There are several unique pests located in Phoenix, Arizona and across the state. The dry, arid, hot climate is home to pests that other states do not have to worry about. However, one of the most famous (or infamous) pests is probably the Arizona bark scorpion, the most venomous of the scorpions found in North America and one of the largest.
There are at least four common types of Arizona scorpions, but the one we here at Western Exterminator hear the most about is the bark scorpion. However, how do you identify the Arizona bark scorpion? What makes this type of scorpion different to the other scorpions you may spot around your Phoenix-area home or property?
What is an Arizona bark scorpion?
The Arizona bark scorpion is an arachnid, which means they are in the same class as spiders, but also ticks, mites, harvestmen and solifuges. Arachnids have eight legs, which sets them apart from insects, which only have six. Arachnids also have additional appendages which have been converted into feeding mechanisms.
The Arizona bark scorpion is a light brown scorpion that is common in the area of North America known as the Sonoran Desert. They can grow up to three inches in length.
A bark scorpion is, like other species of scorpion, predatory in nature, meaning they seek out other insects and living creatures to feed upon. They stalk and neutralize their prey using their stinger tail and venom, and generally feed on insects and other arachnids.
One of the unique things about bark scorpions and scorpions, in general, is that they glow when exposed to UV light. This is most effective at night and can help Phoenix and Arizona residents spot the arachnids at night.
Where do Arizona bark scorpions live?
Bark scorpions are built to live in desert areas. Their bodies have an exoskeleton that contains extra layers of wax which allows them to better retain water. Their light color allows them to hide better in desert areas and surprise their intended prey.
Bark scorpions, despite the waxy layers, prefer to hide during the hottest parts of the day, however. This means that they seek shelter like homes and outlying buildings, which often puts them in close proximity to people.
They get the name “bark” scorpion because this particular species prefers to live on and around trees. They are fond of wood such as mesquite, sycamores, cottonwood, and riparian trees. All of those species have the right moisture retention and humidity levels to support insects and arachnids like scorpions.
Bark scorpions do seek out moisture and this also brings them into close proximity to people due to irrigation systems many residents and businesses have around Phoenix for their lawns.
Are Arizona bark scorpions dangerous?
The sting of a bark scorpion is very painful. They use their stingers at the ends of their tails to pierce the outer layers of their intended prey. The sting is quite painful and often there will be an instant reaction in the sting area and the arm, leg or sting area can become convulsive or even immobilized.
Serious medical problems or fatalities from Arizona bark scorpion stings are very rare. However, if you are sensitive to insect stings, they can be dangerous. The bark scorpion is the most venomous scorpion in all of North America, so they can be medically risky for anyone stung by them.
Extreme reactions to bark scorpion venom can include numbness, frothing at the mouth, confusion, seizures and paralysis. Difficulty breathing can also occur.
How to get rid of Arizona bark scorpions
The best way to get rid of bark scorpions around your Maricopa County property is to seal up cracks and make sure there are no spaces the scorpions can use to get inside. A bark scorpion can crawl through a crack just 1/16 of an inch. Making sure there are no spaces in walls, cracks in foundations, holes in screens or other openings, can prevent them from getting inside.
Removing any kind of cooling shelter a bark scorpion can use during the day to rest can make your property less attractive to them, as well. This includes removing debris from yards and making sure vegetation is well trimmed.
Contact Western Exterminator for Phoenix bark scorpions
If you have a property in the Phoenix or Maricopa County area, there is a local Western Exterminator office that can help you identify and get rid of bark scorpions. Contact the Phoenix, AZ, office today and set up an appointment!