There are 90 species of scorpions found in the United States, and here in Texas, we have 18 of them. Lucky us.
Scorpions are not insects. They are members of the class Arachnida (which also includes spiders, ticks, and king crabs) and the order Scorpionata. Scorpions have four pairs of jointed legs, large pedipalps (claws) that can be used for grasping or crushing, long tails equipped with stingers capable of delivering painful, sometimes dangerous stings, and as many as six eyes (depending on the specie).
Scorpions can live anywhere from three years to 25 years, depending on the specie and the environment.
The stings of most scorpions, including those commonly found in Texas, are usually just painful. There are only a few scorpion species (such as the sculptured scorpion, which is native to Arizona but rarely encountered in Texas) that are considered deadly. But people who are very sensitive to scorpion venom can suffer life-threatening reactions even from stings of scorpions whose venom would not be fatal to the average person.
Scorpions are very interesting animals who are well-prepared for survival in the challenging environments in which they are commonly found.
In nature, scorpions live in dark, secluded places like underground burrows, under rocks, or in mulch or leaf litter during the day, and come out at night to hunt. They avoid the sun as part of their temperature-regulation system: Although they're often found in hot climates, scorpions actually have low metabolic rates and need to maintain lower body temperatures than many other terrestrial arthropods.
Scorpions also take up residence in all sorts of man-made, protected locations, including outdoor electrical boxes, rodent bait stations, old tires, inverted buckets, and even inside shoes and boots. That's why any real Texan knows to shake out his or her boots before putting them on. There might just be a scorpion in there.
All scorpions bear live young after rather long gestation periods ranging from 54 days to 18 months. (The striped bark scorpion, one of the more common scorpions found in Texas, has a gestation period of about eight months.) Scorpions are born in broods ranging from about a dozen to four dozen young, and the larvae remain on their mothers' backs until the first molt, when they leave to start their independent lives.
Scorpions are primarily predators who eat insects and other arachnids, and sometimes small vertebrates. They prefer live foods and can afford to be rather finicky because adult scorpions are able to live for several months without eating or drinking anything at all. Scorpions are not interested in people as food: They don't "bite" people. When they sting people, it's in self-defense.
Scorpions are the only arachnids whose hemolymph ("blood") is able to transport oxygen, which allows them to grow to larger sizes than other arachnids, whose bodies use less-efficient oxygen transport systems. They also can survive for long periods underwater, and are probably the most radiation-resistant animals on earth.
One odd characteristic of scorpions is that they fluoresce under ultraviolet light. In fact, UV lights are often used by researchers to catch scorpions at night (and by outdoors enthusiasts either to catch them -- or to avoid them).
Scorpions are extremely well-equipped for survival, which makes them among the more challenging pests to control. Scorpion control usually involves a combination of chemical and non-chemical methods including trapping, habitat modification, and exclusion, as well as the use of insecticidal baits, sprays, dusts, and granular products.
Please contact us or call us at 817-589-1632 for more information about scorpion control, or any of our high-quality pest control services.