Arizona is known for its warm, sunny weather and unique wildlife, including scorpions. While these arachnids can be found throughout the state, they are particularly common in the desert regions. In this blog post, we will explore the different types of scorpions found in Arizona, their behavior and habitat, as well as tips on how to prevent and handle scorpion encounters.
Types of Scorpions in Arizona
There are several species of scorpions that can be found in Arizona, but the most common is the Arizona bark scorpion. Other species include the desert hairy scorpion, the giant hairy scorpion, and the striped tail scorpion.
Arizona Bark Scorpion
The Arizona bark scorpion is the most venomous scorpion in North America and can be found throughout Arizona. They are typically 2-3 inches in length, and are light tan in color. They have two slender pinchers and a long, thin tail that curves up over their back.
Desert Hairy Scorpion
The desert hairy scorpion is also found throughout Arizona and is one of the largest scorpion species in the state. They can grow up to 5 inches in length and are dark brown in color. They have large pinchers and a thick, furry body.
Giant Hairy Scorpion
The giant hairy scorpion is one of the largest scorpion species in the world and can be found in the southern regions of Arizona. They can grow up to 7 inches in length and are brown in color. They have large pinchers and a thick, furry body.
Striped Tail Scorpion
The striped tail scorpion is a small, harmless species that is found throughout Arizona. They are typically 1-2 inches in length and are light brown in color. They have a thin, striped tail and small pinchers.
Habitat and Behavior
Scorpions in Arizona are typically found in desert regions, but they can also be found in urban areas, particularly during the warmer months when they are searching for food and water. They are active at night and can often be found hiding under rocks, logs, or debris.
Scorpions are nocturnal and feed on a variety of insects, including crickets, roaches, and spiders. They can go several months without food or water, making them resilient in dry desert environments. During the winter months, scorpions will often seek shelter in warm, protected areas, such as inside homes or buildings.
Prevention and Control
To prevent scorpion encounters in and around your home, it is important to take certain precautions. These include:
- Sealing cracks and crevices around windows, doors, and pipes
- Eliminating clutter and debris around your home, such as piles of wood or rocks
- Storing firewood and other materials off the ground
- Using yellow bulbs in outdoor lighting, which are less attractive to insects and, therefore, less attractive to scorpions
- Eliminating standing water around your home, as this can attract insects and, subsequently, scorpions
If you do encounter a scorpion in or around your home, it is important to take appropriate precautions. Scorpions can be dangerous, particularly for small children or those with allergies. To handle a scorpion encounter:
- Wear protective clothing, including gloves and long sleeves
- Use a pair of long-handled tongs to carefully capture the scorpion and place it in a container
- Do not touch or provoke the scorpion, as this can cause it to sting
If you are stung by a scorpion, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms can vary depending on the species of scorpion, but can include pain, swelling, numbness, and difficulty breathing.
Scorpions are a common arachnid found in Arizona, particularly in desert regions. While encounters with scorpions can be frightening, taking precautions such as sealing cracks and crevices, eliminating clutter and debris, and using yellow outdoor lighting can help prevent scorpion encounters in and around your home. If you do encounter a scorpion, it is important to handle it with caution and wear protective clothing. Seeking medical attention immediately after a sting is also important. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the warm, sunny weather of Arizona while minimizing the risk of scorpion encounters.