Scorpions are creepy, venomous arachnids that no one wants in or around their home. Their painful sting can cause serious harm, especially to young children and pets. If you live in an area prone to scorpion infestations, you likely want to do everything you can to keep these pests away.
While powerful chemicals are effective for scorpion extermination, many people prefer to use natural methods for controlling scorpions and other pests. The good news is that there are several scents and substances that scorpions hate and will avoid. Using these natural deterrents can help keep your home scorpion-free without exposing your family to toxic chemicals.
In this post, we’ll explore different scents, plants, and oils that act as natural scorpion repellents. We’ll also cover effective ways to use these substances to prevent scorpions from entering your home and yard.
Why Deter Scorpions Naturally?
Before we get into what deters scorpions, you may be wondering why bother with natural deterrents instead of contacting a professional scorpion extermination company. Here are some of the main reasons to try natural scorpion prevention first:
- Avoid toxic chemicals – Scorpion pest control often relies on synthetic insecticides, which can linger in your home and yard. Natural scorpion deterrents are non-toxic when used properly.
- Safer for family and pets – Natural scorpion repellents like plants and essential oils are generally safer for children and pets than chemical pesticides.
- Less expensive – You can purchase most natural scorpion deterrent products at your local home improvement store for a fraction of the cost of hiring a pest control service.
- Preventative approach – Using natural deterrents allows you to proactively ward-off scorpions and keep them away, rather than trying to eliminate existing infestations.
While natural options tend to be gentle, effective scorpion control sometimes requires pesticides. But starting with natural deterrents allows you to potentially resolve scorpion problems without resorting to toxic chemicals.
Scents That Repel Scorpions
Scorpions have a strong sense of smell. There are certain scents they despise and will avoid. Using these pungent aromas around your home’s exterior and interior can convince scorpions to steer clear and prevent access.
Here are some of the most powerful scorpion-repelling scents:
Lavender oil and the plant itself release an aroma that scorpions find offensive. The smell overwhelms their sensory organs, acting as a natural deterrent. If you have lavender plants around your yard, scorpions will likely avoid these areas.
You can also place small dishes with lavender essential oil around your home’s exterior near common scorpion entry points like doorways, windows, and weep holes. The strong lavender smell will repel scorpions and prevent them from trying to find a way inside. Just a few drops of oil in each dish refreshed every few days should do the trick.
Like lavender, cedarwood has an intense scent that scorpions avoid. The oils in cedar naturally repel a variety of insects, spiders, and arachnids. Place cedar boards, cedar oil, or cedar shavings near scorpion access points to block their path with this overpowering aroma.
Cedarwood is an especially versatile natural scorpion deterrent because it’s available in so many forms:
- Cedar oil or essential oil – Use a cotton ball soaked in cedar oil inside jar lids around your home’s perimeter.
- Cedar mulch or shavings – Spread cedar mulch or shavings around your home’s foundation and other potential scorpion entry points.
- Cedar planks – Place cedar planks over and around common scorpion hiding spots like wood piles, debris piles, and dense vegetation.
- Cedar granules – Sprinkle cedar granules around door and window frames and other entry points.
Reapply these cedarwood deterrents every couple of weeks to maintain their strong protective scent.
Scorpions dislike the pungent citrus scent from lemons, oranges, and limes. You can squeeze citrus peels and place the peels around entry points. For a stronger scent, sprinkle the juices around doors, windows, and foundation cracks.
The acidity of the citrus juices may also deter scorpions. Refresh citrus juices and peels around your home weekly for the best results.
The strong minty aroma of peppermint oil repels scorpions and other pests. Like other essential oils, place cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil around possible scorpion entryways. You can also grow peppermint plants around your home’s perimeter for wider coverage of this scorpion-deterring scent.
Scorpions dislike the smell of eucalyptus leaves and oil. Place crushed leaves or a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil around scorpion access points. The smell will discourage scorpions from entering while also repelling other insects.
Substances Scorpions Naturally Avoid
In addition to scents, there are a few natural substances that scorpions instinctively avoid. Applying these substances properly around your home creates a barrier that makes scorpions turn the other way.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a natural sediment made of crushed fossils of ancient algae and diatoms. The particles have sharp edges that insects and arachnids avoid. DE is abrasive and absorbs lipids from the exoskeletons of scorpions and other bugs.
When scorpions crawl through diatomaceous earth, the particles cling to their bodies and damage their outer coverings and sensory organs. Scorpions detect this abrasive substance and turn away.
To use diatomaceous earth as a natural scorpion deterrent:
- Apply a thin layer along foundations, window sills, and door frames using a dust applicator. This creates a barrier that scorpions won’t cross.
- Puff DE into cracks and crevices around your home’s exterior where scorpions may hide.
- Sprinkle a perimeter around potential entry points and hiding spots.
DE is most effective when kept dry. Reapply after heavy rains or irrigation. Wear a mask when applying to avoid breathing in the fine particles.
Borax is a natural mineral salt that can be used to safely control scorpions when applied properly. In nature, scorpions avoid borax because it is toxic if ingested. By sprinkling borax along entry points, you can deter scorpions from crossing or attempting to access your home.
For use around the house:
- Lightly sprinkle borax along the interior edges of your foundation. Scorpions crossing the borax barrier will ingest some of the powder, which they know to avoid.
- Spread a thin line of borax around door and window frames. The light coating triggers scorpions’ instincts to steer clear.
- Place small piles of borax in corners, along walls, and near potential hiding spots to keep scorpions away.
Borax can be toxic for pets if they ingest large amounts. Use sparingly and avoid piles that curious pets could consume. Reapply borax after heavy rains.
Plain table salt or large-grained salt crystals create an irritating barrier for soft-bodied scorpions. The salt absorbs moisture from the scorpion’s exoskeleton, causing dehydration and damage. When scorpions sense salt crystals, they instinctively avoid the area.
To create a salt barrier for scorpion deterrence:
- Spread a perimeter of salt around the base of exterior walls, foundations, and other entry points. Leave space between the salt and walls so scorpions don’t crawl over them.
- Place piles of salt in corners, near debris, and around potential scorpion harborages like woodpiles.
- Sprinkle salt along windowsills, beneath doorways, and around weep holes where scorpions may find access.
Salt is water soluble and will need frequent reapplication after rain, irrigation, or heavy dew. Avoid overuse around plants.
Plants That Deter Scorpions
Certain plants naturally repel scorpions with their strong scents, spines, oils, and sap. Planting these around likely scorpion entry points and habitation spots convinces scorpions to avoid your home and yard.
Here are some of the top scorpion-repelling plants:
Lemongrass contains citronella oil and other scents that strongly repel scorpions. Plant lemongrass in pots or beds around high-traffic scorpion areas. Crush the leaves now and then to increase the emitted aroma. You can also steep lemongrass to make a scorpion-deterring tea. Sprinkle the tea around entry points.
Also called mums, chrysanthemums have natural pyrethrin insecticidal properties that scorpions avoid. Work chrysanthemums into your landscaping around the house. The smell discourages scorpions from approaching while the pyrethrins give added insect protection.
These brightly colored flowers have a distinct aroma from compounds called thiopenes that repel many arachnids. Plant marigolds around likely scorpion entry points and in garden beds and borders near the house. Marigolds also deter insects and nematodes.
Pungent basil contains compounds like citronellol, linalool, and methyl cinnamate which produce aromas that deter scorpions. Grow basil plants around high scorpion traffic areas and crush leaves occasionally to release more scorpion-repelling oils.
Lantana emits a scent that scorpions avoid. Its roots also release allelopathic chemicals that can suppress scorpion prey like crickets and cockroaches, reducing foraging spots. Plant lantana along foundations, fences, and entry points. Prune often for the most powerful scent.
Mint has a potent aroma from compounds like menthol, pulegone, and carvone that scorpions can’t tolerate. Grow mint in pots and beds near possible scorpion access spots. Crush leaves now and then to strengthen the released smell.
Garlic emits a strong sulfurous vapor as a natural pest deterrent. Plant garlic cloves around likely scorpion entry areas like foundations and patios. You can also crush garlic cloves and sprinkle the juices along windowsills, doorways, and other access points to repel scorpions. The garlic aroma dissipates quickly so you’ll need to reapply the crushed cloves or juice every few days.
Also called bay leaves, this herb contains terpenes and aromatics like cineole that repel scorpions. Interplant bay laurel shrubs around the house perimeter. Or crush dried bay leaves from the spice cabinet and sprinkle around possible scorpion access points. Sweep away older crushed leaves and replace with fresh ones every week.
Keeping Scorpions Away From Your Home
Now that you know which scents, plants, and substances scorpions hate, let’s cover simple ways to use these deterrents to make your home as scorpion-proof as possible:
Remove clutter and debris
Scorpions love to hide in dark, damp spots with plenty of cover. Get rid of piles of debris, palm fronds, firewood, and other clutter near your home’s exterior walls and foundation. Eliminating hiding places forces scorpions to stay away.
Seal cracks and crevices
Use caulk to seal any cracks around windows, doors, weep holes, plumbing entries, fascia boards, and foundations where scorpions can sneak in. Place steel wool or copper mesh over larger gaps and openings. This denies scorpions access points into your home.
Install door sweeps and weather stripping
Add door sweeps to all exterior doors so scorpions can’t squeeze through gaps underneath. Make sure weather stripping creates a tight seal around all doors and windows to block scorpion entry.
Use exterior lighting and motion sensors
Install exterior lights with motion sensors around entryways and common scorpion areas. Scorpions avoid illumination and the sudden light will startle them away.
Apply natural repellents
Use the scorpion-deterring plants, oils, and substances covered earlier around likely entry points and hiding spots. Maintain the repellents regularly for continuous protection.
Place glue traps or bowl traps around foundations and other areas to proactively catch any wandering scorpions. This helps confirm if scorpions are present and if your deterrents are working. Check traps daily and replace as needed.
Contact a pro if infestation persists
Sometimes an existing scorpion infestation is too severe for natural deterrents alone. Contact a pest management professional if you continue to find scorpions in and around your home after diligently applying these deterrents. They can use targeted scorpion pesticides and intensive prevention measures to eliminate current infestations and keep new ones away.
Keep Your Home Scorpion-Free
With proper use of scorpion-repelling plants, oils, and substances, you can take proactive steps to keep these arachnids from ever accessing your home. Implement these deterrents before scorpion season hits each year. Natural scorpion prevention combined with vigilance, yard maintenance, and home sealing gives you the best chance for keeping your family safe and your property scorpion-free.