What Kind of Scorpions Are in Tucson?


Tucson is home to a few different species of scorpion, but you’ll most commonly see one specific variety hanging around in your backyard and home. In the interest of being thorough, here is a quick breakdown of the various scorpions that call the Sonoran Desert home:

  • Arizona Bark Scorpion (Centruroides sculpturatus): This is the most venomous scorpion in the United States. It is pale yellow in color and relatively small in size. It is found in Arizona, southern Nevada, parts of New Mexico, and southwestern Utah.
  • Striped Bark Scorpion (Centruroides vittatus): This species is light tan to yellow in color with dark stripes on its body and tail. It is found in various states across the southwestern U.S., including Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and parts of Colorado and Kansas.
  • Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis): This scorpion species is large, reaching lengths of up to six inches. It has a tan or yellowish-brown coloration and coarse hairs covering its body. It is commonly found in the desert regions of Arizona, southern Nevada, and parts of California and New Mexico.
  • Giant Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus spadix): As the largest scorpion species in North America, the Giant Hairy Scorpion can reach lengths of up to seven inches. It is light brown or yellowish in color and has long, thin pincers. It is primarily found in the desert regions of Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of California.
  • Stripe-Tailed Scorpion (Paravaejovis spinigerus): This scorpion species has a yellowish-brown body with darker stripes on its tail. It is relatively small in size. It is found in the southwestern U.S., including Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Texas and Oklahoma.

These are the primary species you’ll see here in Arizona.  As a Tucson homeowner, you’ll most likely be running into the Arizona Bark Scorpion as the most common scorpion, which is unfortunate because these are the most prolific climber of all the varieties.   If you are curious how dangerous scorpions are, we’ve recently written an article to help you understand this a bit better.

How to Prevent Scorpions in Tucson

While it’s not possible to guarantee complete prevention, there are several measures you can take to help minimize the likelihood of scorpions entering your home. Here are some tips:

  1. Seal entry points: Inspect your home for any cracks, gaps, or openings that scorpions could use to enter. Seal these entry points using caulk or weatherstripping to prevent their access.
  2. Screen openings: Install fine mesh screens on doors, windows, vents, and other openings to prevent scorpions from getting inside.
  3. Reduce clutter: Keep your home tidy and clutter-free, as scorpions often hide in piles of debris, boxes, or unused items. Regularly clean and declutter to eliminate potential hiding spots.
  4. Remove outdoor habitats: Scorpions may dwell in outdoor areas close to your home, such as woodpiles, rock piles, or dense vegetation. Keep these areas well-maintained and minimize potential shelters.
  5. Landscaping adjustments: Trim back shrubs, plants, and tree branches that touch or hang over your home, as scorpions can use them as bridges to enter.
  6. Indoor cleanliness: Clean your home regularly, especially in areas such as basements, attics, and closets, where scorpions may seek refuge. Vacuuming can help eliminate any insects that scorpions might feed on.
  7. Lighting considerations: Scorpions are attracted to light, particularly at night. Consider using yellow sodium vapor lights or LED lights with a yellow tint around the perimeter of your home, as they are less attractive to scorpions.
  8. Inspect items brought inside: When bringing in firewood, outdoor equipment, or other items from outside, inspect them carefully for any hidden scorpions before bringing them into your home.

Scorpions can adapt and find ways to enter homes, so it’s important to remain vigilant and regularly implement these preventative measures.

The absolute most effective ongoing solution is simply using professional pest control.  Our customers are regularly receiving inspections and treatments specifically to keep pests like bark scorpions out of their homes and away from their property.  As a pest control specialist here in Tucson, we specialize in controlling scorpions and can offer advanced advice and techniques to ensure they are not a problem in your home.

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