Think you might have a scorpion problem?  If you suspect scorpions, then it helps to know when they are most active, so that you can look for evidence of them.

Cousin to the Spider

While you might think of scorpions as insects or bugs, they are actually arachnids.  An arachnid is a creature with two body segments and eight legs, while insects have three body segments and six legs.  Arachnids also do not have wings or antennae, which may be found on insects. They also cannot chew.  Of course, most people recognise scorpions because of their long tail, which has a stinger on the end. 

The Scorpions come out at night!

Scorpions are generally nocturnal animals.  They are most likely to be active in the dark.  Though they have notoriously poor eyesight, they seem able to distinguish between light and dark easily. It is believed that low light sensitivity makes it easier for them to navigate when it is dark outside. However, it is not unusual to see them during the day.  This is especially true when there is wet weather, which seems to stimulate scorpion activity, perhaps because overcast conditions mean lower levels of light. Scorpions are usually more active in the warmer months between October and March.

Scorpions are generally small animals, though some species can grow to as large as 12cm.  While 12 cm may not seem exceptionally large, it does tend to look much bigger when the animal in question has a stinger on one end and pincers on the other!  Fortunately, scorpions are not considered to be particularly aggressive animals when it comes to their interactions with humans.

As for their interactions with other animals, scorpions can be very aggressive.  They are hunters, and they feed off of arthropods, a group that includes insects and other arachnids.  Some types of scorpions lie in wait for their food, while others actively hunt their prey.  They are not primarily visual predators, but instead sense the movement of their prey through specialised sensory organs and tarsal hairs. 

Shed a light on them

If you are looking for scorpions, it may help to know that scorpions fluoresce under ultraviolet light.  This means that you can use a “black light” in a dark room to help you find the scorpions.  However, you probably do not want to get to the point of hunting scorpions by black light in a dark room.  While rarely deadly, scorpion stings can be very painful and can cause serious health complications.  If you think you have scorpions, calling a pest control professional to eradicate the problem is your safest solution.   

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