8 scorpion facts to make your skin crawl

Scorpions are plentiful in Arizona.
Scorpions are plentiful in Arizona.(3TV/CBS 5)

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Scorpions become more active in Arizona once the temperature rises above 70 degrees. So you’ll see more scorpions from March through October in the Phoenix area.

Outside your home, or inside the house, these creepy-crawly creatures can be found anywhere.

Here are 8 terrifying and amazing facts about scorpions. Apologies in advance for any nightmares you might have. Ready?

1. Scorpions are as old as dirt.

Scorpions have been giving people the heebie-jeebies for a very, very, very long time. They have been on earth for more than 400 million years. That’s longer than humans and dinosaurs. And in that time, they haven’t changed a whole lot.

Scientists know of about 1,500 species of scorpions, but there could be another 1,000 undiscovered types.

2. Scorpions are tough

This tiny arachnid can go an entire year without food! How is this possible? They have fat layers on their exoskeleton that make them resistant to water loss. They can also slow down their metabolism when food is scarce.

If that isn’t impressive, they can also live underwater for up to two days.

You can even freeze a scorpion and it won’t die! Some scientists have froze scorpions just to watch them start moving and walking away after they thawed. Most scorpions live for about two to ten years, but some can live as long as 25 years.

3. The most dangerous scorpion species lives right here in Arizona (naturally)

Arizona Bark Scorpion
Arizona Bark Scorpion(3TV/CBS 5)

The Southwest, particularly Arizona, is home to the bark scorpion, the most dangerous type out there.

Their venom is very potent and can, in some rare cases, kill you. Most healthy adults will survive a scorpion sting, though it is very unpleasant. Expect intense, radiating pain near the sting site. Some people have described it as burning like fire. Numbness and tingling are common symptoms, too.

Worse reactions (especially in young children) include trouble breathing, accelerated heart rate, vomiting, drooling and muscle twitching.

4. Scorpions are fierce and ruthless hunters

Scorpions have allegiance to no one! They’ll attack insects, other scorpions and even family members.

They are very patient hunters, sitting for hours in one spot, still as water, waiting for victims to come too close. A scorpion will then snatch it’s prey with lightning speed as its tail hammers down with paralyzing blows. Once the scorpion’s meal is motionless, it will be torn apart by the pincers.

Then things get nasty.

Scorpions have strong juices in their mouths they spit on those pieces that help melt them into a chunky soup the scorpion will then consume. Yum!

5. Scorpions glow under a black light

A black light makes scorpions easier to see at night. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News)
A black light makes scorpions easier to see at night. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News)(3TV/CBS 5)

You’ve probably seen pictures of them glowing or maybe you’ve hunted them for yourself with a black light. Scientists say proteins in their shell glow a blue-green florescent color when you shine ultraviolet light on them. Those proteins are found in what is called the hayline layer. Scientists don’t have a concrete answer on why scorpions have this feature. Some think it’s to help detect light, others think it may be a way for scorpions to spot other scorpions. Whatever the case, it’s pretty cool.

6. Scorpion moms carry around their babies on their backs

This is a mother scorpion with her babies on her back.
This is a mother scorpion with her babies on her back.(3TV/CBS 5)

Scorpions have a very interesting mating dance when it’s time to reproduce. Before mating, males will grab the female’s pincer in his pincer and move around in a seemingly choreographed dance. After the dance and the deed are done, females grow their young inside them for several months to a year.

The brood is made up of around 25-50 babies that are born live. They crawl out of the female and then crawl to the top of her back. They stay on her back for about three weeks before they attempt to give life a try on their own.

7. Scorpions are nocturnal

Scorpions will hide during the day and come out to play at night. So while you are sleeping, they could be making their way to your bed.

8. Scorpions can climb almost any surface

The most common place for people to be stung by a scorpion is inside their own home. Check your shoes before putting them on because that’s one of their favorite hiding spots. Bath towels and laundry piles are also common places to find scorpions. They like to be near a water source so you may see them in your kitchen, bathrooms and laundry rooms as well.

6 Ways to prevent or get rid of scorpions in Arizona

1. Remove shelters: Scorpions like to hide out under piles of leaves, stacks of firewood or other debris in your yard. So keep your yard as clean as possible. Furthermore, get rid of cardboard boxes as it’s easy for scorpions to climb cardboard.

2. Seal up your house: Scorpions may look big and scary to you but they can squeeze through a pretty tiny hole. It’s a good idea to seal up outlet holes or any other spaces in your siding, roof, windows, walls or screens that may be allowing them to make their way into your house. This also includes shoring up the spaces beneath doors.

3. Reduce moisture: Scorpions seek out wet hiding spaces so eliminate any standing water around your house or in plants. Also, don’t over water your lawn. And inspect plumbing to make sure you don’t have any slow leaks that could be creating a breeding ground for scorpions.

4. Eliminate food sources: A scorpion’s primary goal is to eat food and they feed on insects, especially roaches and crickets. So a proactive approach to pest control will help you keep scorpions at bay.

5. Natural Repellents: Some say cedar and lavender are natural repellents. Try planting lavender or spreading cedar chips around the perimeter of your home.

6. Get a cat: Cats are natural hunters and many Arizonans have said having a cat around has eliminated their scorpion problem, among our pest control problems like roof rats.