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Mr. Pest Control Question: Can scorpions live in the attic when the temperature is around 130 degrees?

Answer:

There are companies now that advertise to do heat treatments of structures to eliminate bed bugs, termites, and scorpions, and the temperature they apparently attempt to achieve is 140-150 degrees, but their websites do not state what the high end temperature is for scorpions. Bed bugs we know cannot withstand 120 degrees for more than about 30 minutes, but scorpions are probably tougher critters. Certainly, they are adapted to living in extremely hot climates, and since parts of Nevada and Arizona will hit 120 degrees outside, that temperature does not wipe them out. Of course, when temps get that hot the scorpions will all have holed up somewhere that is cooler and dark, so their little micro-environment likely is well below the air temperature.

I would bet that even in an attic that gets to 130 degrees the scorpions will move to seek a cooler place, and this may be beneath the insulation. I suspect that the temperature below the insulation that rests on sheetrock would be much cooler, as it would be cooled by the air in the living areas below. We know that bed bugs will do this too, rapidly moving to avoid temperatures that are getting too hot for their comfort, and this is one way to spread them around in apartments. A number of websites stated that scorpions “prefer” temperatures from about 75 to 99 degrees, so they are comfortable and active at that pretty high temp. Above that they probably start looking for cover.

My personal guess is that a scorpion might die if kept at a sustained temperature of 130 degrees, but that they probably find places well below that temperature by moving under things in the attic. It would be interesting to put a thermometer in the open space in an attic as well as under the insulation, and compare to see how much difference there is.

Mr. Pest Control

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