Scorpions are predatory arachnids that have been around for hundreds of millions of years. There are over 2,500 known scorpion species, with about 30-40 found in the U.S. Though only around 25 species have strong enough venom to harm humans, getting stung by any scorpion is an unpleasant experience.
While scorpions may look intimidating, they are actually quite fragile creatures that prefer to avoid contact with humans. Scorpions do not intentionally seek out human homes, but are attracted by food sources, places to hide, and warmth that they can find inside. The good news is that there are many effective, natural ways to deter scorpions and prevent them from entering your home.
In this blog post, we will delve into what scorpions hate and simple tips you can use to make your home unappealing to these arachnids. Read on to learn how to keep scorpions out of your house and properly handle an infestation.
Why Scorpions Enter Homes
Scorpions are primarily active at night and like to hide in dark, damp locations during the day. They enter homes in search of food, water, protection, and shelter. Common reasons scorpions find their way indoors include:
- Food sources: Scorpions feed on insects, spiders, centipedes, and other small invertebrates. They may come inside a home following ants or other pest trails. They are also drawn to moisture which attracts their prey.
- Shelter: Scorpions seek out small crevices, cracks, and holes to hide in during the day. They can find their way into homes through tiny openings and gaps in foundations, walls, attics, and crawl spaces.
- Warm temperatures: Scorpions prefer temperatures between 70°F to 100°F. They may enter homes in search of warmth during colder months.
- Water: Scorpions require moisture to survive. They are attracted to damp areas like bathrooms, basements, and leaks in plumbing.
- Accidental entry: Scorpions sometimes find their way indoors accidentally in firewood, grocery bags, boxes, and other items stored in the garage or near the home.
When Are Scorpions Most Active?
Scorpion activity depends on the species and geographic location. In general:
- Scorpion mating season is typically early summer. During this time of year, scorpions are more active and likely to wander into homes.
- In hot, desert climates like Arizona and New Mexico, scorpions are most active March through October when nighttime temperatures range from 70°F to 90°F.
- In temperate regions, scorpions are more commonly found from May through September. But they may become active during warmer spells in spring and fall.
- Scorpions tend to be less active in the winter months when temperatures dip below 55°F at night. But they can still find their way indoors on warmer winter days.
Check local pest control resources to find out when scorpion season peaks in your area. Be extra vigilant about keeping scorpions out during their most active times.
What Do Scorpions Dislike? How to Repel Them
Now that you know why scorpions enter homes, let’s look at natural ways to make your home unwelcoming and encourage them to stay away. Scorpions have a strong sense of smell and dislike certain fragrances, textures, and environments. Here are some of their biggest deterrents:
Scorpions rely heavily on scent to sense danger and find food and mates. Strong odors repel them and prevent them from picking up the scents that attract them to a location. Some scents scorpions hate include:
- Peppermint oil – Peppermint oil is one of the most effective scorpion repellents. The menthol in peppermint overwhelms their sense of smell.
- Cedar oil – Cedar oil masks other attractant odors and has natural insecticidal properties.
- Citronella oil – This popular mosquito repellent contains compounds that are unpleasant and confusing to scorpions.
- Vinegar – Vinegar produces an acetic acid smell that scorpions avoid. Concentrated vinegar may even kill scorpions on contact.
- Garlic – The strong sulfur compounds garlic emits ward off arachnids.
- Lavender oil – This pleasant scent for humans repels scorpions.
- Eucalyptus oil – Scorpions dislike the smell of eucalyptus. The oil may also have insecticidal properties.
Spray or wipe these scents along baseboards, window sills, door frames, and other points of entry into the home. Reapply frequently, especially after it rains. You can also place cotton balls soaked in these oils in closets, crawl spaces, attics, garages, and sheds.
Scorpions dislike crossing certain textures and materials. Installing physical barriers can prevent them from crawling into your home.
- Diatomaceous earth – This chalky powder made from fossilized algae is abrasive and absorbs oils in scorpion exoskeletons causing dehydration and death. Apply a line outside along the foundation.
- Copper mesh – Scorpions receive uncomfortable electrical signals when crossing copper. Use mesh to seal openings bigger than 1/16 of an inch.
- Caulk or sealant – Plug any cracks and crevices with caulk or expandable spray foam to deny entry. Pay special attention to potential hiding spots like weep holes.
- Mesh screens – Ensure window screens and screen doors have no tears and fit tightly to block scorpions.
- Weather stripping – Install weather stripping under and around exterior doors to close gaps scorpions can squeeze through.
Scorpions need water to survive. Keeping your home dry deters them from entering in search of moisture.
- Fix any plumbing leaks
- Repair dripping faucets
- Improve drainage to prevent standing water
- Use dehumidifiers and fans to keep indoor humidity below 50%
- Move firewood, compost, and debris piles away from the house
Scorpions look for places to hide and feel protected. Decluttering eliminates attractive hiding spots inside and outside your home.
- Keep floors clear of boxes, shoes, clothing, towels, and other items
- Store infrequently used items in plastic bins with tight lids
- Vacuum and clean closets, cabinets, attics, garages, and basements regularly
- Remove piles of leaves, brush, boards, and other potential scorpion hideouts near the home
- Keep grass trimmed short and shrubs pruned away from the foundation
Certain plants attract insects that prey on scorpions. Having these plants around can reduce scorpions near your home:
- Henbit – Nighttime blooms draw insects scorpions eat
- Lemon thyme – Scorpion-eating spiders are attracted to this herb
- Frog fruit – Provides habitat for predatory centipedes and ants
Place these predator plants in planter boxes or flower beds around entry points. Prune them to prevent overgrowth near doors or windows.
You can further decrease the likelihood of scorpions getting inside by controlling their populations outdoors.
- Install exterior lighting – Scorpions avoid illumination which puts them at higher risk of predation.
- Remove piles of debris – Eliminate places scorpions establish colonies near your home.
- Apply pesticide – In severe infestations, outdoor pesticide application by a professional exterminator may be warranted. Look for eco-friendly options.
- Employ natural predators – Attract birds, lizards, and insects that prey on scorpions.
- Set glue traps – Traps outside can help indicate if populations are high and control numbers.
What to Do if You See Scorpions Inside Your Home
Even with preventative measures, a scorpion may occasionally find its way indoors. If you encounter one inside your home:
- Stay calm – Scorpions are unlikely to sting unless threatened. Avoid startling them.
- Confine it – Trap the scorpion under a jar or bowl so you can safely relocate or kill it. Slide cardboard underneath to easily transport it outside.
- Kill with care – If the species is dangerous, spraying the confined scorpion with an insecticide or freezing it for several hours are humane ways to kill it.
- Seal entry points – Inspect where you found the scorpion and seal any potential access openings.
- Increase prevention tactics – Stepping up scorpion deterrents inside and out can prevent more from following into the home.
- Call a professional – If multiple scorpions are appearing inside, contact a pest control company to treat your home and yard.
When to Get Professional Scorpion Control Services
While the above methods can help ward off scorpions, you may need professional pest control in some situations:
- You have confirmed dangerous species like Arizona bark scorpions.
- Multiple scorpions are found inside over a short period of time.
- Someone in your home has been stung or you have small children or pets.
- You have attempted DIY removal but scorpions keep returning.
- You are physically unable to properly prep your home.
Look for extermination services experienced in scorpion control. They have commercial-grade, scorpion-specific pesticides and can apply barriers around your property. Discuss eco-friendly options like diatomaceous earth.
Scorpions are mysterious arachnids that can sometimes find their way into homes. Their appearance may be frightening, but scorpions are not out to get humans. They simply enter our living spaces when conditions are favorable for them outside.
Luckily, scorpions strongly dislike certain smells, physical barriers, dry conditions, and exposure. With some diligent prep and prevention, you can make your home unappealing to scorpions and avoid encounters. Natural scorpion deterrents like peppermint oil, sealing cracks, controlling moisture, and decluttering go a long way in keeping scorpions out of your house.
But if an occasional scorpion does sneak inside, stay calm. Confine and remove it safely. Identify and seal its point of entry, step up your defenses, and consider contacting a professional if the problem persists. Implementing targeted prevention measures tailored to your home and climate will help you keep scorpions where they belong – away from your living space.