable wires and utility pipes. This can be done to prevent any kind of pest from coming in.
Reducing Water Supply Deters Scorpions
You already know that one of the reasons your scorpion might love your house or yard is because it provides water for them. Make sure there is no standing water anywhere on your property.
Check for leaks underneath appliances and in closets and crawlspaces. Leaky faucets will also draw them in. Clean up piles of wet towels or clothes because that provides both shelter and moisture for scorpions.
Turn Off the Porch Light That’s attracting scorpions to your house
This might seem odd, but keep your porch light off if you’re not using it to keep scorpions away. Scorpions are most active at night, as well as a lot of their prey.
If you have a porch light that attracts insects, scorpions will be drawn to them and then will be close enough to your house to try and find a way in. This is especially true if the insects flying around the porch light have also made their way into your house.
The best way to protect you and your family from scorpion stings is education. Teach your little ones the best ways to stay away from scorpions. Always wear shoes when you’re outside and use a flashlight if you’re walking around at night. Remember to bring your shoes indoors when you’re not wearing them.
Be especially careful when camping as they may make their way into tents, backpacks, and sleeping bags.
However scary they are, scorpions are important parts of their environment so many people trap and release them. Calling in a professional to put it back in the wild again is the best choice for supporting your local ecosystem if you want to go that route.
I hope this article helped you figure out the best steps for tackling a scorpion problem! You are now well-versed in what to do if you notice one or signs of one. Good luck!
Brown, C. A., & O’CONNELL, D. J. (2000). Plant climbing behavior in the scorpion Centruroides vittatus. The American Midland Naturalist, 144(2), 406-418.
Casper, G. S. (1985). Prey capture and stinging behavior in the emperor scorpion, Pandinus imperator (Koch)(Scorpiones, Scorpionidae). Journal of Arachnology, 277-283.
Gaffin, D. D., & Barker, T. N. (2014). Comparison of scorpion behavioral responses to UV under sunset and nighttime irradiances. The Journal of Arachnology, 42(1), 111-118.
Gaffin, D. D., & Brownell, P. H. (1992). Evidence of chemical signaling in the sand scorpion, Paruroctonus mesaensis (Scorpionida: Vaejovida). Ethology, 91(1), 59-69.
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.
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