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Posts Tagged ‘http://www.pharmacy.arizona.edu/outreach/poison/’

Keep scorpions out of your house

This is an informative article appearing online and on their web site listed below as well as the Emergency Poison Control 1-800-222-1222

Friday, October 9, 2009 10:35 by Liz Barta Liz Barta has been the educator for the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center in Tucson since 2002. A Certified Health Education Specialist, she holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from The University of Arizona.

Just mentioning scorpions gives some people the creeps. But Arizona has more than 30 species of scorpions, so if you live in our state, you are likely to encounter different types of these stinging creatures. The scorpion we need to respect the most is the bark scorpion – some people incorrectly call it the “baby.” It is one of the smaller species, but full grown the bark scorpion is usually less than 1 1/2 inches long. It is a light tan to almost opaque in color, so is hard to see this critter on many tile or carpeted floors. How can you tell it’s a bark rather than other type of scorpion? The bark is the only one that can climb a vertical wall, walk across your ceiling and drop into a bed or bath or sink! Scorpions are territorial, so some neighborhoods have never seen one and others have many. If you live in a home there are quite a few bark scorpions, you have a task ahead of you to remove these visitors. First of all, scorpions are usually not killed by pesticides. Their hard outer shells, called exoskeletons, protect them from most chemical concoctions. Some people say fly swatters or flip-flops are the only ways to be sure a scorpion is eliminated. There are things you can do to make scorpions unwelcome, though. Scorpions fluoresce under UV light Photo by R Wagner Scorpions fluoresce under UV light Photo by R Wagner You need to know a bit about how a scorpion lives before you know how it dies. They usually come out at night, they like damp places and they eat insects. This means that if you leave a security light on outside at night, you are creating a “bug cafeteria” for scorpions. The other insects are attracted to the light, the scorpions are attracted to the insects, and then, in the morning, the sun-adverse scorpions are looking for a dark place to hide. If there is a tiny crack under a door, a window, or around a cooler that is large enough to let in light, a scorpion can crawl in there. Once inside, they can usually hide until your home is dark, when they come out again. Here is what you need to do to discourage scorpions at your house:

bark-black-light-r-wagner-s

1. Leave outdoor lights off and install a motion detector security light instead.

2. Have a professional exterminator spray inside and outside your home on a regular basis to eliminate the food that attracts scorpions.

3. Put down sticky traps in the areas where you see the scorpions, so they will walk over them and not get away.

4. Buy diatomaceous earth from a hardware store. It’s not a poison, but crushed shells that form a powder. The powder gets under the exoskeleton and kills the scorpion. It isn’t harmful to pets or humans (unless they eat a lot – one or two cups). You can spread it inside and outside.

If you have infants or tots, it is a good precaution to put the legs of their crib or bed in glass jars, which are too slippery for the scorpions to climb. Also, hanging netting over the crib (at a height too high for your child to pull down and hurt herself) will prevent scorpions from falling from the ceiling onto your little one. Scorpions are a very hardy species who were on the earth long before people. But as humans, we do have the advantage of higher intelligence!

Call the toll-free national hotline at 1-800-222-1222 to reach your local poison center.

If you live in Arizona outside of Maricopa County, this number will get you to our experts at the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center in Tucson. Check out our Web site for more information about venomous desert creatures.

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