With a tail curled over its back, a set of appendages that resemble lobster claws and a peculiar way of scuttling around on its eight legs, a scorpion can strike fear into the bravest of hearts. Beyond the fact that they all have four sets of legs, scorpions bear little resemblance to their spider and tick cousins. If you have lived in the Tucson and Green Valley area for a while, you have probably seen at least one scorpion. If you are new to the area, you may be wondering how dangerous these bizarre creatures truly are. Whether you are native to the area or a newcomer, here are three things about scorpions that you should know.
1. Arizona is home to the most dangerous type of scorpion in the United States. Worldwide, there are about 1,500 species of scorpions. Twenty-five of which are potentially lethal. Approximately 90 species of scorpions can be found in the United States, but only one — the Arizona bark scorpion — is considered dangerous to humans. People who are allergic to scorpion venom, the elderly, and young children are considered to be at the highest risk if they are stung by an Arizona bark scorpion.
2. The size of the scorpion and the strength of its venom are inversely proportionate. For example, the Arizona bark scorpion is usually between two and three inches in length; the giant desert hairy scorpion is often more than five inches in length, but because its venom is relatively weak, its sting is usually compared to that of a honeybee. However, it should be noted that scorpions have the ability to sting repeatedly as well as control the amount of venom that they inject.
3. Scorpions glow blue under a black light. When ultraviolet light strikes certain proteins in a scorpion’s exoskeleton, the UV light makes the proteins visible to the human eye. Scientists are still researching why this is so. One theory is that the glow helps them identify each other. Another theory is that it is a type of sunscreen to block harmful rays. Other scientists have proposed that it is a useful adaptation to help confuse prey. Currently, research is being conducted to test whether scorpions are using the UV light that is reflected off the moon as a type of alarm clock that lets them know it is time to leave their hiding place and go hunting for food.
If there is a great deal of construction activity in your area, the disturbance of their habitat may increase the chance of a scorpion finding its way into your home. A rock garden in your yard or the crawl space under your home could offer scorpions a hospitable environment to seek refuge during the day. Scorpions may also be attracted to your yard by an infestation of spiders, crickets or other insects that are prey for scorpions.
Whether you need help to control scorpions or any other pest, contact Bill’s Home Service Company for professional assistance. Visit www.BillsHomeService.com or call (520) 200-7043.