The more you know about these arachnids, the more equipped you are to know where and when to spot them, how to know they have made it inside of your home, and most importantly, how to get them out—for good.

Scorpions have lived on Earth for over 400 million years. Found on every continent—except Antarctica—these eight-legged creatures are related to ticks, mites and spiders. There are 1,500 scorpion species found worldwide.

During most of the day, scorpions remain hidden in the wild in burrows or crevices to avoid exposure to sunlight and heat. At night, they feed on a variety of insects, centipedes, arachnids, other scorpions and larger species even feast on lizards, snakes and mice. All species of scorpions use venom to defend themselves against predators and to immobilize and kill their prey. The arachnid’s tail includes a barb which works like a hypodermic needle to inject venom into its prey. The impact of the venom varies from mild pain to a lethal cocktail, although when humans get stung, in most cases pain and swelling goes away after an hour or two. The most dangerous scorpion, the Arizona bark scorpion.

In the wild, the striped bark scorpion lives under rocks, in dead vegetation and inside of logs. This species of scorpion does not burrow, and can often be seen climbing, so they can make their way into your home through your attic. Scorpions often find their way inside our homes as they search for moisture, shelter and food. When temperatures climb, striped bark scorpions may descend to escape the heat.

Once you find a scorpion inside of your home, you will likely want to do all you can to make sure no others make their way indoors. There are few steps that homeowners can take to keep these creatures in their natural habitat.

Scorpions hide under leaves or any other items piled in the yard. Eliminating scorpions is a task that requires consideration of the entire property. To keep scorpions out of the house, they must first be kept out of the yard. Remove any debris, and make sure garbage is always taken to the curb promptly. People who have fireplaces should avoid stacking wood next to their houses. Wood should be brought in only as needed. If there are overgrown tree branches or shrubs, they should be trimmed. Branches should not touch the side of the home or hang over the roof.

If there are any spaces between windows or doors and their frames, it is important to seal them. Use weather stripping and caulking to do this. Keep in mind that scorpions can squeeze through very small spaces, so even the smallest cracks should be sealed.

Scorpions are attracted to homes where there is food for them to eat. Since their diet consists mostly of insects, scorpions will leave if they cannot find any prey. Termites can sometimes draw scorpions, as they like to feed on this wood-eating pest.

Regular pest control treatments will also help to control the bug population around your home. The biggest concern with scorpions is that termites are usually not too far away. This is most likely due to rotting wood rather than the scorpion being hungry.

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