A person does not have to live in the southwest to know that scorpions inflict potentially deadly stings, but Arizona residents know that scorpions are also common house pests. Scorpion sting fatalities are exceptionally rare in the US thanks to the accessibility of antivenin treatments within hospitals, but the most commonly encountered scorpion species in Arizona kills numerous people in Mexico every year. This species is commonly known as the Arizona bark scorpion, and it can be recognized for its light yellowish-brown color, thin tail, and 3 inch body length.
The Arizona bark scorpion is the only scorpion species in the US that frequently climbs vertical surfaces, and this ability makes them the most commonly encountered scorpions within Arizona homes. In their natural habitat, Arizona bark scorpions do not burrow into the ground like most scorpions; instead they burrow in tree bark and within crevices on rocky cliffs. These scorpions are often found congregating on the exterior walls of homes where they can easily gain indoor access through windows, utility gaps and attic vents. Arizona bark scorpions are attracted to moisture within homes, and they can squeeze through cracks as narrow as 1/16 of an inch in order to enter homes.
The Arizona hairy scorpion is another species that is much larger than the Arizona bark scorpion, but this species is not considered a significant indoor pest. At maturity, Arizona hairy scorpions can reach 7 inches in length, and like most scorpions they nest within ground-burrows and beneath rocks and wood piles. Although these scorpions are rarely found within homes, they are sometimes spotted in garages and beneath objects in residential yards. They feed at night, and due to their attraction to water, they sometimes congregate around swimming pools. Occasionally, Arizona hairy scorpions enter homes in search of water, and they are usually found in dark cool areas in kitchens and bathrooms, as well as closets, crawl spaces and even attics.
Have you ever found an Arizona hairy scorpion in your home?