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  1. #1
    sixsixtysix
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! NBR: Scorpion Control

    Ok, so being new to the southwest, I am also new to dealing with the sometimes not so pleasant creatures we share this environment with. I have heard all about the Coyotes, Rattle Snakes, Gila Monsters, Javelina's and of course Scorpions. Its the last one that creeps me out the most, since they are the only ones who come indoors. Well last night I got my first encounter with one.

    About 10pm I was watching TV and heard my fat cat make a chirping meow, I look over and he is franticly licking his paw. About a foot away from him on the kitchen floor I spotted something and had a chill instantly as I realized it was a scorpion I grabbed my shoe, tossed the cat out off the way and SMASH, one flat scoprion. These things are nasty, it was a large bark scorpion, about 2 1/2" long without the tail, and it stung my cat. Being freaked and grossed out I called the Tempe animal hospital and they told me to keep a eye on the cat for an hour and see if he has any problems breathing, walking, etc. Well, within a hour he was acting fine, but his paw was about 3 times the normal size, although he really didn't seem to care, I do. I do not want these things INSIDE my house

    Ok so heres my question, what do people do to keep these things outdoors where they belong? I dont really want to spray because of other animals and kids in the area and from what I have read, it doesn't do much for scorpions anyways.

    Our house is BRAND new, just build in Dec 05 and never lived in until we got it in June, everything looks like its sealed, weather stripping around the doors etc.

    We have a small farm right behind our house, as well as a canal right behind our sub division, I am sure they like both.

    My buddy told me to get a chicken, and as appealing as it sounds, I dont think the neighborhood assoication would like it much. So any ideas? Tricks, Tips?

  2. #2
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    First MAKE SURE EVERYTHING THAT CAN BE SEALED ON THE OUTSIDE IS SEALED!! Next have a company like Truly Noleen come out and treat for crickets and other bugs that scorpions eat, if you eliminate their food source then there is even less reason for them to come into your home. Next look under the sinks at the pipes where they come through the wall, squirt expanding foam into those openings, do thin in the garage where the water pipes come into the house. Those vents that go to each room for A/C and heat, put some screening over then so if something gets into the duct work it can't get into one of the rooms.

    If I come up with anything else I will post that up but that should keep you busy for a while.

  3. #3
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    Black Light

    In '84 my parents moved into a house on 22nd St just south of Cactus. It sits right against the Preserve and had sat empty for about a year.

    The first day that we moved them in we found three scorps in closets. That night we brought my black light over and went on a scorpion hunt. Under ultraviolet light they glow a brite green making them very easy to see in the outside landscaping. I think that we killed 11 that night in the back yard and three or four inside the house and garage.

    AzSpeedfreek has some good advice. I prefer a more hands on approach. After a few weeks of night time sweeps of the yard and some cleaning up of the overgrowth in the yard my parents hardly ever see a scorpion anymore, maybe just one or two a year.

    I've been stung twice. Once on the heel of my hand and the other on my right cheek when I sat down on a rock at night with out looking first. For me it was painful and the swelling lasted for a few days, kind of like a bee sting.

    Don't walk around the house bare footed and be careful where you put your hands. Scorps like dark places to hide in.

    My exterminator friend told me that cats will kill scorps in the house. Thats not true in my house. I have found four scorps in my house since '91 and three of them were pointed out by my three cats. They just sat there looking at the scorp and then looking at me like they were saying "Are you gonna take care or this?" My house was built in '77 and is just east of P.V. Mall.

    Chickens are diurnal and scorps are nocturnal so their paths rarely cross.

    Hope this helps.
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  4. #4
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    Desert Sprawl

    Just one of the many issues facing those that live on the "frontier" here in the West.

  5. #5
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    exterminate the ecosystem.
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  6. #6
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    I spent a couple of years in Mediterranean climates and each one of the few scorpions that I saw were in toilets or bathrooms. The only sting I heard about was to the forearm of a colleague who was in a toilet, too drunk to pay attention to things (or to receive medication to ease the pain...).

    Not sure if those locations were just easy entries or if the bugs went in for the moisture you find in such places.

  7. #7
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    That's one thing I personally don't miss about living in the Kyrene Corridor Scorpion Belt. I would have to do weekly sweeps inside and out with the blacklight. Always kept a can of aerosol brake cleaner in the other hand. It would freeze them instantly and doesn't leave a residue on most stuff. I would napalm the backyard and garage with pesticide to eliminate their food source and they eventually stopped coming around.

  8. #8
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    Can't get rid of 'em

    I've had scorpions in my house since I moved into it 10 years ago. I have done a lot of research on scorpion control and the bottom line is that you really can't do anything to rid them completely. But you can control them.

    First and foremost, scorpions have no skeleton. They can squeeze through cracks that you cannot slide a credit card into. Your house, being new, is a stucco-over-frame house, and scoprions have absolutely no trouble getting into them. Go outside and look at the where the foundation meets the house. Your builder had 2x4's bolted down to the foundation around the exterior, which the frame of the house was built on. When the house was stucco'd over the 2x4 was covered up. But the itty bitty crack remains that was between those 2x4 and the foundation. Scorpions can crawl through this.

    Your house has doors and windows. New windows are more airtight, but even the best doors have some leak in them that a scorpion can get through.

    All the plumbing vent pipes in your house are open at the roof. Scorpions can crawl down those. Same with the vents for the vent fans (bathrooms).

    Lastly, there are myriads of cracks in the house where plumbing and electrical enter.

    There are numerous companies in the valley that offer a "scorpion treatment" service for >$1000. For this money they will caulk around the foundation, put netting on all vents on the roof, and seal up all the cracks they can find. My opinion on this service -- don't bother. Many friends of mine have paid for that service and the scorpion problem remains. Even the best treatments can't seal up all the cracks.

    But there ARE some tried-and-true ways to keep the scorpion infestation to a minimum:

    1) Get a cat that eats bugs. I'm not sure why your cat was so messed up by the scorpion sting. Cats are one of the few animals that are IMMUNE to scorpion venom. Mine would get stung repeatedly and it never bothered him. But the stupid cat would never eat the scorpions. Friends of ours got a veracious bug-eating kitten and the scorpion problem subsided immediately. They would find him chewing on the little critters.

    2) Make sure you have no other bug problems. Scorpions are blind. The only reason they enter your house is for food. If you have crickets, cockroaches, or other bugs around...then they will attract the scorpions. Kill the other bugs and the scorpions won't hunt them.

    3) Get a regular bug service. Diatemacious earth (sp?) kills scorpions dead. Have the bug company put this dust in all your windows sills and doorways. It works. We found >90% of our scorpions dead.

    4) Scorpions love to hide in things -- rolls of carpet, piles of clothing, etc. I can't enumerate every place they like to hide, but after a while you'll figure it out. Make sure you shake things before wearing them if they were in an area where you have had scorpions.

    5) Scorpions like to live in block walls (which are not mortared on the vertical joints), palm trees, large bushes, ground cover, and in piles of things (wood, bricks, rocks). The sun kills them, so they have to find a shaded area during the day. You can minimize their "home" potential by stuccoing your block wall; skinning your palm trees; removing any large bushes near the house; and removing any piles of debris.


    Living in Arizona has many benefits, and in my mind the natural habitat is one of them. Unfortunately, that "natural habitat" includes some things that most people don't like -- snakes, scorpions, coyotes -- but the fact remains that they were here first and they will not go away.

    Good luck.

    Thx...Doug
    Last edited by dgangi; 07-08-2006 at 12:44 PM.

  9. #9
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    Wow! That's great advice Doug. I'm gonna save this sucka in Word and use it as a reference when we start looking for a house in a few months.
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  10. #10
    sixsixtysix
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    Wow, thanks for all the advice.

    I am going to sprinkle diatomaceous earth around our house, and perimeter wall. I forgot we used to use that stuff in the midwest to keep bugs away from plants and it worked great. I just got took the last of our moving boxes to the recycling center this morning, I figured that they were probably a good hiding spot for critters in the garage and from the looks of it I was right, there were a few hundred dead crickets out there. I think I am going to spray the garage since the cats never go out there, as well as set up some glue traps and maybe even one of those voodoo magic ultrasonic repellers. (They may work, they may not, but for $10 I am willing to give it a try.) Last night my buddy and I had a few drinks and pulled out the old college black light and extension cord and did a sweep of the back yard as well as around the house. We did find one small scorpion in the yard but the butane torch made quick work of it.

    The one thing I have been wondering though is why there are so many damn crickets out here? I never have seen this many in all my years living in Michigan and Illinois even with all the farms around

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixsixtysix
    Wow, thanks for all the advice.

    I am going to sprinkle diatomaceous earth around our house, and perimeter wall. I forgot we used to use that stuff in the midwest to keep bugs away from plants and it worked great. I just got took the last of our moving boxes to the recycling center this morning, I figured that they were probably a good hiding spot for critters in the garage and from the looks of it I was right, there were a few hundred dead crickets out there. I think I am going to spray the garage since the cats never go out there, as well as set up some glue traps and maybe even one of those voodoo magic ultrasonic repellers. (They may work, they may not, but for $10 I am willing to give it a try.) Last night my buddy and I had a few drinks and pulled out the old college black light and extension cord and did a sweep of the back yard as well as around the house. We did find one small scorpion in the yard but the butane torch made quick work of it.

    The one thing I have been wondering though is why there are so many damn crickets out here? I never have seen this many in all my years living in Michigan and Illinois even with all the farms around
    My advice -- get a bug pro. I tried the DIY pest control for a few months with little success. Only when I hired a good bug pro did my scorpion population end up more dead than alive. Our bug guy has a little canister for the diatemaceous earth and he knows exactly where to spray it. He would spray the DE in all window frames, exterior door thresholds and trim, pocket doors (interior), under cabinets...everywhere he knows scorpions have a high percentage of moving through.

    And by all means get rid of the crickets. If you found a bunch of crickets in the garage, you probably have a nest somewhere in the house or garage. A bug pro can find that and get rid of it too. Crickets are like candy for scorpions, and as long as you have crickets you will have scorpions.

    Have you also checked the house and yard for black widow spiders? Black widows are another fine AZ specimen that you don't want around. My first house was infested with those horrid creatures. If your house was sitting vacant for an extended period of time, there is a chance you've got black widows inside and/or out. Black widows are very private and don't like people, but once they take hold of an area they stay for good. Trust me -- you want to get rid any black widows before they proliferate.

    Between black widow spiders and scorpions, I'll take the scorpions anyday. Scorpion stings hurt and can be a nuisance, but they are nowhere as painful and damaging as a black widow bite. And big black spiders are just creepy...


    Thx...Doug

  12. #12
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    There are certain areas in Phoenix that are much worse than others. I live at the Northern Preserve and we have scorps-o-rama. Saw a little one on the shower curtain just three days ago. It was surreal. At first I thought it was a rubber fake that my kids placed to scare the snot out of me. The damn thing was so small and looked almost like a cartoon scorpion. I just stared at it and then blew on it. Finally, it flung out its tail and I freaked. I made sure it went down the drain.

    So far, my family has been lucky. Only my wife has been stung, once, in the garage, on her ankle. I have seen them in my room, in my kids' rooms, in my clothing, on the ceiling and basically everywhere. Just looking at them gives me the heebie-jeebies.
    Last edited by Dirdir; 07-08-2006 at 08:09 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Anyone see channel 5 news this evening? People in scottsdale are freaking out because there's coyotes in arizona, and not the human kind. Some old lady was freaking out about how her house was "not safe".

    People like that need to move back to their New York apartment.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    There are certain areas in Phoenix that are much worse than others. I live at the Northern Preserve and we have scorps-o-rama. Saw a little one on the shower curtain just three days ago. It was sureal. At first I thought it was a rubber fake that my kids placed to scare the snot out of me. The damn thing was so small and looked almost like a cartoon scorpion. I just stared at it and then blew on it. Finally, it flung out its tail and I freaked. I made sure it went down the drain.

    So far, my family has been lucky. Only my wife has been stung, once, in the garage, on her ankle. I have seen them in my room, in my kids' rooms, in my clothing, on the ceiling and basically everywhere. Just looking at them gives me the heebie-jeebies.
    Jeez Geoff......what a wuss. I would think by now you would be used to the scorpions. After 10 years of regular scorpion encounters, even my wimpy wife (who is afraid of everything) isn't afraid to kill them with a shoe or wad of newspaper. They don't even phase me anymore.

    We've found the little buggers everywhere -- on the wall, floor (numerous rooms), ceiling (twice), in the yard, in piles of stuff in the garage...and even in my daughter's bed. Fortunately we've had no scorpion stings to report. The neighbors on both sides of us have not been so lucky - they have had numerous stings. But none have resulted in anything more than a few hours of pain.

    My favorite scorpion story happened in our guest bathroom about 5 years ago (maybe I've already shared this...but here goes). I was totally sh!tfaced one evening after a big pool party. I was still barefoot with just my swimsuit on. I came into the house from the swimming pool to pee. I walked into the guest bathroom, unzipped, and started taking a whiz. Ahhhhhhhhhh. But just after I started to pee a scorpion came out of nowhere. Imagine...I'm drunk, barefoot, and standing next to the toilet peeing like a madman and a scorpion decides to bother me. I started to step on it and realized I was barefoot so I pulled my foot back. The problem was that I was peeing and couldn't stop and was not within reach of anything to kill the scorpion. The little bugger started to walk towards me and all I could do was scoot around the toilet away from it (all the while still peeing). When I got to the point I could not walk anymore I backed up and walked the other way...and the little bugger kept following me with its tail lashing. I had not peed all night so I had lots built up -- I just couldn't stop. This dance of me walking back-and-forth around the toilet trying to pee and dodge the scorion happened at least 3 times. When I *finally* finished peeing, I zipped up, walked across the bathroom and got a Kleenex...and then squished the little bugger.

    The funniest part of the story is that my wife was watching the entire time. She never said anything and didn't realize that a scorpion was chasing me. She just thought I was delusional and wandering around the toilet with my wanker in my hand.


    Thx...Doug

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi
    Jeez Geoff......what a wuss. I would think by now you would be used to the scorpions. After 10 years of regular scorpion encounters, even my wimpy wife (who is afraid of everything) isn't afraid to kill them with a shoe or wad of newspaper. They don't even phase me anymore.
    Perhaps you guys are from another planet. I believe that our fear of scorpions is primordial in nature and goes to the very core of yuck with humans. I am a tough guy, I have a high threshold for pain, have seen a lot of nasty sh!t, and am convinced that if I was on fear factor, I could eat everything with joy. However, after seven years of living in scorpville, I still get shivers down my spine each and everytime I see one of the little buggers. I am getting the creeps just thinking about them.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Anyone see channel 5 news this evening? People in scottsdale are freaking out because there's coyotes in arizona, and not the human kind. Some old lady was freaking out about how her house was "not safe".

    People like that need to move back to their New York apartment.
    I was thinking basically the same thing. Coyotes my anus. My mom's place in LA was crawling with them before she moved. I told her to go out back and yell at them to go away and leave her alone. She was afraid to. I thought to myself that I would be more afraid of slipping in the shower than a bunch of coyotes in the back yard.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    Perhaps you guys are from another planet. I believe that our fear of scorpions is primordial in nature and goes to the very core of yuck with humans. I am a tough guy, I have a high threshold for pain, have seen a lot of nasty sh!t, and am convinced that if I was on fear factor, I could eat everything with joy. However, after seven years of living in scorpville, I still get shivers down my spine each and everytime I see one of the little buggers. I am getting the creeps just thinking about them.
    These comments aren't helping your cause any. You are still a wuss.

    BTW - I am now living temporarily in your 'hood. I am in between houses (sold the old one too fast and the new one on 24th St isn't done yet), so until the end of July I am living at the parents house on 33rd Way and Las Rocas. There are 5 people crammed into a 3 bedroom house with no pool: wife+me, parents, 3yr old daughter. I am not a happy man.

    Thx...Doug

  18. #18
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    i have a scorp story now

    I just got off work and I have been eager to share this..

    Around noon today I was scooping out that blown in fluffy insulation around a leaking a/c in an attic with my bare hands when this miniature scorpion darted out past my hand and froze on a stud.

    I called for leather gloves and then a killing utensil (disneyland brochure) from the homeowner and dispatched it with a rather loud yell of, "DIE!"

    The house was brand new.

    Now what I do not understand is why anyone would be bothered by coyotes.

    I like them except for one hard winter when they packed up and pulled down a 700 lb bull calf we had. The .280 made short work of one of them and the problems stopped.

    Other than circumstances like that I feel a lot of guilt killing them because..quite frankly, coyotes are smart and I think very cool animals. They don't bother people as far as I know.

    As for wolves..well last summer I was backpacking in the Bob and I was taking my morning ablution with my buttocks hung over a log when some wolf appeared out of nowhere and started screaming like a hyena and kicking up tufts of turf like a bull at pamplona....then it took off. My sleazy lawyer friend and I had four dogs with us so I figured it didn;t want to stick around and prance for long. I think my dog thought he was rather handsome. I did, and I;m not even from Frisco.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixsixtysix
    .....I grabbed my shoe, tossed the cat out off the way and SMASH, one flat scoprion.....
    someone had to say it, but you suck for purposfully taking life. you could have wisked it outside somehow. too bad it didn't sting you instead.....

    FWIW i am an arizona native(28 years) transplanted into california and have been stung on several occasions in my life and still would not purposfully kill anything.....


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker.
    someone had to say it, but you suck for purposfully taking life. you could have wisked it outside somehow. too bad it didn't sting you instead.....

    FWIW i am an arizona native(28 years) transplanted into california and have been stung on several occasions in my life and still would not purposfully kill anything.....
    We should get you together with Jayem. Maybe it would balance out.

  21. #21
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    I think I looked under my pc desk at least 3 times while reading this thread. Great pee fight story, I'm surprised you didn't pee on the critter?

    I just moved here about 8-9 months ago and have been fortunate enough to see no scorps indoors. Heck, I might have seen a couple spiders, but it's better than NW Indiana.

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    we used diatomaceous earth. Lined areas where they might get in. Apparently it got into their scales or something then expanded. In any case, soon after we put the earth around the probable high-scorpion areas we started finding a fair number of them dead around their house looking like their bellies had ruptured. So I'm not too sure on the mechanism, but it DID seem to work. I believe you can get large quantities of the stuff relatively cheap at pool stores.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker.
    someone had to say it, but you suck for purposfully taking life. you could have wisked it outside somehow. too bad it didn't sting you instead.....

    FWIW i am an arizona native(28 years) transplanted into california and have been stung on several occasions in my life and still would not purposfully kill anything.....
    Oh, a vegan. But then you do not take lives, what about those poor carrots, rice and beans?

    Rita
    BTW, I am a vegetarian(not vegan)and I will happily kill any bug that is rude enough to enter MY territory(in the house). I also gladly kill black widows or scorpions outside near my house or in my shed. And if/when a mosquito is out for my blood it gets killed, too. I know, I am a murderer. Guess YOU are just better than the average person.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZtortoise
    Oh, a vegan. But then you do not take lives, what about those poor carrots, rice and beans?


    Guess YOU are just better than the average person.
    I'm confused…

    Where in the 'assumed vegan's' response did they assume a 'better than the average person' attitude? I got an opinion that they don't like to kill things. I didn't see any judgmental statements.


    Sorry, I'm just mentally (and, now, physically) slow and didn't see all the hidden meanings and shadowy aspersions. I'm ignorant…



    okay, back to my lurking…
    Last edited by C.J.; 07-09-2006 at 03:36 PM.
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    I do my best to capture the intruder with a paper towel and just toss the lil guy out the door. But sometimes they move to fast and end up getting squished. I try to make up for those times by helping those in need.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZtortoise
    Oh, a vegan. But then you do not take lives, what about those poor carrots, rice and beans?

    Rita
    BTW, I am a vegetarian(not vegan)and I will happily kill any bug that is rude enough to enter MY territory(in the house). I also gladly kill black widows or scorpions outside near my house or in my shed. And if/when a mosquito is out for my blood it gets killed, too. I know, I am a murderer. Guess YOU are just better than the average person.

    And not to mention how many critters are killed and how much biodiversity is lost when you plow something up and farm the sumbeech. Odd how vegans seem to conveniently forget all that.
    But what the heck do I know...I've dated plenty of hippie vegans and farmed a lot of country. just a broken down old farmboy who chews copenhagen after my morning coffee
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by C.J.
    I'm confused…

    Where in the 'assumed vegan's' response did they assume a 'better than the average person' attitude? I got an opinion that they don't like to kill things. I didn't see any judgmental statements.


    Sorry, I'm just mentally (and, now, physically) slow and didn't see all the hidden meanings and shadowy aspersions. I'm ignorant…



    okay, back to my lurking…
    I thought his whole post was judgmental, starting with his "you suck" bit.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZtortoise
    Oh, a vegan. But then you do not take lives, what about those poor carrots, rice and beans?
    ....Guess YOU are just better than the average person.
    maybe i was harsh with the whole personal attack, but i am far from a vegan and i think i'm better than no one. i just believe that killing, for other than necessity (like food for example) for the sake of simply killing, is just not cool. i appreciate all the critters that are in or around my house. (although only non-poisonus spiders are left alone in my house) i quickly capture anything (flies, crickets or whatever seems to find it's way inside) and take it outside and release it at the end of the yard. anything potentially dangerous gets taken to the end of the street......
    that's all i was trying to say, but the couple of beers i had before posting seemed to take over the typing....
    Last edited by .WestCoastHucker.; 07-10-2006 at 12:20 PM.


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    Had a nightmare last night with several scrorpions in my place. I wasn't wearing any socks and they kept jumping at me. Then I couldn't sleep.

  30. #30
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    DE & a black light

    I had a little scorpion problem at my last house, the de worked great but I got frustrated carrying around the florescent black light. Besides I had to be 2ft from the scorpion to get it to light up.

    So I did some research and found a LED black light conversion for a 3 cell Mag light. That thing is awesome! I can light them up from 10-15ft away not to mention not having a cord to drag around.

    I bought it on ebay but cant find it there now...it was around $20. I'll keep looking.

  31. #31
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    Keep us posted, that sounds like a great tool.

  32. #32
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    We have a tried and true hunting tool for scorpions, a small blacklight (5 in wide x 2.5 in tall x 3/4 in thick) taped to the end of a hockey stick. Second hockey stick in the other hand for dispatching the things. It's perfect for shining right down by the ground and up in the corners.

    While sealing up cracks in the house will not eliminate scorpions, IME it will help. We replaced our front door with one that seals much better, and our scorpion problems were cut in half.

    I am of the live and let live philosophy, but my husband got stung by a bark scorpion a few years ago. It was nothing like a bee sting, his arm was useless and numb for days, and also very painful. If my little nephew (1 yr) got stung when he comes to visit, it would be serious. My mom is big-time allergic to insect stings, she has to carry an epi pen with her everywhere, and I show mild signs of allergy also (though I haven't been stung by anything in 15 years). To me, killing scorpions qualifies as a "necessity."

    The other thing we have done is moved our bed away from the wall, as he was stung in bed. Gives more peice of mind while sleeping.

    I have tried to tell my husband we must get a cat, but so far no dice. My dog has had her nose right up in a scorpion a couple of times, I've seen them strike at her, but never seen any effects. Dogs aren't supposed to be immune as far as I know, but either she's been lucky or the leather on her nose is tough enough to protect her.

    Monica

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  34. #34
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    Man the bed stories scare the skin right off my bones. I'm fortunate enough to live in a 2nd floor apt that has seen maybe 2 or 3 small spiders in 6 months, a fly or two, and one cricket. With the exception of the spiders, all have lived to see my door mat and eventually have a good life on my front porch.

    Nice little lite mod Nomad...bookmarked for future reference.

  35. #35
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    Okay, I'll share my story.

    When I was a kid growing up here in Phoenix, I was a Boy Sprout. I went on a campout at Sheep's Bridge Crossing on the Verde River (probably under a golf course by now) and slept in a sleeping bag with no tent. I woke up to some intense pain on my inner thigh. I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but it kept getting stronger, so I sat up and put a hand down. Then I had the same sharp pain on my thumb. I fired up my flashlight to look at the thumb, and couldn't see anything wrong. I stood up, and looked in my sleeping bag and there was a scorpion - a little guy. I scooped him up in a water bottle and tried to figure out what to do next. I could feel the toxin in my bloodstream, moving up my arm, and up my torso. It was like very intense pins and needles.

    I woke up one of the dads supervising the trip and he drove me out to some ER in Carefree. The doc looked at the scorpion and said that it was one of the bad ones, but my reaction was very mild. He gave me some Benadryl and a couple ice packs and sent us back - and told me to wait it out.

    The creepy thing was, that it was crawling around in my sleeping bag. I haven't been able to sleep out in the desert without a tent since then...

    Another nasty experience was on a beach at Lake Powell a few years ago. After nightfall, the dog jumped, so we looked and there was a scorp. Killed it, then kept looking, and we literally killed 22 scorpions that night, stabbing them with tent stakes. I don't feel guilty about it either. I've paid my scorpion dues.

  36. #36
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    A couple months back I had an evening all to myself and was totally slothed out on the couch playing a video game. I'd been sitting there for several hours and figured I'd better get up and stretch or eat or pee or something other than stare at the big TV. So I stand up, and immediately fall over. Just collapse on the spot.

    My foot is dead asleep, I mean completely and totally dead. I poke at it with a fork, smack it with my hand. I've been such a wastoid all evening I figure I'd just sat on it wrong and pinched a nerve somewhere.

    So I try to go to sleep. Wake up sweating and my foot now feels like it's on fire. The most intense pins-and-needles experience I've ever had. Figure the foot's finally woken up, but now I'm awake and can't sleep.

    Big mistake: I decide to get up and surf the web a while to figure out what would make my foot fall so hard asleep. Naturally I find the absolute worst-case-scenarios: nerve damage in my back, Parkinson's, Lou Gehrig's, diabetes. By 4 a.m. I'm convinced I have one or more life-ruining diseases/disorders.

    Foot's still tingling like mad the next day. I call my GP and they can't get me in 'til the following day. I'm now officially freaking out. Thinking about how much I can get for my house when I have to sell it to cover the medical bills. The joys of being self (un) insured.

    That evening, I'm getting my car washed. Standing outside waiting for the car, I glance down at my foot that STILL FEELS LIKE IT'S ON FIRE and notice a small red mark next to my ankle. I touch it. Whole foot lights up, and the spot gets maddeningly itchy.

    Turns out a scorpion, probably, stung me and I didn't even feel the hit. Apparently it delivered its payload precisely on a nerve or something. I've had scorpions around here for more than a decade, and my stupid cats don't do much -- if anything -- about them.

    Moral of the story: video games are no good for you. If I could zone out and not even feel myself get stung, that's as powerful as deep hypnosis or percoset.

    Oops, gotta go blow up a giant walking robot now. Be back in a few.

    p.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    A couple months back I had an evening all to myself and was totally slothed out on the couch playing a video game. I'd been sitting there for several hours and figured I'd better get up and stretch or eat or pee or something other than stare at the big TV. So I stand up, and immediately fall over. Just collapse on the spot.

    My foot is dead asleep, I mean completely and totally dead. I poke at it with a fork, smack it with my hand. I've been such a wastoid all evening I figure I'd just sat on it wrong and pinched a nerve somewhere.

    So I try to go to sleep. Wake up sweating and my foot now feels like it's on fire. The most intense pins-and-needles experience I've ever had. Figure the foot's finally woken up, but now I'm awake and can't sleep.

    Big mistake: I decide to get up and surf the web a while to figure out what would make my foot fall so hard asleep. Naturally I find the absolute worst-case-scenarios: nerve damage in my back, Parkinson's, Lou Gehrig's, diabetes. By 4 a.m. I'm convinced I have one or more life-ruining diseases/disorders.

    Foot's still tingling like mad the next day. I call my GP and they can't get me in 'til the following day. I'm now officially freaking out. Thinking about how much I can get for my house when I have to sell it to cover the medical bills. The joys of being self (un) insured.

    That evening, I'm getting my car washed. Standing outside waiting for the car, I glance down at my foot that STILL FEELS LIKE IT'S ON FIRE and notice a small red mark next to my ankle. I touch it. Whole foot lights up, and the spot gets maddeningly itchy.

    Turns out a scorpion, probably, stung me and I didn't even feel the hit. Apparently it delivered its payload precisely on a nerve or something. I've had scorpions around here for more than a decade, and my stupid cats don't do much -- if anything -- about them.

    Moral of the story: video games are no good for you. If I could zone out and not even feel myself get stung, that's as powerful as deep hypnosis or percoset.

    Oops, gotta go blow up a giant walking robot now. Be back in a few.

    p.

    Gripping!

  38. #38
    wowarizona.com
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    More 'Scorpion Spotting' possibilities

    Here's a good selection of battery powered lights.

    http://www.24hours7days.com/Science/...ght_Items.html

    Very inexpensive approach to scorpion detection. I've seen them used 'in the field' and was quite impressed for the $7.95 price tag.

    I'm getting a couple of the small ones.
    CJ
    WOW Arizona!

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetisurly
    Gripping!
    Thank you!
    Don't be that guy! Read the forum guidelines.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    Moral of the story: video games are no good for you. If I could zone out and not even feel myself get stung, that's as powerful as deep hypnosis or percoset.
    I'm forcing my nephews to read this story as they've been bitten by the VG bug recently. Tho it's probably my fault being an ex lan party/OCing/gpu junkie.

  41. #41
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    Wow, great thread for the AZ area. My wife is an AZ native but still freaked as all get-out about these. I agree they are my least favorite native critter, but have been lucky so far. We just moved into a 3.3 acre place in the Tucson Mtns, house is old, but the scorpions were here first. They love these rocky areas!

    We have a very young baby, so we are doing everything we can to minimize them. We did the DIY for a year, helped some; but we went with a professional this year. They sealed the house (somewhat, I need to follow up with the foam and such), and used the dust. So far we have seen a few less scorpions this summer (3 vs. 12 last year), and all dead/dying. Only 2 months into the contract, hoping for the best. Wife feels better so it's money well spent just for that.

    But by far the best solution has been our three cats. They play with / kill them, but won't eat them? So I get the 'smack 'em once to be sure, paper-towel pickup, flush' duty. They also take care of (eat) all the other bugs, helping to remove the food source.

    One other good thing to do is to put the bed, or crib, legs in glass jars or bowels. They can't climb up glass. Keep the bed coverings off the floor, and away from the wall. This doesn't stop the crazy ceiling climbing ones, but those seem to be less frequent (and usually loners..).

    I ordered some of these black lights, will try the scorp-hunt approach as well. Thanks for the links!

    Now for my favorite story (I'm adding the pee story as a close second). A friend of ours crawled into bed, started to fall asleep, and felt something on her arm. She quickly brushed it off but couldn't find anything anywere. Slightly shaken, she grabbed her glass of water from her nightstand and took a drink of water. All of a sudden she felt something stinging her as it was going down her throat! She had flung the scorp into her glass and then swallowed it!!!! (I'm cringing as I type this). She was stung 3-4 times, had to go the hospital for medical treatment, but turned out fine.

    Moral? Buy expensive bottled water. Or take your stings on the arm when they come. Or [add cheesy moral here]
    Last edited by bvoutdoorz; 07-18-2006 at 02:24 PM.
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  42. #42
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    Stung in the throat? Augggggh!

    p.
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  43. #43
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    What!? Wow... And yet it'd make the perfect plotline for Spiderman 4's baddy!

  44. #44
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    My story and serious warning...

    I hope everyone with little kids (under 2) reads this:

    I've lived in the infamous Kyrene Scorpion Corridor (Warner Ranch to be exact) since 1999 and shortly after moving into my home I was stung late one evening. I was heading to bed and picked up my dog's bed to move it into the bedroom (the lazy man way by lifting it with my foot). I was stung on a toe. Being inexperienced with scorpions, I called poison control in a panic and some serious pain. They told me to go to sleep. I said WTF??? They said "If you are able to sleep, then it's not a "dangerous" sting. If you find you can't sleep, then get to the hospital." Like I could sleep after that???

    I spent the better part of the next 3 days with a completely numb leg from the knee down. I immediately went to Home Depot and bought a battery powered black light and started my nightly "hunts". I killed maybe 3-4 per night for a while and then maybe 1-2 regularly. Every week I skim 2-3 out of the bottom of my pool. My home backs up to a greenbelt and after going out there with the blacklight one evening (my neighbors think I'm nuts) I realized that I'm fighting an uphill battle. I saw 20-30 just behind MY home.

    SO fast-foward to this week. I've grown used to them. My nightly hunts have diminished (out of laziness) and the batteries in my blacklight are dead. I usually only kill the ones I find actually INSIDE my home or the ones that cross my path outside during the evening. My wife and I are however worried, since we now have a 22-month old son and a 5-month old daughter. We jokingly say that it's not IF they'll get stung but WHEN and we hope that it's not until they are older since we've "heard" it's bad for small children. (Keep in mind also that my wife has NEVER been stung). We check their beds and rooms nighly and always make sure our son wears his shoes outside in the yard and around the pool. From experience I always check in and around an external door when it is opened since I find many of them under the threadshold in the evenings.

    So on Tuesday I have the palm tree trimmers come (scorpions do LOVE palm trees BTW) and around 6PM, I'm outside dealing with them, my wife is breastfeeding the baby and my son is upset that he's stuck in the house and not out with me. I had him with me but it was so hot that I made him go inside. My wife lets him stand by the window and watch us outside. Long story short (too late I know) he gets stung.

    My wife doesn't see it happen. He comes over to her and is having a meltdown. She thinks he's just mad about being inside. I come in from outside and see him and try to calm him down. He is pulling on his left index finger. He knows sign language so my wife and I are trying to figure out what he's trying to say. After a few minutes, he starts drooling like crazy. This is when we start thinking something is not right. I ask my wife where he was and I go over to the window and I move a box and there is a scorpion! By now our son is having seizures and his eyes are rolled back in his head. We call 911 and I get a ride in an ambulance to Banner Desert trying with all my might to hold my son. He is amazing strong and going crazy. They take his vitals. His blood pressure is sky high and his heart rate is 215! No that is not a typo - 215! They start pumping him full of morphine and valium and nothing. He's getting worse. They start breathing treatments and full O2 and send him (us) to the pediatric ICU. They start telling us that his airway is closing from the toxins and that they may have to intubate him. (I'm shaking typing this).

    After an hour of this his heart rate "drops" to around 200. After about 3 hours it drops to the 180s. The docs are relieved that he's improving and the drugs are finally settling him down. He gets a chest Xray and it turns out his right lung is partially collapsed (1/3). The doctors say that they are trying to relieve his pain and hoping that THAT in combination with the morphine will settle him down and reduce the effects of the toxins. It's been a good 5 hours since we've seen any visible sign of the son we know. He's been completely gone. At around midnight I'm pleading in his ear to calm down and "go night night" and for the first time he signs EAT & DRINK. His routine lately is to stall bedtime by saying he's hungry or thirsty in sign language. We are thrilled to no end to see ANY acknowledgement from him that he's coherent.

    The next 20 hours are spent wacthing him go from sleeping to in pain but eyes closed. Finally yesterday at around 6PM after a long stetch asleep and after being weened off the morphine, valium and O2, he woke up and recognized us for the first time. His recovery from that point was fast and we were home last night.

    After sleeping for 12 hours last night, he woke up hungry and thirsty. He's staggering around like a drunk sailor and his eyes are still half-glazed, but it's him.

    I remembered this thread and just wanted to post a warning for those with small children and some info I received from the toxicologist at the hospital.

    Scorpions are NOT like rattlesnakes. It's not true that the smaller ones are more dangerous because they haven't figured out how to regulate their venom. With scorpions, and in particular bark scorpions, it is the luck of the draw. Sometimes you'll get a tiny dose, sometimes a huge dose. Some factors that influence this are if you just trap it under say your hand or foot in which case it'll sting you multiple times until you either kill it or it gets away. But in general it is the luck of the draw (or sting).

    In our sons case on a scale of 1-10 (10 being worse case), he was a 9.

    Sorry for the long winded reply but I wanted to let people know that it's not necessarily "like a bad bee sting" in all cases and that in some cases it's much, much worse.

    FYI, there are some hospitals that have anti-venom. Before I go off on a rant on this I'll just say that Phoenix Children's and Chandler regional do (Banner Desert does not), it is in such short supply that unless they actually have to intubate you, you won't get it (according to BD - the hospital that doesn't have it -FWIW). Also the current anti-venom is "under protocol" - ie: not FDA approved and still being studied. They inject venom into goats and then harvest the antiboies created. This goat protein can have side effects not all of which are necessarily known yet and some known ones are not good. They call this "serum sickness" This is why "supposedly" that it is only being used in life or death cases.
    Last edited by Noelg; 07-20-2006 at 11:47 AM.
    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  45. #45
    Kathleen in AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noelg
    I've lived in the infamous Kyrene Scorpion Corridor (Warner Ranch to be exact) since 1999...
    Holy Smoke Elno, I can't believe your family had to go thru such an ordeal. Perhaps it's time to move? Find a new home and I will help round up a whole crew on moving day. Take care.

  46. #46
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    BTW the black light got new batteries

    and I went "hunting" last night and killed 7 scorpions on my block wall (near where the trees were trimmed) but none were inside.

    The nightly hunts are back on!.
    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  47. #47
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    Wow, that must have been scary. Scorpions are not something to be complacent about, especially with children. I'm so glad that your son will be OK. We have seen them often around the thresholds also, and caulking under both edges (inside and outside) has helped, I think we've only seen one inside this summer. Hope your little guy is feeling better soon.

  48. #48
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    House for sale!

    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl
    Holy Smoke Elno, I can't believe your family had to go thru such an ordeal. Perhaps it's time to move? Find a new home and I will help round up a whole crew on moving day. Take care.
    Anyone wanna buy a house, wildlife included?!

    Seriously don't think Amy isn't ready to move right now - only she wants to move to Flagstaff! The real problem is that anywhere we would WANT to move would be closer to trails and we would most likely still have similar issues - and we love our house otherwise.

    Thanks for the offer and I sure wish there was a good solution but we DO live in the desert.
    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noelg
    Anyone wanna buy a house, wildlife included?!

    Seriously don't think Amy isn't ready to move right now - only she wants to move to Flagstaff! The real problem is that anywhere we would WANT to move would be closer to trails and we would most likely still have similar issues - and we love our house otherwise.

    Thanks for the offer and I sure wish there was a good solution but we DO live in the desert.
    If you move to Flagstaff and then you have to deal with black bears (I'll take a scorpion encounter over a bear encounter anyday). And if the black bears don't get you, those evil ring tail cats will

    In all seriousness, there is a good chance that your son's reaction wasn't just the scorpion's toxin working evil magic. I know a guy who had a young son who was stung by a bee or wasp and had the same reaction as your son did -- convulsions, closed beath passage, very high heart rate, etc. Turns out the boy's body overreacted to the toxins and it nearly killed him. So your son might actually be "allergic" to the scorpions. Everybody reacts different to venom, and what may cause no harm to one person may cause another person to die.

    Not like this makes the situation any better or worse for your son. I hope he's doing ok. I feared the same with my 3 year old daughter and so far we've been lucky....no stings.

    Thx...Doug

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