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Common types of scorpions in Las Vegas

You often hear about scorpions roaming the deserts of Arizona and southern California, but many call Las Vegas home too. Of the 1,500+ known scorpion species in existence, over 70 can be found here in the United States. But no matter the species, scorpions have some characteristics that are shared by all. Their tough exoskeletons and pair of pincers help to protect them from predators in the wild. Additionally, all types of scorpions have segmented bodies and four pairs of legs, including the most commonly found scorpions in Las Vegas, Nevada. We’ll take a deeper look at three such species here.

Common types of scorpions in Las Vegas

1. Bark scorpion

If you’re familiar with Shakespeare, you’ve probably heard the famous line, “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” He may have been referring to a fiery, Athenian woman at the time, but the adage just happens to fit the bark scorpion perfectly too. As the most venomous scorpion in North America, the bark scorpion presents a significant threat to the residents of Las Vegas, Nevada.

How to identify a bark scorpion

The bark scorpion is a tan or yellowish pest averaging three inches in length. Its small body is made up of two parts, the abdomen (which includes the stinging tail) and the cephalothorax, a fusion of the head and thorax. The bark scorpion has eight legs in addition to its pair of pincers. Generally, bark scorpions hold their tails curled to the side, unlike other types of scorpions that hold them above the body.

Where are bark scorpions found?

Because bark scorpions can climb, they can be found in many various places, or at least at various levels. They prefer cool, moist environments, so they are often found hiding under rocks or burrowed beneath tree bark. Sometimes these habitats do not provide enough shelter from the warm temperatures of Las Vegas, and the scorpions are driven to the air-conditioned indoors.

With their marked climbing abilities, they have no trouble scaling vertical walls to make their way in. Once they get inside homes and businesses, bark scorpions often navigate toward dark closets or near sinks and bathtubs. Dark, damp basements may also provide an ideal environment for the pests.

What do bark scorpions eat?

As nocturnal creatures, you will not often find bark scorpions to be active during the day. They prefer to hunt at night, giving them protection from extreme heat. Bark scorpions can become vicious when hunting. They lie in wait and use the small hairs on their legs and underside to sense their prey when it comes near. Their pincers, or pedipalps, are fairly weak, so the scorpions must rely on the potent venom from their barbed tail to paralyze the prey before grabbing it with their pincers. Bark scorpions primarily eat cockroaches, spiders, moths, and other similar invertebrates.

Bark scorpion sting

The bark scorpion is the most venomous scorpion in North America, so their stings should not be taken lightly. Bark scorpions have especially poor eyesight, so when they feel threatened, they attack. Though they don’t specifically seek out humans, children and the elderly are at an increased risk of a severe reaction to a bark scorpion sting. Adverse reactions may vary based on the victim, and more severe symptoms may require medical attention. The site of the sting often swells, accompanied by severe pain. Affected persons can experience numbness, difficulty breathing, convulsions, and even foaming at the mouth.

Common types of scorpions in Las Vegas

2. Emperor scorpion

This regal arthropod is actionally a popular exotic pet. Though many people are scared of them due to their dark color and large size, emperor scorpions are relatively non-threatening, to humans at least.

Hollywood has even been known to take advantage of the unfounded fear. 5,000 emperor scorpions were used in the production of “Scorpion,” a 1989 film about a killer scorpion army.

How to identify an emperor scorpion

The emperor scorpion comes in between the bark and desert hairy scorpions at a length of eight inches. Though it is not the longest scorpion, it is the largest, commonly weighing up to 30 grams. Their shiny, black bodies blend in well amongst the forest debris and leaves in which they often reside. As a communal species, emperor scorpions are found living in large numbers.

What do emperor scorpions eat?

Insects make up the primary food group of an emperor scorpion’s diet. Specifically, these scorpions often feed on termites and can often be found living in termite mounds. As avid termite hunters, we thank them for the help.

Emperor scorpion sting

Adult scorpions do not often sting as a method of killing their prey or otherwise. When they do sting in defense, they sometimes will not even inject venom. Like other species, the emperor scorpion has poor eyesight, so they can be quick on the defense when they sense a potential threat. Luckily, most people are not affected by emperor scorpion venom, so the only danger to humans is a painful pinch.

Common types of scorpions in Las Vegas

3. Desert hairy scorpion

This furry pincher looks much more menacing than it is, unless, of course, you’re its next meal or a male desert hairy scorpion. Occasionally, the female desert hairy scorpion will eat her mate after mating.

How to identify a desert hairy scorpion

The desert hairy scorpion, named for the hairs on its tail, is the longest scorpion species found in the United States. Measuring an average of six inches in length, these scorpions are generally tan or olive green in color.

Where are desert hairy scorpions found?

Believe it or not, desert hairy scorpions are sometimes kept as pets, where they can live up to twenty years (double the life expectancy of a desert hairy scorpion in the wild). Otherwise, you might find them in abandoned burrows, crevices, or in ornamental plants. They seek shaded areas to avoid the Las Vegas sun. They may also gravitate toward cool, dark places in your home or business such as cabinets and attics.

What do desert hairy scorpions eat?

Because they are so large, desert hairy scorpions often have larger prey than other scorpion species. They are carnivorous but are not after humans. Desert hairy scorpions may go after other invertebrates of similar size or even lizards and small animals.

Desert hairy scorpion sting

Desert hairy scorpions are not aggressive and have very weak venom. Their sting resembles that of a bee, and they, like most scorpions, will only sting when provoked.

How to prevent scorpions

There are measures that you can take to prevent scorpions from entering your home or business.

  • Bark scorpions can enter a crack as small as 1/16 of an inch, to ensure that any holes or cracks are sealed. Door sweeps can also be helpful in blocking scorpion entrance.
  • Keep the grass short to make it more difficult for these pests to hide.
  • They may also hide among collections of trash, debris, and logs, so these should be kept away from Las Vegas residences and businesses.

How to get rid of scorpions

Though they are generally shy, scorpions can be dangerous. Since you are never quite sure how you’ll react to a scorpion sting, it is best to leave scorpion control to the experts. We have the proper training and equipment to effectively remove scorpions from your property.

If you’re seeing scorpions around your home or business in Las Vegas, give Western Exterminator a call at 800-937-8398 or contact us online. Our pest specialists can take care of your scorpion problem and give you peace of mind.


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