Everything you never wanted to know about scorpions in Chandler AZ

Chandler AZ Scorpions

Scorpions in Chandler AZ

When I moved to Arizona in 2001, I killed over 90 scorpions in my Chandler home in a year. You can just call me “Scorpion Queen”.

The first one I found under the sink in my master bedroom the night I moved in. At first, I thought it was a centipede and chased it around with a tissue. UNTIL…it stopped and raised its tail scorpion style. I screamed like a little girl until my 77 year old father came to my rescue and swatted at the scorpion with his foam slipper (I finally squashed it with a hammer). SURPRISE and welcome to your first night in Arizona!

Where do scorpions live in Chandler? Hmm.. everywhere, but that doesn’t necessarily mean…everywhere. Do I have them in my new house now? No.

There are things you should know that can help you find a scorpion-less home, but there are NO guarantees… They were here first.

You need to know that the Bark scorpion that lives in Chandler and the surrounding Valley likes shady, wet places – so they especially like the underground irrigation lines typically found in citrus orchards. Here in the Valley, Developers have taken over many of the old orchards and built homes on that ground, so it’s not surprising to know that often times those communities tend to have more scorpions.

Note: Just because your neighbor has scorpions doesn’t mean you will and just because your neighbor doesn’t have scorpions doesn’t mean that you won’t. Scorpions are considered territorial and if they like a place, they’ll stay put.

Because scorpions like damp places, there is usually a higher population in places like golf course fairways and such. But, they also like dry, rocky areas too. So, if your home borders a mountain preserve, that could be a place more likely to find scorpions.

Question: How do you know if a home has scorpions before you buy it? There isn’t ONE sure way to know, although Seller’s DO have an obligation to disclose, but just because they have an obligation to disclose, doesn’t mean they WILL.

If your Realtor® specializes in a certain area, they can be especially helpful as he or she will often have a knowledge of the areas where scorpions have been an issue. But again, a Realtor® isn’t an expert on all communities.

What do you do if you see a scorpion? Relax. Buy yourself an Arizona Fly Swatter (a hammer) for every room.

Then, get rid of any crickets, roaches or spiders – the scorpion’s food supply. A good pest control company can help there.

Adopt a cat. Cats are a natural predator of scorpions. Or a chicken. Chickens love to eat scorpions. Although having a chicken in the city could be a problem with HOA rules & zoning – so you’ll want to check that out first.

You will be told that insecticides won’t work on scorpions but, a couple that come highly recommended are Cykick Bug Spray & Delta Eight Granules.

Consider having your home professionally sealed not hermetically sealed. Most local pest control companies offer this service and will seal any possible scorpion entry spots.

Lastly, get a black light and a hammer a.k.a. Arizona Flyswatter and scour your home and yard after dark. Scorpions glow in the dark and will appear a yellow-green color under a black light. I even installed black lights in my bathroom. It was like a 70’s disco in there, but I never stepped on one.

I’m glad to say I’ve not been stung by a scorpion. I’ve heard the sting is not fun but also not usually life threatening. You can take comfort in knowing that no one has died from a scorpion sting in over 40 years and Arizona does have antivenin, so if you get stung & get the emergency treatment you’ll be ok.

About The Amy Jones Group

Mindy Jones Nevarez is the owner of Amy Jones Group Keller Williams Integrity First. The Amy Jones Real Estate Group has been recognized as the #1 Real Estate Team in Chandler by the Phoenix Business Journal and voted Best of Our Valley for 4 years.

The Amy Jones Group specializes in real estate in Chandler, Sun Lakes, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Ahwatukee, and Phoenix.

Comments

  1. I was stung four times by the same Bark Scorpion. Sitting at a drive through dry cleaner, while I was handing my clothes to the young lady, I felt a sharp needle like pain in my left inner thigh, then another (picture me trying to get a seat belt off simultaneously), and another and another.

    I jumped (flew?) out of the car, shook my shorts vigorously, and out he dropped.

    I scooped him up in an envelope, not knowing if like snake bites, there might be anti-venom specific to each species of scorpion.

    I immediately began shaking, though to this day, I could not tell you if it was from an inner fear of knowing what happened or from the venom.

    I asked one of the kids at the drive in to take me to a nearby “Urgent Clinic”. They sat me down, and after determining I did not seem to be allergic, got a yellow pages book and called the Poison Control Center.

    They put me on the phone, and said there was really nothing to do as long as I showed no allergic reactions.

    I drove home and tried not to focus on the pain. It was extraordinary. It is not like a “bee sting”. Much more powerful. I couldn’t work or even focus on work that day or the next, but by day three, though still in pain, it was quite manageable.

    The poison control people called me about every other hour around the clock for the first 24 hours. Good people, very good people!

    It was after this that I read everything I could about the critters. One thing I remember coming across is that the Bark Scorpion is the only US scorpion that can walk/climb vertically, so if you find one anywhere “up”, it’s a Bark.

    He is also our worst scorpion (out of 31 species if I remember right) in terms of toxin, but Amy is correct, though painful they are not deadly.

    I bought a powerful black light, and found out just how much they luminance. Wow, they light up like a Christmas tree, except they are a yellowish color.

    Unlike Amy, I relocate them respecting that they have been here for millions of years. My wife however uses a hammer. We live in Ahwatukee, against the preserve and scorpions like the coyotes and owls and occasional javalenas all play their part in the great southwest.

  2. Wow, Philip! Congrats on surviving 4 stings! I commend you for respecting the scorpion and relocating them. You’re like a scorpion realtor! I relocated all of my scorpions too…right to the garbage can. I think your wife has the right idea. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Joyce says:

    Is there anywhere in Arizona that is scorpion free? I am thinking of buying a home there but the scorpions are blocking me.

  4. Hi Joyce,
    You know there are scorpions in the desert, but that doesn’t mean all homes have them. Your neighbor might have them and you won’t and vice versa. I live in Sun Lakes and I have never seen a scorpion on my property, but I do know some neighbors around the golf course that have seen a few.

    You’re not likely to find scorpions in the higher elevations where you have the 4 seasons, but the desert is the scorpions preferred habitat. They especially like the mountain reserve areas and communities that are built on former citrus orchards (where they like to live in the underground irrigation lines). And, they like damp grassy areas and certain types of palm trees. A qualified Realtor can help you identify potential scorpion issues when you’re looking at homes. Additionally, Scorpions are a disclosure issue. If a seller has scorpions they must disclose that in the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement.

    I know they sound scary, but don’t let the fear of scorpions deter you from relocating to the area.
    Remember that Scorpions are rarely deadly (unless you have an allergic reaction or decreased immune system…so I’m told).

    Remember, if you live in Arizona, at least you don’t have to worry about hurricanes, tornadoes, earth quakes, floods, or masses of mosquitos!

  5. Joyce says:

    Hi Amy and thank you for responding, unfortuantly I have a low immune system so I will have to research the higher elevation area’s.

    I have seen pictures of Arizona and it is very very beautiful there hopefully in about two years I will be there maybe less, in the meantime i’m doing research on it.

    Thank you :)

  6. Jenny says:

    I have found two scorpions in my house. First, what is the best way to get rid of them and second is there something I can do to prevent getting them?

  7. Hi Jenny,
    This time of year especially, scorpions are coming inside to look for water. The #1 thing you can do is remove the scorpions food supply…yummy crickets, so make sure you treat your property regularly for these.

    You can also do a black light search around your home after dark (you can find black light flashlights at a hardware store). Scorpions like to hide in crevices of block walls, and under the weep screen (where your stucco meets the stem wall of your home..down near the bottom of the outside wall). Take your Arizona flyswatter (a hammer) and when you see the green glow in the black light…smash those little buggers.

    There is a chemical you can find online or at Bug and Weed Mart in the Valley. It’s call “Suspend”. I hear it works really well too.

    If you notice any more scorpions, inside I would recommend sealing your home (all the cracks and crevices, around pipes, doors, windows etc). There are companies that will do this for a fee or you can do it yourself.

    Good luck and make sure you check your shoes before you put them on!

  8. It figures that I just got notice of approval on my dream house in Gilbert, and now that I have the disclosure…what’s on it? SCORPIONS!
    Of course the disclosure doesn’t give much info, they really don’t have to give any, so now I’m researching. It seems that these pests once in your yard/house are almost impossible to get rid of unless you want a dozen or more chickens running around. I don’t even like ants in my house, I won’t be able to deal with scorpions. My dream house has a beautifully landscaped backyard – including Palm Trees – I heard Scorpions love them, great. My excitement of this move and house has turned into fear of living with scorpions. Which is true? You CAN rid your yard and house of them permanently or you WILL have to learn to live with them forever, checking each night with black lights, running around with a hammer…ugg doesn’t sound like fun.

    -T

  9. Hi T~
    I have heard of homeowners who have rid their homes of scorpions by taking many of the actions in my post. The people who live in the home I had with the scorpion problem, now are scorpion free…so it is possible.

    Sealing the home and ridding it of the scorpion’s food supply (Crickets) are the best moves you can make. There are also chemicals that are helpful…Check out Bug and Weed Mart for those. Do you like cats? Cats are also the natural predator of scorpions…have to leave their claws on them though as that’s how they kill the scorpion.
    Good luck!!

  10. Hi Janice~
    I’m really not sure. I know we have them in Arizona.

  11. Theresa says:

    We moved to our current home 3 years ago and the previous owner failed to mention the problem of scorpions on the property. In fact, they specifically said “NO” on the Seller’s Disclosure question that asked if they’d seen scorpions on the property. We live off Cooper/Elliot in Summer Meadows and the first night we moved in, we saw two scorpions on the driveway. Our neighbors also have them, but apparently not nearly as bad as we do. Three years later, they are worse than ever. We’ve tried lots of things – we paid $900 for the home seal, monthly pest control on top of Cy-Kick spray/granules from Bug/Weed Mart on our own to double up the spray. We don’t keep any debris lying around the house, glue boards all over the garage and inside the house, and we have two cats. Unfortunately every year they’ve gotten worse. Just this week alone, one fell into the tub from the clean-out drain when my husband was getting the bath ready for our 20 month old. Saw another one last night on the carpet outside of the baby’s room and this morning I found a tiny one smaller than my pinky nail on our master bedroom wall. We find them everywhere – mostly babies – throughout the house, alive and healthy, yet when we go outside at night with a black light, we only find one or two. It’s horrible living in fear, due to the fact they could be dangerous for our 20 month old and 8 year old. Your home should be your sanctuary, but instead ours is a place where we’re never comfortable, always shaking everything, watching every step we take. Whether using the restroom or wanting to curl up on the couch to relax, you have to spend a few minutes shaking everything out first. The worst part is, we’re over $100k upside down in the home and can’t move if we wanted to. And because we’re honest, we wouldn’t feel comfortable lying on the disclosure report like our sellers did – but who on earth would want to buy a home infested with baby scorpions??? I hear lots of people saying they take the above steps and never see them again…unfortunately that hasn’t been our experience. Our guess is they’re in our walls and attic and continue to mate so we continue to see them everywhere inside. The home seal worked…they’re sealed inside. Fun times.

  12. Oh Theresa…that sound horrible. Sounds like a scorpion had babies in your house…and the babies are the worst. I wish I had something more I could tell you. The cat (declawed) is a natural predator of the scorpion and so are chickens. I’m guessing the chickens aren’t an option.

  13. So many things to respond too. I saw your other blog and posted there, so I’ll do the same here.

    4 Principles of Scorpion Control

    -Alter the structure so that it is not accessible (home sealing)
    -Alter the environment so that it is not hospitable
    -Black Light Collection
    -Chemical Controls that target the scorpions.

    These are also in order of importance. The more you implement the greater your level of control.

    Scorpions are capable of going 6-12 months without feeding, if you are going to try and starve them to death or to leaving, you will be disappointed. As for what materials work best, unless you are going to invest in hundreds of dollars in the equipment to apply it, leave that for the professionals. But micro-encapsulated and wettable powders are the “best” of the sprays. Synthetic dusts are the most effective. DE, not as good as advertised as it takes 4-10 days to kill a scorpion from exposure. And do not use pool grade DE, it is potentially carcinogenic. Only use DE that is labeled for pest control to ensure that is properly refined.

    Cats and chickens… Cats are great predators, but we have domesticated them so not all cats have good instincts. Contrary to what is believed, cats are not immune to scorpion venom, they are just that agile in not getting stung. Chickens are not reliable because they are diurnal and scorpions nocturnal, so there isn’t much time for them to be out and about at the same time. (side note: every home that I have done black light inspections on that had a chicken coop, the majority of the scorpions where in the coop)

    And the smaller scorpion being more dangerous is heresay and not based in fact. Check UoA’s cooperative extension for confirmation.

    Theresa, not all professional scorpion management is created equal, there are many outfits willing to accept your money and are incapable of performing as consumers expect. If all they do is spray, they are doing it wrong. As for what you are spraying, most homeowners, when they go to the bug weed mart under and over apply at the same time. (it is possible).
    Also, I would have your seal reinspected because I don’t believe it is performing to standards. Likewise did they seal the eaves? Many companies do not and because the bark scorpion is such an excellent climber they are able to access the home via the roof line. AS for the scorpion in the tub… the space under the tub is only accessible via the walls which leads me to believe your seal is not as good as advertised. I will leave it up to Amy, but if she wants to forward my info onto you she can. Advice is free, and if you time check out my blog it has some articles that everyone here would find useful. Blog.Lightsoutexterminating.com

  14. In late July I was finding small scorpions in the house (a first after having moved in 4 years ago). I organized my upcoming departure for vacation with setting off 5 bug bombs as I left the house. Warning: The gas MUST be shut off BEFORE releasing the bug bombs. I called Southwest Gas to notify them I had turned off the gas and they agreed to turn re-light the pilots upon my return (no charge).

    Upon my return a month later, 5 dead scorpions were in the kitchen! In the next two weeks I found 6 more dead ones early in the day. They had not been there the night before. Since then I’ve discovered 4 alive (less than 1/2″ babies) in the master bathroom tub, and today I found one 1″ live one in the master water closet and a VERY active 2 1/2″ one in the guest bathroom.

    The good new is that the bug bombs worked beautifully, but the bad news is that I obviously have an infestation which will be brought under control this weekend. I’m gong to war; borrowing my neighbor’s black light, visiting the Bug & Weed Mart and arming myself with an Arizona Flyswatter. In the future I would use the bug bombs when I’ll be away more than a few days and can find someone who will care for my pets at their home until it’s safe to re-enter.

    I’m certain my desert landscaping creates an ideal environment for them. I won’t change my landscaping, but I will make it increasingly challenging for them to stay – alive!

  15. Hi KT~
    Thanks for the comment. I never knew bug bombs would work on Scorpions. Good to hear and thanks so much for sharing!

  16. First visit, I know I’m VERY late to the party, but oh well.

    First, ONLY 90 scorpions in a year? Shucks, I just finished killing 17 tonight. Missed 5 of the blighters, though…

    I will have to admit that this is a much larger number than usual. In past years, when I start at the beginning of the summer I usually start at 12 or less the first time, and decreasing thereafter until I get to the point that I only hunt every other day or so.

    I like the ‘arizona flyswatter’ name for a hammer. I used to use a small sledge hammer, which worked VERY nicely in rocks – you could just pound the rocks and kill the scorpion most of the time – but got tired of scorpion goo splattering in my face, so I switched to a putty knife. For killing them on a block wall, just swipe a 4″ putty knife over them and poof, they’re toast and you don’t wear them (and they NEVER get away. I’ve had trouble hitting them with a hammer, and a ‘normal’ flyswatter works great when they are on the wall but not so much when they’re in the rocks). The 1″ putty knife is best for when the’re on the rocks (we have what I consider large rocks – 1″ to 3″ diameter). Recently I couldn’t find my putty knives, so I dug around and found an 8″ piece of metal that worked great when held in Vise Grips (tm by someone, probably). The metal is very similar to the 90-degree angle stuff that shelves are sometimes made of. Mine is about 1″ on each side and forms a 90″ L or V. You can dig in the rocks to pursue them quite nicely, much better than the putty knife OR the sledge.

    In the past, we’ve averaged 1 scorpion inside about once every month or so. Just this year we’ve seen (and killed, of course!) at least 10, so it feels like they’ve suddenly increased greatly.

    In Texas (yes, Dorothy, they have scorpions in Texas) I had a scorpion drop out of my shoe when I checked it (I was the only one in my family who always checked their shoes…). For future reference, when you tap your shoe on the ground to shake the scorpions out, do NOT sit on the floor with the shoe in the area immediately past your body! (Yes, I speak from experience – previous sentence).

    We have chickens and a dog, so the nasty poisons are not a viable option IMHO (and we love the eggs). The chickens SEEM to help reduce the scorpion population where they roam, but as I say I just killed 17, and 14 of those were in the non-chicken area. In the chicken area, I’m pretty sure they are coming over the fence from the neighbor. Or something.

    I hear that skunks eat scorpions also, and are night animals (I think), so maybe we should all go get skunks! ;-)

    (I am considering trying to seal the house, but currently the cost makes that not a good option either)