By Georgia Clubb, Founder of Seal Out Scoprions
I’m often asked when scorpion season is. In Arizona, it can sometimes seem all year long. However, the concern often isn’t as much when scorpions are moving around outside, but when are they going to get inside the home.
The height of scorpion activity is during the monsoon season. Temperatures are hot, the air is humid and this is the most desirable conditions for scorpions, insects and vegetation; and the most difficult time to start getting scorpions under control. While surface activity is at its greatest, the heat, rains and humidity negatively affect insecticides, and the sheer numbers of scorpions out of their hiding places makes control difficult. So while many are more concerned about protecting their homes during “scorpion season”, prevention before the height of scorpion population movement is essential for optimal control.
January to February … With the dry and cooler temperatures of our winters, scorpions typically stay well bedded-down and inactive. If we are having significant freezes, scorpions go into a state of diapause (aka: animal dormancy due to adverse environmental conditions) as they have very little tolerance to cold. Scorpions have already “wintered down” and have found harborage to ride-out the cold season in our block-walls or -better yet- the walls in our homes and under our duct-work where temperatures are warmer. Occasionally, if we have a warm winter, scorpions and other creatures may be moving early, especially around homes. It’s not uncommon to have sightings inside, however this is the period when the fewest amount of scorpions are seen in home.
March to April … With spring and warming temperatures, scorpions begin to become active and will be feeding and seeking out water. Humidity levels tend to rise around the neighborhoods with spring planting and watering. Also, pest control spraying, as well as fertilizing, often increases valley wide and this can “flush” sickly scorpions in. Scorpions will often be found in the garage or down low on the floor. If a higher population “wintered-down” around the home for a very cold winter, scorpions may more likely be found on ceilings or upstairs; as they may have squeezed under duct-work for warmth.
May to June … As temperatures rise, so does the activity level of scorpion populations. Pest control spraying continues to increase and thus can flush more individuals in. However, typically during this mid-summer period into late May and June, temperatures become very hot and the air is often very dry. While plenty of moisture can be found around our residential properties, scorpions instinctively slow-down in movement to conserve energy since they are evolved to survive desert and arid conditions. It’s common to find scorpions inside the home as they try to avoid this hot and dry period.
July to August … The further increase in temperatures and humidity levels cause increasing scorpion populations to become very active. Pest control companies can be at their busiest with even more pesticides being used. Since scorpions are so active and pest control is at it’s highest during this period, scorpions come into contact with poisons and individuals become sickly. An increase of sightings inside the home occur and this can be a very busy time for poison control receiving reports of stings.
September to October … Temperatures become more mild, though still extremely desirable for scorpions. While humidity levels may still be higher, further humidity around property micro-climates increase with the seeding of winter lawns in mid to late October. This is a time for homes that have been relatively under control, or even sealed, may still have challenges around exterior doors. Sightings inside of garages often increase, as well as scorpions sensing seasonal changes begin to seek warmth as the nights become cooler.
November to December … Begin to bring cooler temperatures – especially at night. Scorpions are beginning to “winter down” and many home-owners significantly reduce pest control and become less mindful of the creatures. However, what “winters down” this year can set the tone for next year. It’s very common to find scorpions inside the home at this time, not because they are so active, but they may be disturbed or even carried inside with boxes of holiday decorations.
For optimal scorpion control, preventative action is best, rather than trying to cure the problem during the height of the season. While scorpions are not as active and sightings are lessened, the most optimal successes in control starts in the cooler season.
No matter what season you begin your program, consider these 5 strategies:
Sealing from the inside-out, with the main protection coming from inside. Interior sealing can be done anytime and during all months for immediate controls. For optimal sealing of the exterior of homes, this should be held off in the months between July—October (depending on weather patterns) due to the heat and humidity that naturally swell frame wood and stucco.
Landscape should always be kept up and major projects are best done in the winter months from a scorpion control perspective.
Black Light Searches outside should be conducted April through October during the new (dark) moon phases. Record sightings and compare them to similar months/weather patterns each year and not month to month.
Repellents should be used during Spring and Fall for preventative control and to prepare the property. They can also be used during the summer when there is an active population traveling to the home, but they are less effective during this time. It is essential to use repellents regularly and in a systematic method.
Pest Control should be done monthly on the exterior of the home. It’s not as important if there are long periods of freezes or cold temperatures, but during warm winters it can be just as important as during the summer.
Be mindful that multiple strategies and preventative actions are more effective than trying to cure the problem after you are already finding scorpions in the house. It’s common to call the pest control company to spray after a scorpion sighting, but it’s often too late. Scorpions are resilient against insecticides and there is no nest or colony to wipe out, but a flow or path from the neighborhood. The nature of starting to spray for scorpions will more times than not start to flush more sickly and distressed ones into the home, resulting in cycles and a never-ending battle. Therefore, strategies to protect the home should first be considered.
The scorpion prevention experts at Seal Out Scorpions now offer scorpion sealing services in Gilbert AZ as well as professional scorpion prevention services in Chandler AZ.