Scorpions are arthropods that belong to the same class as ticks, mites, and spiders (Arachnida) and are plentiful in much of the southern and southwestern United States. The body of the striped bark scorpion, Centruoides vittatus, the species usually found in San Antonio area homes, varies from yellowish to tan. There are usually two broad dark bands on the upper surface of its abdomen but it can be only faintly marked or completely pale.
Not considered lethal, the sting can be very painful with localized swelling and itching that may last from several minutes to several days. It can cause a variety of reactions in the elderly and young and can be dangerous for people who are allergic to venom.
Most scorpions are active at night. During the day they hide under boards, rocks, and rubbish. Mulch is also a favorite harborage area. In houses, they are most often found in undisturbed areas such as closets, shoes, bedding, and folded clothes. If you think you have scorpions, it’s important to check your clothing before dressing. Also, check your shoes before putting them on.
Having the ability to flatten their bodies as well as being prolific climbers, scorpions can easily enter your home through weep holes, cracks, and crevices, exterior doorways and even your attic. Once they are on your property they are almost impossible to keep out of your home without professional help. Having other insects in your home could also attract scorpions. They eat small arthropods and insects, even other species of scorpions, but their favorite meal is spiders. They can consume huge amounts of food at one feeding which enables them to survive as long as 6 to 12 months without food.
The first step in managing scorpions is to remove all debris from your property such as loose boards, rocks, staked wood or any other materials under which they can hide. Mulch is also a favorite harborage area. This will reduce the scorpion harborage areas which in turn can reduce the population on your property. For optimum control, a thorough treatment should consist of power spraying the outside of your home and harborage areas with a product that will not only kill but flush them out as well as treating inside to include the attic, plumbing areas, and wall voids.