Bark Scorpion

Bark Scorpion Scientific Name: Centriroides exilicauda

Bark Scorpion Facts

If you live in the southwestern part of the United States this is one nasty arachnid that you definitely need to keep an eye out for.  This is the only scorpion native to the Untied States that is considered lethal and resides primarily in Arizona, New Mexico, the southern tip of California and the northern part of Mexico.  Thinner and more ‘dainty’ looking than its relatives, this tan scorpion can live up to six years and is ideally suited for hiding in the deserts.    Although small (males only reach about 3.5 inches), these scorpions have an added weapon: they climb.  Unlike many other scorpion species who stick to burrowing under soils and debris, the Bark Scorpion has become adept at scurrying up trees, walls and finding its way into homes.  As with other scorpions, the Bark is notorious for coming out at night to feed and take in the cooler temperatures.  The evenings are when these scorpions are most likely to find their way into your homes so keep an eye out especially during the hottest months of the year.

Bark Scorpion Habitat

The Bark Scorpion has adapted to the hot desert climate in the southwestern U.S. and has an extra layer of fat to help ward off dehydration.  Though the Bark scorpions’ body has evolved to cope with the heat the species still prefers the cool nights and is most active when temperatures hit 70 degrees.  When making its appearance at night the Bark scorpion will use this valuable time to hunt, feed and possibly find a better/cooler home.  During the summer months Bark scorpions will begin to occupy more populated areas to try and escape the heat.  Crawl spaces, burrows under home foundations, trees and in homes are some common places to find the Bark Scorpion seeking shelter. As previously discussed, the Bark Scorpion has a very unique trait in its ability to climb.  It is not unusual to find this arachnid on home ceilings or crawling in bathtubs.  It is a good idea to make a thorough search of bathroom walls and bedrooms before using these rooms as Bark scorpions will often fall off of the walls into beds or showers.  If the scorpions do not make an appearance in your home please be aware that they will also congregate around your pool or palm tree area as this often affords even cooler temperatures.

Bark Scorpion Control

When people are under the impression that there are scorpions in the home the first thought is to have your house fumigated.  While this is a valid option, its first important to answer the questions: where do scorpions live, and does my home facilitate shelter for scorpions. ·         Entry Points:Recognize where scorpions may be entering your home/garage/pool house.  Keep in mind that these scorpions are only a few inches and can reduce their size to squeeze into cracks and holes.  If you are not able to locate any possible entry points but still find the occasional scorpion you may want to hire a professional for an inspection.  For small areas that you do find you can caulk the area, stuff holes with steel wool or place weather striping around doors and windows.

  • Attractions: It is time for a quick spring-cleaning in order to get rid of any potential hiding places for the Bark Scorpion.  If you have large piles of dirt, rock or bark then you are writing an invitation.  Remove these piles from around your house (at the very least move them to a further distance).  Although the Bark scorpion likes to climb they will also take opportunities to burrow themselves into potentially cool places.  Another attraction for Bark scorpions is food; their diet includes insects that are attracted to light.  If you do not require your porch or garage light to be on then turn it off.  This will detract the scorpions’ food source.
  • Attics: Many people take the time to seal off areas in the main living spaces, but many forget about the attic or basement areas.  Because the attic is not used very often make sure to have it fogged or dusted by professionals regularly.  When up in your attic you notice dead Bark scorpions this could mean that scorpions have been making your attic their home for a long period of time and you should have a professional look at it.
  • Traps: After all the preventative methods are put in place and you still notice that the Bark Scorpion is making itself comfortable in your home then you will need to invest in traps.  Glue traps are available and can be stuck to the walls where the Bark scorpion is most likely to crawl.
  • Baits: Homeowners infested with bark scorpions have often asked pest control technicians what do scorpions eat? Scorpions feed on live prey which makes lifeless baits completely ineffective.

Bark Scorpion Venom

Although North America, particularly the southwestern part, has its share of native and introduced species of scorpions, the Bark Scorpion is by far the most venomous.  Its sting will cause severe pain and, if serious enough, can cause temporary paralysis and foaming at the mouth.  Though poisonous, the sting does not generally prove fatal to healthy adults, but does pose a serious risk to children.  If stung, the individual needs to be taken to the hospital immediately for medical attention.  The victim will be experiencing what has been described as a major electric shock and the pain (even after treated) will continue for a period of time.  Bark scorpions are not docile creatures and will attack if provoked.  Mexico reports that they have over 100,000 people stung every year by the Bark Scorpion.  It is also Mexico that has antivenom for the Bark Scorpion.  The antivenom was approved by the FDA in 2011 and has been proven to work on victims in the United States.