Take the sting out of scorpion prevention
Need to know how to get rid of scorpions? While beneficial in nature by helping control pest populations, even the most fervent nature lover probably doesn’t want these arachnids in their home.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can make your home less attractive to scorpions and get rid of them for good.
What Attracts Scorpions to Your Home?
Scorpions, though larger (and perhaps a little scarier looking) than other common household pests, are attracted to many of the same things that bring in other bugs and critters.
They're arachnids, according to National Geographic, meaning they're from the same family as spiders and are looking for food, water, and places to hide.
Here are some of the things that attract scorpions to your home:
Water sources: Damp basements, leaky pipes, water hoses, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms
Food sources: Termites, flees, crickets, roaches, beetles, spiders, centipedes, and even other scorpions
Shelter sources: Fruit trees, palm trees, tree bark, rocks, wood, and floorboards
If you have large pest populations inside or outside of your home (or both), scorpions may find it an attractive place to set up shop. Consider talking to a pest control pro in your area to help you get rid of these pests if the situation is severe.
How to Know if You Have Scorpions in Your Home
If you’ve seen one scorpion, there’s definitely a chance you’ll find more. While they can be elusive and tend to hide during the day, if your home has a lot of scorpion prey (crickets, roaches, etc.), you could definitely attract scorpions.
Scorpions are most active at night. Here’s where they tend to hide inside your home and out:
Holes in walls and floorboards
Behind your fridge or other large appliances
Inside decor like vases or bowls
Under your bed or in your closet
Leaf and stick piles
Near or in piles of trash
Under logs or rocks
Palm tree fronds
If you really want to see if you have a scorpion problem, invest in a UV flashlight ($10 to $15 online) and search at night. Since scorpions glow under UV light, you’ll be able to easily see them in the dark. But you can also simply check the areas where scorpions tend to linger—just put on long sleeves, pants, high socks, boots, and gloves first.
How to Get Rid of Scorpions
According to MayoClinic, only about 30 out of an estimated 1,500 scorpion species can deliver a fatal sting to humans. But that doesn’t mean it won’t hurt if you get stung or cause adverse reactions.
If you have an infestation or aren’t confident in your DIY pest control skills, it’s best to hire a professional exterminator in your area who can get rid of the scorpions safely for you instead.
If you or a pet gets stung, consult a doctor or veterinarian for next steps. If the area swells or shortness of breath occurs, seek medical attention immediately.
As with other types of pests, it's best to take proper safety precautions before removing them. If you decide to proceed with this DIY, put on long sleeves, pants, high socks, boots, and gloves first to help protect yourself.
Here are six ways to kill scorpions and prevent them from getting into your home again.
1. Diagnose Your Scorpion Issue
Wait until it gets dark to see just how bad your scorpion problem is. Scorpions love to feast on crickets and other bugs, which are attracted to porch lights and other shining objects in your yard at night.
If you want to see what you’re dealing with, shut off your outdoor lights and wait 20 minutes. Then, proceed around your yard with a UV flashlight. Scorpions will glow a neon blue color under UV light. This can help you figure out where they’re hiding and if you have a large problem, which enables you to come up with a game plan to get rid of them.
2. Seal Cracks and Reinforce Screens
Like other pests, scorpions take advantage of opportunities when they’re presented. This could be a gap in your front door or a hole in your bedroom window. That’s why it’s important not to overlook these tiny entrances to your home—seal cracks and reinforce screens as needed and perform window maintenance.
Scorpions commonly enter your home through:
Holes in screens
Large gaps underneath doorways
Cracks in foundation or crawl space
Gaps surrounding plumbing lines
They may also enter through boxes of firewood, potted plants, or secondhand furniture.
3. Use Essential Oils
Scorpions dislike the scents of lavender, cinnamon, peppermint, and cedar—all of which can be found bottled as essential oils.
Once you know the areas where scorpions are frequenting, mix 2 cups of water with 10 to 20 drops of each of these oils and spray these areas as well as entry points around your home to help get rid of scorpions. Bonus: Essential oils repel spiders and mice as well, especially peppermint.
Essential oils are a good way to deter scorpions without killing them, but keep them out of reach of children and pets. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals notes that if pets walk through essential oils, get it on their coats, or ingest it, they can experience health concerns like diarrhea, unsteadiness, vomiting, and more.
4. Set Sticky Traps
Sticky traps make it easy to get rid of scorpions, and you can put them in places where you suspect activity but can’t easily access on a regular basis: behind or under appliances like fridges and stoves, in bathroom or laundry room cabinets, and other spots you suspect these pests could be hiding.
Scorpion sticky traps cost $5 to $8 for a two-pack. Read the instructions on the label, then dispose of them after use.
5. Apply a Scorpion Chemical Spray to Hot Zones
Like other pest control substances, companies make scorpion-killing spray to help get rid of pests. It costs between $15 and $40, depending on the brand.
The most common scorpion deterrent products come as:
Powder dusted in high-traffic areas
Capsules distributed throughout yard/home
Powder mixed with water to form a sticky residue
Carefully read the instruction manual before use to ensure the safety of your family and pets. In most cases, you’ll be instructed to leave the product in areas you’ve seen scorpions and to clean it up or dispose of traps after use. Put on a mask, eye protection, and gloves before application.
6. Use Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is another option for killing scorpions. DE damages the exoskeleton of insects by drying them out, and it’s easily applied in hot spots like the perimeter of your home, behind appliances, in cabinets and closets, and more.
Use food-grade diatomaceous earth only and apply in areas not frequented by pets or children. Wear gloves, goggles, and a face mask during application.
DIY vs. Hire a Pro
If battling arachnids isn't your cup of tea, a local pest control specialist can diagnose the extent of your issue and handle the situation.
The average pest control treatment costs $200 to $600, depending on the severity of the issue. Multiple visits may be recommended or even necessary to ensure they stay away for good.
How to Prevent Scorpions
Once you rid your home or yard of scorpions, there are some steps you can take to make sure they don’t feel welcome to return in a couple of weeks or months.
Clear ground cover (remove rocks and grass clippings, rake leaves, and other debris)
Remove moisture and standing water
Trim overhanging branches
Trim palm tree bark
Remove damp piles of wood/leaves
Keep wood/leave piles and compost piles off the ground
Put boxes on higher shelves in basement/attic
Mow lawn regularly
Repair damaged screens
Avoid overwatering lawn or garden
Still having problems? Call a local lawn pest control expert to help send scorpions packing from your yard.
Frequently Asked Questions
In a house, scorpions tend to live in crawl spaces, attics, in the nooks and crannies of closets and furniture, gaps under doors/windows, and cracks in your foundation. Outside your home, scorpions like to inhabit shady spaces, such as beneath trees.
Scorpion stings can be painful and may result in swelling, tingling, or numbness in the area. The likelihood of a fatal sting from a scorpion is very low, but you should always consult with your doctor to be safe. If you experience shortness of breath or blurry vision after a sting, seek medical attention immediately.
Bigger dogs may react to a scorpion sting similarly to humans. Yes, it will hurt, but it’s not likely to be fatal. However, you should always consult with your veterinarian to be safe in case your pet needs medical attention, pain medication, or has tissue damage or another issue from the sting.
Smaller dogs, however, could experience tremors or shortness of breath after a sting. Seek medical attention for your pet immediately if they’re having adverse reactions.
Scorpions can climb walls with rough surfaces (like stucco siding). They need something to grip onto, which is why they can easily climb on clothes, comforters on beds, and other items in your home.
However, it’s worth noting that scorpions cannot climb clean glass. So if you have a hole or damaged area where scorpions are coming in, a temporary fix may be to secure a piece of glass over the area.