I don't want to spend too much time talking about scorpions, because they are pretty gross, but there were lots of comments and questions on my FB page when the previous post (about Henry getting stung) went up, and I thought I would quickly answer them here.
Before we moved out here to Arizona, I was concerned about scorpions, but my sister-in-law, who has lived here for 6 years, assured me she had only seen scorpions twice in her house that whole time. That didn't seem too bad!
When we got the RESPA disclosure documents from the seller of our house, she noted that she had seen scorpions, but the way it was worded on the document made it seem like it was a rare occurrence. So you can imagine my dismay when our very first afternoon at the house we found a LIVE scorpion in the carpet in the living room. We went on to find several more the next day, and all together we found about 20 scorpions IN THE HOUSE that first week. Elliott and the kids also had great fun using the black light we borrowed from my cousin to go scorpion hunting around the outside of the house at night. They killed 11 the first night, and 6-7 each of the remaining nights of that first week.
Needless to say, we called an exterminator right away. He sprayed the inside and the outside of the house, but I'm not sure it made much of a dent in the scorpion numbers. When spraying for insects, scorpions aren't super affected because of their hard exo-skeleton. The spraying does however get rid of their prey, and after that first spray, we were privileged to find lots of dead roaches outside the perimeter of the house! Lovely.
It doesn't seem to me like the spraying did too much. We do see less scorpions now, last week we were killing about 2 a day inside the house, and this week we have seen slightly less than that, but as we move into Fall and Winter, the scorpions will start to go dormant on their own.
When we talk to the many Mesa residents we have met here so far, they are always shocked at the number of scorpions we have found in our house. Even for a home that is in a former orange grove, which tend to have more scorpions than the average neighborhood, we have larger than normal numbers.
We have spoken with two of our neighbors who have lived in the neighborhood since it was first built, about 25 years ago. They both said, separately, that they never saw scorpions around their houses until a couple of years ago.
The scorpion that stung Henry was an Arizona Bark Scorpion. I found a blog post written on the Orange Dragonfly blog from September 2010 that mentioned these scorpions. Here is what she said:
About 40-60 species occur in Arizona, the Bark Scorpion (Centruroides exilicauda) is the only species in Arizona of medical importance. In the USA the bark scorpion is found in southeastern California, Arizona, Nevada, southern Utah, and southwestern New Mexico. It is most commonly found under rocks, logs, tree bark, and other surface objects. The bark scorpion (1-3 inches in length) is the most commonly encountered house scorpion. They are common throughout many habitats but almost always in rocky areas. This is the one we most often see hanging out unwanted on our living room floor.