Y’all may shudder at the thought of spiders – eight-legged night crawlers that they are. But, let’s talk about a different type of arachnid, one that not only shares the fear factor of spiders but also comes equipped with a venomous stinger. Yep, today we’re tackling every Texan’s nightmare critter: the scorpion!
While scorpions are often spotlighted in horror and adventure movies, the ones you’ll likely stumble upon here in North Texas are less daunting once you understand their habits. Scorpions, being mostly nocturnal, do a darn good job of avoiding us humans in the metroplex. However, when it’s hotter than a jalapeno’s armpit and the summer is in full swing, you might cross paths with them, especially during dry spells.
So, how do you avoid scorpions in Texas? This blog post will shed some light on how these sneaky critters manage to make your home their own.
Meet the Striped Bark Scorpion
Also known as centruroides vittatus, the striped bark scorpion can be identified by its signature two-tone color palette. These venomous varmints are typically a mix of dark brown or black stripes on a lighter body. They have a long, slender physique that’s quite different from the bulkier types you see in other scorpion species. They grow to about 2 to 2.5 inches – small enough to be sneaky and dangerous!
Fun fact, y’all: these lil’ buggers will glow under black light. This makes it easier to spot them if you suspect one’s lurking around your home.
While not as lethal as other scorpion species around the world, the striped bark scorpion ranks high on the list of most dangerous scorpions in Texas. A sting from this critter can cause sharp, intense pain, and while it’s rarely fatal to healthy adults, it can be particularly risky for children, older folks, or those with weakened immune systems.
Habitat and Lifestyle of the Striped Bark Scorpion
Our striped bark friends thrive in the North Texas climate, thanks to the area’s abundant food sources, which include insects, spiders, and small vertebrates. These critters prefer the safety of small, narrow spaces during the day and will hide under rocks, wood piles, or tree bark (which gives them their name). When the conditions outdoors become too dry, they often sneak indoors through cracks and crevices, in search of a damp, cool environment. They’ve been unwelcome guests in many of our North Texas homes and businesses.
Inside your home, striped bark scorpions might take cover in dark, secluded areas such as closets, shoes, and folded clothes, or even in your bed. They have a knack for climbing, so don’t be surprised if you find them on walls, ceilings, or hanging light fixtures.
Armed with this knowledge, you’re well-equipped to tackle your scorpion problems. Remember, understanding your enemy is the first step towards showing ’em the door!
Striped Bark Scorpion Sting Treatment
Now, before we dive into this, remember we are pest professionals and not medical professionals. While we’re experts in sending those scorpions packin’, we always recommend seeking professional medical advice for any health concerns. However, if you’re unlucky enough to find yourself on the business end of a striped bark scorpion sting, don’t panic. Here’s what you need to do:
- Clean the Area: Wash the sting site with warm, soapy water. This helps to clean the wound and prevent any potential infection.
- Cold Compress: Use a cold compress on the sting area to help reduce swelling and numb the pain. Just remember, it’s 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off, and never apply ice directly to your skin.
- Over-the-Counter Relief: Pain relievers from your local pharmacy can help alleviate some discomfort. Topical creams with hydrocortisone or oral antihistamines can soothe any itching and inflammation.
- Stay Calm: Keeping calm and still can slow down the spread of venom through your body.
After a sting, you might experience some of the typical symptoms, including immediate pain or burning, slight swelling, sensitivity to touch, numbness or pins-and-needles tingling in the area around the sting.
While most folks recover with no problems, there are times when it’s important to call in the medical professionals. Don’t hesitate to seek immediate medical help if you or the person stung experiences:
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Uncontrolled jerking or twitching – which could indicate a serious neurological reaction to the venom
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- High fever or chills
- Widespread hives or rash
- Intense pain that does not subside after a couple of hours
Remember, especially when it comes to kiddos, older folks, or anyone with a compromised immune system, get medical attention right away if stung, even if the symptoms seem minor. The venom of a striped bark scorpion can have a stronger effect on these folks.
How to Prevent Scorpions in Your North Texas Home
1. Check and Upgrade Your Weather Stripping
Scorpions, those sly critters, can slide into your home through the teeniest gaps. If your weather stripping has seen more sunsets than a tumbleweed, it’s high time you gave it an upgrade. Think of it as rolling up the welcome mat for these sneaky varmints.
2. Plug those Gaps and Cracks
Your homestead might look as snug as a bug in a rug, but scorpions can still find the narrowest nooks to squeeze through. Even a gap as thin as a credit card can be an open door for them.
So, saddle up with a solid sealant like caulk to fill in all gaps and cracks in your home. Get door seals to close off any space around doors and secure your windows tightly. Block those access points, and you’ll make it harder for the scorpions to squat in your living space.
3. Clear Outdoor Hiding Spots
Before striped bark scorpions wriggle their way into your North Texas abode, they usually shack up in your yard, waiting for an opportunity to mosey on indoors. Scorpions aren’t exactly speedy and their vision’s none too sharp. Once they find a cozy hideout with access to food, they’ll hunker down. Clearing these potential outdoor hiding spots can deter them from moving indoors.
So, maintain your yard: keep the grass and bushes near your home trimmed, and remove yard debris where scorpions can take cover. Store wood piles away from your home. Remember, outdoor items like toys can unintentionally offer the perfect haven for these pests. Make sure to keep things tidy.
4. Declutter and Clean Your Home
A cluttered house is a scorpion’s paradise. They’ll find all sorts of places to lie low. Keeping your home neat and tidy can smoke them out, making it easier to send them packing.
Try to store items like boxes and baskets on shelves rather than on the floor where scorpions can get inside of them. Keep clothes, shoes, and other items off the beds and make sure closets and bedrooms are well-organized. Also, avoid leaving food residues or leftovers lying around – while scorpions won’t fancy your BBQ leftovers, they might be on the menu for other pests that scorpions feed on.
5. Call in the Cavalry – Professional Pest Control
Managing scorpions can be a tougher challenge than a rodeo bull with a gruge. These arachnids are tough, resilient, and mighty crafty. They can sneak into your home through even the smallest gaps. However, by eliminating their food sources and blocking entry points, you can cut down the chances of these unwelcome guests settling in.
General pest control to eliminate bugs is a vital step in your scorpion showdown. No food means fewer scorpions. But why not go a step further? At Buckaroo Pest Protection, we don’t just tackle the critters that scorpions feed on, but the scorpions themselves.
Our specialists are seasoned in scorpion habits and habitats and use this knowledge to effectively treat and prevent scorpion invasions around your Texas home or business.
Contact Buckaroo for Scorpion Control
Here in the Lone Star State, we’ve got plenty on our plates – the heat, the erratic weather, and, of course, those heart-stopping Dallas Cowboys games. Let’s leave scorpions out of the mix. Give us a call and let us wrangle your scorpion troubles. This way, you can kick back and enjoy a pest-free home. With Buckaroo Pest Protection, you can bid those scorpions a big Texas-style goodbye, and welcome peace of mind.