Got Scorpions? Some things you need to know.

Real Estate Agent with South East Valley - DRE# SA528757000

arizona scorpionI was once known as the "Scorpion Queen". When I moved to Arizona 7 years ago, I killed over 90 scorpions in my Tempe home in a year.

The night I moved in I saw the first one under the sink in my master bedroom. Being the Midwestern girl that I am...I thought it was a centipede as I chased it around with a tissue. stopped and raised its tail in classic scorpion fashion. What did I do then? Screamed like a 3 year old of course. My 77 year old father came running to rescue me by swatting at the scorpion with his foam slipper (I finally squashed it with a hammer).

A year and a half later I was a self-professed expert.

Where do scorpions live in the valley? Hmm.. everywhere. Do I have them in my new house now? No.

There are things you should know that can help you buy a scorpion-free home, but guarantees... They were here first and have been here longer than dinosaurs.

First, know that the Bark scorpion that lives in the valley likes wet and shady places (so why do they live in the desert? Dumb scorpion.) so they especially like the underground irrigation lines that are typical in citrus orchards. Developers have taken over many of the old orchards in the valley and built homes there so it's not surprising to note that those communities have a higher scorpion population.

However, just because your neighbor has scorpions doesn't mean you will and vice versa. Scorpions are territorial and don't like to leave an area if they're comfortable.

Because scorpions like damp places, there is usually a higher population in grassy damp areas like golf courses fairways. But, just to confuse us, they also like dry rocky areas like mountain preserves. So homes bordering those areas are more likely to include a scorpion or two with that lot premium.

And while we're talking about a scorpion or two, I've found they usually travel in pairs(isn't that romantic?). If you see one...keep looking.

So how do you know if a home has scorpions before you buy it? Well you can't for sure. Seller's do have an obligation to disclose whether they've ever seen a scorpion in their house or yard and this will be found on the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement. But just because they have an obligation to disclose, doesn't mean they will.

Your Realtor can be very helpful especially if specializing in a certain area, he or she will sometime have a knowledge of the areas where scorpions have shown their tails. But again, a Realtor isn't an expert on all communities, and just because your neighbor has them doesn't mean you will.

What do you do if you see a scorpion in the house you just purchased? After you stop screaming, relax. There are ways to help reduce the population. First get an Arizona Fly Swatter (that's a hammer) for every room. Don't works.

Then, get rid of the scorpion's food supply~ Crickets, Roaches & Spiders. A good pest control company can help there.

If you like cats, get one and whatever you do, don't declaw it.  Cats are a natural predator of scorpions.  They kill them with their claws.  Oh...Chickens too.  They love to eat scorpions.  Having a chicken in the city could be a problem with zoning though, so best to find out first.

Another trick is diatonaceous earth. This is the powder you put in pool filters. It's said to be effective keeping scorpions out of your house if you put a trail of the powder at entry points to your home (doorways & windows sills mostly). The powder is composed of glass-like particles which slice open the soft belly of the scorpion when it crawls across it. Nice.

You will be told that scorpions are impervious to residual insecticides...however a couple that come highly recommended are Cykick Bug Spray & Delta Eight Granules.

Consider having your home professionally sealed (note~ this is different than hermetically sealed). Many pest control companies offer this service where they seal all possible scorpion entry points. It's not cheap, but it does work.

Last but not least...because this can be fun. Get a black light and an Arizona Fly Swatter and scour your home and yard after dark. Scorpions glow yellow-green under a black light. Whack-A-Scorp. Yes, good times.

I'm happy to say I've never been stung by a scorpion. I've heard the sting is pretty miserable but they are not usually life threatening unless you are allergic, have a compromised immune system, or are under 10 years old or elderly. Take comfort that Arizona does have antivenin and no one has died from a scorpion sting in over 40 years. So if you get stung get emergency treatment to make sure you're ok. You probably are.

Final note. I had a client who bought a home in the foothills of Ahwatukee..backing to the preserve. He got stung on the butt sitting on the toilet. Apparently the scorpion was hiding under the seat. So ladies, maybe it's best if he does leave the toilet seat up.

If you're looking for a home in Chandler or the surrounding East Valley, the Amy Jones Group specializes in this area and are here to help guide you.  We can answer your questions about scorpions or all the other questions you may have about the area. 

Visit our home search webpage for an accurate list of homes for sale. Why depend on outdated information on those national real estate websites? Come to the source!

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Keller Williams Integrity First Realty ~3341 E Queen Creek Rd, Suite 109, Gilbert, AZ 85297
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Chandler, Sun Lakes, Gilbert, Tempe & Ahwatukee Real Estate
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Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Amy~  Oh my gosh that is one of the ugliest things I have ever seen.  And, I thought a mouse was bad....

Dec 10, 2009 01:23 PM #1
Claude Cross
Homes By Cross, Inc. - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte NC Homes For Sale

Amy - They bite your Butt? Oh My !! I'm thinking pesticides, but I don't live out there. I like the hammer method. We have fire ants in South and they are awful. We use IED's on them. The Arizona Flyswatter would take forever

Dec 10, 2009 01:28 PM #2
Taylor Shults Philley
Austin Realty Firm - Austin, TX
Broker, Realtor , GRI

I was laying on a shaggy rug at our lake house in Texas and felt something on my arm. I swatted it off without looking and sat up to drink from my glass of milk. When the glass was to my face, I saw a baby albino scorpion squirming in my milk~ I not only swatted it but almost drank from the glass!! Yuck.

Dec 10, 2009 01:30 PM #3
Tammie White
(615) 495-0752 or - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

Amy, one year we visited AZ for Christmas.  We rented a house.  I didn't realize that scorpions were a problem there.  It was the worst week of my life.  I was afraid to walk around without shoes, I was afraid they'd get in the bed, I was just plain afraid.  I discovered AZ is not the place for me.  This is good info for homeowners there.

Dec 10, 2009 01:42 PM #4
Joyce Kelley
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

I was starting to like Arizona for a moment but not anymore. I don't like snakes and now I see something else I don't like at all. Good Luck though.

Dec 10, 2009 02:20 PM #5
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

Amy,  After 25 years in Las Vegas, I'm also familiar with scorpions -- especially the bark scorpion which can be found around many of our palm trees.  They can enter through a crack 1/16th of an inch.  We used glue boards or traps and they worked very well to keep them under control inside buildings.  My cat was also a great help.  By the way, what looks much more dangerous than a scorpion?  Your secretary after she just had a scorpion crawl up her arm.  I know!

Dec 10, 2009 02:34 PM #6
Dr. Blaine "Doc" Ellingson
Sotheby's International Realty - Stuart, FL

Great article, probably not the best for attracting Buyers but very honest, interesting!

Dec 10, 2009 02:38 PM #7
Paul Guenther
Empire West Title Agency - Chandler, AZ
Empire West Title- Chandler, AZ


I guess I am lucky! Or good at cutting off the food supply.  I have lived here 25 years, in 5 Apartments and 4 different houses. Knock on wood!  I have never shared my house or yard with a single scorpion!

Dec 10, 2009 10:22 PM #8
Amy Jones Group
South East Valley - - Chandler, AZ

Vickie~ I know. I had field mice when I lived in Wisconsin. It was more about the surprise factor than ugliness with mice!

Claude~ We have fire ants too!  I guess there's a price to pay for our great weather!

Taylor~ Ewwww...drinking a scorpion would not have been good.  I wonder if anyone's ever done that and what the side affects would be?  Scary!

Tammie~ I guess every part of the country has its good and bad. We don't have to deal with hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards and the like but occasionally a critter or two can dampen the "paradise" aspects! The good news is not every home has scorpion issues.  Next time you visit it will be a good question to ask!

Joyce~ I don't know...I'll take AZ over FL any day!  Was there for a week a couple months ago and between the mosquitoes, fire ants and humidity...I was glad when my vacation came to an end!  Of course, I don't have scorpions or snakes at my house!

Gary~ Bark scorpions are what we have too.  Did you know they're not indigenous to the desert? They came in on the citrus that was brought in from Mexico.  The gift that keeps on giving!

Doc~ Honesty's always the best policy! The good news is the percentage of homes without scorpions is much higher than those without.

Paul~ I've talked to many natives of AZ who have never seen a scorpion either.  I really think the developments that are being built on old orchards have the highest incidence.

Dec 11, 2009 01:57 AM #9

Sorry Amy, but you are wrong about the diatomacious earth recommendation.  Yes, DE is what you use but it is not the same product you use in your pool filter.  The best product would be the food grade DE.
Also, it is advisable that people read directions and follow them when using DE.  You wouldn't want to breathe that dust.

Chickens do like scorpions but they can also get stung and it will affect them.


Sep 13, 2013 01:55 PM #10
Wendy Vaughn
I am Las Vegas native of 35 years. When I was 8, we found two scorpions at our new home. I never saw another one. We started renting a house near Ft. Apache and Gowan three years ago....never have seen one at this home. Recently we bought a small house with a very large backyard and a 30 foot palm tree and a pond in the backyard. NOTHING was disclosed to us about scorpions. We met a few of our neighbors and they immediately told us about the scorpion problem in the neighborhood.....which blows my mind because the new house is literally 3 minutes away from the one we are renting now. A few of my friends have told me horror stories about their scorpion problems. The get into the vents, the water pipes, swimming pools, showers. PURE HELL. My realtor knew nothing about this either. Does anyone have any advice on what we should do? We have already taken down the palm tree and had it discarded. We are getting rid of the pond this weekend. I am honestly pretty devastated. We have a 2 year old that is allergic to everything under the sun. If he isn't allergic to the sting itself, he may be allergic to the anti-venom. I was told they only carry it at 2 hospitals in town and they are about 30 minutes away from our new little scorpion infested bunk. We got a black light and went out back to investigate....we found three of them glowing bright along the back wall where we got rid of the palm. I hear they hate lavender and cedar so I plan on plating lavender up against the walls of our house outside. I am buying cedar oil and putting that everywhere as well. I'm angry and I feel helpless but hearing that Vegas will be overcome with scorpions in the next five years actually makes me feel a little better believe it or not. Atleast I will have the knowledge of what to do already. If it gets so bad and we have to move, I just don't know what we will do.
Feb 12, 2014 03:33 AM #11
Amy Jones Group
South East Valley - - Chandler, AZ

Oh Wendy, I'm so sorry to hear of your plight. What a terrible situation to be in.

Feb 12, 2014 06:46 AM #12
Sharon Paxson
Arbor Real Estate - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate - Arbor Real Estate

Good information about scorpions, I used to have a home in Lake Havasu and definitely had scorpions there. I found them everywhere!!

Apr 18, 2014 03:32 AM #13
Rebecca Gaujot
RE/MAX Vision Quest - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Stopped by from your post, My highest viewed AR blog post.... This was a terrific read and can see how this would be helpful to Arizona residents. 

Apr 18, 2014 08:58 AM #14
Amy Jones Group
South East Valley - - Chandler, AZ

Thanks Sharon! I didn't know they had them in Havasu. You should do a blog post! ;)

Thank you Rebecca!

Apr 18, 2014 09:21 AM #15
Frank Iglesias
Working With Houses, LLC - Atlanta Real Estate Investments - Lawrenceville, GA
Atlanta, GA Real Estate Investor

Wow, what an experience! Thank you for sharing this, Amy. Very informative. Didn't see this post before until you posted a link to your latest blog. 

Apr 18, 2014 10:11 AM #16
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I also came over from your new post. I grew up in Southern California and knew we had them but didn't see them often.  Ironically while in Eustis Florida visiting my daughter and sleeping on a blow up matress my husband had one come out of an electrical outlet and land on his head.  It stung him three times before he got it off and told me not to move.  I am allergic to insect bites and may not have made it to the hospital.

Apr 18, 2014 11:07 AM #17
Janice Hope Zaltman LEED AP
Keller Williams Partners - Hollywood, FL

Thanks for sharing with us your post which demonstrates how relevant the information continues to be.  Thankfully, I have never met a scorpion but have had my share of hurricanes.

Apr 19, 2014 07:31 AM #18
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Amy, thank you for this post because now I have learned more than I wanted to know about scorpions and I know what an Arizona fly swatter is. 

Apr 20, 2014 07:54 AM #19
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