Bug Blog

Do Homes In The Southwest Desert Region Become Infested By Scorpions, Tarantulas And Other Arthropods That Cannot Be Found In Any Other US Region?

Due to the relatively massive size of the United States, the country contains numerous types of ecosystems, or “ecoregions,” to use the proper term. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 12 broad ecoregions exist within the contiguous US. As far as most laymen are concerned, America’s ecoregions consist of the desert southwest, the Rockies, the Great Plains, the rainy Pacific Northwest, the subtropical southeast, and forested regions in the east and northeast. While each of these regions are home to different types  of arthropod species, recent research suggests that the most common types of arthropod pests found within homes do not differ much by region.

While some arthropod groups can be found in every region of the US, such as cockroaches and flies, many other arthropods can only be found in one or two ecoregions. For example, most people would confidently state that scorpions and tarantulas are unique to the southwest desert region, but scorpions can also be found in the humid southeastern states and as far north as Kentucky. Tarantulas can be found in northern California, the Rocky Mountains, and the Great Plains of Kansas and Oklahoma. Entomologists state that many more tarantula species have yet to be documented in the US, and 14 new tarantulas were discovered in the country in 2016. These recently discovered tarantula species were all found in the desert southwest, with the exception of one species that was found in northern California.

A recent study carried out by researchers in North Carolina found that the most common arthropod species found within homes do not differ by ecoregion, so the most common indoor arthropods found in Arizona, are, for the most part, the very same ones found in homes in the northeast. Surprisingly, the researchers also found that homes located in various regions of the world contain the same arthropod species found in US homes.

Most of the arthropod species found in homes worldwide are not categorized as pests. However, the most common indoor arthropod species found within all homes surveyed were cockroaches and flies, which are certainly pests. The study’s authors stated that cockroaches were found in 74 percent of homes surveyed, and various subterranean termite species were found in 28 percent of homes.

While Arizona homes see the same types of arthropod pests found in homes located within any other region of the world, the state is unique for the high rate of bark scorpion infestations reported to pest control professionals. Bark scorpions also invade homes in California, New Mexico and Texas, but infestations in these states are not nearly as common as they are in Arizona. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Africanized honey bee nests and sting incidents on residential properties are reported within Arizona. Therefore, it is probable that these invasive and dangerous honey bees are the most unique indoor insect pests within Arizona.

Have you ever found multiple tarantulas within your home?