Nature

5 Ways to Outsmart Scorpions in Your Home

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If you’re new to the Texas Hill Country or even just visiting, something that might catch you off guard (not to mention give you a serious case of the “heebie-jeebies”) is a run-in with a scorpion. The “striped bark scorpion” is the most common scorpion found in the Hill Country. Scorpions are not insects but instead considered predatory arachnids. Found mostly in arid, rocky areas, (like most of the Hill Country) they are most active at night, spending most of the daytime seeking cool, damp places to hide from the punishing Texas heat. Scorpions: They’re just like us!

The sting of a scorpion is said to be a bit worse than a bee sting, but unless one is allergic, no medical attention is typically necessary. There are a few tried and true ways to avoid tangling with scorpions, though.

1. Shake it off!

Scorpion

Photo: Flickr/homey00001

Shake your towel before you use it. Scorpions have been known to crawl up walls or in cabinets and hide in bath towels, resulting in an unfortunate sting to the poor soul trying to dry off. A quick shake of the towel before using it will take care of any wayward scorpions.

2. Check your shoes.

Scorpion

Photo: Flickr/John Morton

Check your shoes before putting them on. Another common way of getting stung is by slipping on a shoe without realizing that a scorpion is currently residing there. They like dark (and, yes, damp) places and a musty shoe is paradise for a scorpion.

3. Get a black light.

scorpion glowing

Photo: Pixabay

Scorpions are unique in that they glow under a black light due to a substance in the scorpion’s exoskeleton. If you shine a black light after dark, you might find several scorpions laying in wait around your house. This is a good time to give them a quick “squish” with your shoe or go about the somewhat complicated task of carefully catching them and relocating them to go about their scorpion way.

4. Smell ya later!

scorpion

Photo: Pixabay

Lavender has long been thought to be an herbal preventative for scorpions. Planting lavender plants around the house might deter scorpions as will using lavender essential oils in your cleaning products. Lavender sachets are also helpful when used in dressers and in closets.

5. Support the food chain

cats eat scorpions

Photo: Flickr/stratman² (2 many pix!)

Cats, some dogs, and even chickens will often eat any scorpions that cross their path. Just like humans, for most animals, the sting of a scorpion is typically harmless. Spiders are also beneficial for controlling the scorpion population so leave non-venomous spiders alone and let them do what they do best.

Once you get over the initial shock of seeing the occasional scorpion around the Hill Country, they’re really not as bad as they seem. In fact, they could even be considered beneficial to humans. Scientists are currently studying ways that scorpion venom can kill cancer cells. Scorpions also tend to feed on other scorpions and destructive pests, so they’re pretty handy to keep around – if you dare.