As temperatures get colder, scorpions may be seeking refuge in your home

FLORIA VISTA, N.M. – One of the nice things about winter is less creepy crawly critters, but even though we don’t see them as often doesn’t mean they are gone. One of the creepiest bugs that calls the Southwest home often moves in with us for the holidays, and we don’t even know it.

Scorpions – they hide in the shadows.

“They are nocturnal, so they are usually doing most of their feeding at night,” said Brian Spencer, owner of Larry’s Pest Patrol.

They also know how to climb.

“It’s not uncommon for me to see them scale up the side of a stucco home and get up into a second story,” Spencer said sometimes they hide in plain sight. “They blend in with the carpet and they can be stepped on very easily.”

The most common scorpion that Spencer encounters in northwest New Mexico is the Striped Bark Scorpion.

“The biggest they get is about three, four inches long here, most of the time they are normally about an inch or two. They are very small, very small pincers and a skinny tail,” said Spencer. 

It’s this time of year when they are ditching the cold outdoors for our walls.

“They are looking for warm places to hide out for the wintertime those wall voids are going to be very appealing to them,” Spencer added.

These creepy crawlers squeeze into tight spaces to get there, and they can fit into an opening about the size of your credit card.

“That’s all they need, paper-thin cracks and crevasses,” Spencer added.  “Making sure your doors seal up so you can’t see any sunlight coming through the cracks because obviously they’ll just walk right through the front door is the most encountered place, I find them.”

And if you see one, it’s likely there’s more.

“A lot of times there is, most of the time — I’ve seen cases where there’s up to 100 scorpions inside of a resident at one time,” said Spencer. 

But there are some things you can do it keep out this unwanted guest.

“They really need moisture is the key so eliminating moisture and piles of mulch logs and things like that around the house around the home keeps their harborage areas away and it’s actually the first method of control that we look at,” Spencer said.  

He says the Striped Bark Scorpions are venomous, but it’s generally mild, like a wasp. But it can be confused with the rarer Arizona Bark Scorpion, which has a potent venom.