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Is Southern Nevada Experiencing A Scorpion Infestation?

bbasgen-scorpion-front.jpg

Musides at English Wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons

Arizona bark scorpion

It’s either a really good year, or a really bad year, depending on if you’re a scorpion.

Judging by calls to exterminators recently, scorpions are on the rise throughout the valley. And while this might be happy news for the pesky, predatory arachnid, it’s not so great for us.

One northwest resident says he collected 20 scorpions in a single night.

Is Southern Nevada experiencing an infestation?

ML Robinson, an environmental horticulture specialist with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, eased fears and said we're not in an invasion, but it is just the time of year for scorpions to appear.

“The weather is warming up and their food sources - roaches, crickets and the like- are becoming available and so you have this perfect storm for scorpions,” he told KNPR's State of Nevada.

He said bark scorpions, which are some of the most venomous in Southern Nevada, like to live in groups unlike other species of scorpion that live alone.

Robinson said our homes and yards are perfect spots for the arachnids. We have irrigation which provides water for them and their prey. There is also usually organic materials around, which provides food for crickets and cockroaches. Plus, the cement walls surrounding most homes are filled with cracks and crevices perfect for hiding.

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“We’re providing food and shelter and water and what more could they ask for,” he said.

To find scorpions in your backyard, Robinson suggests waiting until it has been dark for a while then shine a black light onto rocks and walls in your yard. Scorpions fluoresce under black light.

By Schristia (Fluorescent Scorpion in UV Light (IMG_4613)), via Wikimedia Commons

Robinson likes to collect them so he doesn't kill them, but he acknowledges not everyone feels the same.  

“If you have small pets and children, they could be stung and they’re the most vulnerable," he said, "You can spray them.” 

But he said, much like spiders, scorpions are helpful creatures.

“They are beneficial because they do prey on other insects and arachnids that smaller than them,” he said.

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ML Robinson, environmental horticulture specialist, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension

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Jul 05, 2005

Scorpions!

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