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Adults are yellowish-brown to tan, sometimes with stripes or other markings. Newly-born first instar (stage) nymphs are whitish, and remain light in color for 2-3 months.
Head and thorax are fused together, resembling a narrow shield. The abdomen is strongly segmented; the last 5 segments look like a tail, ending in a stinger that usually curves up. Four pairs of legs and pedipalps (appendages in front of legs) that resemble lobster claws.
Just like the Scorpion King, these guys stick to the desert. Mainly in the southwest dry regions and the South. In the west, scorpions have been found as far north as British Columbia.
Homebodies. Scorpions live over 90% of their lives hidden wherever they take up shelter. They hide in burrows and under rocks, logs or debris, avoiding realtors at all costs. Indoors, scorpions can live in crawl spaces or attics, if temperatures stay below 100 degrees F (38 degrees C).
Cannibals welcome. Scorpions are nocturnal feeders, mostly on insects or bugs, but sometimes on each other. After catching large prey in their 'claw-like' pedipalps, the scorpion repeatedly stings. Smaller claw-like parts munch the food into bite-sized particles, to which a liquid from the scorpion's body is added to make a 'juice'. A dry pellet is discarded after feeding. With a water source nearby, a scorpion can go for months without food.
Mothers give birth to live young, which crawl up their backs and remain until the first molt, 7-10 days later, then come down to feed, scattering. They mature into adults within several months to 4 years (6 molts). Adults live from 1 to 6 or more years. Occasionally, a lost body part may grow back, which is handy, but it may be malformed.
Ouch! This is a pest with a bite akin to the bee, but worse, mostly because of the large barbed 'pinchers'. Dangerous to humans, especially if there is an allergic reaction, which can be life-threatening.
A painful sting is delivered, accompanied by itching, tingling, some swelling or tenderness, and possible discoloration – like a bee sting. Though personally, I'd rather just be stung by the bee.
Scorpions are nocturnal, hiding during the day. Seeking shelter at dawn, scorpions may crawl into shoes, clothing and folded blankets. Indoors, they may seek water in sinks or bathtubs. They may move through wall voids upon entering.
Luckily, the scorpion is only an 'occasional invader' into our homes or businesses. Control can be achieved by applications of residual materials around the exterior of the structure. Remove debris and stones, and raise woodpiles off the ground. Tighten door, window and screen openings. As scorpions are most likely to be found outdoors, control should be focused in those areas. They are mostly nocturnal and spend most of their lives hiding in burrows or other shelters. You can use a vacuum to remove scorpions instead of a pesticide application. Afterward, immediately dispose of the vacuum bag outside. If you attempt to control scorpions and make a pesticide application, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Control with applications of liquid residual pesticides or dusts. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
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