Scorpions are unique creatures that have some very notable features, including a stinging tail in the back and a pair of menacing pincers in the front. Being able to identify scorpions is the first step in knowing how to control them.
It might surprise you to know that scorpions are actually members of the arachnid family. This means they are related to spiders, mites, and ticks. Scorpions have long, flat bodies with 8 legs. They also have a pair of pedipalps (lobster-like claws) which are used for grasping things. These pedipalps can vary in size, depending on the species. Scorpions also have a segmented tail that they often have curled over their backs. A stinger is found at the end of the tail. The size of a scorpion is very dependent on the species, and they can range from ½ an inch up to 8 inches long. Color also varies from brown or yellow to blue and black. Most scorpions have subtle colors that will help them blend in with their environment.
Two very common species of scorpion in the United States are the Striped Bark scorpion and the Bark scorpion. When you first hear the name and description, they seem very similar, but a few subtle differences can help identify them. One is mostly harmless, and the other can be very dangerous.
Striped Bark Scorpion (Centruroides vittatus)
- Yellowish-brown body
- 2 broad, dark stripes that run down its back
- Dark, triangular mark on its head
- Grows up to 2 ¾ inches long
Arizona Bark Scorpion (Centruroides exilicauda or Sculpturatus)
- Pale yellow; orangish after it molts
- Grows from 2.5-3 inches long
- 2 easily seen eyes on top of its head
- Often will hold its tail off to one side while it is resting
- The most venomous and dangerous scorpion species in the United States; Symptoms from a sting can include things like: severe pain, swelling, numbness, breathing problems, respiratory paralysis, and more.
As you can see, it can be difficult to accurately identify the species of scorpion, so your best bet is to be careful around all of them, and do your best to keep them away from your home and family. PF Harris has a number of products that can help with this. To monitor the population of scorpions around your house, try Harris Scorpion Traps. You can also use Harris Scorpion Killer indoors and outdoors to eliminate them from your home. You can trust PF Harris for all your home pest control needs.