Scorpions are arachnids that have been around for over 400 million years. Of the over 2,000 known scorpion species, around 25 have venom capable of killing a human. In Las Vegas, Nevada, the bark scorpion is the most common scorpion found, and its sting can be life-threatening, especially for small children. While scorpion encounters are common in the desert climate, there are ways to help prevent scorpions from invading your Las Vegas home or business.
An Overview of Scorpions in Las Vegas
The two most common scorpions found in the Las Vegas valley are the bark scorpion and the desert hairy scorpion.
The Bark Scorpion
The bark scorpion is small, usually 2.5-3 inches long, and tan to light brown in color. It likes to hide in dark, cool spaces and is nocturnal, so it will come out at night to hunt for food. This scorpion can climb walls and crawl into cracks, crevices, and tiny openings. The bark scorpion is venomous and its sting causes severe pain, numbness, and swelling. It can be life-threatening, especially for young children.
The Desert Hairy Scorpion
The desert hairy scorpion is one of the largest scorpions in North America, around 5-7 inches long. It is light yellow with darker markings on its body and legs. The desert hairy scorpion likes to burrow underground during the day and come out at night to hunt. Its sting is painful but is not considered life-threatening. However, those allergic may still have a severe reaction.
Both of these scorpions are common throughout Clark County, including Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, North Las Vegas and surrounding areas. Scorpions in Las Vegas can be found around homes, in yards, gardens, parks and golf courses. They may also wander indoors, especially in older homes or structures where openings and cracks allow access.
Signs of a Scorpion Infestation
Watch for these signs that scorpions may have invaded your Las Vegas property:
- Sighting a scorpion – These pests come out at night to hunt so are rarely seen during the day. Use a blacklight at night to detect their presence.
- Small holes in walls, floors – Scorpions can crawl into tiny cracks and crevices. Note openings around plumbing pipes, cracks in the foundation, etc.
- Pet reactions – Pets that spend time outdoors like dogs and cats may bark, growl or paw at scorpions.
- Bug carcasses – You may find dead roaches, spiders, crickets that scorpions have eaten.
- Scorpion exoskeletons – As scorpions grow, they shed their outer shell. Finding the leftover exoskeleton indicates scorpions.
If you have been stung by a scorpion inside your home, or find other signs of scorpions like those listed above, it likely indicates an infestation on your property that needs professional pest control.
Dangers and Symptoms of Scorpion Stings
Scorpion stings are painful and can cause severe reactions, depending on the species. Here is what to expect if stung:
- Bark scorpion – This scorpion’s venom is potent neurotoxin. The pain is immediate and intense. Other symptoms include numbness, tingling, swelling, twitching. Symptoms can last 24-72 hours and the toxin can cause respiratory distress, especially in children. Seek medical care immediately if stung.
- Desert hairy scorpion – The sting causes instant pain, swelling, tingling, numbness. Symptoms are usually mild but seek medical care if you have an allergic reaction.
- All scorpions – Possible allergic reaction which could be life-threatening. Seek emergency medical care if stung and suffering from any of these: swelling of the throat and tongue, difficulty breathing, blurred vision, drooling or frothing at the mouth, nausea, vomiting, sweating.
How Scorpions Get in Your Home
Scorpions are sneaky and can squeeze through tiny openings. They also like dark, damp, cool areas. Here are the main ways scorpions can enter your home:
- Open doors/windows – Any doors or windows left open allow easy access for scorpions to come inside. Always keep doors/windows shut. Install weather stripping around doors.
- Gaps in foundation – Any cracks, gaps or openings in the home’s foundation are perfect entry points. Seal all foundation openings with caulk or concrete.
- Attic access – Openings around attic vents, pull down ladders or stairs can let scorpions into the attic. Seal any gaps.
- Cracks in walls – Plaster walls can develop cracks over time which scorpions use to enter. Seal all interior and exterior wall cracks.
- Around plumbing pipes – Openings around water pipes, gas pipes or electrical conduit allow scorpions in from the walls. Seal with caulk.
- Under doors – Any doors that don’t fit tightly to thresholds provide access. Install door sweeps on exterior doors.
- Pet doors – Pet doors need flaps or magnetic closures to keep scorpions from coming inside through the opening.
- Vents/Drains – Bathroom and kitchen vents, floor drains, wet bar drains that aren’t properly sealed allow scorpions in from the outside.
How To Keep Scorpions Away from Your Las Vegas Home
Here are the top tips for scorpion prevention around your home to help keep these pests from entering your house:
1. Seal Entry Points
Caulk and seal any cracks, openings or gaps that could allow scorpions into your home. This includes around windows, doors, the foundation, attic openings, pipes, vents, etc. Steel wool or copper mesh can also be used to plug small openings.
2. Keep The Perimeter Clear
Scorpions like to hide under debris and clutter. Keep at least a 3 foot clearance between exterior walls and items like lumber, firewood, yard debris. Move wood piles, compost bins and trash cans away from the house.
3. Use Exterior Lighting
Install outdoor lighting and keep it on at night. The light will help discourage scorpions from approaching the house since they prefer darkness. Avoid bug zapper lights – they may actually attract scorpions to feed on dead insects.
4. Remove Their Shelter
Get rid of items around the exterior of your home that scorpions could hide or nest under – yard debris, leaves, stacked wood, lumber, bricks, etc. Also check for scorpions under pots or garden items before moving them.
5. Keep Grass Short
Don’t give scorpions places to hide outdoors. Keep the grass trimmed short and shrubs and bushes near the house neatly trimmed. Remove any leaf litter and clear tall vegetation away from the home’s perimeter.
6. Use Gravel/Sand Barriers
Scorpions don’t like walking over rough gravel or sand. Create 3 foot gravel barriers around the home’s foundation. Also consider adding a layer of sand or gravel under decks and elevated porches.
7. Spray Pesticides
Insecticide sprays applied around the home’s exterior can help deter scorpions. Products with ingredients like lambda-cyhalothrin, gamma-cyhalothrin and deltamethrin work on scorpions. Apply every 2-4 weeks.
8. Manage Moisture
Scorpions need moisture, so don’t over-water outdoors. Fix leaky pipes, clear rain gutters and downspouts to manage moisture. Use dehumidifiers indoors if needed to keep humidity below 50%.
9. Check Items Before Moving
Scorpions like to hide in dark, sheltered spots outdoors. Always check under any items sitting near the house – lumber, firewood, pots, furniture – before moving them indoors.
10. Be Careful Outdoors
When outside in the evening or at night, wear shoes and long pants. Use a blacklight to check for scorpions before sitting down. Be extra cautious around pool areas at night.
How To Find and Remove Scorpions
Even with preventative measures, scorpions may still occasionally enter the home. Here are tips for locating and removing scorpions if spotted indoors:
- Stay calm – Scorpions often hide if they sense vibrations. Move slowly and quietly.
- Limit their escape – Close interior doors so the scorpion can’t access the rest of the house.
- Turn off lights – Darkness will lure the scorpion out into view. Use a blacklight to spot them.
- Use protective gear – Wear thick gloves and closed toe shoes in case the scorpion stings when trying to capture it.
- Capture and contain – Use tongs, a trowel or shovel to scoop up the scorpion and quickly place it into a lidded plastic container.
- Flush down toilet – Once captured, flush the scorpion down the toilet. Just make sure the lid is tightly sealed.
- Seek medical care if stung – Clean the sting area with soap and water. Apply a cool compress to relieve swelling. Watch for any allergic reactions.
- Call a professional – Rather than risk being stung, call a pest control professional to properly locate and remove scorpions.
Signs of a Scorpion Infestation in Your Home
Seeing one scorpion occasionally may just mean a random invader. But if you spot multiple scorpions, find them frequently, or have been stung inside your home, that likely signals an infestation on your property requiring professional pest control. Other signs include:
- Scorpion exoskeletons – their shed outer shells
- Dead insects – roaches, spiders, crickets that scorpions have eaten
- Pets acting agitated – stung or detecting scorpions
- Holes in walls, floors – allowing them access into wall voids and gaps
- Scorpions at night around exterior lights – attracted to insects
If scorpions have become established on your property, it will take a professional pest control company to fully eliminate them, both inside the home and around the exterior landscaping.
Professional Scorpion Control in Las Vegas
Eliminating a scorpion infestation requires specifically targeted treatments from a qualified pest control professional. Here are services a good pest control company will provide:
- Inspection – Thorough inspection to find entry points and areas scorpions are accessing
- Exclusion work – Caulking, sealing openings, installing door sweeps, etc to block access
- Treating scorpion harborage areas – In cracks, crevices, wall voids where scorpions hide and nest
- Outdoor treatments – Along home’s exterior, foundation, attic vents, landscaping
- Dust insecticides – Fine dusts applied into wall voids and cracks
- Liquid spray treatments – Treatments around exterior doors, windows, weep holes
- Granular treatments – Long-lasting granules sprinkled near foundation, landscaping
- Follow-up inspections/treatments – To ensure elimination and prevent re-infestations
For the safest, most effective elimination of scorpions around your Las Vegas property, hire a reputable, licensed pest control company that specializes in scorpion removal and prevention services.
Why Pest Control For Scorpions is Essential
Trying to control scorpions yourself can be difficult, dangerous and often ineffective. Professional pest control is highly recommended because:
- Specific treatments – Pest control pros have specialized tools and insecticides proven effective on scorpions. DIY products are not as reliable.
- Training & experience – Exterminators are specially trained and experienced in safely finding and eliminating scorpions.
- Protective gear – Technicians wear protective clothing and are prepared to safely capture scorpions to remove from your home.
- Timing of application – Professionals know when scorpions are active and most exposed to treatments.
- Peace of mind – Once the pros eliminate the infestation, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your home is scorpion-free.
- Warranty – Most pest companies provide a warranty so if scorpions return, they’ll retreat to eliminate them at no charge.
Scorpions are common pests throughout the Las Vegas valley that can enter homes and deliver a painful, medically significant sting. There are steps homeowners can take to exclude scorpions and make properties less appealing to them. But the most effective form of scorpion control is professional pest management. A qualified exterminator has the expertise and proper insecticides to eliminate scorpions on your property and implement preventative services. This provides the safest solution to protect your home and family from the dangers of scorpions.