Local homeowners facing an invasion of painful pests
On the list of creepy crawlies which have multiplied due to this years’ weather pattern, we can now add the scariest pet yet...scorpions!
Local pest control workers say they are working overtime treating homes where jittery homeowners have reported scorpions in their homes.
Molly Keck, the Integrated Pest Management Specialist with the Texas Agri-Life Extension Service in San Antonio, says it’s the same story with scorpions that we have seen with snakes, wasps, mosquitoes, and other pests--the rainy spring caused a bumper crop and the hot dry summer has allowed them to flourish.
She says the scorpion explosion is happening right on time. Mid August is usually the high point of scorpion infestations, as the creepy critters crawl into homes in search of water.
“Basically if you can squeeze a quarter through a crack that is more than big enough for a scorpion to squeeze it’s body through,” she said.
Keck says plugging up dryer vents is a great way to keep out scorpions, which love to crawl inside through those openings.
Unlike most other pests, scorpions love hiding in shoes, clothing, and other human use items which we leave on the floor. She says this time of year, especially if you have seen scorpions around your home, take precautions.
“Shake out your shoes before you put them on,” she says. “If you have pants on the floor, shake them out before you step into them.”
Keck says scorpions love to live under rocks, and with many people turning to hardscape lawns to avoid lawn watering restrictions, many of us have inadvertently turned out homes into scorpion havens. She says scorpions are particularly common in fast growing areas north of Loop 1604 and into the Hill Country.
Anywhere that you might think twice about putting your hand, like into wood piles and bushes, are likely to contain scorpions, so wear gloves.
The type of scorpion which lives in Texas is not poisonous. That is the good news. But she says there is bad news to go along with that.
“The venom that our scorpions have, the Texas Striped Bark Scorpion, is one of the more venomous scorpions, so they are very painful, and they are probably one of the more painful ones in the world,” she said.
Like other insects, scorpions won’t sting unless they feel they are threatened, but unlike a lot of bugs, they are more aggressive, and are quicker to perceive a threat.
More bad news, Keck says since scorpions are not insects, common insect sprays will do nothing to keep them away. She says the best way to keep scorpions out of your home is to make sure your walls, vents, and other openings are tightly sealed.